As a content writer, I’m well aware that the Internet is awash with false reviews of various sites. In fact, recently, news outlets began reporting that fake reviews are a booming industry that extends to areas other than freelancing sites. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a Freelancer review, this might mean that what you’re reading isn’t entirely accurate.
Like a lot of freelance job sites, Freelancer has an affiliate program. As someone who does a little affiliate marketing on the side, I know that it’s in a promoter’s best interests to make aspects of the program they’re working with shine. Resultingly, they won’t tell tales when it comes to the crappier aspects of a site.
I’ll throw a little dose of honest out right now: I haven’t taken on work through Freelancer for a couple of years. Therefore, my Freelancer review is both retrospective and might not reflect the site’s current state.
Freelancer review part one: My prior experience with the site
My first experience with Freelancer was when I started out as a writer. Like sites such as Odesk, it’s brimming with jobs that feature low pay. If you’re clearly marked as a newbie on the site, your fresh-faced status means that prospective clients might expect to pay a pittance for a lot of work.
That was certainly my experience when I naively stepped into the freelance writing world, anyway. But, I and the first client who had me writing thousands of words for the square root of sod all are still Facebook friends, so it’s not all bad.
Alongside those who want to pay very little, there are lots of freelancers out there who are joining the race to the bottom. Usually, said race happens for a couple of reasons:
- They want to build their reputation on the site, which means they’ll accept low-paying jobs to get those first few freelancer reviews.
- They’re desperate for cash, so they’ll plump for any old job.
- They’re living in an area where the cost-of-living isn’t as high as it is here in the UK, so being paid less doesn’t mean as much to them.
In each instance, if I’m going to deliver an honest Freelancer review, I need you to remember this: sourcing well-paid work will be difficult.
Freelancer review part two: How the site’s looking now
The scientist in me needs to pay homage to the fact that anecdotal experiences won’t really allow for a fair Freelancer review. So, I decided to cast my beady eye over the site to see how it’s looking.
One positive change is that you can see the average bid for each job, for free. However, that seems to be about the only positive change I can highlight. Clients are still expecting writers to produce academic papers and entire ebooks for as little as $25. In my experience, you can really negotiate higher rates with such clients and achieve a successful outcome.
Now, I can’t begin speaking for other freelancing professionals, because I’m not sure what rates they command. However, as a writer, it’s not a site that goes on my ‘work source’ list.
But, what if I want to give the site a go anyway?
Seeing as I’m currently reading You Do You by Sarah Knight, I’ll go ahead and say that my Freelancer review shouldn’t deter you if you’re ridiculously headstrong and you want to give it a whirl. But, if you do decide to delve into what looks like a murky little world for freelancers who want to thrive, I’ll suggest doing the following:
- Make sure your profile shows your best side.
- At least try and negotiate, don’t throw yourself into the low-pay pool.
- Do as Coco Chanel says and don’t waste your time beating your firsts against a wall hoping to turn it into a door. Throw out a few bids as a test drive, and if it isn’t working for you, give the site a fond goodbye.
On that note, do you have any experience with Freelancer? I’d love to hear all about it, particularly if it’s more recent than mine.