Last week, you may remember that I covered a few bidding sites for freelance writing. The three main ones that I’ve come across are Freelancer.com, Elance and Guru. There used to be ODesk but that merged with Elance last year.
Bidding sites for freelance writing are on option for finding clients, quickly. At least, that’s the view. But is it really possible to find good clients on them?
I really think this depends on the bidding site, and the time you’re willing to put into them.
Take a Look Through Projects Carefully
I would recommend a new freelance writer looks through some of the projects on the site. You should have a minimum rate already in mind, and you may find projects that suit that minimum rate. Keep in mind that you’re unlikely to find projects that pay as well as finding your own private clients.
People posting projects on bidding sites for freelance writing are looking for the typical, “quick” SEO stuff. What does that mean? They’re looking for people to do minimal research and just churn out articles for a low price. There’s not much value in the content, and it’s design to just create a backlink or two to another site.
Is that something you really want to get involved in?
Building Up Your Portfolio
I used bidding sites for freelance writing when I was starting out. I did it has a way, along with content mills, to build a portfolio of content.
It’s important to check the terms of any project listing to find out if you can do this. Some clients will outright state that the work is not to be used in any way. This includes using it as samples. Others will give you permission to use as a sample.
You could do something similar to what I suggested yesterday with content mills. Take the content and write something on the same topics, using the research you’ve done. You can post that online under your own name to share as your own sample.
However, there are better ways at getting samples. You could find a business and offer one free piece of work in return for a byline and testimonial. A local charity could be a great business to get in touch with for this.
Is There an Escrow System?
There are a lot of negative points about some bidding sites for freelance writers. One of the main ones is the lack of payment after writers have completed the work. I’ve had it happen on Freelance.com, and others have too.
It’s important to check for an escrow system on any site that you choose to use. Make sure the client has to put the money for the project into the account from the start. That money is then released once you complete the project. It’s not a risk for either of you! If you don’t complete the project, the client can request that money back.
There’s also usually a dispute service when escrow payments are involved. These use an individual from the bidding site to determine who should get the money.
Taking Clients Off the Site
As you build up your trust with a client on bidding sites for freelance writing, you could consider taking the work off the site. Check the Terms and Conditions of any site first. You could find your account is banned by doing this.
There are more freedoms working outside of a bidding site. But there are also more risks. You need to make sure you’ve found a client who does pay for the work.
From my experience using bidding sites for freelance writing jobs, it isn’t possible to find great paying clients. However, it depends on your definition of great paying clients. It’s all relative!
What do you think about bidding sites for freelance writing jobs? Are they something you’d ever try, or are you like me and in the mind that they’re just not worth it?
Do you need a reminder about my reviews for the three main bidding sites? Here’s my weekly roundup from last week, which covers Freelancer.com, Elance and Guru.