Elance, Guru, And ScriptLance
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 9, 2009
In looking for some extra cash, you know I’ve started doing some freelance writing on the side. Ever since I wrote about Helium, then had the guest post by Barbara Whitlock talking about its benefits (which I still haven’t really noticed, but that’s okay), I’ve been checking out some other sites that offer different types of freelance items, not just writing. But I figured this article is a pretty nice follow up to my last article on writing articles for others.
One day I came upon a post on a blog called Just Make Money Online, my friend Shai Coggins‘ site, titled Freelancing For Cash. It was a guest post by Lisa Folder of the blog Practical Money Maker. In the article, Lisa referenced three specific sites to look at for freelance writing work: Elance, Guru, and ScriptLance. This is my review, of sorts, of the three.
Elance was the first one I looked at, and the only one of the three that I discarded, though I might still go back. Overall, it looks like a site where you might get paid better for services you provide than the other two sites. However, as a service provider, you also agree to pay them a percentage of whatever you get paid. This means Elance is taking money from both sides, which is probably why those who advertise on it have higher paying jobs than the other sites.
You have the option of registering as either an individual or as a business, but if you register as a business there’s a higher fee. However, the fees you either pay or don’t pay give you the opportunity to bid on more jobs and the like. I guess it’s not bad, but it wasn’t the option I wanted to go with at the present time.
Guru was the next site I looked at, and I did sign up for them. With Guru, you create a profile and you can add samples of your writing, as well as a resume if you’re looking for other types of work.
Something I hadn’t paid attention to, though, was that you don’t get paid directly through them. Instead, if you get a contract that you bid on, the purchaser of services puts a portion of the pay into what they call an escrow account, and Guru holds your money until the project has been completed and approved of by the client. In essence, they’re kind of the arbiter to make sure both parties do what they’re supposed to do.
One of the problems with Guru is that you have to create profiles, but you only get to create one profile for free, which means you need to select the right profile up front if you’re looking to highlight one specific thing. Instead of going for writing, I decided to create a profile for my business consulting, which might not have been the best move, because I have fewer options to choose from than I might have if I’d selected freelance writing. Oh well, lesson learned.
The final site I checked out, and also joined, was ScriptLance. This site offers computer projects as well as writing assignments, so I signed up, then went to check out some of the offers.
There’s a mixture of both low and high paying assignments on this site, but most of the writing assignments don’t pay all that well. Also, some of the people who post projects have them sitting there for upwards of a month, which means if you’re looking for something quick, you may not find it here. I found that problematic because there was one I thought would be great, but they weren’t going to be making a decision for two weeks.
However, I still got on their mailing list, which I get once a day. It shows me the latest projects out there based on my profile.
And there you go. If you’re interested in freelance or project work of some type, you can’t hurt yourself in taking a look at any of these sites to see if there’s something for you.