RE: Am I Off the Wall?????

Subject: RE: Am I Off the Wall?????
From: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
To: "Connie Giordano" <connie -at- therightwordz -dot- com>, <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 07:52:56 -0500

I saw another freelance request over the weekend where the poster wanted writers knowledgeable in finance to research and write articles covering topics relevant to the financial markets. Top dollar per item was proposed at $25!

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Connie Giordano
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 9:41 PM
To: dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com; 'TECHWR-L'
Subject: RE: Am I Off the Wall?????

Deborah,

These projects are why I urge anyone considering going totally freelance to think very carefully, decent-paying freelance work is VERY hard to find right now. I see an increasing number of these kinds of projects on elance and guru, and frequently the poster asks why my bids are so high. Between the economy, the fact that these sites are global, so you're bidding against people for whom $250 is six months' salary, and the "everyone can tweet and facebook, so everyone can write" mentality, it is a bad time to be a professional freelance writer. The good companies who want quality work have put a lot of good projects on hold to keep a rein on their budgets. The small businesses often don't know any better, but get bids that lowball, so they're wondering why somebody bids $1000 when everybody else bids $250. In this case, the poster probably believes it's easier to write "simple and easy-to-read," and is genuinely flabbergasted to find out that writing "simple" is a lot harder than it looks.

I'm appalled by the hundreds of projects posted where they want 50 500-word articles and they'll pay you $50. And oh yeah, you need to rewrite it so it can pass copyscape... in other words, take somebody else's work, change enough words to pass the copyscape test, and post it on my website or blog, and maybe I'll pay you. It's crap, the people who are making a living doing it know it's crap, and the people who are expecting the articles also know it's crap, nobody cares. How do they make a living? They probably have their MS Word thesaurus open all day, and have figured out just how much they need to change.

These companies (often one-person businesses, who think they'll make a million in an internet business) want cheap and fast, but good is merely an afterthought. I keep telling myself "this too shall pass," some companies know they can get cheap now, but probably not a year or 18 months from now.
And, there are lots of unemployed folks living in a fantasy that maybe they can be a freelancer while they're unemployed, and maybe they can get away with not reporting the income... they're in for a rude awakening at the end of the year.

My answer tends to be "why is your budget so low, when you're asking for this kind of work. If you can get someone to do the work at that price, more power to you, but chances are you'll be posting a rewrite project within a month or two." Just remind yourself that somebody who thinks a good 70-page ebook can be produced for $250 is not someone you really want on your client list.

Most of the projects that have potential for the kind of professionals who belong to Techwr-l tend to be listed on both guru and elance... so look for it on elance... they have an option that allows you to see average, minimum and maximum bids, and that has proven very useful for me to gauge if I'm being underbid by the desperate.

You're not off the wall, but you are caught between a rock and a hard place--forgive the cliché, I do feel your pain!


Connie P. Giordano
The Right Words, LLC
Communications & Information Design

http://www.therightwords.com
http://www.cowbellchallenge.org
http://www.uscup.net
connie -at- therightwords -dot- com
 
(704) 540-9985 (office)
(704) 957-8450 (mobile)
 
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Deborah Hemstreet
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 8:55 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Am I Off the Wall?????

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.

Could any of you do the project as listed below for $250? I checked, all the bidders are based in the US, Cananda, or Australia. I don't <seem> to be bidding against overseas contractors here.

Have I missed something?

Or is it just Friday and I have missed something!!!

Thanks!

Deborah


*Description: * *Project Description*:
Complete guide to all necessary basic requirements all car owners should know and follow. To be written in simple easy to read format for all reader audiences. To include all the simple basics from how to put fuel in the car, how to check tire pressure, check oil and fluid levels, etc.
Will provide outline for all topics to be covered, want writer to research for accuracy of content and we will also proofread for accuracy. Will intially want to use this book in e-book format and may at a later date use in print version.

*Target Audience*:
car owners

*Document Length*:
approximately 65-75 pages

*I need the following*:
Editing, Proofreading, Research, Writing

*I will provide the following to the professional*:
Concept, Outline

*The professional must provide the following*:
Draft, Research, Supporting Text

*Desired File Format*:
e format

*Project Start Date*:
asap

*Project Completion Date*:
8/17/2009

*I want to receive project drafts via*:
CD/DVD/Optical Media, Server Upload


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2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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/

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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/

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Am I Off the Wall?????: From: Deborah Hemstreet
RE: Am I Off the Wall?????: From: Connie Giordano

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