I’ve been a freelance writer for quite some time now on GAF (GetAFreelancer’s nick name). I started freelancing initially for the company where I’d worked for a whole month before realizing that it wasn’t a very smart idea. They’d be paying me much more as a freelancer, plus I wouldn’t have to sit within four walls for 8 hours a day nor would I have to do wake up early to get to work on time. Freelancing was just the thing for me. And if your priorities are like mine, then freelancing might work for you too.
The first site I worked with was GAF, and so far I’ve been quite satisfied with my experience. I’ve made a decent sum of money and managed to have a lot of time to pursue other interests too. GAF works like most other freelancing websites, only it’s much easier to get started, less of the bells and whistles and it survives plainly on no-nonsense, only essential stuff. Service providers bid on projects posted by buyers, offer the best services and prices, communicate with buyers through a private message board and eventually win the project. The website provides an escrow service for the payment which gives one some guarantee. The membership is free, 15 bids every month for no cost, but the website gets a commission – $3 or 3% (whichever is higher) of the total payment for every project you win. This can be avoided with a monthly gold membership of $12. After each project (that has been paid through GAF) you get to rate and review the other party, which is published for everyone to view.
Even with this ease, however, many providers will complain of being cheated or having miserable experiences with clients on GAF. So here’s a list of a few things that can make it easier for you:
- Getting your first project is going to be difficult since you have no reviews. Thus, you might have to work at a lower price than you would desire. This is just something you would have to go through. At this stage, put efforts into writing your bid and provide a sample or two. Ideally bid on a rewriting project, this is easier to do and to win.
- Gold membership proves to be economical if you’re going to work regularly on GAF: A) It gives you credibility. Buyers will see that you’re willing to invest cash in GAF, which means you’re serious about working and making it too. B) If you win two project of $100 in a month, that’s $20 wiped clean off you in GAF commissions. With gold membership, it’s just $12.
- Buyers will ask for samples, that’s the only way they can judge. Keep a few ready on different topics. Better yet, post them to article directories and send links. If a buyer asks you to write a fresh sample for him for free, he’s mostly conning you. Think over it — 20 providers bid on a project, one sample article from each and the buyer has 20 rewrites for free! Provide a regular sample to be on the safer side.
- Buyer reviews are important. Make sure you check on the projects a buyer has posted in the past. If he has a long list of projects posted and canceled, you know what he’s up to.
- Don’t fall for reviews blindly. Check who’s given the reviews — mostly it’s the same person working multiple accounts and posting fake projects to give themselves reviews. For example, if you a see a long list of private projects on a providers ‘Projects Won’ list, you know there’s something wrong.
- Its quite unethical on your part to demand an escrow at the beginning of the project. Be fair to the buyer. At the same time it is quite stupid of you to work the whole project without an escrow. Be fair to yourself. Finish 50%, get it approved and ask for escrow.
- Buyers who post contact details on the private message boards, buyers who ask for resumes, buyers who want you to write “paid samples” without awarding you the project are to be avoided, unless this is a Featured project.
There are many other things that one learn on the way — in fact most of them. Freelancing is a lot of fun, but only if conditions are favorable. There’s a lot to this particular business, which I may eventually compile in an ebook. Until then, this should be good to go!