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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:22 AM
SillyBits's Avatar
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Originally Posted by dsmpublishing View Post
Your spot on there. I get job offers in Portuguese even though I state in my profile I am a british expat.

May I ask do you use your limit of job applications on odesk? or do you just apply for 2-3 a week.
I never use my limit. I usually look for jobs then get frustrated at the prices and never bother applying. I find that although there are fewer limits on Elance, they are worth it.

On the previous note, I'm tempted to just lie on my profiles and say I live in the UK or Ireland just to filter out the pointless invites.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:45 AM
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Even then, it's becoming impossible to find interested writers. I get many responses saying that 2 cents a word is too little, others who simply flake, and then even more who don't want to have a set quantity of articles to turn out every week. The last time I looked for writers for Sam, I had over 150 people apply, the field was narrowed down, and last I knew only a few people had stuck with it. I've stretched out to local colleges and Craigslist and reliability doesn't improve.

Those who do flake or never respond once I've recommended them, it would be nice to hear back what they didn't like that made them go away. I have had a couple people email me back, but that's not a high percentage. One told me that she only wanted to do press releases, which is fine, but then no where in the job description was press releases mentioned, so I don't know why she even applied. Another hated the idea of an online chat interview, and that's fine and I appreciated getting that feedback.

I guess I just get confused when I see writers posting that they want steady work, and then it's offered and they disappear completely.
I think it's situations like THAT hurting writers more so than people who are willing to work for lower rates. People assume all writers are unprofessional flakes because they run into so many who ARE unprofessional flakes. It's true that some clients are just cheap, but I've run into an equal number who are hesitant to pay more simply because they have hired writers in the past who have either turned in shoddy work, or who disappeared entirely after being given a deposit.

Actually, these writers are one reason I think I've had more success lately on oDesk. I had sworn off bidding sites, but when I got desperate for work several months back, I decided to give it one last go. I wrote a very detailed cover letter highlighting my experience and I what I had to offer...and now I get new jobs all the time. Most of them are willing to pay the rates I set (although I do often set my rates slightly lower on oDesk than elsewhere). I've had several people say it was because I took the time to sell myself, when other writers don't. They're actually SHOCKED in some cases because so few writers (and other professionals, really) take the time to put some thought into their cover letters. That makes me sad for our industry. Writers can't write a cover letter?
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:56 AM
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I also want to add...

If you find a job you'd normally apply for, but the rates are too low, apply anyway if they aren't WAY on the lower end.

I recently applied for a gig on oDesk, and my bid was twice that of the other applicants. The site owner said she'd love to hire me, but she had a tight timeline and my bid was much higher than all of the others. I responded saying I could get the work done within her timeline, but that I couldn't lower the price because I put a lot of time and effort into the descriptions I write, and my quote was as low as I could afford. I also gave an idea of what I would do with the project based on her original description of what she was looking for. I took the time to sell myself and what I was offering. She hired me at the rate I'd quoted and she loved my work.

Sometimes clients can afford more than they let on, and will up their rates if you give them a reason to. Not always, obviously. Sometimes they will scoff at your rates. But sometimes it pays off.

That said, it doesn't work if you quote $40 an hour to someone who was originally offering $1 an hour. You have to be realistic. But if they quoted $15 an hour and you want to charge $25... you just might get lucky.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SillyBits View Post
I never use my limit. I usually look for jobs then get frustrated at the prices and never bother applying. I find that although there are fewer limits on Elance, they are worth it.

On the previous note, I'm tempted to just lie on my profiles and say I live in the UK or Ireland just to filter out the pointless invites.
For me I think I will change my location but thats also what sells it for me. People treat me as more successful because of my business has been good enough for me to relocate.

If you use your limit I bet you will get a better response. And I actually have great success with a general cover letter that is in great detail that I just slightly change for the different jobs. At the moment I have 59 live applications, 8 interviews and thats from sticking to my 25 limit. And from 25 a week I get about 3 jobs a week.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ErinHill226 View Post
I think it's situations like THAT hurting writers more so than people who are willing to work for lower rates. People assume all writers are unprofessional flakes because they run into so many who ARE unprofessional flakes. It's true that some clients are just cheap, but I've run into an equal number who are hesitant to pay more simply because they have hired writers in the past who have either turned in shoddy work, or who disappeared entirely after being given a deposit.

Actually, these writers are one reason I think I've had more success lately on oDesk. I had sworn off bidding sites, but when I got desperate for work several months back, I decided to give it one last go. I wrote a very detailed cover letter highlighting my experience and I what I had to offer...and now I get new jobs all the time. Most of them are willing to pay the rates I set (although I do often set my rates slightly lower on oDesk than elsewhere). I've had several people say it was because I took the time to sell myself, when other writers don't. They're actually SHOCKED in some cases because so few writers (and other professionals, really) take the time to put some thought into their cover letters. That makes me sad for our industry. Writers can't write a cover letter?
My theory for success is a great website and a great cover letter and profile.

I have been a bit sneaky because when I take on jobs I manage accounts so I have access to the others that applied for the job that I got. So its interesting to see how I faired against the others and one thing strikes a cord - all these webdesigners have badly designed sites, all the writers have typos on their pages and best of all the so called seo gurus don't have any google rankings.

People will pay more for professional people so if you can stand out - you can earn the big bucks!!!!
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ErinHill226 View Post
I also want to add...

If you find a job you'd normally apply for, but the rates are too low, apply anyway if they aren't WAY on the lower end.

I recently applied for a gig on oDesk, and my bid was twice that of the other applicants. The site owner said she'd love to hire me, but she had a tight timeline and my bid was much higher than all of the others. I responded saying I could get the work done within her timeline, but that I couldn't lower the price because I put a lot of time and effort into the descriptions I write, and my quote was as low as I could afford. I also gave an idea of what I would do with the project based on her original description of what she was looking for. I took the time to sell myself and what I was offering. She hired me at the rate I'd quoted and she loved my work.

Sometimes clients can afford more than they let on, and will up their rates if you give them a reason to. Not always, obviously. Sometimes they will scoff at your rates. But sometimes it pays off.

That said, it doesn't work if you quote $40 an hour to someone who was originally offering $1 an hour. You have to be realistic. But if they quoted $15 an hour and you want to charge $25... you just might get lucky.
My rate on there is $47 an hour and I do a few strategies for $97 a time at fixed rate and it takes me just over an hour. Many will have a budget of $50 and I will still bid my $97 and get it.

I had one say that this price was too high and they had a $50 bid. And they asked me if I would lower it and said no. They then emailed me to tell me they were waiting on the other applicants before making a decision and a week later hired me at my rate.

I find that those have issues that think they can get skilled people for $1 an hour and just ignore those.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dsmpublishing View Post
My rate on there is $47 an hour and I do a few strategies for $97 a time at fixed rate and it takes me just over an hour. Many will have a budget of $50 and I will still bid my $97 and get it.

I had one say that this price was too high and they had a $50 bid. And they asked me if I would lower it and said no. They then emailed me to tell me they were waiting on the other applicants before making a decision and a week later hired me at my rate.

I find that those have issues that think they can get skilled people for $1 an hour and just ignore those.
Precisely. You just have to learn to work the system. I get enough quality offers now that I can laugh at the others. For instance:

The other week I came across a job ad where a retailer needed descriptions for 500,000 products. At my rates, that would be a job worth several million dollars. They were offering.... wait for it... $1200! For half a million products!

I considered bidding $20 million just for funsies. lol. Although I don't think they let you go that high in the flat rate bids...
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ErinHill226 View Post
Precisely. You just have to learn to work the system. I get enough quality offers now that I can laugh at the others. For instance:

The other week I came across a job ad where a retailer needed descriptions for 500,000 products. At my rates, that would be a job worth several million dollars. They were offering.... wait for it... $1200! For half a million products!

I considered bidding $20 million just for funsies. lol. Although I don't think they let you go that high in the flat rate bids...
I love that its great and the funny ones always make me chuckle.

But i find the ones that don't get many applicants are the ones that ask you to answer about 30 questions in the cover letter. And people just cant be bothered and most of the time they use it to get free work.
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