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Freelance Writing Online: Why You Should Ignore Bid-for-Work Sites When Setting Rates

If you do any research on freelance writing rates, you'll find that these types of sites, in large part, don't rate very highly with freelance writers. Following is why and why you should ignore them when setting rates.

Freelance Writing Online: Why You Should Ignore Bid-for-Work Sites When Setting Rates

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You’ll find a lot of freelance writing online jobs on bid-for-work sites. I don’t have to name them, I’m sure you know some. When I first started out as an SEO copywriter in 2007, I kept running across these jobs on popular sites like Craigslist.

But, when I’d click out to the ads, a lot of them would be on sites like this. This frustrated me to no end. Following is why.

Researching Freelance Rates: The Trouble with Bidding Sites

If you do any research on freelance writing rates, you’ll find that these types of sites, in large part, don’t rate very highly with freelance writers because you’re competing with writers globally who can undercut you severely. Hence, you’ll see jobs like $1 for 300 words.

I actually saw one post recently that wanted 500-word articles for $1 – in “good” English no less.

No thanks!

Feel free to check these types of sites out for yourself. Some freelance writers have gotten long-term, good-paying clients from them. For me though, the one or two times I did check them out, it was just too time consuming to put together a bid, only to be severely undercut by others.

Time is your greatest asset as a freelance writer. So use it wisely.

Instead of looking for work on these types of sites, I’d rather spend my time marketing in ways I know will bring in jobs, instead of bidding on gigs that I most likely won’t get because I can’t compete on price.

And just so we’re clear, this is my personal opinion. Do what works for you.

Freelance Writing Online: What Bid-for-Pay Sites are Good For

Following are a few things these types of sites can help you with as a freelancer:

Spotting Trends: I first got interested in SEO content writing because I kept seeing jobs ads for article writers, SEO content providers, SEO writers, web content copywriters, etc. So, I started to check further into them, and it added a whole goo-gaggle of clients to my roster.

Experience: If you’re new to freelance writing and aren’t comfortable dealing with clients, this is a way to get your feet wet. You’ll learn how to craft proposals, how to interact with clients, how to charge (or rather, how not to charge), what clients expect, what different types of online writing jobs entail, etc.

If you do decide to go this route for work, please, please charge at living wage. Otherwise, you’ll be miserable. I guarantee it.

Referrals: As I said earlier, some freelance writers like these sites because they find steady clients. So again, do what works for you.

Freelance writing online is a growth-oriented niche — one where you can make a very good living as a writer, if you learn how to charge and how to market.

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