Real Elance Answers for Freelancer Questions
When you are looking for available work online, there is one website that is a perfect place to start your search: Elance. Out of the many freelancing sites out there, Elance is perhaps the most prestigious. This site has a proven track record among freelancers in all industries, but it is particularly popular for freelancer writers. If you are interested in looking for a job that involves writing articles for blogs, magazines, or other publications, Elance is the best place to search.
Who Can Use Elance?
Elance is a great choice for anyone. Whether you are a new writer or an established author with an extensive publication history, you will find applicable job opportunities on Elance. This site gives you an unending supply of job opportunities and you learn how to operate it correctly, it can lead to a steady stream of income that will enable you to quit your day job and work from home full time.
How Does Elance Work?
The world of Elance is divided into two segments of people: providers and buyers. If you are a buyer, you are searching for help on Elance and looking to hire an individual to help you with a particular project. Providers are freelancers who do these jobs and they compete to win the buyer’s attention, and ultimately the job. So here is the breakdown of how Elance works…
If you want to land a job on Elance, the first step is to create your profile. Take some time to really make your profile shine. Outline all of your previous job experience and your education background. Don’t forget to include anything you have done that is relevant to the kind of jobs you landed. Even if you have been a volunteer ghostwriter for a local blog, that counts! Include it in your profile. Add a picture and a list of the skills you feel competent with (from typing to writing to copyediting) and then you are ready to start looking for jobs.
When you browse available jobs, you can select the ones you are most interested in. Take time to look at the specifications on each project. What is the buyer looking for? How long with the job take? What is the budget the buyer has set for the job? If it looks like something you would be comfortable taking on, the next step is to send in your proposal. Basically, you will quote a price that you would charge to do the project and also state how long it will take you to complete the project. You will also get the type a message to the buyer. This is the opportunity to really “pitch” your skills and showcase how you would be the right person for the job.
Once the buyer finds a provider they feel comfortable with, they officially select the buyer to complete the job and the project is closed to new proposals. At that point, work is completed and exchanged through Elance’s “workroom”. This is a virtual room where you can chat with each other, exchange files, and turn in completed work.
How to Land Jobs on Elance
The tricky part of Elance is beating the competition and winning jobs. In most cases, there will be several dozen freelancer providers competing for each job. If you want to work, you are going to have to put in the time to create amazing proposals. You will need to quote prices that are fair and competitive and be selective about which projects you choose to bid on.
One problem that many people encounter on Elance is other providers that are bidding super low. How can people afford to bid so low on work that takes so long? Before you get too frustrated, take a look at these provider’s profiles and you will see that most of them in are located in Southeast Asia. While you can’t afford to live on $2 per article, those providers can. To put it simply, their living expenses are much smaller than yours and these rates are fair in their economy.
So what can you do to compete with these low prices from many providers? In a word: Quality. If your proposals showcase amazing quality and your work reflects the best skills, you will land jobs eventually. And with each job you land, your ratings will climb and soon, your profile will shine and stand out from these competitors. It really just takes some time and hard work to get there.
When you send a proposal with higher prices than your competitors, it needs to be obvious why you are charging more. Send samples that show off your superior writing skills and make sure the provider understands that she is paying for quality rather than quantity when hiring you. People will pay for valuable writing, but you must be dedicated to provide this kind of top quality work if you want to get higher prices per article.
How Much Does Elance Cost?
Elance has several levels of membership and it is possible to start out on the site for free. Use this free membership as an opportunity to get to know how the site works. Take time to go through the educational materials provided by Elance. These are called the “Elance University”. You can also find great helpful tips in the “Water Cooler” section. Before you can start bidding, you will need to take a short test to show that you have mastered Elance and know how to operate it correctly. Don’t worry… the test is simple!
With the free membership, you won’t get to put out many proposals. Elance measures your proposals or bids in its own currency called “Connects”. You get more “Connects” each time you upgrade your membership. Once you are ready to put out some serious bids, upgrade to the Individual Membership and for $10 per month, you will get enough connects to send out multiple proposals. If you get one great job out of the bunch, it will more than pay for the money you invested in an Elance membership.
Pros of Elance
• Hundreds of available jobs at any given time
• Opportunities to earn limitless income
• Reasonable price for a comprehensive freelance service
• Time tested and approved by thousands of freelance workers
Cons of Elance
• Tons of competition – you are really going to have to stand out!
• Some competitors charge super low prices, driving down the price of work
• Customer service is not always easy to reach
How Do I Get Paid with Elance?
Elance does a good job making sure payments are securely transferred to avoid scams. Recently, Elance implemented new features in “Workroom” that allow buyers to track the work of their providers through hourly screenshots, similar to what Odesk uses. You can deposit and withdraw money from Elance through PayPal, just like most other work at home opportunities.
The Bottom Line on Elance
Ultimately, Elance is a killer tool in the arsenal of freelance work. Whether you are looking for work as a freelance writer or a graphic designer, there are job opportunities that will interest you on Elance. The key is to be careful when building your profile so you can outshine the myriad of competition that will be stacked against you.
Finding work on Elance does take some time. Don’t expect to get a job overnight with the first proposal you submit. The reality is that you will win some and lose some. Overall, using Elance is a great way to land jobs when work is sparse or when you are starting out in the freelance world and need to land some ongoing projects.
The best way to use Elance is to meet new clients. Do temporary jobs and earn permanent relationships with clients. In most cases, freelance writers can establish ongoing work relationships if they do a good job. Why would a client go to the trouble of hiring a new set of writers on Elance if he already has a great writer at his disposal? The answer… he wouldn’t. If you prove yourself by doing a great job on projects, you will spend less time bidding on new work and more time filling repeat orders. Eventually, your workload will be steady enough that you won’t need to be bidding on new jobs at all.
So give Elance a try. This could be your first step to a whole new career in writing, graphic design, or copyediting. When it comes to working at home, Elance is your oyster. Go ahead… give it a try.
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