Sunday, May 23, 2010

Freelancing Sites - Is the Cost Worth It? by Kristi Patrice Carter

With many freelance sites that allow providers to submit proposals for projects, there are free and paid membership options. The free options limit the amount of times you can submit project proposals, so serious freelancers are faced with paying the monthly dues in order to really get in there and find clients and work. The cost varies depending upon which freelance marketing site you sign up for, and if you're a member of more than one, the cost can really add up. So, is it really worth it?

Taking a Look at What You're Making

When working with freelancing websites, like Elance, it's important to keep track of how much you're making on that site. Most of them have records so you can easily look at a week or month and see how much money you've brought in. Add up the income you're making and then subtract your expenses to see what you're left with. If you're just getting started with these types of marketing sites, it may be less than you'd hoped for, but persistence is key. However, if you've been there a while and you're not making enough to cover the monthly fees for membership or you're not making as much as you think you should, it may be time to reexamine the situation.

Quality of Projects Posted

Another thing you have to look at in order to determine whether it's worth paying the cost is the quality of projects posted. Some freelancing sites draw in individuals who are willing to pay well to have a freelancer or artist handle their project. Others draw in project posters who simply want to pay as little as possible - some even offering $.50 for a full article. Aside from being shameful, these projects are not going to pay your bills. If the site is full of these, you may want to move on to another site that has better quality projects.

Limiting the Freelancing Sites You're a Member Of

There are countless freelance sites out there, and many individuals are members of more than one. The cost can quickly add up if you're submitting proposals at 3, 4, or even 5 different freelancing sites. The key is to focus on the site where you're receiving the best quality and higher paying projects. For the rest, keep a free account rather than a paid one, and only submit proposals on the projects that really speak to you. It's worth paying for the site that is bringing you the better-paying projects, but being a member of more than 1 or 2 sites can easily make the cost not worth it! Sites like offer a free membership where providers can post a free profile and receive the ability to submit up to 10 proposals a month and offer a plethora of great projects too!

By taking a good look at what you're making, examining the quality of the projects posted and limiting the number of sites you're part of, you can save money and still get the great projects that are helping you bring home the bacon. Good luck!

Kristi Patrice Carter, J.D. is an experienced Elance service provider that has completed over 800 Writing, Marketing, and Legal projects in the past ten years on Elance, totaling over $300.000 in total earnings. Follow Kristi as she shares her secrets to being a successful Elance provider and making money on Elance, the leading online marketplace for online talent. Visit today!