Carolyn M. Walker

Old Blog of Carolyn M. Walker

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Are Job Bidding Sites Really Worth It?

Writing job bids carolyn m walkerFreelance writers want to make money. We want that next big assignment, awesome client or well-paying gig. It's what we do! So you may have heard of bidding sites like Upwork (formerly Elance), Odesk, and other online freelance marketplaces. All of these sound like great resources, but is it really the best path?

As a freelance writer, I've done a lot and learned a lot over the years. From content mills, to independent service want ads, outsourcing, contract agreements, freelance gigs, copywriting work, and bidding, it seems I've done it all. Bid sites were particularly sticky for me. For writers who want to build a solid portfolio, further their career, and make serious money, I would not recommend it.

What are Job Bidding Sites?

If you step back and take a closer look, you'll notice that firms like media companies, ad agencies, and in-house agencies are not particularly posting jobs on these sites. Most of the folks on there are typically looking for the best copywriter at the cheapest rate. Add the fact that other writers are on there competing for that job and it's a recipe for disaster. 

Oftentimes, you have to lower your rates just to beat the next guy. Even then you may not even get the bid! Plus you've spent valuable time proposing your services to a job you may or may not get. Also, let us not forget that many of these sites may charge a "quote fee"  or "transaction fee" if you do get the job. Elance charges over 8% of your agreed upon fee payment.

Now What?

In my opinion it is best to market and promote yourself directly to prospective clients who are looking for quality copy, and are willing to pay you what it is worth. You don't want to market yourself to someone who is looking to get cheap copy for a cheap price. Now, not all clients on these sites may be doing this, but many people want that "best deal" and unfortunately that means other standards may have to be lowered, including how much money YOU make!


  1. I agree with your conclusion. I tried out some online job bidding sites and I can't compete with people who are offering their services for 1/5 of what I am. And what I charge isn't in the higher end of rates.


  2. Debbie, Thanks for the feedback! It is so true what you say and believe me I get it! Corporate firms and businesses who are seeking a professional copywriter or freelance writer will not think twice at paying $100 for a blog because they understand that demand for quality copy is high and that is what something like that is worth. For fully optimized and relevant copy that is both informative and engaging, you better believe it's worth every dime! It's a long road getting to the point of being established but the journey is well worth it if you are growing your business in the right places. :)