Freelancer.com on Wikipedia and in New Scientist

7 05 2010

My latest published project is right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer.com.

After reading and commenting on my previous blog posts about Freelancer.com (here, here and here), Alaister from the company’s marketing team hired me via the site to write a Wikipedia page about the company. It’s quite difficult to make an encyclopaedic entry for a product or service without making it sound promotional or unbiased, but I hope I’ve done enough to satisfy the Wiki-geeks.

I just hope the page doesn’t get sabotaged – there are clearly a lot of people with very strong feelings about Freelancer.com out there and I’ll be most upset if my hard work suffers attack from angry users. 😦

In other news, Freelancer.com appeared in the New Scientist this week. The popular science magazine reported on the launch of “FreelancerAPI”, a slightly creepy sounding piece of software that tells humans what to do, instead of the other way around. I’m far from being an expert in software or programming (the most I’ve ever achieved was to program a game of “snap” on an old BBC Basic machine), but what I understand of this software is that it allows a company to automatically task workers to perform certain jobs. Say, for instance, that a business launches a new product. The FreelancerAPI has the capacity to be able to automatically post a job on Freelancer.com asking for sales people, extra marketing staff, a graphic designer, or even a software engineer to fix a bug because the company didn’t actually launch a new product. It’s the first API of its kind and while it sounds a little bit Matrix to me, I’ll be interested to see how useful and effective it is.

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7 responses

7 05 2010
Geoff Jackson

What on earth have you done that for? You’re just aiding them to carry on shunning legitimate freelancers by supplying more exposure from an authoritative source!

You seem like you work for them, with your regular articles dropping in you’re affiliate links here and there and not replying to any commenter of your blog that speaks the truth about the company.

They are a joke, overrun by fake jobs, fake bids and spammers. And I’m sure you know that too but have to be careful what you say now in the approved light from senior bods at the company.

PeoplePerHour is moderated and managed much more effectively that Freelancer.com and isn’t ridiculed with overseas spam. If Freelancer.com were prepared to pull their finger out and rid the idiots from their website, it would much more favorable by the majority, I can only assume the company themselves are manipulating tactics or are refusing to take action on the constant reports of violations as they will lose money!

Well that’s my piece anyway. Not that I expect a response… :/

7 05 2010
lisaamartin

Woah there!! I’d appreciate less of the attitude thanks.

I don’t work for Freelancer, I am a regular user of the site. I was hired to write the Wikipedia page for them and believe that I have done so in a non-promotional and unbiased way. I write about them on my blog because I find them interesting and – you’ll appreciate this as a marketing man – Freelancer drives quite a lot of traffic to my site. You included.

Like you, I am frustrated by the number of spam and scam projects posted on Freelancer, but I don’t think that’s inherently the fault of the company. I agree with you that People Per Hour is better moderated and the rates of pay are much higher, but it’s a much much smaller site, based in the UK and therefore easier to manage. It’s not free of scams either – just a week or so ago I came across a project in which the “buyer” wanted people to pay a £35 up front “admin and set-up fee”. Now tell me that’s not a scam!

If I could win more projects through People Per Hour, believe me I would, but there are very few new projects posted in my categories and Freelancer, due to its sheer size, simply provides me with more work.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lisa

PS: For someone who works in marketing and actually advertises pay-per-click advertising on your website, you should really be less judgemental about affiliate links.

7 05 2010
Geoff Jackson

Hi Lisa, thanks for the response, that is all I was after, it just appeared you weren’t wishing to communicate with anyone that have a somewhat disgruntled experience with their website. Apologies for the “attitude”

I just feel the company doesn’t deserve any recognition whilst it makes little to no attempt to reduce the scammers/spam on their website and doesn’t bother replying to emails. I have reported endless jobs, scams and fake bids or with no action and no response. I also don’t feel they have the best interests of legitimate freelancers and genuine businesses looking for professional work at heart.

I really appreciate your reply, thank you and apologies once again for my initial manner.

Geoff

7 05 2010
lisaamartin

Apology accepted 🙂

15 05 2010
groogrutDurrY

thanks! 🙂

lets write them until the admit it, or stop doing it! i am writing them now!

🙂

24 08 2010
Leo

I don’t know how to bid for a project let alone start job and earn cash. pls help me

24 08 2010
lisaamartin

Hi Leo,

Do you already have an account with Freelancer? If not, please click here and set up an account.
Once you’re registered, I’d recommend to set up email alerts so that you can have the projects posted in the categories you’re interested in directly to your email. Or, you browse through Freelancer’s categories to find projects that you want to bid on. To bid, just read through through the project description and make sure that it is something you really can do – there’s no point in bidding for a job for which you have no experience as you’re likely to do it badly and that will be reflected on you as negative feedback. If you decide to bid, click “Bid on this project” and complete the bid form.

Some tips:
1) Place a realistic bid! Don’t automatically assume that the cheapest bid will be chosen – many buyer actually ignore cheap bids because they suggest low quality work. Similarly, if your bid is too high you’ll be ignored. If don’t have any positive feedback yet, I’d recommend to bid on the low side, then once you have built up your feedback you can afford to bid higher.
2) Request a milestone payment! Even if it’s only 10-20% of the project fee, having the buyer place a deposit in escrow if you’re selected for a project will confer some trust.
3) Make sure your English is good – this is especially important if you’re bidding on a writing project, but any project buyer will appreciate clear communication. Unless you’re bidding on a project that requires another language, clear English is essential to avoid misunderstandings and to show you’re a professional.
4) On the bid form you will see a box to write in your bid proposal. I always write something like “Please see the PMB for further details of my bid” here, and write my actual proposal in a private message to the buyer. This is for 2 reasons – firstly, I usually give samples of my work and it minimises the risk of theft to send this to the private message board rather than having my work displayed for all to see. Secondly, I write really good bids and I don’t want other people to copy me!
5) Tailor your bid to the project. Make sure you explain to the provider what attracted you to the project, what relevant experience you have, and how you will go about the project. Tell them a little bit about yourself and clarify your payment terms. One-liners are likely to be ignored and for goodness sake don’t write something like “i can do this!”, or “plese sir give me a job i need to feed my family”. Even if that’s true, it’s not very professional, but you’d be surprised how many people think that this will work!! You don’t have to write a lot, but more than a few lines is good.
6) INSIST ON A CONTRACT!!! This is my number 1 golden rule of freelancing, and especially important for Freelancer.com. If you don’t get the buyer to sign a contract, you have no protection if they don’t pay, commit copyright crime etc etc etc. Here’s a really good contract that you can download and customise. If a buyer won’t sign it, it’s probably not worth working with them.

If you need any more advice Leo, please let me know – I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve been there myself so I’m happy to help 🙂

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