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What’s wrong with this Freelance Writing Ad?

When I was getting started as a freelance writer, I spent countless hours browsing bidding sites such as GetAFreelancer. In fact, I found so much work on GAF that I never took the time to sign up with similar sites. Although I do not bid on as many jobs as before, this is still a market that I keep an eye on.

Feedback from readers on bidding sites has not been good as of late. It seems that there are two major issues that many of you guys and gals are running into time after time:

1. Every job on these bidding sites is low paying. And low paying means just a couple of dollars for 500 words or so. While I am all about working for less to get started, you have to draw the line somewhere.

2. They are outbid by writers who are willing to work for pennies, but do not produce high quality work. This is difficult to overcome because the buyer has the final say on who they want to work with. And in many cases, it is the person who will save them the most money.

While looking through some emails this morning, I came across this job on GetAFreelancer. From the get-go I could see quite a few issues:


I am looking for efficient and affordable teams for ongoing projects

I need original articles, blogs, website content and re-writes. I need only dedicated teams who can deliver timely work on daily basis without making excuses. Mention in your bid what amount of work you can handle comfortably.There will be no payment if the projects are delayed or quality is compromised. We want you to follow the guidelines exactly. Guidelines will be well explained and in detail.

1. First off, you can see that the buyer forgot to insert a period after the first sentence. Additionally, there are other grammatical and structural issues that are quite obvious. This shows from the start that the buyer is not serious or professional. Everybody makes mistakes, but these are simple errors that should never be published.

2. “There will be no payment if the projects are delayed or quality is compromised.” This is a red flag to be aware of. When a buyer says this, it gives them an “out.” In other words, they can keep your work and not pay you by blaming it on a missed deadline or poor quality. The problem is, who is to say what is poor quality?

Rates will be (no negotiations, you should bid only if you are comfortablewith rates)

Original 250 words article – $1
Original 500 words article – $2.5
Original tech 500 words article – $3
Original 350 words article – $1.5
Re-write 500 words – $1
rewrite 250 words – $0.5

1. These rates are quite low, to say the least. Although you may be able to earn a good bit if you work in bulk, you are going to waste a lot of time to make this money. Getting paid $1 for 250 words of original content or $.50 for a 250 word rewrite is not good; even if you do need to break into the industry. Things have changed a lot over the past few years, and you should be able to find jobs that are higher paying; even if only by a couple dollars.

The projects will be ongoing so need only reliable teams

Attach a sample article of 150 words on “my attitude towards life” or “Role of ecommerce today”

1. As I have said before, beware of any potential client who asks for samples upfront. In many cases they will take one sample from a group of writers and in turn end up with enough free unique content that they never have to pay. This is the oldest game in the book, and one that you want to avoid at all costs. This does not mean that you should never supply samples, but you should definitely expect to get paid if you have to write a unique article.

At this point, there are only two bids on this job. Even though the terms are not that great, you can be rest assured that somebody will accept this position. 

When you come across a quality job at a bidding site you will know it. Simply put, the job outlined above has too many holes to consider it worth your time. 

5 Comments »Freelance Writing, GetAFreelancerMay 11th, 2008

GetAFreelancer and Freelance Writers

I have made several posts in the past regarding GetAFreelancer, how to win jobs, and other miscellaneous details concerning this service. But even then, some freelance writers feel that this site is not worth their time. In other words, they think that all the jobs are low paying, or that they will be outbid by others. While this is true to some extent, it is not the case across the board.

A few months back I won a project on GetAFreelancer to complete a batch of 10 articles. Even though the pay was only $150 or so, the entire job only took a few hours to complete so everything worked out in the end. But instead of looking at this as a one shot job, I continued to follow up with the client every other week or so. The result: two weeks ago they asked me to write 20 press releases for them. Better yet, they did not want them to be any more than 150 to 200 words, so they were actually quite simple.

For the entire job we agreed on a price of $1,000 or $50 per press release. This may not sound like a lot, but the project only took 10 days to complete. I wrote two press releases a day for ten days. In most cases, each one only took about 30 minutes to write thanks to a lot of good direction and information from the client. As you can see, that works out to $100/hour.

Every job on GetAFreelancer is not going to suit your needs. But in the case outlined above, one small job led to a quick $1,000 a few months later. Keep in mind that bidding on and winning one job may turn out to be way more than that. 

4 Comments »Freelance Writing, GetAFreelancerOctober 9th, 2007

GetAFreelancer and Low Paying Jobs

I have received many great jobs from GetAFreelancer in the past, and hope to continue this for years to come. But as of late, it appears that more and more low paying jobs are being posted. While these do not bother me, because I will simply ignore them, there are others who may fall prey. After all, this happens to even the best of us.

I have been meaning to write about this problem, and a recent job posting on GetAFreelancer pushed me into doing it today.

Check out this job at I think that the title pretty much says it all: Full Time Work – Max $2 Per Hr. Is this a joke? Does somebody really think that they can find somebody to work full-time for $2 per hour? That works out to a whopping $4,160/year based on a 2,080 hour work year. Even in the poorest countries in the world, this is an absolute insult.

If you do not have the chance to read the post, they are looking for a bidder that feels that $50 to $60 a week is an acceptable income. The job title is quite extensive as they are looking for a person who can handle CSS, customer service, link building, content writing, and more. In other words, they want a highly skilled, full-time worker that will work for peanuts. 

When I first saw this post I figured that nobody in their right mind would place a bid. But guess what? After one day on GetAFreelancer, there have been 29 bids with an average bid price of $46.

Do yourself a favor, and get paid what you are worth. Working full-time on your own website or blog will go much further than taking a job like this.

9 Comments »Freelance Writing Jobs, GetAFreelancerJuly 1st, 2007

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