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Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-08-2013 08:24 AM

Does anyone know somebody who actually makes a liveable wage doing work on those sites? There's a British one called People Per Hour, and I've signed up, but every job is hugely oversubscribed!


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Beyond Borders - 08-08-2013 08:50 AM

I do. I've already got a thread on this but actually heading out to restaurant to get some writing done. Will try to pop in later to either drop the link to a couple threads already on here or add some more.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-08-2013 10:09 AM

Thanks bro


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Matt3B - 08-08-2013 12:32 PM

I'd appreciate that too BB, nice one.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-08-2013 01:49 PM

Matt, how've you been getting on with the freelance stuff? As you're the one who alerted me to Elance in the first place.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Beyond Borders - 08-08-2013 09:24 PM

So Teedub, is there anything in particular you want to know? Throw some questions at me. These sites are an uphill climb but if you're willing to work, you can build a location-independent business out of them.

Maybe look through my posts on these threads first though so as not to have me repeat a bunch of basic advice I've already given:

http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-14275.html
http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-13269-page-2.html?highlight=freelance
http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-19062.html?highlight=freelance
http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-9290.html?highlight=freelance


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - TopPanda - 08-08-2013 11:25 PM

Found a couple of good clients from oDesk. There's a good niche charging $30 an hour fixing code written by guys charging $3 an hour.

But if you add up all that I've made I was probably better off working on my own projects rather than doing work for other people.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-09-2013 05:01 AM

Thanks BB, basically my only skill is writing, I can't build websites or anything. How do you get on the ladder so to speak, as everything is so god damn oversubscribed. There was one guy on Elance who I saw had made a ridiculous amount from writing. Something like $200k in four years.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Matt3B - 08-09-2013 07:03 AM

(08-08-2013 01:49 PM)Teedub Wrote:  Matt, how've you been getting on with the freelance stuff? As you're the one who alerted me to Elance in the first place.

Hardly touched it. I've been waiting until I finish my holiday this week to go full on gung ho in it. I applied to a fair few jobs, got a couple of responses asking about charges then didn't hear back from them, even though I said I'd charge them less than they'd budgeted for.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Beyond Borders - 08-09-2013 07:32 AM

(08-09-2013 05:01 AM)Teedub Wrote:  Thanks BB, basically my only skill is writing, I can't build websites or anything. How do you get on the ladder so to speak, as everything is so god damn oversubscribed. There was one guy on Elance who I saw had made a ridiculous amount from writing. Something like $200k in four years.

Yes, I'm mainly a writer too. I dabble in web design here and there but writing has always been my main income. Some of those threads touch on other skills, but most of my posts in them apply to writing, and even where they don't, the principles are pretty transferable.

By the way, you can do better than 200K in four years. If you check out the more successful profiles on Elance, you've got guys doing that in a year. I believe there are some even doing more.

I don't want to sound pretentious or like a broken record, but did you read my posts in those threads already? Because I did answer that question about climbing the ladder in a few places already, I'm pretty sure...Was hoping not to just walk down the same paths I've already covered.

Anyhow, I'll just get into it again here so we don't just start walking in circles here.

Yes, everything is extremely competitive on these sites. But trust me when I say that the vast majority of providers on there are derelicts. Not only are many of them non-native English-speaking writers from countries like India and the Philippines, but even the good writers tend to lack any basic business sense. Having writers turn in sloppy, unedited work, late work, or no work at all are all common problems. As are people who plagiarize.

On top of that, most of these people just don't know how to sell themselves.

They're amateurs. But you are not!

Your ticket is to get your foot in the door by acting like a total pro right from the very beginning. Fill out every last part of your profile - you're best off looking for providers on there that are making a killing and mimicking what they do. Decide on some niches you want to work in and write out some articles you will use as samples, or if you have a website you can use that for your initial samples.

Start off by bidding on a ton of jobs. If you create solid bids, you can expect about a 10% win ratio - so grinding here is much like grinding in poker or any other odds-based endeavor. Keep doing the same thing over and over again, ignoring the losses and stacking up wins to eventually get ahead.

Think about that for a second. If you only win 10% of your bids, you have to bid on 200 jobs just to get 20 clients! So if you only bid on 2 - 10 and just give up, what does that make you? That's right - just another derelict writer who isn't serious about this. Expect to fail with that approach. You need to put in a ton of work to come out of the gate and dig your heels in - just as in any business. Just do it - it will get easier later as you build relationships with returning clients and a stellar reputation.

Start off cheap, being sure to tell prospects you're bidding the first jobs cheap because you're new and want to build up a reputation (but only bid small jobs at first so as not to lock yourself in for a lot of work at those rates). Make it clear you're kind of expecting a review for going so cheap. Yes, there are others already going just as cheap, but don't even think of them as competition. Most are not. You're the new rockstar writer just getting his start.

Once you land your first few jobs and get some good reviews on that particular site, immediately up your rates. You now have a basis for doing so. Then keep on bidding like a madman. After you're booked for two weeks to a month, double your rates. You'll lose half your returning clients this way, but you'll also cut your work in half and be making the same amount of pay. This frees up time for bidding and allows you to put more energy into the work!

Keep on bidding at the new rates. Actively solicit new reviews and continue overdelivering - returning higher-quality work than expected, sooner than expected, and sometimes with longer articles than expected.

When your schedule fills up again, double your rates again. By this time, you'll have some regular clients keeping your schedule pretty busy, but you should still be getting in quite a few bids every week to keep new ones coming. If you slack off on your marketing, it will eventually dry up. You can consider hiring an assistant to do your bidding for you. You can hire a writer or two and do all the marketing work yourself. Or you can put together a nice website with a bunch of your examples and solicited testimonials and start pursuing higher-paid markets.

Then again, you might be better off skipping the freelance site grind right off the bat and going straight to the higher markets, where you can make a lot more money anyways. This is actually what I recommend.

When I started off on Elance, I was getting in about 200 bids per week using Elance, Guru.com, Craigslist, The Warrior Forum, and some other shitty freelance sites. I also hired on a full-time VA to do my bidding for me after the first month. At one point, I had a team of writers working for me, but I eventually flaked on it all because I was I was having too much fun in SouthEast Asia. I still make all my money from writing though. I hardly market myself at all and just serve a small handful of clients. Some pay over a hundred dollars an article for just 350 - 500 words.

You have to treat this like a business.

Expect it to be damn hard. I went many nights without sleep to make a deadline by morning. I overbooked on purpose to get the ball rolling so fast I couldn't keep up with it.

If you're prepared to do the same, you can be successful.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-09-2013 07:54 AM

Thanks so much for that, I will read the other threads now.

Cheers again!


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-09-2013 08:00 AM

(08-09-2013 07:32 AM)Beyond Borders Wrote:  Then again, you might be better off skipping the freelance site grind right off the bat and going straight to the higher markets, where you can make a lot more money anyways. This is actually what I recommend.

When I started off on Elance, I was getting in about 200 bids per week using Elance, Guru.com, Craigslist, The Warrior Forum, and some other shitty freelance sites. I also hired on a full-time VA to do my bidding for me after the first month. At one point, I had a team of writers working for me, but I eventually flaked on it all because I was I was having too much fun in SouthEast Asia. I still make all my money from writing though. I hardly market myself at all and just serve a small handful of clients. Some pay over a hundred dollars an article for just 350 - 500 words.

You have to treat this like a business.

Expect it to be damn hard. I went many nights without sleep to make a deadline by morning. I overbooked on purpose to get the ball rolling so fast I couldn't keep up with it.

If you're prepared to do the same, you can be successful.

How do you get into those higher markets? That's crazy getting $100 for 350-500 words! The thing is, you only have so many bids, even if you pay for the top memberships.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - christpuncher - 08-09-2013 08:30 AM

I was chatting with someone who manages and sells websites (think they bring in about 500k per year) they pay their head writer 125/article to write press releases. I'm trying to get some more info about it and I'll drop it here when I do.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Beyond Borders - 08-09-2013 08:35 AM

(08-09-2013 08:00 AM)Teedub Wrote:  The thing is, you only have so many bids, even if you pay for the top memberships.

You can add extra bids to any membership. Just buy them as you need them.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Teedub - 08-09-2013 08:51 AM

Just going through those other threads, you've dropped some gems, as have others. It's really boosted by morale reading what's possible with hard work and proper presentation. Thanks again.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Akula - 08-13-2013 06:52 AM

(08-09-2013 08:51 AM)Teedub Wrote:  Just going through those other threads, you've dropped some gems, as have others. It's really boosted by morale reading what's possible with hard work and proper presentation. Thanks again.

@BB great topic, thanks for all this data. Have gone through most of the threads and learned a little which has motivated me to do some more work. This truly seems like a pretty great way to earn money and be location independent. I'd say writing is one of my better skillsets so I'm intrigued.

Quick follow-up question - how, exactly, do you get paid and how do you accurately keep track of your jobs? Do you get your income via PayPal or do they just wire money to your bank account? And are you ever paid hourly for certain jobs or is it all per word or job?


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Beyond Borders - 08-13-2013 07:41 AM

(08-13-2013 06:52 AM)Akula Wrote:  Quick follow-up question - how, exactly, do you get paid and how do you accurately keep track of your jobs? Do you get your income via PayPal or do they just wire money to your bank account? And are you ever paid hourly for certain jobs or is it all per word or job?

1. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my jobs, though a little notebook by your computer does well enough.

2. Most clients pay through PayPal but every once in a while I get one that would rather wire to my bank account.

3. Per job, but I usually break it down to them as a per word or per article price. The higher-end clients usually just want a per article price. Most clients order in batches. Don't ever do hourly. I've tried it, but most clients seem uncomfortable with how much I'm making per hour.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Matt3B - 09-04-2013 08:55 AM

Landed my first client the other week, finally. He's taken me on long term and given me the much needed feedback on my profile to land more work as well as being able to add to my portfolio on Elance. I'm currently writing two articles a week for him, one on mobile app entrepreneurs and the other on the mobile app market itself (broad subject, I know). It's quite fun as I'm interested in the subject as a whole.

It's only paying $5 an hour but that's neither here nor there for me at the moment as I'm not trying to live off of it just yet. I'll take jobs like this all day to get the reputation on the site to get more work in the future.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - PaybackTime - 09-04-2013 09:03 AM

(08-08-2013 11:25 PM)TopPanda Wrote:  Found a couple of good clients from oDesk. There's a good niche charging $30 an hour fixing code written by guys charging $3 an hour.

But if you add up all that I've made I was probably better off working on my own projects rather than doing work for other people.

How do you find the customers willing to pay Western prices and outsource the work to cheap contractors? Offline I presume since they could do it themselves through Elance or oDesk?


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - w00t - 09-04-2013 02:01 PM

Elance is full of shitty clients but there are some gems too. I scored a gig that pays over 100€ an hour this month and another one doing a social media campaign for a huge German company, which I will leverage to break into the big leagues. Take some skill tests and get into the top percentages. Be super proessional and on time, never miss a deadline. Start with shitty jobs and build up a 5 star portfolio, the gigs will keep getting better. Keep tweaking your letters and raising your income. Like BB said dont do hourly rates and dont work for Indians/Pakistanis/Phliippinos! MattC you are selling yourself way short with 5 bucks an hour, thats third world rates. You should be able to get 10-20 bucks an hour right from the start. Stop supporting this kind of slave labor.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Beyond Borders - 09-04-2013 02:07 PM

(09-04-2013 08:55 AM)MattC Wrote:  Landed my first client the other week, finally. He's taken me on long term and given me the much needed feedback on my profile to land more work as well as being able to add to my portfolio on Elance. I'm currently writing two articles a week for him, one on mobile app entrepreneurs and the other on the mobile app market itself (broad subject, I know). It's quite fun as I'm interested in the subject as a whole.

It's only paying $5 an hour but that's neither here nor there for me at the moment as I'm not trying to live off of it just yet. I'll take jobs like this all day to get the reputation on the site to get more work in the future.

Right on for getting started, but keep bidding! Even if you're willing to do bottom-dollar stuff to build up your rep and samples, I assure you that you can pull in two to four times that rate without too much effort.

And there's quite a ton of work out there writing about mobile apps at the moment.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Matt3B - 09-04-2013 09:36 PM

Cheers for the replies lads.

It's no excuse but I haven't been going full throttle just yet on account of working too much at my full time job.

My strategy is to apply for a load more continuously from Friday as I'm sorting out a load of other shit in my life too and this is my main priority.

I earn over 2 grand a month in my full time job so I really don't care about money from this at the moment. I'm thinking longer term and by January want to be able to find work without too much hassle (which I guess is done by having a decent sized portfolio and 5-10 reputation points as a good base) as that's when I'll be relying on this full time. If that means putting up $5 an hour to get a few jobs now then so be it.

What do you reckon?


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - Vacancier Permanent - 09-05-2013 12:04 AM

Great thread! Following this very closely!

Here's a very useful tip that will help all the writers in here, both pros and newbies:

writeordie.com
Try it and you will love it!

Enjoy!


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - scandibro - 09-05-2013 01:35 AM

As a buyer on those kind of sites, one of the things that make me stay away is the abundance of indians and filipinos scamming people or delivering very poor work.

I'd only use it to get started and getting some feedback.

Quite honestly, I think most would have better luck selling their services somewhere like here.


RE: Freelancing on Elance etc. - bojangles - 09-10-2013 10:12 AM

I tried doing this, looking indian probably does not help my cause considering what you've just said above.