Freelancer.com is pretty much similar with oDesk in terms of the writing opportunities, as well as the compensation — the only difference is that it has simpler pages, and its website is not like oDesk’s complicated jungle maze.
However, I would have to tell you that there is really not much that I can share about it because after I made my application to around 20 different employers (yes, they offer more bids than oDesk.com), only one responded back.
But before I share the terms of that writing opportunity (head’s up: lambasting it), what I specifically liked about freelancer.com is that it has a grading scheme whereby employers can rate their employees after a project, and vice versa. Meaning, this in itself should guarantee that employers do not slavedrive their writers, and the writers do not ask for unrealistic compensation.
Much to my surprise however, THIS did not minimize the propensity for employer abuses — because the only employer who corresponded back with me was, simply put, exploitation personified. This was particularly mind-boggling because she has been rated by around a hundred writers, and she had an average approval rating of 5 stars out of five.
Here’s what happened:
First, she made me write a sample article. I passed, naturally. She then set the terms of the deal. First, I will write for her everyday, and we will be corresponding through Gmail Chat. I did not ask out the rest of the details because in her ad, she said that she would need her prospective writers to write 500-word articles.
So there I was, happily expecting to work for her, when out of the blue, she dropped the bomb.
First, she asked me: “How many articles can you write for me?”
I said, “How many words?”
She responded back, ” 300 or 500.”
I thought hard, and then said, “I can do 3 300-word articles in a day.” (But I was hesitant of course because that was too much for someone who was just feeling the waters of internet ghost writing).
Then she retorted, “Too small. I need 5 500 articles per day. Work is piling up.”
I thought, “Hold on, old lady. Even when I am just starting out, I can smell the stench of a sweatshop when I see one.”
I did not reply back. Nada. Zilch. Communication was severed.
And the worst part was, she only offered $50 for it all. No one, I believe, in his right frame of mind, will agree to such rotten terms.
Which is why after two days, I emailed her back, and told her, albeit politely, that I cannot realistically work for her. I explained that this work bulk was doable, but not only will I inevitably come up with bad articles, but more than that, I would be miserable for the next 30 days. Again, these were all said politely.
That was such a bad experience for me — which is why I left my freelancer.com account to die several days after that. The next day though, my friend asked me if I wanted to write for a website that he knows about. It was purely based on invite, the work was guaranteed everyday, and your earnings will depend on how many articles you get to finish everyday.
There was no pressure for an article quota, and so I thought: “This might finally be the website that I am looking for.”
(to be continued…)