Elance – way to earn a little cash or a huge waste of time

Freelance writing is a tough game. Trying to earn a little cash from websites such as Elance and Freelancer can be even tougher. On websites such as these you are competing not only with highly experienced writers with huge portfolios, and with those who will work very cheaply but also with actual businesses or companies, who have a team of writers.

I completed a profile on each of these websites. I spent most of my time on Elance and I completed about 3 jobs. These jobs comprised of sales copy and article writing. They didn’t pay too badly but in order to get them I had to place over 30 bids, and for each bid I had to write a proposal. In the proposal you must sell yourself, discuss your skills, explain how you will complete the job and outline your pricing, your bid.

You have a monthly bid allowance, and you can pay Elance to increase this. You need to dedicate lots of time each day to checking new jobs that appear and putting together great proposals. Its very time consuming.

Once I did finally win my first job it was a great feeling, collaborating with the client and providing them with your best work. Sometimes though, you find yourself applying for jobs you don’t really like, or are the least bit interested in. This makes for a very tedious and regretful few hours. Trust me. The money was just not enough for wasting those few hours of my life. Especially sales copy. Urgh!!

When competition really ramps up with other “Elancers” and you are not winning jobs, you begin to drop your pricing in order to win. Completing work then seems even more of a drag and extremely unrewarding. This why I stopped using these websites. I felt I was under-valuing myself and wasting time by providing someone else with the writing skills that I could put to better use on my own projects.

So, do I spend all my free time working hard to win jobs and earning a pittance, or do I play the poor, struggling writer but feel better at the end of the day for completing my own work?

Well, since having my daughter in April, this question is yet to be answered as I have completed very little of my own work.

In the last few days however, in search of a little quick cash I have returned to Elance. I have chosen jobs that I find interesting and feel will be not only financially but intrinsically rewarding. I have yet to hear back from the clients. I probably never will. Things never change in the world of Elance.

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5 responses to “Elance – way to earn a little cash or a huge waste of time

  • ellisnelson

    Not finding elance to be a good source of work. Too many willing to work for minimum or below (with international competition). I still think you get what you pay for and I think a lot of clients are settling. Lowest bidder usually gets the job (at least in editing and writing). I’d bet it’s not like that in computer programming, etc.

  • springriverimagination

    Gosh that sounds terrible!
    Sure if you’re an impressive writer with a lot of experience (and willing to work for a little) then you’d get by just fine, but that’s just for a select few. I don’t know a single person who would willing put themselves through that with no guarentee of success. Glad I never tried it out! Thanks for telling me what it was like!
    Why sell your hard work for dimes when you can give more and get a ton back? If you put enough of yourself in it that is.

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