Elance and bidding for jobs

16 replies
I hope I have posted this in the right part of the forum?!

Anyway, I am on the brink of "sacking my boss" and to really get me over the line so I can actually do so, I've been thinking of offering my services through Elance (I can build Wordpress blogs, I teach others how to build their own, I write blog content including technical content, etc, etc). I really only need another two or three jobs a week and I'll be jumping for joy! Woo hoo!

I know there are probably a few copywriters on here who offer their services, but what about people who can do what I do?? If so, what has your experience been? Is everyone expecting to pay nothing for quality or do most people pay a fair price for what they need?

Your help will be much appreciated!
#bidding #elance #jobs
  • Profile picture of the author LMC
    Michelle,

    I would say, with a system like Elance, you have to come in as a new provider and lower your prices to get feedback.... or .... pay to become a prenium member to get the badges and run their tests to prove your skills.

    Normally, when I use to offer web design there, I had to drop 10% off my price and offer an extended service, such as SEO as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author joelraitt
    Michelle,

    When I hire off Elance I compare these things to make my decision. In this order.

    1) Feedback
    2) Repeat Customers
    2) Portfolio
    3) Swiftness in response to my questions
    4) Location
    5) Price

    Hope that helps, do everything you can to make me feel safe and secure!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    Elance is the most expensive freelance site to offer your services on. I used to offer graphic design on Elance. It is not US-Provider-Friendly. You pay a fortune to use their board and then compete with offshore providers who will do the work for peanuts. Not only that, but the writing category for whatever reasons, gets much lower pay than graphic design or web design. They are highly underpaid, particularly for the really good writers. Many good writers have left Elance because of that. If you want to command any kind of money at all, you will first have to prove yourself through getting feedback on projects you win and you'll probably have to way underbid until you do have feedback and a reputation. I'd look into some of the other freelance boards that don't take such a hefty portion of your money. Elance actively promotes offshoring and pretty much ignores it's US providers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slippy
    Just remember who you are competing against... A lot of people who have a much lower cost of living!

    My opinion is you should offer your services at a bargain as a WSO. Do an AMAZING job... and start building up clients who will use you in the future, AND refer you to their friends.

    Once you can prove that you are HIGH VALUE, people will pay out of their nose to get you to write for them.

    Soon you will be on your way of having TOO MUCH business

    Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Maybe I never stuck with elance long enough to work into the more quality-conscious client, but I found it to be a complete waste of time especially with commodity-type services like web design, general PHP, WordPress projects, etc. There are so many people doing those things that the price point is unbelievably low. $15 for a WordPress install? pfft.

    I think you'll find yourself in more demand (and more highly paid) if you move into a specialty like technical writing. Elance might be a place to get jobs like that, but I wouldn't want to depend on it for a living.
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    • Profile picture of the author michellegreen
      Now this is why I LOVE the Warrior Forum!

      Thanks so much everyone. You have really given me a LOT to think about!

      I think I'll head over to the WSO part of the forum at lunch time today and see if I can get ideas.

      Thanks again!
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      • Profile picture of the author angela99
        You can make great money on Elance; many writers can, and do.

        When you're starting out, realize that you need to:

        * Create a profile with samples of your writing;

        * Pay for the upgrades (it's worth it -- you'll make your money back quickly);

        * Focus on getting testimonials and good feedback. The more feedback, the better. Many repeat buyers won't hire anyone without feedback, that's just the way it is (ASK for feedback and testimonials ! :-))

        * Make lots of bids. Estimate around 50 to 70 bids over a couple of weeks until you get your first jobs. This is because people don't make decisions fast, and you're starting from zero. Once you start getting jobs, keep making lots of bids. Your activity on the site determines the results you get;

        * COMMUNICATE with your buyers. If there's anything you're not sure about, ask;

        * Get the jobs done -- beat your own deadlines, it's essential;

        * Some of your buyers will take their time responding, so always aim to get some money up front. Working with buyers who put the funds into escrow is better.

        If you're serious about a great writing career, Elance is a great training ground. You'll get rid of any hangups you have.

        Watch the writers who make lots of bids, and win them --- some outsource the jobs they win, others don't. You'll learn a lot from what the high achievers do.

        Expect to replace a full-time income from elsewhere in around three months.

        I've met some great buyers on Elance; it's a great way to raise your profile as a writer.

        Oh -- another two tips. :-)

        * Make sure you set up a site/ blog outside Elance. In the days when I got jobs there I often found that people Googled me after seeing my profile there and contacted me privately. So your profile on Elance definitely can raise your profile generally.

        * Have fun! You'll meet many people who just want a good writer, and are more than happy to pay their writers well.

        Hope this helps you. Happy writing. :-)
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        • Profile picture of the author michellegreen
          Angela, thank you. I am on quite a high salary, although I only have to replace less than half of it for now and I know that once I am established with plenty of credibility then of course all will be even better!

          Also, in Elance, I have pointed them all to my own website (because I'm mainly quoting on Wordpress work), and also to my testimonials page on that site, so hopefully that will help.

          Your advice is very much appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    Michelle, I do what you do - I quite like working as a vet so don't plan on quitting in the near future, but with homeschooling my kiddies, I don't work many hours, so supplement with writing. I'm not sure how it pays with web design, but if you can write, it's worth a shot.

    I'm currently picking up a fair bit of writing work on Elance, and I find there are buyers who are quite happy to pay for quality. I'm sure I'm never the cheapest bidder. I've also only got feedback from one other job there, but I still pick up work - I'm currently writing articles for an Elance client for $25 each, and have two other jobs lined up for when I'm finished. So, it can pay well. Having said that, I have lost work to a much lower bidder from a non English speaking country, so it could go either way.

    My suggestion would be to craft your bids carefully. I find that if you show the client that you understand exactly what they want, and then show them why you're the best person to give them exactly what they want, then bid a price that's fair for both of you, then you're in with a good chance.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author michellegreen
    Yippee! I bid for three jobs this afternoon and already I have had one response and it's looking like he will go with me. So yay!

    You have all been a wonderful help and I will definitely look at putting up a WSO too - I have a quality product (my coaching program) plus I use premium themes (building blogs), so I know I can get good money for my services (I already have), so this will definitely speed things up and really get my name out there if I offer it at a discounted price.

    I would like to thank you all so much for your help. Up until this point most of my work came to me through referrals and online, so going out and finding it is a whole new ballgame for me and I kind of like having "control" like this!
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Noooo Michelle please don't go in underbidding to get jobs!

    I did that and it was a BIG mistake. There's a different way but first let me tell you why you don't want to bid low and I say this from the perspective of both a buyer and seller in the past.

    Once you bid cheap, you'll forever be answering the question, "Well I saw you bid X amount on so and so's job - so why are you trying to charge me more?" They'll see it from your feedback listing and it's like pulling teeth trying to raise rates.

    Also, a cheaper bid sounds like you'd get more business doesn't it? But the higher my prices, the more business I had to turn away. It's perception. Especially important for service providers because you only have so many hours in a day, so you want to maximize your earnings per hour.

    Here's a better way to do it:

    Get a couple of off-Elance clients to post a project FOR you on Elance and leave you positive feedback at your higher rates. It gets you started without having to sacrifice your income. You're allowed to do this, too.

    Also, want to know the #1 thing that got me more jobs than other ghostwriters according to the clients themselves? I personalized my bid. NEVER use canned bids.

    Tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author mike116
    I just recently signed on with ELance only because it had been mentioned to me in passing. I enjoy writing but have not done much in the online world and thought this would be a great opportunity. The feedback here has been fantastic and insightful!
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