Besides Elance.com & oDesk.com, I’ve started a profile on Freelancer.com. As I’ve covered in earlier posts, Elance and oDesk are merging. Their training videos show both brands. I’m not sure if they will combine both web sites, but, actually, they are one entity.
Reluctantly I started a profile on Freelancer.com. Keeping up with 3 sites might be spreading myself too thin. This site gamifies searching for a freelance job. I haven’t quite finished my profile, but I’m level 8 so far. I haven’t yet figured out how this all works, and what rewards are available.
I’ve read some bad reviews of Freelancer.com about paying freelancers. Slow pay, bad customer service, etc.
$5 test fees
Yeah, $5 each. Want to take 5 tests? $25 bucks please. I took one, passed it, but, I won’t take more at this time. They charged me $5.41. So, there must’ve been tax or some hidden service fee.
Let’s see. Bad reviews and overcharging me for a test. I don’t see me going forward with finishing my profile or even attempting to bid on a job here. Drop me a comment if you have positive experiences; I may reconsider this. For now though, I’m moving on.
Tips on Writing for Non-professional Writers
Udemy.com has a number of free online courses available. I recently completed Secret Sauce of Great Writing. Out of the dozen or more online lectures I’ve taken in the last month, I wanted to review this one because I felt it was worthwhile.
The lecturer very clearly explained the basics of great writing; or as he called it several times, “slick writing”. The three basic principles are simplicity, clarity, and elegance.
Keep It Simple
Simplicity is mostly about using short words as opposed to longer words. Avoid jargon. Use fewer words.
The second tip for great or slick writing is clarity. The first reason people are often unclear is laziness. Go through as many drafts as necessary to make sure there is only one meaning per sentence. If the meaning is unclear, or the reader has to think about it too long, then rewrite. Ambiguity is not a writer’s friend. Punctuation is that last part of clarity discussed. A lot of native English speakers feel they’ve learned all they need to about punctuation in grammar school. Indeed, we learned the basics. Sometimes we also forget.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The last concept taught by this trained journalist is elegance. I’m not sure I’ll do this subject justice, as it seemed a difficult concept. He used examples of Martin Luther King and Barrack Obama to illustrate the idea of rhythm. Another idea expressed by Shani Raja was structure. As writers, we want a structure. To me, that means an outline. A writer who is scatter shot, may lose their reader before they get to the point of the article or story.
Overall, I got a lot from the lecture and recommend it. There were a couple of distractions. The lecturer tended to sway from side to side. Movement while speaking in public is natural. I use my hands to help “punctuate” a point I’m trying to make. I think he might have been better off using a lectern. The second minor annoyance was looking down at his notes quite a bit. A lectern, or a video screen beside the camera with his notes would have helped him to look at the camera more.
Blog Improvements to Freelancing
This blog has two new pages to help other freelancers to find resources. I believe these curated lists are strong additions to the site. If I’ve not yet tried them, I’ll mention it; your mileage may vary.
This page has various educational websites that offer both free and paid education. So far, I’ve only taken free webinars, or watched free videos. As I take more courses, I’ll blog about them
Building a clientele is very hard going for almost any business. Even afterwards, freelancers are looking for their next gig. The list on this page are those sites that I’ve either worked with, or have seen positive feedback. I;ll add more sites, and maybe prune sites as I learn more.
Guest Blogging about Freelancing
Guest blogging is very much welcome here. If you have something to contribute via a post here, please leave a comment. We’ll discuss your ideas and make it happen. This would not be ghost writing; you keep any copyright privileges and your name will be attached.
I’d be honored if anyone felt I could contribute to their blog. As above, I only ask to retain copyright privileges and have my name as the author.
I recently joined a subreddit for Freelance. The discussion below seemed relevant to this blog; please take a look, and add to the discussion, if you feel inclined. You don’t have to join Reddit to read; you do need to join if you want to comment or to up vote anything.
What one lesson do you wish you had learned before going freelance? : freelance.