Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do you have to spend money to make money?

In light of the abrupt end of my best gig and the fact that

1) writing clients aren't stumbling onto my website and booking me in droves (darn it- was hoping things would just fall into place like that), and,
2) The income from my personal blogs doesn't seem likely to bring in any more than could buy me a few cups of coffee . . .

I've been thinking seriously about other ways to find writing and editing work.  And I'm starting to think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay for the privelege of even being considered for projects.

There are a number of freelancing sites out there that charge a membership fee in order to bid on projects.   The two I'm considering are Elance and  Elance seems to be a popular site, and a good friend recommended Guru, saying one of her friends gets a lot of good work from it.  It just seems a little counterintuitive to take a chunk of what little I've already earned and spend it already. 

The main reason I've been hesitating on this is something I touched on a bit in an earlier post.  It's a little disheartening to be competing for jobs against seasoned veterans, on the one hand, and low-balling outsourcers on the other.  I know there's got to be other freelancers out there like me- hoping to get a chance to overcompensate for a limited resume with overenthusiastic service and attention to detail.  But then again, there's just another category of competition for jobs!  It's just a little scary to be putting money out with no guarantees of getting it back, much less making some sort of return.

I think I'm going to do it though.  Husband says I should.  The logical, non-cheap side of me says it's a necessary expense if I'm serious about doing this (which I am).  Mom (whose advice I usually, though not always, take) says to do it, suck it up, pay my dues, and work some low-balled jobs to develop some experience and a reputation.  So yeah.  Maybe I'll do it tonight.

I'm curious though- anyone reading this have some experience with these sites?  Any advice?  An opinion?  Reassurance that I won't be throwing my membership dues into a black hole?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments section.  Thanks!

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