Everyone loves the idea of earning an income online. What’s not to like? You don’t have to get up early in the morning, go to a boring office and work your butt off from 9 to 5. Instead, you can be your own boss, work whenever you want and earn the same amount of money, if not more.
Hence, a lot of people fall into the wrong hands in hopes of making money online.
I’ve been through it. Initially, I created accounts on various content mills and bidding sites but only a few were actually worth the effort.
That’s the reason I’m writing this post. I want to help others avoid the same mistakes I made.
What is Elance?
In a nutshell, Elance connects freelance writers with employers from all around the world. As a writer, you can bid on different projects. After you’ve submitted your work, your payment is released through a secure payment system called Escrow. Sounds good enough?
Why You Need to Avoid Elance:
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they’re a scam. It’s a legit website which thousands of people use to make money. So what’s the problem?
It’s a run for the lowest bid!
The place is full of people willing to sell their firstborns for a chance at a job. It’s a mass bidding website where most jobs pay less than the minimum wage in both the employers’ and workers’ countries.
You’re much better than that, trust me.
My Experience with Elance:
I started freelancing approximately five years ago. Naturally, Elance was the first website I signed up for, mostly because it was the only one I’d heard about. But also because it offered a payment system that wasn’t PayPal.
Since my country was not supported by PayPal, my options were very limited.
After weeks of bidding on different projects, I finally got accepted for a job. The pay was $5 for a 250-word research article. At the time, I thought it was decent but I now realize it was embarrassingly low.
I wrote two articles for the employer. She replied and said that the articles were great, but asked me to make some changes. I spent a couple of hours rewriting the articles and submitted them again.
This time, the employer replied and asked me to turn the articles into a table.
I spent a couple of more hours turning the paragraph from articles into table form. Once I had submitted these, the employer emails me and asks me to add more information in the table.
By this time, I was reasonably annoyed.
I added more information into the table and submitted them again. And once again, she emailed me asked me to make additional changes. By that time, I had had it. I mean, she was paying me $5 for an article on which I’d already spent 2 hours! Basically, I was being paid $2.50 per hour.
I replied back and told her I couldn’t continue working that way.
And that was the end of my Elance career.
Some Other Websites to Avoid:
It’s not just Elance. All mass bidding websites work the same way: freelance workers competing for who can offer the cheapest service rather than the best.
Some other examples of these bidding sites are:
( http://www.oDesk.com )
( http://www.Freelance.com )
( http://www.Freelancer.com )
( http://www.PeoplePerHour.com )
( http://www.Guru.com )
( http://www.99Designs.com )
( http://www.iFreelance.com )
Where to Go Instead:
You need to build a platform for yourself if you’re serious about freelance writing. If you’re just starting out and don’t know how to build your portfolio, I suggest you try the following:
Guest Posting isn’t just for bloggers. Anyone can write a quality article and get it published on relevant blogs. Some blogs pay really well for guest posts while others don’t pay at all. Either way, you’d be building your portfolio so it’s a win-win situation.
Some examples of medium-to-high paying blogs include:
- Listverse.com — Pays $100/guest post (submission guidelines)
- Technopedia.com — Pays Competitive Rates/guest post (submission guidelines )
- Toptenz.net — Pays $50/guest post (submission guidelines )
- eCommerce Insiders — Pays $125/guest post (submission guidelines )
- YourOnline.Biz — Pays $100/guest post (submission guidelines )
- Doctor of Credit — Pays $50/guest post (submission guidelines )
- The Travel Writer’s Life — Pays $50-$200/guest post (submission guidelines )
- WriteNaked.net — Pays $50-$200/guest post (submission guidelines)
- A Fine Parent — Pays $100/guest post (submission guidelines)
- International Living — Pays $75/guest post (submission guidelines)
- WorldStart — Pays $50/guest post (submission guidelines)
- The Krazy Coupon Lady — Pays $50/guest post (submission guidelines)
- IWA Wine Blog — Pays $50/guest post (submission guidelines)
- BootsnAll — Pays $50/guest post (submission guidelines)
- LabMice — Pays $60-$100 (submission guidelines)
- PhotoshopTutorials.ws — Pays $50-$300 (submission guidelines)
- SitePoint.com — Pays $150-$200 (submission guidelines)
- DesertUSA.com — Pays $50 (submission guidelines)
About the author:
After working as a freelance writer for 5 years, Sania Lali created her blog www.FreelanceWritersLounge.com, where she teaches talented writers how to find high paying online writing jobs.