In April of this year, I signed up for a platform designed to connect freelancers with employers.

The decision to sign up was only slightly more serious than an April Fools Joke played on myself. I was trying to inspire my husband, a software developer, to consider freelancing as an alternative to squatting in an office all day. (Meanwhile, I was squatting in a laboratory all day). I signed up as a freelance writer, because I had always had a passion for reading and writing, and I took a few tests to bolster my profile.

Predictably, as I made no effort to reach out to clients, nothing happened for the first week….or the second week…but on the third week, a job offer came out of the blue. Miraculous! I went along with it and did the very best I could for my first client. After she gave me a glowing review, the floodgates opened. I became one of those people who checks their phone every ten seconds because so many job offers were rolling inEach one brought a spark of surprise with it.

Fast forward six months, and I am sitting in my living room, in a new country, writing to you about the unexpected career change that allowed me to get here. I may not have been able to reach Brazil without the extra income and freedom I discovered with freelance writing.

Lots of people have asked me about freelancing, so I thought I would throw together a quick guide about how to get started. This is just based on my experience, but hey! It worked for me!

Step One: Compare freelance platforms.

With a quick Google search, you can turn up dozens of websites designed to connect freelancers and employers. I’m just going to mention the websites I’ve worked with, but I encourage you to explore other sites as well.

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Upwork. Upwork is my home base. Most of my clients find me on Upwork, and I most of the money I make runs through Upwork.

Pros: You don’t need a lot of experience before you build a profile. There are lots of nifty features built into the platform, like a time-tracking app and tests to help you flesh out your profile. The market is huge. As far as quantity is concerned, Upwork beats all the other freelance platforms.

Cons: I don’t feel like there is a lot of respect trickling down from the big cheeses at Upwork. They recently upped their commission from 10% to 20% and sent all of their freelancers a very demeaning message to explain the change. I’m very aware that, as far as Upwork is concerned, I am just a cog in a money mint’s wheel.

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Reedsy. I dream of working for Reedsy someday. I hired my editor from this beautiful platform, and I have a ton of respect for their service.

Pros: Freelancers are held in high-esteem at Reedsy. The platform has lots of helpful features, and both freelancers and their clients can expect a lot of personal care from the Reedsy team. This is a class act business.

Cons: Breaking in at Reedsy is hard. You’re competing with people who have worked at some of the best publishing firms in the world. The bar is high.

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Zencontent. Unlike other platforms, which support a variety of different types of freelance work, Zencontent specializes in connecting content writers (we write basically everything you’ve ever read on the internet) with jobs.

Pros: Because Zencontent is highly specialized, the people who hire you on Zencontent will be knowledgeable about what you do. They have clear expectations, and they value what you do.

Cons: This platform is far from zen! It took me forever to figure out how to navigate it, and even when I did learn my way around, I was still stressed about by the setup. You can get locked out of a job very easily. I’ve done more than one job on Zencontent that I never got paid for because of a system glitch.

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Workana. Honestly, I don’t know that much about Workana. It serves the Spanish-speaking community, which is great because there is a serious skew towards native English speakers on most of the other freelance platforms. My husband likes Workana.

Post is getting a little bit long, so for now, let’s call it to be continued…

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10 thoughts on “Choosing the ‘Write’ Freelance Platform

  1. What kind of writing is it? You mentioned a job offer. I’m just curious, sorry. It sounds great though. Does it give you time for your own writing? Stupid questions, I know.

    Like

    1. Not stupid at all!

      I’ve had a variety of jobs, but most of them are either content writing or editing jobs. I would say that content writers are responsible for putting out a good 80-90% of the content you find on the internet. When a business wants product descriptions or a catchy homepage, they hire a content writer. When they want to build an authoritative voice in their field, they start a blog, and (you guessed it) hire a content writer.

      Some of my jobs have been a little dry, but for the most part, I’ve had fun clients…photographers in Hawaii, clothing brands who donate a lot of their profit to the World Wildlife Fund, online encyclopedias of mythological creatures. It can be a lot of fun to research and write about these topics.

      I’ve also had some book editing jobs, which I love!

      I do have time to do my own writing. Just started my second novel, in fact. We’ll see how far it goes!

      Liked by 1 person

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