Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elance at a Glance

My dear friend and El Presidente to our Super Awesome Secret Special Club of Awesome (yes, we have decoder rings) recently blogged about whether or not it's prudent to label yourself as a writer if you've never actually made any money from doing it.

Tactless as it may be, I label people as 'assholes' for being such and I'm pretty sure it's a community service that they do free of charge.  But for those of you who desperately need to bring in some income, becoming a freelance writer has never been easier!

Elance offers the ability to bid on jobs, just like a real writer!  If you win your bid, which has you competing against Yugocambodiasacredcownation, then you've just taken your first step into the wonderful world of online freelance.  Or as I like to consider it, getting underpaid to hate something you love to do.

I know the tone is all cynical.  Truth be told, I've made some great contacts over the past couple of years and can at least say that, while most of my time is spent writing marketing copy or software reviews, at least I have a few nonfiction ebooks ghostwritten under my belt.  The trick is to use your best judgment.

First of all - look for a topic that interests you.  If you can't find a topic, wait a day and try again.  There's generally at least one new post every 5-10 minutes. 

Second of all - Don't spend too much time stressing out over writing a clever bid.  You're not pitching to agents here and they honestly don't care how many purple hearts or four-leaf clovers you have.  The first ebook deal I won consisted of "I'm your guy.  Nuff said" with a few examples of my work attached.  Two hours later, I'd beaten out the other 24 bidders.

Finally - Don't expect anything big overnight.  This is NOT a social media outlet and friends and family won't flock to you.  (I know... big talk for a guy with so many followers)  You build your reputation one job and one review of your work at a time.  Make sure you ONLY deliver your best.  You only keep 5 stars if you only HAVE 5 stars.  The more you build, the more people are willing to take a chance on you.

I know that my fellow writers feel the pressure of getting their own work published.  But it never hurts to work the market a bit first. 

And for my adoring audience, since I know you love romance so much, be sure to check out a few authors and pass the word along.  After all, any author is only as good as their last reader. ;)

  • Deborah Camp (A mix of contemporary and Old West Historical romances...over 40 coming in the near future, but here is a list of 10 or so available now)
  • Lorena Dureau (Historical Romance: American Colonial South and West. )
  • Dan Streib (thrillers with a James-Bond-meets-Anderson-Cooper main character)
  • Barbara Keesling (her too-hot-to-blog nonfiction is here, here, and here)
 And if you haven't checked out The Maria Paradox yet, you're doing yourself a great disservice!


  1. Touche! Thanks for the info and more links! Love it!!

  2. Green Lanterns unite!!! *holds up decoder ring*

  3. Great information for one who wants to freelance. Boiling it down to what you really think you can do is difficult if you aren't focused. Thanks for taking us through the steps.