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The Legitimacy of Freelance Bidding Sites

Day in and day out, I receive emails from aspiring writers who want to find all of their work via freelance bidding sites such as GetAFreelancer, Elance, etc. While this is a good place to start your search for work, it should not be the end all. The fact of the matter is that high paying, high quality clients do not usually hire freelance writers via bidding sites. Sure, some of them do, but there are not many. I can count on one hand how many quality clients I have found through these sites.

Are bidding sites legitimate? The short answer to this question is yes. These sites are not a scam; you can secure work through them if you know what you are doing. But that being said, there is a lot of competition, and as noted above, it can be difficult to find clients that you are going to want to work with on a long term basis. In my experience, especially as of late, more and more buyers on these sites are looking for the freelance writer offering the lowest rate; even if they do not have good writing skills.

If you are going to use a bidding site to find work and new clients, make sure that this is not the only technique within your marketing strategy. There is nothing wrong with bidding for jobs, but if this is your sole means of finding work it can be a major problem. Instead, mix cold calling and sending query letters in with bidding on jobs. This way, if things begin to run dry in one area you can always rely on finding work in other ways.

The earlier in your career that you begin to stray away from relying solely on freelance bidding sites the better off you are going to be. Yes, there are some jobs that are worth winning and some buyers that are of high quality and integrity. But at the same time, it is important to remember that bidding sites should not be used as your only way of finding work. It should simply be one part of your marketing plan.

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7 Comments »Freelance WritingJuly 2nd, 2008

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