7 Freelance Writing Websites: Which to Sign Up for and Which to Stay Away From

You all know that it takes a lot of diligence, patience, and quality skill to be a successful freelance writer. But all of these things mean nothing if you don’t know where to share your freelance writing skills at. You can just go out and try freelancing on your own, but many have tried and easily failed. The best step would be to go to some of the many freelance writing sites, sign up, and get started.

It’s also a lot safer when you work from freelance writing sites. You can’t get jipped for your hard earned work like that. Here are 7 of the many freelancing websites out there, and what my personal experience has been with them:

1. Guru

Guru.com is home to 4,151 job offerings as of right now — 558 in just the writing field alone. Since there are obviously numerous other things you can do while still being title “freelancer,” Guru is very versatile in meeting the needs of both employers and freelancers.

This is where I got my first break. I sold an article on here for $150 and gained a whole new confidence about my writing ability. Though you can do this any where, I do feel some favortism in my opinion pulling towards Guru. It’s certainly a website where fledglings can first start spreading their wings, depending on how well their initial writing quality is. Guru’s a great place to teach you how to write a proposal, how to work with clients, and how to get the most out of your earnings hands-on.

The only downside I’ve found is that a lot of potential clients will try to get you to stray from Guru when you go on to work with them. This means they’d be paying you straight through PayPal or some other payment website and you’d be sending your work to them straight through your email. This can be dangerous, as I’ve had some employers not pay me, fake their name on my work, and even deny the quality of my articles, making me rewrite it numerous times.

Total ranking: 7.56/10

2. Elance

Ah, Elance.com — basically a hyped up, classier version of Guru, in my opinion. The set-up for finding jobs is almost exactly Guru, as you’ll notice. However, where there are a little over 5,000 Guru jobs availabe, there are over 16,000 on Elance. What does that mean for a freelance writer? More opportunity!

I’ve also noticed that more Elance employers seem to be a lot more literate than some Guru employers. Where it’s touch and go as to whether or not you’ll actually be able to understand what you’re employer or client is asking on Guru, it’s usually a lot easier on Elance. Why? I’m not sure. Must just be an employer thing.

Elance also seems to pay more, though the clients look for those with experience a lot more often than on Guru. I suggest signing up for Elance even as a newbie, though. You never know when applying to a job with all the others might swing the way in your favor.

Total ranking: 7.95/10

3. oDesk

If you notice on my blog on my website, How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer, I sort of bashed oDesk by comparing it with Squidoo and Helium. But I have seen the light! oDesk is full of opportunity, and probably my favorite website. I’ve gotten two out of my three full-time employers off of there, and they pay instantly.

A big problem, though. oDesk is the only site I would ever suggest asking your employers to pay you straight to your PayPal, or whatever else you have. Why? Because there’s a pending process that I haven’t come across on any other freelance writing site. I’d estimate that it takes between two to five days for your payment to pend. Then it says a “Due on” date, which would be up to a week or more from when you saw it. So it can take two weeks just to get a lousy payment!

I do whole-heartedly still suggest oDesk, however, for new and professional freelance writers. The options you get when looking at jobs are diverse; you can choose between hourly or fixed-rate, set your budget, the amount of time you plan on working, whether it be full-time or part-time, and oDesk will then spit out your job opportunities based on your preferences. Magical, I know.

Total ranking: 8.2/10

4. Freelancer

Maybe a week ago, I would’ve suggested signing up for Freelancer. But now, I definitely suggest staying away from this site. Ugh. Where do I even start with the problems?

Looking for a job can be confusing. It’s set up to where you can’t just select one field, but a sub-field. It’s slow to respond, and for about two weeks I was worried that I’d accidentally signed up as an employer rather than a freelancer. Then I found out that you get the option both ways — if you sign up, you can be a freelance or employer either way. Some might see that as useful. I don’t. If I’d wanted to hire people, I wouldn’t made a different account like you can on Guru or Elance.

This is the website where I had to quit my first job. I was hired to write a blog, but the illiterate idiot made it impossible to understand what he actually wanted from me, so I’d applied thinking I was supposed to just write a regular blog. Half the time I didn’t even know what he wanted. I struggled for days trying to meet his needs. Finally, I gave up. Quit. He then filed a dispute so that he could get his frozen milestone money back.

Though I know it’s not the website’s fault, I still relate this incident with it, and will therefore never use it again.

Another thing is that I had to create another email and switch email addresses on Freelancer just so it wouldn’t make my business email slow! The mail I was receiving to my email through Freelancer caused it to nearly crash. For a few hours, I wasn’t even able to access my email account. Do you know what it does to a freelance writer when she can’t read her mail for potential jobs? Scary things, man. Scary things.

Total ranking: 3.6/10

5. Helium

No. Just no. Helium is where I first started out. I was paid a dollar for an article I’d worked extremely hard on. Helium made tons of profit selling it to some video game website. For more info, read my blog here.

Helium is just a site where people can go to enter contests on poetry and “flash fiction.” You don’t earn at all what you work for. It’s not worth it. Just don’t try for Helium.

Total ranking: 1.09/10

6. Yahoo! Voices

Previously known as Associated Content, Yahoo! Voices might be worse than Helium. It’s confusing, and jumbled, and not like regular freelance writing sites where you get to apply for a job and already see the proposed pay rate you’ll get. It’s just not right. It’s more like a new blog, if anything, and I don’t like it at all.

But the biggest problem I have with Yahoo! Voices isn’t any of the issues listed above. It’s the fact that they’ll approve anything. Even if you’re the saddest little illiterate person in the world, they’ll still approve your work. They have no quality control, and therefore no respect from me.

Total ranking: 0.08/10

7. Constant-Content

Constant-Content is more for experience writers who are okay with getting twenty dollars an article or less. It can be a good sum of income if you know how to work the system.

This is more of an employer-oriented site. I say this because you don’t get to write those fancy, over-the-top proposals boasting of your skills that may or may not be true in the hopes that a potential client will hire you. Rather, you have to write the article, send it into the website for approval and quality control, then hope that the client picks your article out of the others. This can be risky in that you’re wasting your time, however, if you’re really as good of a writer as you say you are, you’ll be earning money in no time.

Total ranking: 5.7/10

I got the idea of doing listed blogs from Think Traffic, a website I’ll certainly be going back to for tips and tricks on the blogging and freelance writing world. I also got the idea to post blogs on other websites and linking them back to my own site, which I’ll certainly be doing a lot more.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog, and feel free to leave comments! Ask me to write about a certain subject, tell me how good I did, critique me on my work…Just talk to me. As a freelance writer, my social skills are obviously lacking.

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8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Freelance Writing

8 responses to “7 Freelance Writing Websites: Which to Sign Up for and Which to Stay Away From

  1. Pingback: I’m Back! | rachelsims3

  2. Good info, thanks. I have been mulling around the idea of freelancing but did not have any direction . Now I do.

  3. Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really loved browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write once more very soon!

  4. My sisiter and I were just discussing this same topic a few weeks ago…..

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