Some of the bids placed on freelance websites are crap. The bidder posts something generic which takes less than 30 seconds to write before they are off to place their bid on the next available project.
A good example of this is comes in the form of a re-tweeted message (via Will Critchlow) where someone asks for a solution to the P versus NP problem (for which a $1,000,000 millennium prize is on offer). The project was given a $500-1000 budget. It received four bids. “Hello, Easy job for me,please send me a PM.” and “i can do it. please, write in chat. thanks” are the complete copy of two of the bids, all of which came in under budget.
I’ve used ScriptLance in the past both as a buyer and provider of services but because of their policy of suspending an account if it is inactive for a certain amount of time – they then ask for a scan of your passsport and demand to know why you haven’t used the site for x months in order to reactive your account, even if it has funds in it – I decided to head elsewhere.
My project specification was for eight 300-500 word articles on the making of the Harry Potter film series. These would be part a section detailing films made at the Leavesden film studios. I had already written pages for two (not Harry Potter) films but opted to outsource this work as I have little interest in Harry Potter myself (and also as an experiment to see how it goes!).
I gave the project a target price of “Less than $250”, the lowest available option, and left a 7-day bid time. As you can see from the project specification I outlined what I was looking for, provided a sample article that I had written myself and asked bidders to include a sample of their work.
I received 11 bids. The highest was $225.00 and the lowest came in on the last day at $25. I discounted those that didn’t provide samples, gave a generic bid or had extreme prices and opted for a $50 bid which below the average bid value. It comes in at about £4 an article (plus whatever fees Guru charges for making payments, finding a freelancer etc). Put that way it seems quite expensive but since it isn’t purely writing (some research will have to be done) I am quite happy with the price.
Whether or not I will be when I see the work I don’t know! I’ll keep you updated.