Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where Not to Get Freelance Writing Work

So where do you get better paying work? I hear that question a lot. The standard sources that most people hear about are Digital Point, freelance job sites and Craigslist. Sure, there are gigs to be had on all of these sites. There are, however, significant problems.

Digital Point

Con: The people of Digital Point are often called bottom feeders, and if you've ever spent time there you will understand why. Don't get me wrong- there are a few perfectly lovely clients there who want quality and will pay for it. Unfortunately, there are about 1,000 jerks for every one of those. They will argue and make fun of anyone who wants a decent price for articles. They tell new writers that the "standard rate" for articles is $5 apiece. New writers believe it and soon devalue their own work to the point that they can't afford to keep writing.

Pro: If you have an enormous amount of time on your hands, you can find the lovely clients. They are there, somewhere. There are also a few places to post your info and to post special offers for the marketers who hang there. I'm told that though it costs $20 to do this, it can pay off in the end.

Freelance Job Sites
Con: For the most part, they are a waste of time. They are so heavily promoted and so populated that the job posters are inundated with several hundred emails a day, making it impossible for them to even look through them all. The first cheap one is generally chosen. Also, most of the jobs are from Craigslist and many of them are scams. I wasted too many hours that I will never get back on this type of site.

Pro: There are a few gems in the bunch, but it can take 100 hours or more of applying to scam after scam to actually find one, if you manage to apply within minutes of the gem being posted. I do know of people who have found high-paying work this way.

Con: Most of the time the jobs are either scams or they simply weed through responses to find the cheapest one. For a professional it can be difficult to abide this type of system. Quality is often not a consideration. And, scams are flourishing at a rapid rate. Many of the ads for high-paying work are really affiliate ads trying to get you to sign up for a membership with a job board. Others are there to get your email address to sell to people who run those types of job boards.

Pro: Like any type of freelance site, there are gems in the slush pile. I know of companies that use Craigslist to quickly fill legitimate writing positions and individuals that use it to outsource decent-paying work. However, like the freelance job sites, it can take days of searching and applying to find one.

Tomorrow I will go into some of the best places to get work that pays better than the DP "standard rate." Once you get going in that direction and build a reputation, there's no reason to ever take .02 a word, or even less, for an article.


zania said...

Great advice and I'm looking forward to the next entry.
You have some excellent posts here LS.
I'm glad I stopped by.
I'll definitely be back :)

L. Shepherd said...

Thanks, I appreciate the read!

Valencia said...

I have to agree, it's hard to find a job on an actual freelance writing job site. By the time we send a resume or samples, the job poster has already received an infinite number of applications. Although I have found opportunities from these sites, I do better when I search for companies that hire freelancers, and then apply as a writer.

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