Tips for Bidding on Freelance Work

So you have decided that you want to do some writing work from home. Bidding on jobs at freelance sites like Upwork or Freelancer is a great way to bring in some extra income. But before you jump in and start applying, there are some things you need to know about creating successful bids.

1. Avoid being the lowest bid. Trying to get jobs by offering the lowest price is a tough way to earn good money. When you offer a low-ball bid, you undervalue your work and have to work much harder than if you highlight your skills at a higher rate. In addition, employers who continuously hire the lowest bidder are generally more difficult to work with than someone who values a writer’s time.

2. Follow all of the instructions posted in the job listing. Many of your potential clients are pressed for time. That’s why they are looking for someone to outsource work to in the first place. They don’t have time to go back and correct mistakes. If you don’t follow instructions when you apply for a gig, the customer will assume that you won’t follow them if they assign work to you.

3. Include relevant writing sample. When possible, always include writing samples when you apply for new gigs. Your potential client has no way of knowing if you can write without reading some of your work. You can use writing that you have done already for samples or if the job is for a subject area you haven’t written about before, you may want to consider creating new samples.

4. Be aware of red flags. Just like with anything online, you have to be careful and protect yourself. One red flag is being requested to write a full length article for free. That “sample” might be the actual project that the client wants completed and by requesting it as a sample, they will get it for free. Another potential red flag is a client who has unrealistic demands like a lot of work for little pay or unreasonably short deadlines. Only take the jobs that make sense to you and don’t take advantage of you.

5. Look at the client’s rating. Most freelance sites give writers the ability to critique the clients. Be sure to read the reviews that others have left about your potential client. This can help you avoid difficult clients.

6. Try to only deal with established clients. Sellers that are established will be more organized than newbies, have a proven track records and you’re likely to have fewer problems. They know how the freelance system works and they value it as a long term resource.

7. Don’t bid on jobs that want you to communicate off platform. Many sites are very strict about you only communicating on their platform. This is for security reasons for both parties and ensures that if a problem arises, everything is fully documented in their system. Don’t risk losing your account by breaking this rule.

8. Proofread your entire bid. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. If your bid is full of mistakes, your client will not be confident in your writing skills.

9. Avoid boilerplate bids and create a new bid for each gig you apply for. Sending out the same exact bid to each client screams of laziness and won’t address the client’s needs appropriately. Take a few minutes to send a customized bid each time you apply for a gig.

10. Bid on multiple job listings. Many people will send in one bid and then sit back and wait for a response from that one bid. This can leave huge gaps in your schedule. If you want steady work, you have to apply to multiple job listings.

Don’t get discouraged and stay persistent. You will most likely need to apply for many gigs before you find a client or two that works for you. Once you have a few steady clients, you can bid on jobs to fill in the gaps.

What to Do Next:

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