Elance?

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Elance?

Postby dbvirago on Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:51 pm

I've seen a few posts on here about Elance, but am curios about anyone having success there. The jobs that I see have such high requirements and low pay, I rarely bid on anything and have never been awarded a job. Was looking at a few today, and after reading some of the proposals, think I understand how they get away with such low prices. Trying to decide whether to move the link to my dead files.
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Re: Elance?

Postby joejitzu on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:21 pm

I've never used them either, but I've heard it's hard to land any good paying gigs there due to all the cheap competition. Have you tried directly querying blogs you're interested in writing for?
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Re: Elance?

Postby dbvirago on Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:13 pm

Not yet. It's on my list. I only went there as I had a small window I needed to fill.
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Re: Elance?

Postby Lysis on Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:13 am

I can write an entire book on Elance. It's a wild ride on there. Here's some tldr from me while I drink some coffee.

When I'm working onsite somewhere, most of the jobs I take from Elance are invites. You get invited when you start to work regularly there. At some point, I was #3 on their tech writers list. A lot of it has to do with your income too. If you lowball, you won't get very far there. I'm usually the most expensive bidder but I back it up too. Your average housewife writing iphone articles isn't going to command the same salary. I avoid blaaahgers and (what one forum member coined) wannapreneurs. These people don't have any money, so I don't bother with them. People complain about lowballers, but the average housewife or $3/hour Indian who writes "i write good give me job" isn't my competitor.

Elance is a game and you have to learn to play it. It's a huge learning curve. It also helps to know what people are looking for and to see red flags. Their forums are good for understanding red flags. Some of them are smart, but a lot of them are your typical house frau, so take their "business advice" with a grain of salt.

You will probably get scammed or screwed over at least once. Everyone learns that lesson, and some of their forum people can be nasty about "not reading the rules," but I think most people have to learn the hard way. You have to go by your gut a lot of times, and sometimes you're wrong or don't listen to your gut and fail. The "no free work" thing is a bit of a gamble sometimes. Most customers just want to see a sample. For instance, I had a customer who wanted to see 3 questions that I would write if he awarded the job. This is normally a red flag, but then that's where your gut instinct comes into play and reviewing profiles. I didn't feel like he was trying to scam me, and I gave him 3 questions. He awarded me the job and gave me 3 more jobs after that. At the same time, I recently reported an invite job where the customer wanted an entire sample chapter. This is a red flag, so I reported it. Elance replied but did not take action, so they are inconsistent with the "no free work" thing themselves.

I also worked with Udemy through Elance's talent cloud. The forum people speak poorly of talent cloud customers, but these are the people/businesses with money. I often lol at the forum people who say "no escrow, no work," because Udemy had it set up where all writers/editors got paid at the end of the month. There was no escrow for their jobs. This is where you have to be careful about taking forum advice, because they would tell you to avoid the job but Udemy paid out thousands to writers, editors, and Elance. I hired several writers through their talent cloud, and I can tell you that 99% of proposals sent to me sucked hard. Off the top of my head, I found 4 writers plagiarizing, and I had to get rid of another because his writing was too ESL. There are a ton of crappy providers there, but this is where you can profit if you have the skill set to sell that you are better than the crappy providers.

But to counter that same point, you wouldn't normally want to work with anyone without escrow. Again, Elance is a game and you have to rely on your gut a lot when pulling the trigger for some things. My arbitration suit was quite an experience too, and I was sweating it out. Had I not demanded escrow, I'd be screwed out of the money. The guy did try to escrow only half the job, and my gut told me that I needed to get a full escrow with him. What was the difference between the Udemy gig with no escrow and the guy who I made escrow the full job before working? Their profiles and just some red flags that I learned through experience.

Was running pretty smoothly since 2010 and last year I had 3 disputes all in the last quarter. I won 2 and lost 1. This type of stuff can kill your mojo, but it's also part of the game.

I could probably write a book on my Elance experience. It's really a game that you can profit with if you have a skill that is marketable, you have the ability to sell, and you know how to work with people over the Internet. People fail at Elance because they don't have the combined skills necessary to profit and work with customers. If all you can do is write cheesy blaahg articles for spammers and treat customers as if they are your boss, then you're probably not going to make a huge profit. If you have a skill that is marketable and high paying (just like real life), you can do really well there.

Another thing with Elance is that it can be very tedious and take a LOT of time outside of actual working. This is my one issue with it, but I've considered hiring a VA for the little things. It's not "hard work," but there are a lot of little things that drain you mentally and you have to get over it and do actual work. You have to be very self-motivated. You also need to be reliable. So many people throw in the "sick" card to miss deadlines when all you need to do is say "Hey, Mr Client, I'm not gonna make the deadline but will have this project to you by x date."

tldr: Elance success depends on the person and skill set.
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Re: Elance?

Postby EFowler on Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:07 am

I'm with you on the talent clouds Lysis, I work with a major international pharmaceutical company through Elance as part of their talent cloud, and they have big budgets. If you look at it as a 'per word' price, I've made between $1.60 and $11 per word (that's 11 dollars per word, not 11 cents). Obviously, there's more to it than just writing X number of words, but it makes it easier to see how worthwhile it can be looking at it like that!

To me Elance is like here, just one of the top-ups to my writing income, the majority is from private clients and writing for magazines. It's probably easier to ignore the rock bottom budget jobs if it's not your only source of income, from the forums it seems like there are a few people that survive solely on Elance income, and they're the ones who struggle trying to do thousands of poorly paid projects.
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Re: Elance?

Postby Lysis on Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:57 pm

You're one of the smart forum people, Ms Fowler. :^)

I do pretty well there, but it can be so draining. I have about 3 months of Elance in me and then I have to take a break and get a "real" job for a time. lol

I don't know why people speak poorly of the talent cloud customers. I'm not sure they realize that these people are paying extra Elance fees and have their own CS rep, so they are usually respectable businesses.

Interesting about the pharm company. I had someone from an international pharmaceutical company find me on elance and I had no idea how he found me. Unfortunately, I was bound to a local contract at the time and couldn't do it. I guess now I understand how he found me. lol

I agree about the ignoring low budget jobs. Once you get a feel for who is a real player and who is just throwing up junk for search engines, you just bid on the right jobs. I don't even bother to look at other bids too. I bid at my hourly rate. I do kinda see what the highest bid is at. I'm usually at least $20/hour higher. Worst that can happen is they reject the bid, but meh...can't win them all. The one guy in the forums does have some good advice, and his comment about not being able to compete on price is spot on.
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Re: Elance?

Postby EFowler on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:03 am

Why thank you kind lady :wink:

I think there are some duff talent clouds paying peanuts, but I don't mind if less people are interested, ha ha!
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Re: Elance?

Postby LauraGinn on Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:34 am

I'm on Elance too and have picked up some great clients through it that I still work for to this day. I don't pay out for credits now, but I do try to use up all of my monthly allowance. I also don't price low, but I back up my bids with links to articles I've written which show why I am good for a job. You're always competing with someone, but not everyone on there is after cheap content. You'll find quite a few decent jobs on there if you avoid the low paying clients.
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Re: Elance?

Postby Lysis on Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:19 pm

I'm just gonna vent here about Elance.

$700 worth. 2 jobs. Hourly jobs. Payment due today and both credit card payments failed. I'm pissed. This is why I don't like hourly jobs there. I refused hourly jobs and gave in a couple weeks ago and I'm pissed at myself that I dropped my guard. So, I gotta go through the stupid song and dance asking first for them to pay me and then open a dispute (I used workview, so at least I know it's guaranteed payment)

rant rant rant rant rant

One of the customers did this to me 6 months ago but she came back and paid me the same day. I'm sure her credit card expired...again.
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Re: Elance?

Postby Lysis on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:32 pm

I felt better after ranting.

And one person out of two paid me. Ahhh, feel better. Now for the dispute for the other money.

Elance is such a game.
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Re: Elance?

Postby Abbamay on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:12 am

So sorry for you, Lysis! Very frustrating. :( I'm glad the money is guaranteed though. Hope it comes through quickly.

Abba
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