You’ve already seen Clickfire’s coverage of some of the most popular freelance sites out there, sites like Elance and oDesk. Considering both freelance sites are worthy additions to your own personal freelance arsenal of power, what will it take for you to consider adding a new site – and a new venue – to your repertoire?
As a humble freelancer myself, might I suggest that it actually takes very little. Diversifying and working across a range of media – a range of freelancing sites, at least – has the advantage of never being held hostage to the whims of any particular freelance site. And while Elance is unlikely to go down for extended periods of time, well, we live in an unpredictable world. A guy’s gotta be prepared.
Hey. Isn’t this a Freelancer review? You know, Freelancer.com – the site I should be talking about? Yes, and before we get too far off topic, let’s start with the overall impression of the site in question: before I wrote this review I was a Freelancer myself and have found it to be one of the better, simpler, and more reliable options out there.
If you’re interested in adding Freelancer to your arsenal, hopefully this article will tip you right over the edge. But before you get registering, let’s take a look at the finer points of Freelancer.com and see if this is a potential mainstay for your enterprise – or simply another bookmark you never visit.
With a Name Like “Freelancer,” It’s Got To Be…Freelance-Related, At Least
If you’re in the market for some work on the side, there’s no reason not to sign up for Freelancer right now and see what kind of work you can garner. Why? Because there’s plenty of work to be had, and given the no-limits nature of working online, you’re probably going to visit Freelancer and mutter to yourself “Bad economy? Humbuggery.”
That’s because Freelancer’s got plenty of work with which you can occupy your time – or, at the very least – plenty of work that you can propose and market yourself to. There are never any guarantees when it comes to freelancing sites that you’ll ever, you know, get any work, so the question becomes simple: does Freelancer make job acquisition simple enough that you can handle your own marketing?
I like the simpler approach myself: think PlentyofFish as opposed to eHarmony. I don’t like everything set up for me with a whole lot of bells and whistles and hoops to jump through. I just want a way to contact the potential client, send him/her a few files and paragraphs and text, and be done with it. Elance does this well. How about Freelancer?
So how does it look? You can check it out for yourself, as I opened up a sample bid proposal:
Simple forms to fill out including basic project details…a big block into which you can enter your text…what else can you ask for? Okay, maybe an easier way to attach a file, like a portfolio sample, but if you have trouble getting people to check out your portfolio, that’s your problem – not Freelancer’s.
If I can log on and find a few worthy projects that are this easy to bid on, then you have no one to blame for your lack of freelance success than yourself. Freelancer does a solid job of making all of its work available within a few clicks of visiting their home page. There’s no labyrinth here, and considering that the price is right – which we’ll talk about more in the next section – there’s really no reason any honest freelancer should avoid Freelancer. Heck, it’s in the name, people.
Another nice feature over at Freelancer: if you’re looking for something long-term, you can browse by “full-time” jobs here. Any enterprising young freelancer looking for a steady income now has no excuses. Get on it, young grasshopper!
If the Price is Right, Go to Freelancer
Since it doesn’t cost anything to have an account on Freelancer and you’ll get a few bids with your free account – certainly more than you’ll find on Elance – the price is looking good. But what if you really want to make a mark on Freelancer and get paid the big bucks? How much of your income will you be paying in fees?
Well, if you spring for Gold membership – paying a fee each month – then you’ll only have to fork over 3% of your project’s income. That’s pretty low by just about any standard online, and makes Freelancer an attractive alternative to other freelance sites. Sure, it’s annoying to have to pay a membership fee every month, but wouldn’t you rather pay a flat fee than have more of your wages taken out like you’re paying extra taxes? Who needs commission charges anyway?
One complaint about Freelancer is that it doesn’t always make its information readily available. Digging around the “Gold membership” information myself, I find that I’m redirected simply to more FAQs than actual information. A small complaint, but something that Freelancer needs to get fixed without a doubt.
Become a Freelancer. Seriously!
The conclusion of this review is pretty simple: becoming a Freelancer should be mandatory for all freelancers who work primarily online. Of course, since I’m also a freelancer, I’m actually going to go ahead and recommend that you don’t sign up – that way there will be more projects for me.
With a small commission rate, readily-available and easy-to-browse projects, and a simple interface, there’s not much not to like about Freelancer. If you’re not all about Freelancer, you’re probably just a cold-hearted old maid who was once spurned by a client who also happened to enjoy Freelancer. Don’t take it personally: sign up to Freelancer, bid on some projects, and wallow in some nice independent income goodness.
And if you’re still stuck in this freelancing thing, then you’re probably going to want to find other work. Hey, it’s not for everybody – maybe there are other ways you can make money online.
At least that’s what I tell people who are thinking about being my competition on Freelancer.