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Why you need to avoid bidding sites like the plague as a writer

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Bidding sites are one way to make money writing online. They’re not a good way, though. Here’s why you need to avoid them.

All ways of finding clients work. I’ve used all of them, including bidding sites. It can seem hypocritical of me then to say that you need to avoid them. The only reason I say it is because they were the way I wasted most of my time and ended up with very little to show for it.

With content mills, I could at least learn writing skills and figure things out. With micro-job sites, I was able to land some consistent work at a rate I felt was fair for me. Bidding sites made it very difficult to find writing work at a good level of pay. In fact, they caused more stress. Here’s why I think you should avoid them.

Bidding sites pay very low rates

While the pay at content mills is low, it’s consistent. You also know what you’re getting and everyone is working at that same level. That’s no tthe case with the bidding websites. More of then than not, the pay ends up worse.

You bid with how much you’re willing to do the work for. I can bet you that there will be people willing to do the work for much less. Will it be the same quality? Probably not, but that’s not what the people hiring writers are really concerned with at first. They want things cheap.

You may be lucky enough to find a client who focuses on quality and is willing to pay more for that. It’s hard to come by, though. Your experience doesn’t really matter when you’re charging more than others.

This can mean that you need to be willing to drop your rate if you want the job. Or you’ve just wasted time on yet another bid on the site.

It’s harder to get paid

Something that I hated about bidding sites is getting paid. You can do all the work you are hired to do, send it off, and then crickets.

There are some sites better than others for making sure everyone is paid. I like the sites that put the payment in escrow. It is only released by to the client if the writer doesn’t do their job and send off the money. The client has to put up a fight to get the money back, so if they decide not to pay, they end up losing the money anyway.

However, not that many companies are willing to do something like this. Clients don’t want to do that. I did lose out on money through a site because the client was a scam artist. That was a big lesson early on.

You’ll write general SEO stuff

Would you love to stick to your own niche? Would you love journalistic projects or maybe white papers? You’ll be very lucky to get any of these from bidding sites.

The clients on here want the general SEO rubbish that you can find in content mills.

They want you to just write for keywords and for the search engines. It takes away the joy and fun out of writing. You won’t use your creativity.

Do you really want to do that for the rest of your life? I certainly didn’t, which is why I went to look for my own private clients.

It’s better to find your own clients

I always think it’s better to find your own clients. Not only will this help you concentrate on a niche, but you will also be able to improve your working environment. Don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back.

I’ve had people say no. I’ve had people tell me I’ll be on their books but not send me anything. I’ve had people tell me not right now but then never get back to me or go bust. Rejection happens but if you let it hold you back, you will never make a living writing and always be stuck in the lower-paying markets.

Having your own private clients can also create loyalty. Bidding sites don’t nurture loyalty between clients and writers. The clients just want the best rate for each project.

You also can’t take the relationship off the bidding websites if there is a sense of loyalty and youv’e built up that trust. It’s against the rules, and you could both end up losing your accounts. Now, as a writer, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but clients don’t tend to want to risk it.

MORE: 5 tools no freelance writer should be without

How do you find clients for your writing business? Have you had any good or bad experiences with bidding websites? Share in the comments below.

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