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Freelancing on Elance etc.
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w00t Offline
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Post: #76
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
@Colspanker yeah you need a thick skin but so far I think businesspeople are friendlier than customers who can be real assholes. I havent had any worse reactions than "no" so far.

@Freedom havent had this problem so far, but personally I wouldnt call again five times. To me its the aquivalent of "plowing through" with a girl whos simply not interested. Id rather move on to a warmer prospect. There are so many possible clients out there, theres really no reason to call the same company five times if you dont even get put through to their marketing department. For example I have credentials in the wine industry so now I put together a list with all online wine shops and will start contacting them. Then Ill move on to other niches in the beverage industry like beer or whatever. This alone will keep me busy for WEEKS. If you have no credentials at all you could also start hitting up companies you have bought products or services from before, so theres already a connection and you are familiar with what they are selling and can bring that up in your approach. The possibilities really are endless.

I have read the Well-Fed Writer but its been a while so I dont really remember specific parts. I think it had some tips on cold-calling though!
09-22-2013 01:58 AM
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Teedub Offline
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Post: #77
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Well, I must say I have never come first out of over 3 million before! Granted, the test was very easy...but I must type faster than Superman.

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09-23-2013 03:00 PM
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Enigma Offline
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Post: #78
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
How is oDesk compared to Elance, Teedub?

I signed up for an account but I haven't bothered to set up my profile yet since I'm still building my Elance profile.

Some of the tests are surprisingly hard though I still managed to get ranked in the top 5-30% percentiles for a few of them.
09-23-2013 04:04 PM
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Teedub Offline
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Post: #79
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Only just started mate so couldn't tell you. I prefer the layout and the way Odesk seems to function. It seems a bit more professional for some reason, not as saturated with 1 cent an hour Indians etc. Yeah the English spelling test was really tough, I got 92%...but I used the internet a bit! Blush

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09-23-2013 05:38 PM
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bojangles Offline
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Post: #80
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Just started on Odesk too, if anyone is willing to give me work that would be great just for feedback. I got 95% on both english tests so I'm better than Teedub Big Grin

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10-02-2013 03:07 PM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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Post: #81
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Once you filter the countries, elance gets way better. I had to browse through so many jobs from $1/hr Indians. Most US contacts pay at least 10/hr.

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10-02-2013 04:35 PM
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Post: #82
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Just want to confirm that these principles are still working on these freelance sites. I went and bid a bunch of jobs last night and the night before as I needed to get the income flowing again, and in that short amount of time I've already closed $520 worth of work. One other guy offered me a $60 job, but I turned it down unless he wants to pay hourly - as I'm not sure how long it will take. I'm on the verge of closing a deal with another guy that I think will be worth anywhere from $300 to $600, and another client whose job I bid $3800 for a month of work is showing strong interest. They seem a bit more interested in someone full-time though, so I may decline if a position is offered.

The best rate I've closed is $200 for two blog articles.

Anyways, this is the first honest effort I've made to pull in new clients for a while and I just wanted to confirm that there are still clients paying decent rates on Elance. I better get to work now.

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(This post was last modified: 10-04-2013 09:59 AM by Beyond Borders.)
10-04-2013 09:40 AM
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PompeyChris Offline
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Post: #83
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Would like to echo BB's message here.

I'm coming to the end of my second week having just closed a deal for $320. I can see this taking off and am currently building my profile on the blog in my sig.

One underated point is that you learn a lot whilst doing this. I have had to write about psychological therapy, write about football statistics etc...
10-04-2013 11:18 AM
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Post: #84
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(10-04-2013 11:18 AM)PompeyChris Wrote:  One underated point is that you learn a lot whilst doing this. I have had to write about psychological therapy, write about football statistics etc...

Very true, especially in the beginning. Research can take up a lot of time, which is one reason why good writers charge so much.

Over time, be sure to focus on establishing long-term relationships with clients in niches you enjoy as well as becoming a specialist in certain niches. This cuts downs on research time and all the jumping around quite a bit.

And specialists can often charge more and close deals easier.

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"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: 10-04-2013 11:22 AM by Beyond Borders.)
10-04-2013 11:21 AM
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bojangles Offline
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Post: #85
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I'm doing well on this now, used my art of persuasion articles on the 3 bromigos as a portfolio item and I'm getting interest. I've had 3 fixed price jobs and got 5* reviews for each one on Odesk. Just need a bigger job. Thanks BB

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10-04-2013 11:36 AM
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Teedub Offline
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Post: #86
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Good work dude. On odesk or elance?

Just a query for all: What do you put as your hourly rate? I don't want to look unprofessional, but I also don't want to price myself out of the market for smaller stuff.

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10-06-2013 07:41 AM
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bojangles Offline
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Post: #87
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I've upgraded mine to $15 per hour now. Obviously I'd like to earn more but one thing I forget on Odesk was to withdraw old job applications, that kind of fucked me up, only realised today that it would open up more slots which was exactly what I needed. I've done 2 more jobs over the past day and got 2 x feedback. So i'm up to 5, but i want hourly work as all my jobs have been fixed price.

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10-08-2013 09:28 AM
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Post: #88
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(10-08-2013 09:28 AM)bojangles Wrote:  I've upgraded mine to $15 per hour now. Obviously I'd like to earn more but one thing I forget on Odesk was to withdraw old job applications, that kind of fucked me up, only realised today that it would open up more slots which was exactly what I needed. I've done 2 more jobs over the past day and got 2 x feedback. So i'm up to 5, but i want hourly work as all my jobs have been fixed price.

Fixed price is where the money's at. Don't let bidding this type of work intimidate you. I can make $100 an hour on jobs I bid, but it's hard to ask $100 an hour from a client without them shitting their pants. On hourly jobs, I usually say $40 - $60. $30 is the lowest I'll go if I really need the work.

Think about it this way, if you go hourly, you have no variables you can introduce to up your rate besides asking for more money. If you learn to bid fixed jobs, you can a) get better at bidding b) get faster or c) outsource certain tasks in the project (or the whole project). And you can bid higher when your work gets better.

If you've got 5 reviews already, I'd put $20 - $30 an hour on your profile, just for branding purposes, and only bid on fixed jobs. If you bid on hourly, try to talk the client into switching to fixed bid. Present your bids by coming up with a per word or per 100 words rate.

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"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: 10-08-2013 09:37 AM by Beyond Borders.)
10-08-2013 09:35 AM
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w00t Offline
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Post: #89
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Hm interesting In the past I stayed away from fixed prices and usually bid by word. My going rate by now is $0.10 per word and already a lot of clients are bitching, though it's not even that high of a rate (turns out to $50-100 an hour, depending on how much I can bang out).

On the other hand I have a client that pays me 94€ for a single blogpost and I can write that in 30 minutes to an hour easily so the hourly rate turns out a lot higher. These numbers samed amazing to me when I started out but its actually not that high, because you have to spend unpaid time marketing yourself, getting clients and so on....

So I'm with Carol Tice on this one she says the MINIMUM you should work for is $50 an hour.

You know what I really like about working for myself though? I'm actually getting somewhere.
For example I was contacting travel blogs to write an (unpaid) guest post for a private project of mine. Now I had one editor mail me back and say they might give me some paid work on their annual travel journal since I sent a good pitch and mentioned Im a pro writer. Also I'm taking private training in online marketing and using this to get more freelancing clients. It all ties in together nicely and I can leverage all the work that I put in, which is awesome! EVERYTHING I have done on my own initiative so far has paid off in one way or another. Even my very first, shitty website got me a steady job in online marketing last year (which I leveraged to get freelancing gigs). So you just keep climbing up the ladder.

At the same time when you sit in an office you work all day and you get nowhere. The only person whos getting richer and moving forward is your boss.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 09:58 AM by w00t.)
10-08-2013 09:57 AM
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WanderingSoul Offline
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Post: #90
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I have zero feedback and put $37 an hour on my profile. I'm doing SEO and marketing work though, not writing. I'm also trying to get fixed price jobs paid monthly.

I got one client now who I am doing e-commerce marketing for. $25 an hour. My first client. Sent out 7-8 video proposals and got 1 job, and another guy told me I had the best proposal out of 80+ and that I was in the lead. He then cancelled the entire project out of the blue and hired no one. Pissed me off lol.

Still, pretty good response rate for having no feedback and only sending 8 proposals. I think the video proposals work really well for what I am doing. I also wear a crisp Massimo Dutti white button up shirt while I do the videos....my other half is usually in my underwear hah.

I want to stick to bidding mostly local SEO work though as it is all basically the same and the pitch can be almost identical. Doing marketing for E-commerce sites requires me changing quite a bit on each proposal and video. I can do 3 or 4 local SEO proposals in the same time as one e-commerce proposal.

Is anyone here doing work besides writing? SEO has a billion Indians bidding on the jobs, but I think branding myself in a small subset of SEO, doing video proposals in a crisp white dress shirt, and sending out a "professional" proposal (I.E. marketing proposal with my logo on a crisp white/blue letterhead in .PDF) a long with each bid really bumps me up to the top of the pack. Once I have a few reviews I think I can do pretty well.

Also, what is your guys thoughts on your name? Do you use your real name? I'm a big fan of branding yourself with something like Travel Writing Rockstar, or SEO Guru (dude I saw who has a ton of earnings), E-Commerce Marketing Maverick, or something kind of cocky like that.

If you are looking for some travel articles, how could you not check out Travel Writing Rockstar? If you get a sponsored proposal and throw down a 2-3 minute enthusiastic video pitch from some exotic locale (can bullshit where you actually are), you are getting that job for sure.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 10:10 AM by WanderingSoul.)
10-08-2013 10:04 AM
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Post: #91
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I've changed it to $25 per hour. How much are you guys charging per word/per 100 words?
I was thinking of putting $5 per 100 words, I've also been putting 'UK' into searches and found this helps me, as my location is the United Kingdom and this helps to show I'm better than the IRT's/Bengali's etc.

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10-08-2013 10:05 AM
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Post: #92
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Youre doing great Rio I started out much lower than 25 an hour and the video is a nice touch, that will slaughter your competition.
I have done all kinds of stuff in the past but stick to writing now. Don't like SEO so Im not touching it with a ten foot pole.
10-08-2013 10:06 AM
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RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(10-08-2013 10:04 AM)RioNomad Wrote:  I have zero feedback and put $37 an hour on my profile. I'm doing SEO and marketing work though, not writing. I'm also trying to get fixed price jobs paid monthly.

I got one client now who I am doing e-commerce marketing for. $25 an hour. My first client. Sent out 7-8 video proposals and got 1 job, and another guy told me I had the best proposal out of 80+ and that I was in the lead. He then cancelled the entire project out of the blue and hired no one. Pissed me off lol.

Still, pretty good response rate for having no feedback and only sending 8 proposals. I think the video proposals work really well for what I am doing. I also wear a crisp Massimo Dutti white button up shirt while I do the videos....my other half is usually in my underwear hah.

I want to stick to bidding mostly local SEO work though as it is all basically the same and the pitch can be almost identical. Doing marketing for E-commerce sites requires me changing quite a bit on each proposal and video. I can do 3 or 4 local SEO proposals in the same time as one e-commerce proposal.

Is anyone here doing work besides writing? SEO has a billion Indians bidding on the jobs, but I think branding myself in a small subset of SEO, doing video proposals in a crisp white dress shirt, and sending out a "professional" proposal a long with each bid really bumps me up to the top of the pack. Once I have a few reviews I think I can do pretty well.
I need to learn a bit more about SEO work, is it as simple as it sounds Rio?

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10-08-2013 10:06 AM
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Post: #94
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
SEO can be a real bitch, that's why I'm sticking to local SEO. I.E the rankings that show up in the maps. It is much more black and white than national SEO (no location in the keyword) and most companies have small service areas. So I wouldn't be ranking "London personal injury attorney" it would be something like "Sutton personal injury attorney" which would have much less competition.

Moz.com is a good place to start for SEO. It is very white hat, which is the way to go these days IMO. I learned back in the forum profile days when shit was quick and dirty. Now you really have to go with a long term strategy and rely a lot of guest posts or creating content that attracts backlinks. You can also buy backlinks, but it has to be on the DL. Don't buy them from sites that advertise they sell backlinks. Say w00t has a popular blog about game and I'm looking to rank my new Daygame program. I could have him review my program in exchange for lacing him $100. It is a bought link, but Google could never detect it.

The people who seem to be doing well with SEO these days have their own private blog network that they use only for their clients. I don't have any interest in going that deep with it these days though. This is a short term solution for me right now, I don't want to do client work long term.
10-08-2013 10:27 AM
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Post: #95
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Thanks Rio, informative stuff there, I think I'll stick to writing, a lot of prospective clients are interested because of who I work for which really helps

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10-08-2013 11:02 AM
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Post: #96
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I'm setting up an oDesk profile for the times like now where I'm waiting a day or two for my Elance credits to replenish but it's a pretty huge sack of bullshit that they don't guarantee payment on fixed price jobs. Elance even states that you have no obligation to start an awarded job until the client puts funds in escrow. There's way too many dirt bags on these sites to trust someone with my money like that.

Other than that they seem really similar. The skills test are actually the exact same...but oDesk gives you a one minute time limit on each question tard
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 11:13 AM by Enigma.)
10-08-2013 11:12 AM
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Post: #97
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(10-08-2013 09:57 AM)w00t Wrote:  Hm interesting In the past I stayed away from fixed prices and usually bid by word.

Fixed price is essentially figured out that way. I'll often even break it down in the bid, listing how many articles, avg word count, price per article, my rate, and then final bid. That way it's all clear as day exactly why I charge what I'm charging that much. This also leaves no suspicion of your bid being generic (even if it kind of is lol).

In other bids, especially if they suggest a per article price that is reasonable or I can figure their budget based on their estimate of what the job will cost (often at the top of Elance jobs), then I'll just state a per article or total for the job rate, without breaking it down. These ones seem more vague but they already appear to know what they want, so why complicate things?

Quote:My going rate by now is $0.10 per word and already a lot of clients are bitching, though it's not even that high of a rate (turns out to $50-100 an hour, depending on how much I can bang out).

That's a solid rate Woot - comes to $10 per 100 words or $50 for a 500 word article. It took me some time to get to that rate, so you're doing really good.

Ignore the bitchers. The majority of them are not real businesspeople. They're wannabes. Most will probably never make any real money in whatever business they're pretending to be involved in because they are cutting corners.

Your goal is to separate the wheat from the chaff, which you're doing by getting them to bitch and say no (you want them to say no!), and build those long-term relationships. If you add one long-term client a week for half a year you'll be swimming in so much work you won't know what to do with it. Even adding clients at a slower rate will often get you there.

Quote:On the other hand I have a client that pays me 94€ for a single blogpost and I can write that in 30 minutes to an hour easily so the hourly rate turns out a lot higher. These numbers samed amazing to me when I started out but its actually not that high, because you have to spend unpaid time marketing yourself, getting clients and so on....

Exactly!

But great job on those numbers anyways.

Quote:So I'm with Carol Tice on this one she says the MINIMUM you should work for is $50 an hour.

She really does know her shit...

Quote:You know what I really like about working for myself though? I'm actually getting somewhere.
For example I was contacting travel blogs to write an (unpaid) guest post for a private project of mine. Now I had one editor mail me back and say they might give me some paid work on their annual travel journal since I sent a good pitch and mentioned Im a pro writer. Also I'm taking private training in online marketing and using this to get more freelancing clients.

Is that the training we were talking about or something else?

Quote:It all ties in together nicely and I can leverage all the work that I put in, which is awesome! EVERYTHING I have done on my own initiative so far has paid off in one way or another. Even my very first, shitty website got me a steady job in online marketing last year (which I leveraged to get freelancing gigs). So you just keep climbing up the ladder.

You're definitely on the right track, man - you're killing it. Now you're starting to motivate me! lol

(10-08-2013 10:04 AM)RioNomad Wrote:  I have zero feedback and put $37 an hour on my profile. I'm doing SEO and marketing work though, not writing. I'm also trying to get fixed price jobs paid monthly.

I got one client now who I am doing e-commerce marketing for. $25 an hour. My first client. Sent out 7-8 video proposals and got 1 job, and another guy told me I had the best proposal out of 80+ and that I was in the lead. He then cancelled the entire project out of the blue and hired no one. Pissed me off lol.

Still, pretty good response rate for having no feedback and only sending 8 proposals. I think the video proposals work really well for what I am doing. I also wear a crisp Massimo Dutti white button up shirt while I do the videos....my other half is usually in my underwear hah.

I want to stick to bidding mostly local SEO work though as it is all basically the same and the pitch can be almost identical. Doing marketing for E-commerce sites requires me changing quite a bit on each proposal and video. I can do 3 or 4 local SEO proposals in the same time as one e-commerce proposal.

That's awesome you're doing the video approach, man. I was even thinking about giving it a shot with writing. I've done vids in the past for marketing proposals - mostly screen vids though - and had extremely good results. My approach was a lot different but worked well.

Quote:Is anyone here doing work besides writing? SEO has a billion Indians bidding on the jobs, but I think branding myself in a small subset of SEO, doing video proposals in a crisp white dress shirt, and sending out a "professional" proposal (I.E. marketing proposal with my logo on a crisp white/blue letterhead in .PDF) a long with each bid really bumps me up to the top of the pack. Once I have a few reviews I think I can do pretty well.

SEO is still big - a lot of guys from Western countries still making a killing at it by approaching it the way you are. I knew an American in Bangkok who was making a killing doing it for Thai businesses....

Right on with the branded pdf too. I used to attach one with my portfolio and one with a menu of marketing services, breaking them all down with a bit of sales copy and prices. Both were branded with my website.

Quote:Also, what is your guys thoughts on your name? Do you use your real name? I'm a big fan of branding yourself with something like Travel Writing Rockstar, or SEO Guru (dude I saw who has a ton of earnings), E-Commerce Marketing Maverick, or something kind of cocky like that.

Yeah, do that shit. It lets people know right away what you're about. Good branding. The only thing I'd say is keep it somewhat broad (just my opinion). You don't want to lock yourself in as just an SEO guy because later on you might want to branch into or even specialize in other services. Make it marketing or internet marketing-centric.

For instance, when I started out I was doing mostly SEO writing. Now, the markets have changed and people who brand themselves SEO writers are seen as shitty writers to a lot of clients - they've got a bad name (not to discourage those of you who are doing that because you can still make it work). Fortunately, I branded myself as a "content" writer, but I used an adjective that also branded me as a high-level writer.

By not locking myself into one type of writing, I left a lot of doors open for myself and can pitch a wide range of jobs. When I want to sell marketing services, I call myself a content marketer or content marketing consultant. Smile

Quote:If you are looking for some travel articles, how could you not check out Travel Writing Rockstar? If you get a sponsored proposal and throw down a 2-3 minute enthusiastic video pitch from some exotic locale (can bullshit where you actually are), you are getting that job for sure.

Again, this can really work, but you're locking yourself into one niche. If you want to branch into other niches, you have to start a new profile and persona. You could use a slightly more generic name and still do the exotic locale videos.

I agree the conversions on this with a name like that would be high though. When I first started out I considered doing 3 or 4 different writing sites all for different niches. Specialization closes deals.

(10-08-2013 10:05 AM)bojangles Wrote:  I've changed it to $25 per hour. How much are you guys charging per word/per 100 words?
I was thinking of putting $5 per 100 words, I've also been putting 'UK' into searches and found this helps me, as my location is the United Kingdom and this helps to show I'm better than the IRT's/Bengali's etc.

For now, I suggest bidding $2 or $3 per 100 words (preferably the latter but I know it's intimidating). After you've filled your schedule for two weeks or more, up your prices again.

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To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
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10-08-2013 11:16 AM
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RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(10-08-2013 11:12 AM)Enigma Wrote:  I'm setting up an oDesk profile for the times like now where I'm waiting a day or two for my Elance credits to replenish but it's a pretty huge sack of bullshit that they don't guarantee payment on fixed price jobs. Elance even states that you have no obligation to start an awarded job until the client puts funds in escrow. There's way too many dirt bags on these sites to trust someone with my money like that.

Yeah, never start until they put the money in escrow. I've been burned before when it slipped my attention that escrow had not been deposited. Sucks.

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"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
10-08-2013 11:18 AM
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Post: #99
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
SEO is pretty good if you know what you're doing. I don't take clients for less than $60 though and I am thinking of raising rates to around $90/hour. The thing to understand is that agencies may very well charge $150-200 /hour. Of course, you have to deliver then. But I also use the same method as Beyond Borders and just bid a fixed price and say it is the 'equivalent' of 7-10 hours, because customers like to know that, then only spend 4 hours, so my hourly wage is higher, while the customer is still satisfied.
10-08-2013 11:58 AM
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RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Thanks BB i'll start putting $3 per 100 words

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10-08-2013 12:54 PM
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