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Freelancing on Elance etc.
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Vacancier Permanent Offline
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Post: #351
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Very interesting insight as usual BB! Im going to dive in hardcore into this freelancing thing and will update you guys here of my progress.

Btw, how did your private mastermind on freelancing with guys from here turn out?

Would you guys be interested to do a group skype chat? Maybe 3-5 of us just shooting the shit and swapping ideas/tips on freelancing? Im just starting in this and want to hear about you guys' experiences and learn as much as possible from the pros.

So who in here would be up for a group skype chat sometime next week? If it goes well we could turn that into a once a week thing to share our experiences and also like an accountability group.

Thoughts on that boys?
(This post was last modified: 12-18-2013 01:26 PM by Vacancier Permanent.)
12-18-2013 01:25 PM
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Beyond Borders Away
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Post: #352
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
One of the members messaged me with a bunch of questions, and it took me quite a bit of time to answer them, so I'm posting the response here for everyone. Hope you don't mind, dooder.

See below.

Quote:Hello there, BB...

I am working on putting my profile together at Elance to do some writing and I wondered if I could ask for your advice?

1. Do you think it's better to use my real name (or a part of my real name?) for the account, or might it be better to use a "business name" for the account? (Maybe this is advisable for privacy, or just to look more professional?).

The privacy is a personal decision, but if you're going with Elance, I would definitely make your user name something that spells out exactly what you do from the get-go and sound professional. Think branding.

Quote:2. What should I use for a photo? I can look professional, even professorial with glasses and a beard, but I am overweight. Still look good in a head shot, but I've looked at others' profiles and it seems they have professionally done photos and/or they look like a model. What do you think about buying a stock image of a professional to use? If a client wants to meet on cam via skype, maybe then you just admit, hey, I don't look like a model, but I do great work?

People honestly don't care how attractive you are.

A professionaly-done photo would be great and a real pro will help you look your best, but business casual is cool. I had a pic of me in a t-shirt and shorts standing in front of the ocean for a long time, looking like an adventure writer. I use a more pro-looking image now but I'm not in business attire or anything.

Professorial is a great look to go with as a writer though, if you ask me.

Quote:3. To shorten the time required to land a first gig, could I have a friend sign up as an employer, pick me and give me great feedback and rating, or could this somehow get me in trouble with elance?

I can't comment on whether you should or not as I don't want to be responsible for you breaking rules and getting in trouble, but I will say that I did this when I first started out. I was networking with a few other writers at the time and we "traded" feedback by buying small jobs from each other.

Elance never noticed, but this was about 6 or 7 years ago and they may be wise to this stuff now.

Quote:4. I think I've read all your posts about elance at this point. Have you had time to read "The Well Fed Writer" yet, and if so, do you still think it's worth purchasing? You talk about buying the top ten books on the topic/profession. I wondered what your personal top ten list would be?

Absolutely! Get it!

As for top ten list, just go do a search on Amazon. I don't even know if I could think of ten off the top of my head. I'll try to make a list at some point but right now I've got some work to do. But amazon is good for this kind of thing. Also, blogs like Carol's will usually have recommendations.

Quote:5. I can type at lightening speed and I have a few areas of knowledge. How quickly, realistically, do you think I, or any newbie, could develop freelance writing into, $500, then $750 then $1000 or even $1500 per month income if able to focus on it full time? I'm not an aggressive cold-caller type, but I'm willing to put in the effort to market myself.

You could build a $500 a month income within a week if you did it full-time - I did anyways. Within two weeks, if not less, I had booked $1000 worth of work. $1500 maybe two or three weeks if you work your ass off. If you're good at promoting yourself and pursue avenues outside of Elance or look for full-time gigs, you could probably do even better.

As a couple caveats, though, obviously I can't promise what you personally can do. Some guys have emailed me to say they built quick incomes using my methods - others struggle a bit more. Also, you can maintain that cash flow coming in, but a lot of it won't be ongoing, so you'll constantly be marketing for new clients.

Stay on it and your income stays up though, and over time you start locking down long-term business relationships and can let up on the marketing a bit.

Quote:6. Any advice to someone considering going to SE Asia (to a spot I've been before) to work on writing and develop an income, somewhat like what you've done?

Yes, stay away from partying everyday - it will kill your productivity and results. It's too fucking easy to have fun here. Pick somewhere somewhat quiet where you can live dirt cheap and put in at least a 5-day a week schedule.

Make sure you work out and take care of yourself, and make a real effort to build productive habits. If you have some cash already and don't have to work 15+ hours a day to get off the ground and start earning right away, then set regular work hours and stick to them to avoid burnout. Take weekends and nights off.

Work in hour-long blocks with 10 minute breaks in between, whereupon you get up and stretch or move around a bit. Take a half hour off every two hours for a bite to eat, walk around the block, or a swim.

Your biggest challenges will be self-control and avoiding burn-out. Check out BoldandDetermined.com for some great motivation on getting shit done and practicing self-control. it's been lighting a fire under my ass lately.

Also, you might as well bust ass for a couple weeks before you even leave to get some money flowing ahead of time and build confidence that you can do it. This will bring your stress factor down a ton!

Good luck!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 01-14-2014 08:23 AM by Beyond Borders.)
01-14-2014 08:16 AM
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Teedub Offline
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Post: #353
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why everyone on this board should give BB a rep point.

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01-14-2014 09:22 AM
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LostAwake Offline
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Post: #354
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Beyond Borders and w00t,
Great stuff you guys are posting here. Freelance writing is something I want to get into as well but just don't know where and how to start. BB and w00t, I PM'd you guys....did you get it?
My regular 9 to 5 gig doesn't have anything to do with writing but I know I can write.
02-12-2014 06:25 PM
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davyjose Offline
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Post: #355
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Been on Elance now for a few weeks and all's going well (if you follow the advice given here and have reasonably coherent English, it should be fairly easy to get going quickly).

I'm only charging about $10 an article and obviously I'm keen to start upping my rates.

My question is: is there a rule of thumb to when to start upping them? Say after 10 5 star reviews?
02-16-2014 11:04 AM
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Beyond Borders Away
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Post: #356
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I''m currently outlining an ebook talking about some of the strategies I've discussed here. If there's any topic anybody who is interested would like to see covered a bit more that didn't get discussed here, or just not enough, let me know and I'll try to include it there.

I'll do my best to answer here too; just trying to assess what topics I should cover in this project.

(02-16-2014 11:04 AM)davyjose Wrote:  Been on Elance now for a few weeks and all's going well (if you follow the advice given here and have reasonably coherent English, it should be fairly easy to get going quickly).

I'm only charging about $10 an article and obviously I'm keen to start upping my rates.

My question is: is there a rule of thumb to when to start upping them? Say after 10 5 star reviews?

Probably faster than 10. I'd say 3 - 5.

After you get up there a bit, fill your schedule with work so that you're struggling to keep up and then double your rates. You'll lose half your clients and maybe land half as many jobs, but since you're making twice as much, you'll be making the same amount of cash for half as much work.

Rinse and repeat.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 03-01-2014 01:12 AM by Beyond Borders.)
03-01-2014 01:11 AM
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shameus_o'reaaly Offline
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Post: #357
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Anyone have any ideas for writing services to sell? I'm on peopleperhour, offering service bundles for proofreading and editing, SEO articles and marketing reviews. I've worked on various types of content, but business is slow and I'm trying to diversify. I don't have much of a portfolio yet, except for proofreading

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03-03-2014 09:46 AM
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Hotwheels Offline
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Post: #358
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I wish I could find programmers that speak American and don't charge 60 an hour....

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03-03-2014 09:56 AM
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PompeyChris Offline
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Post: #359
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-03-2014 09:56 AM)Hotwheels Wrote:  I wish I could find programmers that speak American and don't charge 60 an hour....

They would either be crap or you'll be paying for part of their education.

You pay for what you get.
03-03-2014 10:02 AM
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zoom Offline
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Post: #360
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Looking to add to some more articles to one of my websites.

If anyone is interested, PM me with your rate and elance profile.
03-26-2014 10:27 AM
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Beyond Borders Away
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Post: #361
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-03-2014 09:46 AM)shameus_oreaaly Wrote:  Anyone have any ideas for writing services to sell? I'm on peopleperhour, offering service bundles for proofreading and editing, SEO articles and marketing reviews. I've worked on various types of content, but business is slow and I'm trying to diversify. I don't have much of a portfolio yet, except for proofreading

Just off the top of my head...

Blogging
email marketing sequences
sales copywriting
opt-in pages
corporate profiles
web content (not everyone wants it SEO'd)
press releases
white papers
reports & ebooks
video scripts
product descriptions
book proposals

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
03-29-2014 01:32 AM
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speakeasy Offline
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Post: #362
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-03-2014 09:56 AM)Hotwheels Wrote:  I wish I could find programmers that speak American and don't charge 60 an hour....

What programming language and what are you looking to spend? I'm just curious.

And $60/hr for programming work in a western country is not a lot of money at all. It sounds like it to you, but consider that most people going the freelance route are not doing a straight 40hr week of wall to wall billable hours. Plus all the expenses like health care and retirement they must fund themselves and paying both income tax and self-employment tax.
(This post was last modified: 03-31-2014 03:17 PM by speakeasy.)
03-31-2014 03:16 PM
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TravellerJay Offline
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Post: #363
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-03-2014 09:56 AM)Hotwheels Wrote:  I wish I could find programmers that speak American and don't charge 60 an hour....

I know most programmers are from India or APAC area. But dont give up mate, good work needs to be paid at least 40 to 50 the hour if not 60 or higher. It is not just about programming ONLY if you have to ask 2 3 times to the guy in the other side of the phone/world what the hell did he say, right? I have been there. I have flawless english but not native.

Hotwheels, what kind of programmers you need?
03-31-2014 09:45 PM
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berserk Offline
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Post: #364
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
A site that may be of interest to you is http://constant-content.com/. It's a place to sell articles you've already written. Prices between 20 and 60 USD for most articles for full rights. I've bought a couple from there, if I have simply needed some reasonable quality content fast.

I was not overly impressed with the standard at some of the articles though, so you will probably be able to compete if you're already doing well.
04-01-2014 08:30 AM
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bojangles Offline
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Post: #365
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(04-01-2014 08:30 AM)berserk Wrote:  A site that may be of interest to you is http://constant-content.com/. It's a place to sell articles you've already written. Prices between 20 and 60 USD for most articles for full rights. I've bought a couple from there, if I have simply needed some reasonable quality content fast.

I was not overly impressed with the standard at some of the articles though, so you will probably be able to compete if you're already doing well.

Thanks, I've applied.

Don't forget to check out my latest post on Return of Kings - 6 Things Indian Guys Need To Understand About Game

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04-01-2014 10:38 AM
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Goldin Boy Offline
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Post: #366
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
If I could give BB another rep point I would.

The advice in this thread has helped me land more work with better paying clients. Best part is the only clients I deal with are guys who give bylines so I can use those as clips in my portfolio for my writer website.

About 20% of my propsal are "declined: bid too high" but that's just weeding out the bad clients(indians/pakis). I got 2 bloggers (editing) and a website that give me steady assignments weekly thanks to you!

Beyond, this advice in this and other threads is gold: Have you considered making it into an e-book?

(08-18-2016 12:05 PM)dicknixon72 Wrote:  ...and nothing quite surprises me anymore. If I looked out my showroom window and saw a fully-nude woman force-fucking an alligator with a strap-on while snorting xanex on the roof of her rental car with her three children locked inside with the windows rolled up, I wouldn't be entirely amazed.
(This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 08:28 PM by Goldin Boy.)
04-03-2014 08:27 PM
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bojangles Offline
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RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
He'll write a book I'm sure, he's a godsend to few of us guys on here

Don't forget to check out my latest post on Return of Kings - 6 Things Indian Guys Need To Understand About Game

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04-04-2014 08:35 AM
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Beyond Borders Away
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Post: #368
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(04-03-2014 08:27 PM)Goldin Boy Wrote:  If I could give BB another rep point I would.

The advice in this thread has helped me land more work with better paying clients. Best part is the only clients I deal with are guys who give bylines so I can use those as clips in my portfolio for my writer website.

About 20% of my propsal are "declined: bid too high" but that's just weeding out the bad clients(indians/pakis). I got 2 bloggers (editing) and a website that give me steady assignments weekly thanks to you!

Beyond, this advice in this and other threads is gold: Have you considered making it into an e-book?

I am in the process, Man - thanks. I should have it done before I leave Cambodia and will make it available on my blog. The blog will see a lot more action once it's monetized too.

Tell us more about getting steady assignments through your website. Most of us haven't really capitalized on that as much as we should. Are you guest blogging? Or just blogging?

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2014 11:45 PM by Beyond Borders.)
04-04-2014 11:39 PM
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berserk Offline
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Post: #369
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(03-03-2014 09:56 AM)Hotwheels Wrote:  I wish I could find programmers that speak American and don't charge 60 an hour....

Is English good enough? Big Grin

I always seek out programmers for eastern europe, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria. They usually have a good level of english due to coders being smart people and spending a lot of time online. They also have a much more western work ethic and communication style. They're not as cheap as indians or filipinos, but you can get very capable guys for around $15-$20 for smaller projects and around $30 for high level guys. To be fair, if you want to hire a talented brit freelance coder, or australian or american, the price can easily be $100/hour.
04-05-2014 12:45 AM
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berserk Offline
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Post: #370
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Guys, I am having a really hard time finding good writers on primarily online dating in foreign countries. Elance has become almost dead with very few replies and only people who actively ignore the fact I only want native english writers.

Any suggestions on where to find freelance writers living in for example Russia and Ukraine?
04-10-2014 04:03 PM
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Beyond Borders Away
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Post: #371
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(04-10-2014 04:03 PM)berserk Wrote:  Guys, I am having a really hard time finding good writers on primarily online dating in foreign countries. Elance has become almost dead with very few replies and only people who actively ignore the fact I only want native english writers.

Any suggestions on where to find freelance writers living in for example Russia and Ukraine?

Hey Berserk - I'd have to see your job posting to be sure what signals you're giving off, but if you're giving the impression that you're looking to pay cheap rates, that could be why you're not getting any quality bids on Elance. I look for these types of indicators when I bid and don't bother with those particular jobs, as there are just too many of them and it's a waste of connects.

For instance, I don't often bid on jobs that state they only want native-English writers anymore. The reason for this is that I figure if a job poster has to say that, they're considering the cheapest pitches on their jobs or have hired cheap writers in the past, and that's why it's been a problem in the past.

Someone paying higher rates, on the other hand, completely ignores the lowest bids because they know they can't expect quality at those rates, so they usually don't have to worry about the native-English issue as much.

Better clients will often be better readers/communicators as well, and they don't have to state this because they can see it in the first or second line in a bid and figure it out for themselves. My thinking is that this type of client has already arrived at the conclusion that hiring on Elance will require heavy screening, and they know they can do that just by scanning of the intro to each bid.

Other things I look for. I don't bid on jobs that say things like they want "reasonable rates," "competitive rates," rates that keep their business-building budget in mind, or rates that reflect they "may be purchasing a lot of work in the future." These statements all say one thing - they want to pay cheap rates.

There are plenty of other indicators I look for as well, and then sometimes it's just something you sense in the language of the description.

Not saying any of this is true for your hiring process or what you're paying - there is plenty of room for error in my conclusions. But these are the types of things quality bidders keep in mind just to streamline their process and get the most out of the connects they buy to bid on Elance.

If you want quality writers, you have to write a quality job posting and communicate that you're willing to pay healthy rates for a good provider.

One last note is that better writers will often only bid on jobs they know they're qualified to write well on, and your subject is pretty niche, so you could just be short on quality providers who are prepared to tackle the subject. I think finding a writer on this forum here is probably your best bet, for obvious reasons.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 04-10-2014 09:28 PM by Beyond Borders.)
04-10-2014 09:22 PM
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berserk Offline
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Post: #372
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Ok, I did use both Native English and More Work To Come in the subject. I didn't mention rates at all, because I am prepared to pay well above industry standard.

When I ask for native english, it is because I hate having to look through bids from indian content mills. It's not a price thing, I haven't used dirt cheap writers in ages.
04-11-2014 01:57 AM
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Post: #373
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
^ Yeah, I understand what you mean. Just trying to explain the freelancer side of things and the thought process that some (or at least I) go through. These insights are helpful to think about when you're a buyer.

I think most people apply their own little filters when browsing through jobs if they are doing this on a full-time basis - you essentially only win 10% of what you bid on, and perhaps far less if you charge higher rates, so that's a ton of jobs you have to browse through in order to fill your schedule. End result is you apply your filters, knowing some good jobs will be unnecessarily skipped because of them but accepting that it's worth all the low-value ones you'll filter out.

You're essentially playing the odds and tweaking your system based on what experience has told you.

Hope what I'm saying makes sense. No screening system is perfect, so good jobs do slip through the cracks.

That's why it often just takes a bit more effort to put together a bid the real pros will take seriously.

Feel free to send your posting over to me if you want me to have a look before you slap it up and offer advice. I'll let you know if anything switches on an alarm.

You also might just throw out a number in your posting and tell people exactly what you expect to budget. I know it's a bidding site, but this can remove a lot of the bullshit and get right down to the heart of the matter, streamlining the process. It'll also let writers with higher expectations know you're worth the time.

Another reason this can help is that you get some writers that write different quality levels depending on how much they think the client is worth. For instance, I might write $100 articles for one client and $50 pieces for another. Do you think both of these guys get the same amount of effort and quality?

Of course not.

Maybe I mis-assessed the $50 client and he was willing to pay $100 though. If he'd have just said so, well, I'd have gladly accepted the higher rate and spent the amount of time on his pieces to bring it up to the level he was paying for. But instead, we played the bidding game and he lost out because of it.

Not saying any of this is your responsibility when you outsource work - just offering some insight on another dynamic that exists.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 04-11-2014 02:23 AM by Beyond Borders.)
04-11-2014 02:21 AM
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Enigma Offline
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Post: #374
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Great points by BB.

Statements like "Native English writers" and "more work to come" are huge flags that will cause me to pass over a listing, as they are often indicators of awful clients with low rates. You'll be able to instantly tell who is and who isn't a native speaker but ways you could work this into your listing are things like "must possess excellent written English skills and grammar" and "I'm looking to build a long-term relationship with a quality writer". I'd keep the title something simple like "Article Writers Needed on Dating in other Countries".

Setting some sort of budget is also a good tip. A "not sure" budget will give you bids that are all over the place. You can set a project budget at $20-50 or $20 - 100 or whatever. That gives people an idea of what you're willing to pay but still allows people to compete on price. Or simply adding something like "willing to pay for quality and professional writing".

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, anything too sales-y or direct is often an indicator of low quality. By simply keeping your listing straightforward yet professional, you'll send more of the write signals to freelancers.
04-11-2014 02:50 AM
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Post: #375
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Fully agree with all those wordings, Enigma.

Those are all things that would get my attention too.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
(This post was last modified: 04-11-2014 02:54 AM by Beyond Borders.)
04-11-2014 02:52 AM
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