If you’re a freelance writer looking for a place to find new clients, eLance.com is one of many great sites. I personally use it more than any other freelance site, and I’ve had a lot of luck with it. There are hundreds of writing jobs posted every day, and while many of them are looking for low cost writers, there are quite a few gems in there as well. I’ve personally worked for anywhere from $.03-$.15 per word when hired on eLance, depending on the type of writing.
Like most freelance sites, eLance requires you to browse through all the jobs and ‘apply’ to the ones you’re interested in. You set your price, turnaround time and other details within your proposal, and if you’re hired you can work directly with the client. Overall the entire process is extremely simple. The biggest challenge I’ve found is knowing how much to bid.
There were times when I bid what I thought was fair, and I get rejected for charging too much. Other times, however, I’ve bid a fair amount and was rejected because my bid was too low! (The customer actually messaged me and told me he didn’t think I would be good enough based on my price. I was bidding $.035 per word for a normal web content article). The best way to do it, I’ve found, is to simply read the job descriptions carefully, and bid what you think is fair based on your skills and experience. Don’t worry about how much other freelancers are bidding.
The whole bidding process is based off of what eLance calls, “connections.” Each connection is worth about $1, and it costs anywhere from 1-5 connections to bid on a job. If the job posting has a budget of $0-500 it will cost 1 connection, $500-1000 is 2 connections and so on. There are a few other oddities regarding the connections, but it is a fairly simple system. Free accounts are given 40 connections per month, and you can get more if you upgrade your account.
You can also be invited by the customer to apply to their job. If this happens, it doesn’t cost you any connections to apply. I typically get invited to around 1-3 jobs per day, which is nice. I have no idea if that is normal or if I’m getting invited more or less than other freelancers.
Writing for Money with eLance
In order to get enough jobs to make good money from eLance, you need to make sure you’re applying to a lot of them. That being said, however, you also want to conserve your connections and use them only for good jobs. Fortunately, there are plenty of good jobs out there being posted every day. The most difficult part of eLance will be getting your first few jobs. People will often pass you over because you don’t have a reputation on the site yet.
Don’t get discouraged, or get tempted to bid lower than you’re worth just to get a few clients. Keep making great bids and you’ll eventually pick up a client or two. eLance becomes extremely useful over time because many clients will keep hiring you for multiple jobs. This is a great way to get steady work, and building up your number of good-paying clients.
In the future I’ll be writing a guide on how to write a great proposal, how to determine what to bid and other details to help you become successful with this great freelancing site. When I do that, I’ll link to it from this page.
If you’re interested in signing up for eLance.com, please consider signing up through MY LINK. It will get me 10 free connections, and cost you nothing.
As always, if you have any questions about eLance or anything I’ve written, please post in the comments below or email me at Michael@writeformoneyonline.com.