Want A Good Laugh? Go To Elance

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As you all know, or maybe don't know, I do some freelancing from time to time
just to keep from going crazy.

Anyway, I was slumming through Elance this morning and saw this one job to
write 5 children's books.

It wasn't bad enough that this person was offering less than $500 to write 5
books. One person (God knows what part of the world they live in) offered, get
this, $110 to write 5 books. That's a little over $20 a book.

And I guarantee that down the road, somebody is going to make a $5 bid to
write 5 children's books.

More and more, each day, I am so glad that I don't need to work anymore.

But I sure do get bored some days.

Anyway, just thought this was good for a laugh and had to share it.
  • Profile picture of the author RyanTH
    I would love to see a book that cost $1 to write!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ninja Ana
    Very strange, indeed .
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      From what I've been reading on the forum, Steve, all of those freelancing sites are getting just as ridiculous.

      I'm glad you don't need to work and that I've never been to any of those sites ever. At our age, we don't need to be caught up in that jungle of starving animals.

      Terra
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Steve - you are posting in other threads criticizing some ridiculous gossip.

        But then you are posting this? I don't work on EL but I know good people who do. They are putting food on the table and they don't deserve condescending IMers making fun of them on a forum.

        You don't have to work - you are retired - you've said that for some time. You are also running WSOs so maybe it's all in the interpretation at EL, too.

        Don't mean to be rude - but curing your boredom by making fun of others is neither kind nor useful.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Steve - you are posting in other threads criticizing some ridiculous gossip.

          But then you are posting this? I don't work on EL but I know good people who do. They are putting food on the table and they don't deserve condescending IMers making fun of them on a forum.

          You don't have to work - you are retired - you've said that for some time. You are also running WSOs so maybe it's all in the interpretation at EL, too.

          Don't mean to be rude - but curing your boredom by making fun of others is neither kind nor useful.
          Sorry you feel that way but $20 to write a whole book is an insult to anybody
          with half a brain and writing ability.

          It's because of people like that, that honest hard working people who deserve
          a fair wage can't get one.

          It works both ways Kay.

          It works both ways.
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Would the quality of work from someone willing to write a children's book for $20 really be competition for Dr. Seuss?
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  • Not that I would want to write a children's book for $5, but I have seen some pretty darn simplistic books for kids that are like 8 pages, a paragraph or even less a page, and asking $15> a copy - a simple tag and a good illustration is all it takes sometimes...this isn't Tolstoy - the illustration is more important than the copy...
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    • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
      Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

      Not that I would want to write a children's book for $5, but I have seen some pretty darn simplistic books for kids that are like 8 pages, a paragraph or even less a page, and asking $15 a copy - a simple tag and a good illustrator is all it takes sometimes...this isn't Tolstoy
      What looks simple is not actually simple to do. Try it if you don't believe me. If you can do it, you could make a fortune.
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      • Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

        What looks simple is not actually simple to do. Try it if you don't believe me. If you can do it, you could make a fortune.
        What looks simple is simple to do,
        let's see how Sue ties a shoe!
        Around like a bunny and through the hole,
        we are almost ready to go out and Roll!
        Roll in the leaves - roll in the sun
        Rolling around is lots of fun!
        Once we learn to tie a shoe,
        Look at all the fun things we can do!

        The End
        (that will be $5 please )
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        • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
          Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

          What looks simple is simple to do,
          let's see how Sue ties a shoe!
          Around like a bunny and through the hole,
          we are almost ready to go out and Roll!
          Roll in the leaves - roll in the sun
          Rolling around is lots of fun!
          Once we learn to tie a shoe,
          Look at all the fun things we can do.

          The End
          (that will be $5 please )
          Needs work, but not bad. You have talent. Are you a professional writer? Combine that with illustrations, see what that costs.
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          • Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

            Needs work, but not bad. You have talent. Are you a professional writer? Combine that with illustrations, see what that costs.
            - Thanks! But I literally took the line of your statement and went from there off the cuff to illustrate...took about 30 seconds...(and it won't be 'professional' copy until I get my 5 bucks )

            You do have a point though, as to what may be simple can be complex, and to entertain a child and yet teach them and be fun at the same time is what I think should be the goal in these simple tasks.

            It is like the old story about the repairman who charged $500 to repair a machine - .15 for the screw, $499.85 to know where it goes...

            Like Hemingway, known for winning a shortest story contest amongst his peers - "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." (which has created a contest now known as "Flash Fiction")...Ernie just knew where to 'put the screw' :rolleyes:

            Now excuse me while I go write my epic tome, "There's a Giraffe in my Garage"

            There's a Giraffe in my garage!
            Whatever shall I do?
            The roof is too short, and he is too tall,
            to easily get though...
            When daddy comes home with his car, he will be surprised to see -
            That there is a Giraffe standing, where he wants his car to be!...
            (and hence...the trial and travails of trying to hide a Giraffe)
            (it's a cliffhanger -this stuff just writes itself...:rolleyes
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            • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
              Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

              - Thanks! But I literally took the line of your statement and went from there off the cuff to illustrate...took about 30 seconds...(and it won't be 'professional' copy until I get my 5 bucks )

              You do have a point though, as to what may be simple can be complex, and to entertain a child and yet teach them and be fun at the same time is what I think should be the goal in these simple tasks.

              It is like the old story about the repairman who charged $500 to repair a machine - .15 for the screw, $499.85 to know where it goes...

              Like Hemingway, known for winning a shortest story contest amongst his peers - "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." (which has created a contest now known as "Flash Fiction")...Ernie just knew where to 'put the screw' :rolleyes:

              Now excuse me while I go write my epic tome, "There's a Giraffe in my Garage"

              There's a Giraffe in my garage!
              Whatever shall I do?
              The roof is too short, and he is too tall,
              to easily get though...
              When daddy comes home with his car, he will be surprised to see -
              That there is a Giraffe standing, where he wants his car to be!...
              (and hence...the trial and travails of trying to hide a Giraffe)
              (it's a cliffhanger -this stuff just writes itself...:rolleyes
              I want to have copies of your children's books! You have serious talent.
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            • Profile picture of the author HeySal
              Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

              - Thanks! But I literally took the line of your statement and went from there off the cuff to illustrate...took about 30 seconds...(and it won't be 'professional' copy until I get my 5 bucks )

              You do have a point though, as to what may be simple can be complex, and to entertain a child and yet teach them and be fun at the same time is what I think should be the goal in these simple tasks.

              It is like the old story about the repairman who charged $500 to repair a machine - .15 for the screw, $499.85 to know where it goes...

              Like Hemingway, known for winning a shortest story contest amongst his peers - "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." (which has created a contest now known as "Flash Fiction")...Ernie just knew where to 'put the screw' :rolleyes:

              Now excuse me while I go write my epic tome, "There's a Giraffe in my Garage"

              There's a Giraffe in my garage!
              Whatever shall I do?
              The roof is too short, and he is too tall,
              to easily get though...
              When daddy comes home with his car, he will be surprised to see -
              That there is a Giraffe standing, where he wants his car to be!...
              (and hence...the trial and travails of trying to hide a Giraffe)
              (it's a cliffhanger -this stuff just writes itself...:rolleyes
              So what happens when daddy gets home?

              Seriously - you are way good at this. I thought I'd try it when I read your first one, but I can't get anywhere with it. So here's a start - can you finish it?

              Mommy's on the rag again.
              That's what my daddy said.
              I heard him mumble in the bathroom
              he wants to shoot her in the head.
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              Sal
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              • Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

                So what happens when daddy gets home?

                Seriously - you are way good at this. I thought I'd try it when I read your first one, but I can't get anywhere with it. So here's a start - can you finish it?

                Mommy's on the rag again.
                That's what my daddy said.
                I heard him mumble in the bathroom
                he wants to shoot her in the head.
                Mommy's on the rag again.
                That's what my daddy said.
                I heard him mumble in the bathroom
                he wants to shoot her in the head

                he doesn't really mean it, when he says those kind of things,
                it's because he is frustrated, with his job...and what it brings...
                he keeps it all inside him - it's all inside his head -
                it's with him when he wakes up - and when he goes to bed...
                He's going to get a gun someday and kill us all for sure,
                Because.....
                HEY! Wait a minute!!

                Geez! What kind of dystopian society does this kid live in? :p

                No WONDER Hemingway blew his brains out!!!
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                • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
                  Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

                  Mommy's on the rag again.
                  That's what my daddy said.
                  I heard him mumble in the bathroom
                  he wants to shoot her in the head

                  he doesn't really mean it, when he says those kind of things,
                  it's because he is frustrated, with his job...and what it brings...
                  he keeps it all inside him - it's all inside his head -
                  it's with him when he wakes up - and when he goes to bed...
                  He's going to get a gun someday and kill us all for sure,
                  Because...
                  Because last night he watched a show about a daddy murderer...

                  I'm sure that's why mommy tells me I shouldn't watch scary movies...
                  before I go to bed, cuz kids that do are quickly filling up the juvies.
                  I know this is nothing more than a nightmare or a very very bad dream,
                  And I need to wake up from it so I'm working up a shrill shrieking scream!

                  There, I did it! And I'm now wide awake, life is back to normal but, Holy Moly!
                  I should have heeded that warning about bed time and eating too much guacamole!

                  Terra
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          The truth of the matter is, and without making light of the situation (I
          apologize for that) what we have here is a very serious problem for pretty
          much everybody but the third world.

          I've gone through enough of the "jobs" posted to summarize what's going on
          at Elance and probably every other freelance site.

          1. Prospects post jobs at low rates to start with.
          2. Contractors make insanely low bids on these jobs.

          The typical specs for a $500 job that should be a $3,000 job by United States
          standards look something like this.

          Bid 1 - $450
          Bid 2 - $400
          Bid 3 - $50

          At it is, bidders 1 and 2 are taking way less than they should. But then bidder
          3 comes along (probably from a third world country) and makes it so that
          nobody who needs a living wage in a civilized country can take the job.

          The above scenario is almost 100% across the board. I have looked at plenty
          of ads and I can categorically state that this is what you'll find...and worse.

          So in essence, Elance has become a site for third world countries. Certainly
          nobody in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. could afford to take these
          jobs.

          The irony of all this can be summarized by one job in particular.

          The poster went on this long rant about the quality of work from the applicants
          saying how poor it is.

          The poster was offering $5 to write 600 word articles.

          You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand the problem.

          Prospects don't want to pay a fair wage for the work that needs to be done.

          Contractors must accept low pay or not work.

          At $7.50 per hour, one could make more money working 8 hours at a Burger
          King than some of these jobs, ones requiring days, if not weeks of work.

          It's criminal all the way around.

          So I'm sorry if anybody is offended at my observations. But we have a system
          that is broken beyond repair for anybody who wants to freelance for a living.
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          • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
            I agree with most of what you said Steve.

            The only thing I would change would be your last sentence and I'd just change it to this.

            But we have a system that is broken beyond repair for anybody who wants to freelance from those freelancing sites turned content mills for a living.

            There are still plenty of good paying freelance jobs especially with offline clients, it's just getting a little more difficult to find them.

            Terra
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

              I agree with most of what you said Steve.

              The only thing I would change would be you last sentence and I'd just change it to this.

              But we have a system that is broken beyond repair for anybody who wants to freelance from those freelancing sites turned content mills for a living.

              There are still plenty of good paying freelance jobs especially with offline clients, it's just getting a little more difficult to find them.

              Terra
              I agree. A lot of things are getting harder to find Terra.
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          • Profile picture of the author KEKilpatrick
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            The truth of the matter is, and without making light of the situation (I
            apologize for that) what we have here is a very serious problem for pretty
            much everybody but the third world.

            I've gone through enough of the "jobs" posted to summarize what's going on
            at Elance and probably every other freelance site.

            1. Prospects post jobs at low rates to start with.
            2. Contractors make insanely low bids on these jobs.

            The typical specs for a $500 job that should be a $3,000 job by United States
            standards look something like this.

            Bid 1 - $450
            Bid 2 - $400
            Bid 3 - $50

            At it is, bidders 1 and 2 are taking way less than they should. But then bidder
            3 comes along (probably from a third world country) and makes it so that
            nobody who needs a living wage in a civilized country can take the job.

            The above scenario is almost 100% across the board. I have looked at plenty
            of ads and I can categorically state that this is what you'll find...and worse.

            So in essence, Elance has become a site for third world countries. Certainly
            nobody in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. could afford to take these
            jobs.

            The irony of all this can be summarized by one job in particular.

            The poster went on this long rant about the quality of work from the applicants
            saying how poor it is.

            The poster was offering $5 to write 600 word articles.

            You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand the problem.

            Prospects don't want to pay a fair wage for the work that needs to be done.

            Contractors must accept low pay or not work.

            At $7.50 per hour, one could make more money working 8 hours at a Burger
            King than some of these jobs, ones requiring days, if not weeks of work.

            It's criminal all the way around.

            So I'm sorry if anybody is offended at my observations. But we have a system
            that is broken beyond repair for anybody who wants to freelance for a living.

            I knew what you were getting at and this is exactly the reason that I have put off trying to find any work on elance, I don't know if I even want to try to use that site, not because I don't think I could find work there but by the time you get done dealing with the low ballers would it even be worth my time.

            AND

            What about the people that actually DO need to put food on their table and are trying to do it thorough these sites, how are they able to compete? Yes I understand the quality aspect of the issue, the problem is that the bar has been set so low it's hard to win a realistic bid when even some of the quality people have been sucked into the whole low bidding thing just to get work.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by KEKilpatrick View Post

              I knew what you were getting at and this is exactly the reason that I have put off trying to find any work on elance, I don't know if I even want to try to use that site, not because I don't think I could find work there but by the time you get done dealing with the low ballers would it even be worth my time.

              AND

              What about the people that actually DO need to put food on their table and are trying to do it thorough these sites, how are they able to compete? Yes I understand the quality aspect of the issue, the problem is that the bar has been set so low it's hard to win a realistic bid when even some of the quality people have been sucked into the whole low bidding thing just to get work.
              That's pretty much it. It's a never ending cycle that will eventually deteriorate
              to the point where the only people using these sites are those who are so
              poor to begin with that they'll work for what comes to $1 an hour.

              It's just sad.
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              • Profile picture of the author WebPen
                Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                That's pretty much it. It's a never ending cycle that will eventually deteriorate
                to the point where the only people using these sites are those who are so
                poor to begin with that they'll work for what comes to $1 an hour.

                It's just sad.
                Yup- this is exactly where it's going.

                I've tried using elance myself, and I just couldn't compete on price.

                And I know that there are plenty of buyers who don't just look at price... but most of them are NOT on sites like elance.

                Of course I could always move to another country where making $1/hour is a decent wage...

                But I'd rather figure out a different way to make money. No big deal.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              There have always been cheap buyers and cheap providers on elance and other freelance sites. There are more "cheapos" on freelance sites now - because there are more buyers and providers in "other" countries coming online. There are more people trying to make money online than ever before. That creates a lot of static on such sites...but there is substance there, too, when you know to look for it and can provide quality.

              People who earn good money on freelance sites learn how to evaluate buyers and they don't respond to those cheap jobs. For someone in a third world country, $20 may be a lot of money for a day's work. It's all relative to what you need and are willing to pay or do.

              But they aren't the only ones there. If someone in a third world country is willing to write a kid book for $20, it's not my business to say he can't or shouldn't. Someone paying that price isn't looking for quality writing to begin with and probably are just as challenged grammatically as the writers they hire.

              There is a level at EL that many people don't see. My last year working on that site I didn't look for work - it came to me. Many of the better buyers do not post their jobs for everyone to see and that seems to be increasing from what I'm told - they invite top providers to bid privately based on five star ratings. There's a lot of that going on that you won't see when cruising the site.

              kay
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      3M has a valid point.

      Length of the book would certainly come into play regarding prices.

      Without the specs, such as what age group the book would for, it is difficult to determine what bids would be ludicrous or not.

      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohit Anand
    I'm from a third world country and member of several freelancing sites, including Elance. And I second that people are bidding too low even for my comfort. Perhaps they are new and trying to build their portfolio.

    Maybe we should try to create products during our free time and outsource its marketing.

    However, one old adage still holds true: If you throw pea-nuts, you'll get monkeys!
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  • Profile picture of the author William Maloney
    Wow... In my opinion, great opportunity!
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    EDIT BY MODERATOR: Why does your location say "Chicago" when your IP is in Romania?
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  • As long as we're all depressed now...I might as well throw this into the mix -

    Writers and warehouse workers, janitors and business consultants, truck drivers and graphic designers--all are part of the new "precariat," and they have no social safety net.
    Temp Worker Nation -- If You Do Get Hired, It Might Not Be for Long | Alternet
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  • I wonder if I can get an illustrator on Elance for $5 :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Actually - with a medium around like Kindle, I don't understand why people who can actually write even bother with the 5 buck article markets. I've had people contact me to write ebooks for them, then they offer me a price I could get for selling just a few if I write them and market them myself. If these people are doing research and know that the market is a hot selling market - they jerk themselves by asking someone to write a book for peanuts. When they contact a writer with a ridiculous bid - that writer knows what subject might be good for their next work to sell themselves. A few of the ebooks I've written were the result of someone wanting to pay me crap to write an ebook. I was grateful to them for doing that niche research for me.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I think we need to know more about the buyer's requirements before it can be determined if that's a good price or not. A lot of children's books are less than 100 words. If that's all that's needed, you could write those 5 books in 2 hours if you're slow. That's $55 an hour.

    @ Sal -- I got a kick out of that start you have, but something tells me parents might reject it.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    See Dennis - that's the problem with writing for kids. I don't think I could do it. Just seeing what 3M just put down off the top of his head was fascinating to me. I couldn't do that - it always turns into adult material. When my niece has kids maybe if I hang out with them for awhile I can catch the drift of it all.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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