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I began my freelancing career four years ago. When I retired from teaching, although not willingly (but that is another story), my husband suggested I check out a platform called ODesk. So began a rather lucrative method of filing my days with something I love doing - writing. I want to take a moment to share some things I learned about how to use any freelance writing service effectively.

There are a number of services available for freelance writers. Although I have since left UpWork (formerly ODesk), I initially chose it for a number of reasons:
    No upfront fee.
    Ease of obtaining payment.
    Availability of reports.

All of the sites with which I am familiar charge a fee for jobs actually obtained. The charge is either a flat rate, or a percentage of what you earn. An experienced freelancer can, and should, request the client pay the fee. When you are beginning your freelance career, set your price so that you make what you consider your necessary renumeration after you pay the fee.

Another thing I liked about upWork was the ease of payment through Paypal. Additionally, their reporting was useful - transaction histories, all contract information, jobs in progress, etc.

I made the decision early on not to take hourly jobs. As a perfectionist, I found it took me longer than others to complete an article. I do not like watching a clock while working, but prefer to take as much time as necessary to produce an error-free, quality article. You may work better if you have a time clock going. That is purely up to you and a personal preference.

I also decided not to "bid" on articles. Again, this is a personal preference. I simply feel it cheapens my work to offer less than what I believe I am worth. In a bidding situation, the writer who bids the lowest amount usually wins.


The key to success as an independent freelancer is to stay active. Apply for jobs as soon as you see a spot opening for a new one. I tried to find ongoing jobs, where the client wanted continuing work. As a result, many of my contracts lasted six months or longer.

Other keys to success include:
    Make sure you have as many jobs applied for as you are allowed.             Respond to messages immediately.
    Check all job postings daily, and review those jobs for which you have         applied to delete those filled or old jobs (I wait thirty days) with no                 response.
    Complete assignments on time, or early if possible.

When you look at a job listing, there are some important clues to note. First of all, make sure payment method is verified. I have only applied and been hired for one job before payment was verified. In that instance, the topic was one with which I was familiar. Also, I was able to check out the client on-line and he had a quality professional website with other postings.

Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I have found some questionable clients - and reported them. Do not supply any verification of your personal information. Do not provide your personal e-mail address or phone number. Do not accept payment outside of the platform. I also advise against writing a "sample article." I did so only once and found it not worth my time.

Although I have now left upWoirk and consider myself an independent freelancer, I believe using a platform such as upWork or Fiverr is an excellent way to get started. Next time I will share with you why I have decided to be an independent freelancer.

 


Comments

01/07/2017 12:52pm

Hmm, I guess I should try Upwork. I will create a profile right now!

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01/26/2017 5:21am

I've tried using up work before. It's hard to find work if you don't have a reputation or previous freelance job. The payment is also a problem. There's a limited payment options. Bidding is like to showcase your work for less money. It's embarrassing. The competition is fierce. Some clients are vague on instructions. When I hand in my work, more often than not I get rejected. It's like they can't be bothered to be more specific in their demands to receive reports that fits their tastes.

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02/05/2017 3:10am

These tip can help me a lot! I'm using Upwork actively now!

Reply
03/23/2017 6:41am

These tips will help me to start using Upwork. I appreciate your help.

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03/29/2017 10:19pm

This tip is going to be very useful to me for sure because I am planning to be a freelancer at Upwork. I am sure that this tips are going to help me a lot. I am already thinking if how much my work is going to cost because I know my worth and work so I am not going to sell this to them at a low cost just to have an income. I also don't like writing a sample article because my effort of doing it was just wasted and it is too time consuming. Tell us the reason why you want to be an independent freelancer because it is really intriguing. You are already working in a company that is the best when it comes to freelancing so I hope you could share the reasons behind it.

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03/30/2017 8:16am

I welcome all the suggestion mentioned in this blog related to new learning skills. It is definitely going to help me to adopt new exited way of learning. I think, others will also feel helpful this blog for their needs.

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05/09/2017 10:31pm

These tips are very useful. I will surely use this and keep them on my mind always. I hope Upwork will hire me this time and I will surely thank you for it. Thank you for posting this tips! May you continue sharing your experiences through this site.

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06/02/2017 2:21am

Nice article and such a good information. Thanks for your excellent posting. I really enjoyed reading this blog.,,,,,,,,,,

Reply
06/06/2017 6:42am

Romanian artist Daniel Chiriac paints oil on canvas. His preferred styles are surrealism, fantastic realism and classical realism style. Most of his time is dedicated to his little daughters and wife and of course, creating art. Here today, he brings to us his story complete with personal anecdotes and insight relating to his experience creating life as an artist.

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This is really great information found here, I really like your blog. Thanks very much for the share. Keep posting.

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    Susan Box Mann

    Writer and blogger with a passion for God's Word, my family, and gardening.

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Susan Box Mann, Writer