In this series, we personally test traditional online freelance marketplaces to share first-hand experiences and honest assessments of marketplaces and resulting jobs, as many freelance writers turn to these outlets to find writing gigs. You can read all the posts in the series here.
I have a very short update this week.
So short that I am going to fill much of it up with mysterious sentences
and white space.
But it's not my fault this update is so short. It's the fault of Guru.com.
Like the now ruinous Elance, Guru.com is a bidding site. It does not have secret spy gear to install in your computer so you can be treated like an employee but taxed and benefited like a contractor so I thought I'd give it a try for a review.
Like Elance, Guru.com gives you a certain number of bidding opportunities for free and more access to gigs with a paid membership. I wasn't about to pay for a membership so I just tried to bid on some specialty work in the financial industry.
No one wanted me.
While I'd been able to get between .10 and .30 per word on Elance before they forgot what it meant to be an independent contractor, Guru.com hirers seemed to think that just .05 per word was pushing it. That means I've been bidding off and on for months and gotten no bites.
But Something Changed
I hadn't actually planned to write an update on Guru.com this week because I really have nothing to report. But yesterday I got invited to bid on a project and thought, "Finally, my luck is changing!" And boy was it.
I was cordially invited to bid on an editing/rewriting project with a budget of less than $250. Okay, nothing special there--until you open the attached Word doc that you are supposed to rewrite/edit for less than $250...
wait for it...
...open the 54 PAGE/ 29,600 WORD DOCUMENT THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO EDIT/REWRITE FOR LESS THAN $250.
So far, 14 bidders have felt that this is completely reasonable. WTF?
Come back next Friday ready for a spirited discussion because that's when we're going to talk about how low ballers, content mills and cheap writers are helping your freelance writing business--no, not by giving you crappy, monotonous work--by simply existing.