TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Am I Off the Wall????? From:voxwoman <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com> To:davec <davec2468 -at- aim -dot- com> Date:Fri, 10 Jul 2009 23:38:19 -0400
This has happened on eLance starting about 5 or so years ago, when someone
on some "make Big Bucks on The Internet" site started telling people to sell
ebooks and to get ghost writers on eLance for very cheap. Do not kid
yourself that all the other lowball bidders are really located in
English-speaking countries. I have heard of many "freelance" places that
have a "drop off" address in the US or somewhere, but the real work gets
done in India. Or the job is farmed out from the original winner of the bid
to someone else who does the work.
I was on eLance at the very beginning, and it was nice for part-time income
to supplement "brick & mortar" work. The other problem with eLance and many
of these freelance sites is that the clients never really finish paying you.
After getting burned on one job, I started requesting a down payment,
usually of 50% of the fee, before I would consider working for someone I
hadn't met face to face and only had an email contact. Often, I would turn
in a first draft, and I'd never hear from them again.
When it takes too long to negotiate even 1 cent per word on writing for
these sites, it becomes useless to search for the rare gems among the coal.
I had a select membership on eLance for a long time, but I've dropped them
The one eBook I did write, about selling music on the Internet, I believe I
charged 500 dollars (or maybe more) for, and it was somewhere on the order
of 50 pages. That was maybe in 2000. That was one of the few jobs that was
paid in full and I had a satisfied customer.
You will rarely, if ever, find slients over the Internet who will pay the
same rates as "brick & mortar" clients. I believe this is the case because
when you are working for people who live in your general area, they know
what the cost of living is and know what a living wage is. They are also
real companies, and not someone working out of a spare bedroom with a 10
dollar Godaddy URL.
And if you think the writing gig postings are bad, you should check out what
they are asking for in the Graphic Arts categories. 50 dollars for corporate
identity packages, and they want mock-ups with the bid.
On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 10:53 PM, davec <davec2468 -at- aim -dot- com> wrote:
> Are you certain that the "other bidders" are indeed legitimate? Do
> you know this client well enough to know that those competitive rates
> are real bids?
> The story is so bizarre, I have to ask...
> (I like Chris' suggestion of a premium if you end up fixing someone
> else's work...)
> >Hi All,
> >All joking aside, I bid on a project (details listed below). Based on
> >the fact that I would be responsible for research as well as writing, I
> >told the bidder I could do this in probably 4 hours per page of work,
> >possibly less. I gave a top bid based on 280 hours of work. It seems
> >they want 70 pages of writing done, and do not want to pay more than
> >$250. Even if, by some miracle I could get 70 pages written in 100
> >hours, I don't think I could do the project for $250.
> >Now here is the killer, I cannot figure this out: He wrote back and
> >asked why my bid was so high? Of 5 people bidding for the project, 4
> >gave a bid for less than $250.
> Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
> Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
> 2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
> Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
> authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
> once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> or visit
> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.
> Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-