Freelance writing can be a lucrative part time business, hobby, or a full-fledged career. Thousands of opportunities are available on the web, especially with the growing number of discussion forums, job posting sites, and contacts available through community bulletin boards. Posting requests of ‘Article writers needed ASAP!’, ‘Creative writers needed for short-term project’, and ’25 articles needed on xyz topic’ can seem like quick opportunities for any freelancer looking for a new project. A recent surge in bidding sites means freelancers have even more options in finding work. Still, many requests for writers can turn out to be scams, offer extremely low pay, or not end up paying at all.
Bidding for projects isn’t the ideal option for freelance writers, but it does offer easy access to projects that don’t require a lengthy application process. Many of today’s most popular freelance biddings sites allow you to upload your portfolio, fill out a basic introduction to match you up to your skill set, and some even e-mail you updates on ‘jobs’ that fit your criteria. It’s almost like a job-matching service, except you have an opportunity to set your price.
If you’re in need of a handful of fresh projects, here’s how to bid effectively and get the most value from your work:
Upload a portfolio and samples. This makes it easy for editors and content managers to review samples without having to contact you immediately. If they like what they see, they’ll definitely be in touch.
Create an easy username, password, and e-mail address that you use regularly. Most of these projects are incredibly time-sensitive. Bids are accepted just like an auction, and you’ll need to check your e-mail regularly to keep up with your status.
Read all the guidelines of the project. Some providers are specific about expectations, while others will only provide short requests. If you aren’t qualified, don’t bid; you’ll only waste time. Instead, look for the key projects you have experience in and make your offer.
Pick as many categories that you’re confident with. It’s important to filter out the programming and transcription jobs if you don’t have interest or experience. These can get lumped into your e-mail alerts and will only take up time to sort through.
Always look for the bid range. Most sites won’t even let you bid under or over this range, and it also helps in establishing if the job is worthwhile.
Review other bids. Some sites let you see other bids, and this can give you a strong chance of winning the project. Be realistic about how much you can offer or accept. Most editors will only pick one or two bidders, and you’ll need to be ready to go!
Write a creative description. When you’re bidding on a specific project, make sure you include why you’re the ideal person for it. This might include keywords, a short sample, or a link to a portfolio right within the description section.
Share language skills. If you speak and write multiple languages, make sure you include this. This is a highly lucrative market and attractive skill set.
Keep up with the going rate. This can vary week by week, and can be dependent on length, word-by-word, or topic. Make sure you’re not underbidding yourself just to win the project itself.
Don’t work for spam artists. These might be web developers, content ‘wholesalers,’ or third parties just looking for anything and everything. Most of them never pay, and offer low-paying bulk assignments. If you do work on these projects, make sure you’re getting paid enough!
Don’t settle for low pay. There are many writers who accept pennies for articles. Don’t become a part of this ‘writing factory’ and keep up with the quality of your work.
Make sure you verify payment. Some content managers and editors make the offer, take your work…and run. If you haven’t secured how they will pay you (PayPal, deposit upfront, etc.) exercise some caution.These are just a few tips and suggestions when bidding on freelance sites that populate the web today. A key part of freelance writing is being able to find new and exciting projects. Unless you’ve secured many contracts to keep a flow of work in process, you’ll need to connect to the most lucrative resources to keep up with the writing markets
Some websites offer legitimate matching services that can bring a steady stream of work; others are nothing more than low-paying writing warehouses that are looking for a desperate writer to add to their list. When you get involved with bidding, it’s important to showcase your talents but present them to the right people. Be smart about your writing career, and avoid working with non-paying clients, scammers, and inconsistent buyers. They’re not worth your time and hard work!