For example, problems or issues that may arise include those that pertain to programming, blog malfunctions, header design and other graphic design, and, last but not least, the actual content.
What happens if you can’t or don’t want to write the posts, articles, and eBooks you have envisioned?
Luckily, there are some contract bid sites that supply a seemingly endless number of talented freelancers, and Elance is one of those sites.
Contract Bid Sites
Contract bid sites, also called job bid sites, are online employment platforms where clients like you can hire administrative assistants, freelance programmers, graphic artists, writers, and editors. These freelance workers, called contractors or providers, work by the piece or by the hour, depending on their preferences and the preferences of the people who hire them, called clients.
Elance is a private company that makes its money by taking a cut of all job transactions. Clients don’t pay for membership, no matter how many contractors they hire. All fees come out of the contractors’ earnings.
How to use Elance is easy. Here are the steps.
Post a Job
Once you register, you get to post a job. Give it a title and describe what you want. In the description, be as specific as possible so providers can produce an accurate bid. If you’re looking for a person with certain skills, like how to write HTML5 or an editor who can manage your entire site, be sure to include that in the description. Next, select whether you want the job to be hourly or at a fixed price, and the amount you’re willing to pay. Next, select a category and subcategory, and then insert specific skills or groups you’d like the provider to offer.
Click “continue” and post the job.
Now comes the fun part! Once the job goes live, you’ll start getting proposals on it right away. There are literally thousands of freelance workers who want you to hire them! From here on, you’ll get to pick and choose from among the best workers on the site. You can also browse all of the providers who fit your requirements and send invitations to bid to those ones who look promising. Once you’ve gathered several proposals, it’s time to choose one or more to hire.
Hire a Provider
Things to consider when perusing proposals:
- Online reputation of the worker (indicated in stars and level);
- Hourly rate or bid amount;
- The proposal itself: is it well-written? Consider it to be like a cover page of a resume;
- Did that person attach a resume? If so, have a glance at it and check references if you wish to do so; and
- Feedback messages left by previous clients.
Select the top three or five contractors and send them a message to clear up any questions you may have, or to answer any questions they may have asked in their proposal. Once you’ve whittled down your selection, you can accept the proposal – click on the big green “Award” button to hire that person and start the job. It’s as easy as that.
Once you’ve hired a worker and he or she completes the job or pre-set milestone (dates where work or drafts of the work are due, can be reviewed, and then paid for), you have the opportunity to leave feedback.
Feedback on Elance is important, because it’s a way for contractors to build a good reputation, and for clients to build a history of paying and hiring consistently and fairly. You can leave feedback for the worker any time in the 60 days following payment for the job or milestone.
To leave feedback for a current or previous worker, log in and click on the Home icon. Select the name of the job for which you would like to leave feedback, and click the Feedback button on the left side of the page. Complete the feedback regarding: how likely you would be to recommend the provider; the quality of work, responsiveness, professionalism, and subject matter expertise of the freelancer; and how well he or she adhered to the cost and schedule of the job. Once you’ve done that, you get a chance to review the feedback to check for errors. Please be honest and fair, because this feedback has the potential to hurt or harm the worker’s reputation and livelihood.
One of the best parts about using this job bid site is that you’re protected in the case that the work provided isn’t acceptable, or if, once you award a job, the provider disappears from contact. Here’s what the company says: “Elance Escrow is the safest way to work online with a provider. Your funds are held securely in the job’s Escrow account, and you release the funds only when the work is delivered to your specifications. If the provider stops responding for any reason, there is a well-defined process to get the funds returned to you from Escrow.”
Suggestions From A Provider
As a freelance writer and editor, I’ve worked on Elance for just over a year. I love that it offers me a wide array of clients and types of work within my field. I also like knowing that the funds are safely escrowed before I start working for a new client – I don’t have to risk doing work and then not being paid for my time.
The best job descriptions are, in my opinion, the ones that are the most detailed. There’s nothing worse than reading a job description that doesn’t lay out the specifics of the client’s requirements. If you want an article written, what’s your target word count? What is the topic? Do you have any specific or unusual requests when it comes to keywords? What is your deadline? If you want more than one article, how many per day or week would you like submitted? Is the provider responsible for uploading content to your blog, or should he or she just submit the work through the Elance Workroom? What’s your budget? Information like that helps me decide if I want to bid on the job or not. A lot of times, if there isn’t enough information provided, I won’t bid.
One thing that really irritates me, as a provider, is when I ask a potential client a question pertaining to the job he or she has posted and I receive no reply. Clients have to realize that as a worker, I pay for my “connects” – most jobs cost me one connect, but some can cost two, four, or more. If I send a question and the client never responds but then hires someone else, I lose that connect. Even if I never actually placed a bid. Not cool. So if you post a job, and get questions from potential providers, please answer them.
Have you ever used a job bid site like Elance to work on your blog?