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!
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 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 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 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.
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.
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!