Subject: Re:
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: "Jennifer C. Bennett" <fritillary -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 19:25:23 -0500

I am signed up with guru, using their "free" service, not paying to be a preferred vendor or whatever. For the most part, the jobs that show up are so imprecise as to defy bidding. I submit for maybe two or three a year, and have never had any response from the clients.

Here's one I didn't bid on:

] Title: Need a Nutritional (Supplement) Expert
] Category: Writing / Editing / Translation
] Description:
] Need a nutritional expert to develop four six-week supplement guides
] programs for dieting and health maintenance for four different times
] of the year.
] The nutritional expert will be given payment after work is completed
] or partial, depending if the nutritional expert wants royalties and
] recognition on the final product.
] Further details will be given to the qualified winner.

It makes me glad I'm not an expert in that field.

I saw one guru RFQ that contained the following lament: "I have been
so disappointed with GURU's attempting to get this work, it is
amazing. I am trying again! I am looking for someone to peak my
interest. The press releases need to cut through the clutter, and so
far...I have only received very generic replies." This person, who is
willing to pay $70 per release, is clearly in need of a writer.
(Anyone trying to 'peak' an interest needs an editor at least!) I can
see that if they had a staff writer working at $60,000, the person
might be able to toss off two press releases an hour, and the naively
perceived hourly cost would look like $30/release. But to come in out
of the blue and do them at $70 each? How long might it take? Maybe
two weeks to come up to speed on their actual requirements? Then
maybe a day per release of back-and-forth to get them worded
correctly? Sounds like $30/day to me!!! Slightly below my going

Here's another:

] Title: IT SupporContract Proposal Tech. Writing
] Category: Writing / Editing / Translation
] Description:
] Need someone that can interperate network, server, hardware and
] software information on an RFP and write the technical response
] to deliverables. Probably on the order of 5 pages of test. Subjects
] will be: Help Desk support, Unix/Windows Administration, Network
] Administration (routers/switches/firewall).

Perhaps there is money to be made in helping guru's clients build
good RFQs. The originator intended to say "interpret" and "text".

When bidding on guru, one is supposed to make a total-cost, fixed-price
quote, IIRC. There is the temptation to low-ball just to get the
job. and then to try to squeeze in added costs, but that's not
something I'd want to try. Once I found one job that I was sure I could
do, but it was so flaky that I bid way high just to make sure I
wouldn't get trapped. Never heard from them.

It's my opinion that guru's clients are cheapskates who see spending
more than a trifling amount of money on tech writing as being wasteful. If they were for real they would hire a writer or contract with a
tech-writing company.

My advice about guru? Not worth the trouble of even bidding.

Jennifer C. Bennett wrote:

Hello all,

Has anyone here used to find freelance technical writing work? If anyone has any experiences to share, good or bad, please let me know.

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ESL speakers: From: Toni Williams
Re: ESL speakers: From: Barry Campbell From: Jennifer C. Bennett

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