Top 4 Freelance Sites for Writers

Writers gotta work, and thus we gotta find the work. Read on for the top four sites I have found for finding freelance writing work online!

Warning:

There are a lot of job sites out there, and plenty of scams and exploitive pay as well. There is also a seedy underbelly of internet writers, who work for less than a penny a word and “write” a thousand versions of the same piece of content using programs called spinners (I refuse to link to this scum). These people feed a piece of original content in and the program rewrites it with synonyms. It looks disjointed and awful, but they don’t care. It passes copyscape.

These services generally cost money to get anything useful out of, around 9-12 dollars a month US.

That said, lets get to it.

Elance

Elance is where I get most of my best jobs. There is plenty of bad jobs and jobs where you can’t understand what they want you to do (this is why they need writers, I suppose), but there are some real gems as well. I got my current favorite gig, writing the lore and designing the character classes for Ghostees!, an upcoming MMORPG, from Elance.

They have a full escrow service, which protects both you and the client, and record all dealings through a private message board. The fee is very reasonable, and the various features are useful and focus on taking care of you, including making sure your taxes are prepared properly for all money earned through their service. Highly recommended.

Guru

Guru is a lot like Elance. In fact, it is almost a clone, in format, pricing, and services. The main difference seems to be the quality of jobs, which seems lower, and the overall functionality of their resume system.

I would recommend Guru, but only in addition to Elance, not alone.

iFreelance

iFreelance really, really wants to be like Elance and Guru. They have the look, they have the format, and they certainly have the pricing. The problem is that their site barely works. It’s very hard to search for jobs, the resume page has an irritating scrolling banner of your portfolio file’s icons, and there are very few jobs. In addition, they seem to let people set jobs to expire in months, so bidding on anything is pointless. By the time a job is close enough to expiring for me to know whether I will have the time to work it for the money they are paying, it has 3 months worth of bids. This is just poor infrastructure.

However, a certain sector of jobs seem to come here and nowhere else, so I still suggest opening an account with them.

GetAFreelancer

If a iFreelance is a wannabe Elance, GetAFreelancer is CraigsList on steroids. You can bid for free (up to 15 bids) but you get access to better jobs through getting a “gold account”, which is about the normal price for all of these services. The interface is awful, the search functions laughable, and the resume section almost non-existent…but it has some great jobs on it, and they usually don’t require a “gold account” to bid on.

Recommended if you can deal with the interface. If you want glitz, go for one of the others.

Final Words

My advice is to have accounts on all of these, if you can spare the cash. The reason for this is simple economics. The clients need one or maybe a few jobs done. They only need to have one account they pay for to post jobs, and as long as it is a reasonably good site they are assured of finding a provider. Providers, on the other hand, always need access to continuous good jobs. Thus the client’s best choice is to have one account, while for the provider it is best to have an account on each. Thus if there are four great jobs you can handle at once, but each of the clients go to a different service, you can get one job or all four depending on where you have accounts.

That’s all till next time. Let me know if you have found any other good freelance sites…I might have missed a few.

Keep reading and writing!

23 thoughts on “Top 4 Freelance Sites for Writers

  1. thePuck

    Thanks for the kind words, Kat. I have to say the reason I did not get an account with Odesk, which I did try, was the extremely intrusive software. It clocks hours, which I prefer to be able to bill myself (I bill for writing time, which is what I sell, not “something else came up while I was supposed to be working”). Odesk simply didn’t offer good enough jobs to justify their intrusiveness into my computer.

    Reply
  2. thePuck

    Well, as I said in the OP, I advise using multiple sites because of simply economics. Clients benefit the most from being on one site, while providers benefit most from being on multiple sites. So I would say if you are happy with Odesk stick with it, and if you are going to add any services then add Elance. The other three are great in their way, but I make the base of my freelance writing through Elance.

    Reply
  3. thePuck

    Thanks for the suggestion, Atniz! I had seen Scriptlance before, but not really looked into it. They seemed more a coder’s site.

    Upon seeing your comment, I went and looked at their writer’s section. The jobs looked like GetAFreelancer fare, which is not bad, just very specific. Since their sign-up is free and it is free to bid, I went ahead and started up and account. Thanks for the lead.

    Reply
  4. Derek Neuland

    Nice post, came across your blog from you adding me on twitter due to the problogger social media love in.

    I’ve been meaning/wanting to get my feet wet with freelance writing for years now, but have never had the motivation due to not knowing where to start. This was a great article and hopefully will finally motivate me. Thanks!

    Derek Neulands last blog post..Top 4 Freelance Sites for Writers

    Reply
  5. thePuck

    Hi Derek! Darren’s post is making me a lot of new friends, too!

    Thanks for the kind words. Helping (and sometime that means motivating!) writers in new media is what this site is all about. What do you think would help you get going? I am always willing to cover specific questions from readers.

    Reply
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  7. Corey Freeman

    I used ‘GetAFreelancer’ for a while. It honestly didn’t work to well for me. I like to give contact details, I like the ability to email, and the bid systems totally confused me.

    But that’s just me. (Dugg, BTW 🙂 )

    Reply
  8. Sophia

    I think that “if you are not confident that you can do this, than it's better to hire people who have expertise in that field”. From last 1-2 decades the % of outsourcing or hiring people has tremendously increased. and i have done same thing. For last few months i was working on the concept of “hiring people”.As our organization have some projects in hand and we don't want to loss them because of lack of skilled employees.And the question is “HOW TO HIRE”? as far as i know there are two basic and trendy ways to hire virtual employees

    1. Freelancers/Bidding sites
    2. Job sites

    But i have selected different path.i mean to say that i haven't go through the freelancers or any bidding site.i preferred to search directly a good and reliable virtual service providing companies. The actual reason behind this is “searching and selecting freelancers or bidding site is quite time consuming”. And after placing your requisite over there it will definitely take around 1-2 months to get the required virtual employees. it means that over all process will might take 2-3 months.

    And the bottom line is wastage of time as well as money.
    So, i moved to marketraise (http://www.marketraise.com) virtual service providing company. And i am fully satisfied with there services. so i will suggest you all to carefully hire the people for virtual services along with keeping in mind the most important factors “time and money”.

    Sophia

    Reply
  9. KampanyeDamaiPemilu

    Where is Rentacoder? I work with RAC as a programmer, it's great site i've ever meet. 🙂

    Kampanye Damai Pemilu Indonesia 2009

    Reply

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