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The Pros and Cons of Freelance Bidding Websites

March 3rd, 2010

freelance-writing-websites.jpgIf you have recently become a freelancer, you may have considered using freelance bidding websites to find work. As the name suggests, a freelance bidding website involves freelancers bidding to win work. Job descriptions are posted, and candidates can name the price that they are willing to complete the project for if they are hired. Naturally, this concept will not appeal to everyone as there are some definite flaws, but it can be a way for new freelancers to start building a portfolio of work. This article looks at some of the pros and cons of using freelance bidding websites to make money from your writing.

The Pros

The majority of plus points in favor of freelance bidding websites relate to new freelancers, especially those who are not yet fully acquainted with the business of freelancing and have not built up a solid portfolio of work.

No pitching necessary

Although you will usually need to compose at least a brief summary of why you are the perfect candidate for the job, there is no need to create a lengthy query letter (as you would if you were trying to break into print publications). In many cases, all you will need to do is set your bid, link to a few previously published pieces of work that demonstrate your ability, and write a few sentences detailing your suitability for the job. If you have already uploaded a profile containing a biography and previously published work, you may not need to do much more than set your bid.

You can build your portfolio

If you are new to the world of freelancing, you probably do not have a portfolio of work to show prospective clients. When you are getting started, you may consider bidding for jobs on freelancing bidding websites to use in your portfolio, although it is worth noting that not all buyers will allow you to do this if they have bought full rights to your work. If you are working as a ghostwriter (for example, if you are not going to receive a byline), it can be difficult to prove that you created the work. Assuming that you are free to use the work in your portfolio, you only need around five examples to demonstrate your ability. Once you have reached this stage, you will probably find that the cons of freelance bidding websites start to outweigh the positives.

The Cons

While freelance bidding websites have their plus points, there are also disadvantages that discourage many freelancers from signing up to them. For more experienced freelancers, there is no real reason to stick around once you have created a portfolio of work from your successful bids.

Competition

Most of the jobs listed on freelance bidding websites will have plenty of writers bidding for them — even the low paying ones. Many of these authors will hail from countries in which the cost of living is not as high as it is in the Western world, which means that they can afford to put in low bids that undercut their rivals. This type of competition can be very difficult to compete against as buyers will often be taken in by cheap bids and fail to take into account the quality of work on offer.

Low prices

Although there can be some lucrative jobs posted on freelance bidding websites, the majority tend to pay fairly small amounts. It is not uncommon to see projects that will require several days or even weeks worth of work being settled on for $20 (or even less). This may be fine when you are first starting out as a freelancer and are desperate to land jobs to boost your freelance resume, but many of the more experienced freelancers value their services highly and refuse to lower themselves to bid for these types of freelance jobs. If you are new to freelancing, you may want to think about putting in lower bids than normal to secure work so that you can build a portfolio but this is inadvisable if you already have a portfolio in place.

Commission Fees

Some freelance bidding websites take a commission from your earnings instead of charging you a monthly or yearly membership fee. In some cases, this can be a significant percentage, especially if you are not earning much in the first place. However, if you only dip in and out of freelance bidding websites and do not use them on a regular basis, this can be cheaper than paying membership fees while you are not actively using the website.


This article was supplied to us by “Sally A.” from Constant Content.


One Response to “The Pros and Cons of Freelance Bidding Websites”

  1. comment number 1 by: Issa

    I think that online or real-time, there will always be a competition when it comes to getting a job/project. The difference is on how a person sells himself/herself, his/her skills, and negotiate for a price that their skills truly deserve. Clients who pay for peanuts will simply get such. They get what they pay for. Nice sharing. Thanks!

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