28 replies
I feel like an idiot. I sent a proposal for my first job on there...which was HELL all on it's own (coming from only working by myself and on iwriter).

I THOUGHT I was accepting a job for 6 articles, @ 800 words a piece, for $22 an article...

BUT what really happened was she wants me to do ALL the articles for $22...

I told her it was my first job (before she picked me). I also told her I was confused, and she asked me to accept the terms.

I did.

Now she wants to cancel it saying I didn't read them first...

Does this look bad on me if I accept?


Should I just do them now since I have agreed...and just explain in better detail next time? I don't want to break the contract...

BUT I seriously feel ripped off...

[Not to mention, all this in between having the busiest week of my life lol (end of the school year field trips for a soccer mom who got caught up in playing "house" at recess and HORSE basketball after being mulled in the face by butterflies (another field trip), 1st graders, and animals at the zoo) haha... you get the picture! ]

Any thoughts? Please?!
  • Profile picture of the author banwork
    Doing well on your first job is important. It might be worth it for the long term value of your profile to do the job for only $22 if you think you can still get good feedback. If you think you are past the point of getting good feedback, you might as well cut your losses now and refuse to do it!

    Thank you to the 400+ warriors that chose to buy my Facebook WSO granting lifetime access to my Udemy course!

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  • Profile picture of the author biitchcakes
    That's what I thought... I am just gonna do it. DAMMIT lol thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    If she or you can cancel before any work is done, I'd do that. I wouldn't write 6 articles for $22 and make sure you know what you're getting into next time. Elance is notorious, as are all the freelance sites for people looking for dirt cheap work, particularly in the writing category.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If it was YOUR mistake - I'd do it and hope for a great rating from that buyer. If the buyer is already ticked off - better just cancel and start over with another bid as the rating won't be great.

      When placing bids on elance or other freelance site - set the BID apart from any other text about yourself or your experience.

      If I were placing a bid like this I would give my experience and then this would be the 'bid part'

      My Bid:

      8 articles of 800 words each (+/- 25 words)
      $22 per article

      Total bid: $176 for total of 8 articles
      I think every person who writes for a freelance site runs into a problem like this at least once. Deal with it - learn from it - you'll be fine.
      Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author biitchcakes
    I know, I am stuck really. I don't want anyone to think I will back out of a contract, and it IS my fault for not understanding the entirety of the contract and accepting...

    I haven't cancelled just yet, but it is my first job!

    I guess I will just suck it up -- I would hate for someone to think I would do it AGAIN though! Idk... I haven't had enough experience there to say...

    But thank you sbucciarel. I have seen you on here before and looked into your stuff
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  • Profile picture of the author biitchcakes
    YES. Totally agree. I will from now on. I just was confused by all the boxes... but DAMN I hate to do all that quality work for that price... I am such a tard. Oh well, you learn the most from your mistakes, right? *sigh*

    Thanks Kay!
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  • Profile picture of the author Anne Laidlaw
    I say do it and hope for good feedback. This happened to me I ended up designing a huge website for peanuts my first time. Take it as a learning curve and move on. It rained for my day at the zoo with the grade ones how fun!

    Anne L
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I tried to do some articles for others in the past through there and always had some sort of a problem with some buyers.

    Too much headache so I decided not to quit doing articles for others.
    Keep Pushing And Never Give Up
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  • Profile picture of the author mrhmamun
    Don't worry some buyers attitude contain this types, i face this types of problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author drem
    Writing jobs on elance can becoming very confusing based on the terminology that is given. I would personally do the job and just learn from the experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      For the love of God, please do NOT waste your time with Elance. You will be working for slave wages. You are competing with third world country people who will do a $500 job (normally) for $20. After months of trying to get work for a decent wage I just gave up.

      Trust me, you are totally wasting your time with that site. But hey, it's your life. You'll do what you want. But you're going to have more frustration with them than you'll know what to do with and it's eventually going to make you miserable if you continue.

      My 2 cents for whatever they're worth.
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      • Profile picture of the author amitjha
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        For the love of God, please do NOT waste your time with Elance. You will be working for slave wages. You are competing with third world country people who will do a $500 job (normally) for $20. .
        Thats not completely true, you can check the profile of some freelancers who are earning huge amount through Elance, and if you are from the "first world country" you usually get paid more than your "third world country" competitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    Hey, BC

    If you're in need of regular PT writing work that pays weekly take the writing tests at these two sites. They are considered content mills, but they do pay regularly via paypal or direct to bank account and you don't have to deal with bidding for clients (yech). BTW I'm no fan of Elance after getting ripped off for 20 articles on my very first gig. I closed my account after that. Do those articles only if you are sure this client is absolutely going to pay you. The money should be in escrow.

    Write.com is the recruitment site for Crowdsource. They use the Amazon MTURK platform for writing assignments and payment. Their writing test is open now, but may close again at any time. They pay whenever work is approved, which may be one or several days during the week. Crowdsource has some big name clients.

    Write for Crowdsource

    Textbroker has been around for quite a while. It's low pay, but you can find some consistent writing if you qualify at a level 4. There's more work available if you are good enough to be invited to teams. They pay every Friday. They have a wide variety of clients.

    Write for Textbroker

    It helps to have several places to turn to for writing gigs to keep the cash coming in as a freelance writer. Hope this helps you out.

    Focus+Smart Work+Persistence=Success

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Here's a positive from someone who used elance to pull out of a crunch and ended up making some good money there.

      I began using elance in 2009 - and used it for part time work steadily for the next 2 years. Earned into five figures per year on elance working just a couple days a week.

      Also - without violating any elance policies - ended up working for another 2 years for buyers outside elance who paid very well for repeat work and were great to work with.

      It's not for everyone - and there are other options. But it's not impossible and not all that hard to make money on elance.

      On a site like elance you have to read the ads AS THEY ARE - not as you would like them to be. You learn to recognize buyers - to check their ratings and see how they rate those they hire - and you learn to ignore the crap listings.

      Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author uniqueas
    Hey BC,

    I used to make my living through Elance, Odesk and a few other freelance sites. Honestely, I've been ripped off SOO many times that I closed all of my accounts and did something I should had done YEARS ago...

    I contacted online and offline businesses directly offering my writing services - and it paid off immensely. I started off contacting SEO and Web Design firms and spent about an hour or so sending emails to about 50 different companies. Of these fifty, I landed 5 good paying gigs earning no less the 5 cents per word. Best of all, most of these were long term gigs. Eventually, I weeded out the lowest paying gigs and stuck with the highest paying. I was earning at least $200 per day with these higher paying writing jobs working just a few hours each day.

    There are many people out there that pay well for decent, dependable writers. You just need to take the time to find them. In all reality, it's much easier to send out 20-50 queries per day marketing your writing skills than bidding on lower paying work on freelance sites.

    My query emails were simple, too. Such as..

    My name is...
    This is what I'm offering...
    These are my rates... (my rates started at 5 cents/word)
    I'm available immediately.

    Make sure you leave your name, email address and phone number. I found that offering a phone number left the impression that I was professional and dependable. I received more responses and landed more writing gigs when I offered my phone number - and even more after I had my own website.

    My advice? Whether it was your mistake or hers, it was still a misunderstanding. The contract between you and her should be cancelled and offered to the next qualified contractor. Let's say the tables were turned and you had bid $222 and SHE had accepted. Do you think she would bite the bullet and pay up?

    Not a chance. And you shouldn't be expected to work for less.

    Kick the content mills to the curb and start contacting companies on your own time. Find a few profitable niches and build a decent portfolio around these niches (mortgages and loans are lucrative ones). Don't be afraid to set your rates higher than the rest - if you market your skills as a writer properly, you'll have no problem finding great paying gigs.

    Recap: Find a niche, build a respectable portfolio (website is a good idea, too), be dependable, market your skills wisely and don't sell yourself short. Send out a query email to at least 20-50 companies per day. Sell them article marketing campaigns, facebook posts, twitter posts, press releases, company blog/posts, email campaigns, etc. Tell them how you can spread the word about their company and bring them more customers with your writing and marketing skills. Tell the SEO and Web Design firms that you're looking for long term work and that you're a dependable and flexible writer.

    Taking on too much work all of a sudden? Head on over to iwriter.com and offload a few projects there. They have some really great writers who can turn the work over for you quick - and you'll still make a few bucks in the process.

    It's not that difficult to make a go of it on your own! Before you know it, you'll have plenty of long term work with great pay that's worth your while.

    Sorry about the long winded post! I wish you all the best.

    - Bill
    Still Not Making Money? Stop Screwing Around and Start Building a List!

    How I Built a MASSIVE List of 10,000+ Paying Students for FREE - Using the Classifieds
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  • Elance can be a great place to get some decent paying work, you just need to read the project information carefully. However, in the case of this project, I would not write for such a low rate. The client has offered to cancel the project, so I would accept this. Once the project has been cancelled, as far as I am aware, neither party can leave feedback, so it won't have any lasting damage on your profile.

    I am native born English writer and pride myself on offering high quality content delivered in a timely manner.

    If you are fed up with mediocre writers, do not despair. I can help and I provide special offer rates to my fellow warriors.

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  • Profile picture of the author GaryRodriguez
    There is a lot of differences between professional and personal life. You said that you do not want to break contact. It is not good for you. If you think that you can get a good feedback again stay there and accept the terms and conditions. But if it is not possible there, just leave the job.
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  • Profile picture of the author trump7
    Yes pay is very low for 8 articles in just 22$ but it is your first job and you are still new in elance so you should complete it in hope of good feedback and it will be good for your future projects and you can get good pay with the help of your good reputation at elance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    The reality of freelance writing is that when you need money in a week to pay rent and bills you need to do what you gotta do to make the cash. Sometimes that means relying on content mills. Yes, I agree that writers should prospect for higher paying clients. I've done it with some success. I've written for private clients and content mills.

    Private clients are great when you land them. However, you have to constantly market and keep looking to replace ones that stop using your services. I know from personal experience that prospecting is time consuming and no guarantee of landing work. Emailing SEO/Web Design and Marketing companies is an option - I've done it. The thing is, so are lots of other writers. You're lucky to get a response from 1 in 50 to 100 messages. However, I have gotten work this way. I think this route is much harder than it used to be. So, writers need to spend their time wisely and not put all their eggs into one basket.

    You can write for content mills and private clients. If you're really persistent, you can eventually get enough private clients to ditch the mills. But, this takes time and commitment. Meanwhile, I say do what you need to do to pay those bills. There is no absolute wrong or right. If BC decides to write those Elance articles, that's her choice. It may be the right decision for her. But, I think she should look at other options as well. Truthfully, I think in order to do really well and have a stable income with this career you need to be passionate about doing it.

    I don't have a passion for it, which is why I'm constantly working on creating an alternative income stream online. That too takes time, commitment, marketing, etc.

    Focus+Smart Work+Persistence=Success

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  • Profile picture of the author johnnathaniel
    Elance and Odesk merge will actually profit them both but sad for guru and professional developers who battle with bidding system Pro Vs Junior Vs Beginner.

    I have a bad experience with odesk and not going back again,

    We have more than 350,899 qualified and verified partners and advertisers actively online more than 40 hours a week doing digital marketing online as medium career focus.

    Absolutely Free and will always be http://digitalmarketerdeals.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Rebeccha Haase
    Forget about money at this moment. Complete writing those articles and get your first review as a writer which is worth $1000.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I would be afraid to work so hard for peanuts, hoping to get a good feedback.

    What if the customer won't give it in the end?

    On the other hand, perhaps your work won't be good because you will work in a hurry and dissatisfied…

    I would cancel and look for a better opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuperKC
    Ever just have so much advice to give but there is so much wrong with the situation and the depths of advice you would have to give to straighten this up from start to finish is mentally exhausting. So I'm just going to sit and go.... Ahhhgh. Baaa.

    If you like my posts please leave a thanks and message me if you wish for me to follow up with your thread. I enjoy engaging with entrepreneurs and ALWAYS willing to take the time to offer solid answers that you can take to the bank. Internet marketing has made me rich over the last +20 years and this is how I give back to the community for all of those evil popunders I used to sling in the 90s.

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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Do it. I've written for way less. Just look at the compensation in different terms. You're getting paid to:

    Create a more effective writing system
    Learning the DETAILS of a job before taking it

    Consider it a challenge and a test of character. If you have a system down, writing HIGH QUALITY 4800 words would be a breeze.

    Want To Make More Money Online? Invest in BETTER CONTENT!
    Articles - Blogs - Authority sites - Ecommerce descriptions - Emails - Youtube video scripts - AFFORDABLE RATES!
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    • Profile picture of the author NicheExposed
      i write on elance and do books at 1.00 a page. i dont mind too much but it starting to get anoying. i also write on odesk and have one client that pays 25.00 an article.
      i am going to branch out and find other clients. tuesday i am going to launch a business in a box wso where i will write a book, articles and do a web site. sometimes its about the work not the money. if you can write the articles quickly just write them and use it as past work for clients.

      like they said in throw momma from the traun "a writer writes"

      to your success!

      Join our FREE Masterminds as well as enroll in our online courses! -- Mastermind and Courses

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  • Profile picture of the author focusedlife
    If I may...

    I'd advise AGAINST the peanut wage.

    I was able to land a $5000 gig on Elance by pricing my proposal through the roof and even beat out a 5 start multi job veteran.


    I was able to show my value by displaying what I had done prior.

    Mind you, the proof that I had was mostly freebie stuff that I had done for others.

    Its all about leveraging your output and asking for what you're worth....and asking for the money from those WITH money to begin with.

    The folks that are trying to grow, themselves, while asking for others to slave for peanuts are NOT the clients/customers that I want to work with.

    Hope that was helpful and wish you much luck.


    The only group with more actionable info than any WSO → The Parlay Society
    Want me to write stuff for you? → Click here to check this out
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    Just put in to cancel the job. The buyer will have 2 options, they can accept the cancel request, in which case it will be like the job never happened and they will not be able to give you bad feedback. Or they can not accept it, in which case their money will sit in escrow forever. This is a legitimate reason to cancel also, there was a misunderstanding on the projects scope.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wordsmith911
    I think if you choose freelance writing as a career option (or even an alternate source of earning), you are bound to come across clients who would make you feel deceived and ripped off. We all do at times. However, if you are careful enough, you will see that such people are usually rare.

    In my opinion, if you misunderstood the contract (and if she didnot misguide you intentionally), you should honor it sincerely. Try and make the best out of this experience - a good feedback score would definitely be helpful in the long run. Also, I am sure that since you have learnt your lesson, it's less likely that you will have to cope with a similar situation in the future.
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