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What are bidding websites? (And are they good for freelance writers?)

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Are you looking for new ways to find writing clients? You may turn your attention to bidding websites, but are they any good?

There are many places to find private clients as a freelance writer. One of those is via bidding websites. You’ve likely heard of them. Freelancer.com is one of the biggest, but you can also turn to places like People Per Hour and UpWork. Some of these bidding sites also have the ability to set your rates and have clients come to you, but they also give you a chance to put your bids in for projects.

Bidding sites is how I started writing with private clients. I don’t recommend it, but I also don’t regret working this way. I managed to pick up some good clients in the beginning when I was trying to start out my career.

What exactly are bidding websites for writers, though? Are they any good now?

What exactly are bidding sites?

These types of sites are exactly what they sound like. You bid for jobs that people post.

It’s almost a race to the bottom. People who post the jobs often want to spend as little as possible for the work. This can lead to a major disadvantage for freelance writers, especially those who are trying to make a living rather than do it as a hobby or side gig.

The accounts are free, but some require freelancers to pay a small commission upon being accepted for the job. Others take the money from the person posting the job instead. It’s a commission for providing a free platform to find work.

People post jobs and then you offer a rate that you’re willing to do for the project described. You will also need to add some information about who you are and give a compelling reason for the individual to hire you.

Why bidding websites are bad for freelance writers

The race to the bottom is a serious negative side to this method of finding freelancing work. It can lead to writers being paid pennies for their hard work, which can take hours when you include the research and coming up with topic ideas.

This isn’t always the case though, and I’ll go through that a little later in this blog post.

Another downside is competing against so many other writers. Some will have more experience, while others can simply offer lower rates because of their personal circumstances. Others want the experience and are willing to write for virtually nothing at all. It can lead to you getting overlooked for the work.

You need to show just why you should be chosen. What do you offer that nobody else does? One freelancer found that offering 50% of the work for free helped with the initial bids just to start getting some feedback. Is that really something that you want to offer? This is one of the biggest reasons I stopped writing at bidding sites.

How can these sites help freelance writers?

So, why do I not regret writing at these sites? It comes down to what I learned from them.

It is possible to get work through bidding websites. You can make a living, but you have to be picky and choosey. It takes time and effort to build a reputation on many of these sites, but it is certainly possible.

The trick is to find out how you stand out from all the rest. Remember that freelancer I just mentioned who offers 50% of the work for free to get clients to say yes.

Another benefit is not everyone wants the cheapest freelance writer. Some want the best writer, and that will mean paying more. It’s up to you to show that you’re the best writer. What experience do you have and how can you help the client? It’s up to you to show that you offer the best quality, even if you may not have the most experience.

Another benefit is the payment options. Most bidding sites offer an escrow option. The client puts the money in there and releases it upon completion of the project. It can’t be sent back to the client without the writer’s permission, which can protect many from scrupulous clients. There are also dispute systems when an agreement between the writer and client cannot be met.

This is something that other methods of finding work cannot offer. There are many horror stories of freelancers not being paid for their work.

MORE: How to find writing clients for your business

How are you currently finding your writing clients? What do you think of bidding websites? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Get in touch to learn more about how I can help you on your journey to becoming a freelance writer.