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Experience of freelance websites?

(44 Posts)
chitofftheshovel Thu 10-Nov-16 09:47:28

I know i am not being unreasonable to ask, but posting here for traffic, really.
I am currently self employed, my main work is personal assistant/career/companion but I also have a few cleaning jobs. I have a degree in journalism but have never really used it for one reason or another.
My main client has had to reduce my hours drastically because she has had cuts in the financial assistance she receives. So I need to find something quick to tide me over.
I'm a single mum to two DC, 9 and 11 with pretty much no support so need something relatively flexible (eldest's school had to close last week, I had to collect etc).
So, it has got me thinking about home based work. Has anyone had any experience of this that they can share with me? I've had a look at the "people per hour" website and feel I would be capable of carrying out some of the requests. What other sites are there and how do you rate them? Or any other ideas as to how to get home based freelance (copywriting
/proofreading etc) work.
I'd love to hear your experience's.

baconandeggies Thu 10-Nov-16 10:05:01

The best source of info for this sort of thing is Money Saving Expert's 'Boost your income' thread.

After trying many different things in the list when I had a bit of a gap in the past, I found the most reliable to be ERS Connect - home based call handling:-

baconandeggies Thu 10-Nov-16 10:07:18

Oops - here's the UK link (above was Ireland):

chitofftheshovel Thu 10-Nov-16 10:20:06

Thanks bacon was just looking at the first link you sent...and thinking eh!

EssentialHummus Thu 10-Nov-16 10:59:46

I'm on PPH. Have been on for about a month and am getting a good stream of work, at an OK rate. But, I do something a bit niche. There seem to be a zillion copywriter types on there, and I imagine it'd be harder to differentiate yourself and that there may be a bit of a race to the bottom in terms of costs. Tell me if you want to discuss more, I'd be happy to!

icanteven Thu 10-Nov-16 11:01:05

I use People Per Hour. It comes and goes - I've earned about £2k there in the last month, but I wouldn't be confident of getting the same next month, you know?

icanteven Thu 10-Nov-16 11:03:16

How much does ERS Connect pay, bacon?

baconandeggies Thu 10-Nov-16 13:10:16

How much does ERS Connect pay, bacon?

A couple of years ago it was just above NMW, which I thought was pretty good for homeworking.

baconandeggies Thu 10-Nov-16 13:12:14

People per hour sounds good then! Have to admit I didn't look into that one too much

sportinguista Thu 10-Nov-16 13:49:38

I use PPH occasionally but I find that you do have to price quite low as you are often competing against developing world sellers who can charge a lot less. So I tend to use it just to fill in gaps or occasionally I pick up clients who do stay.

Another one I use is Bark which tends to hook you up with more local jobs and is just UK based so the rates are better.

Avoid like the plague, I've never got a job from there as it's flooded with sellers and it's very hard to get a job.

Have you tried local networking events as they can be very good for meeting contacts and getting work. Ok you do have to venture out of the house but it can be great in terms of meeting clients.

Sonders Thu 10-Nov-16 14:04:51

I've been on PPH, both as a buyer and seller. I was a terrible seller because I didn't push back on my clients enough when they kept asking for more bits and bobs.

However, I would still recommend it. I literally just finished a job where I had someone move 200 articles from one website to another, but spent more to get someone who spoke English as a first language as although it wasn't copy-writing, it involved very small edits to grammar and formatting and I didn't have time to check this was done correctly.

I actually really struggled to find a copy editor and content populator so maybe this could be a good thing for you do do?

I also helped 2 friends launch themselves as a copywriters, I put together a document full of advice that I still have too - PM me if you're interested and I can send it to you too smile

Sonders Thu 10-Nov-16 14:08:25

I forgot to say as well, with regards to competing with people from developing countries - I wouldn't worry too much about this.

In my experience, the people who go with these sellers don't value the work as much. If you charge something more reasonable for a higher quality output, you'll get better clients (but yes, probably fewer).

One thing I always need are blog writers/editors for corporate websites - someone who can take an interview transcript and turn it into an editorial-style post. Is this something you could offer?

chitofftheshovel Thu 10-Nov-16 16:02:36

Thanks for all the responses, looks like I could make this work for me in the interim.

CocktailQueen Thu 10-Nov-16 16:06:31

*any other ideas as to how to get home based freelance (copywriting
/proofreading etc) work.*

Are you qualified to offer proofreading? It's a career, you know, not just a case of: 'Oh, I can spot typos, I can proofread' hmm

Wrinklytights Thu 10-Nov-16 16:37:46

You could try contacting local small business and offering web-content/blog posts etc. I am doing a bit of work for a local business atm - I only want to be very part-time to fit along with the DCs. I did get this job through a personal contact though and I am qualified - NCTJ trained journalist and used to work as a comms officer - copywriting/editing/ proofing inhouse, pre-dc.

Wrinklytights Thu 10-Nov-16 16:43:06

Sonders PMed you

itsmeeecatheee Thu 10-Nov-16 17:05:25


Sorry OP, is it ok if I ask about these too? Hoping this isn't a complete hijack.

Namechange for reasons that will soon be apparent.

I really need to use these - any providing work that can be done entirely at home - but have been putting it off for ages because I don't know what to do about anonymity.

I have both a bad ex, from before many people reported these things to police, and NC relatives who try to snoop.

The sites seem to want a proper name and a photo. What to do about that? Don't you look dodgy if your user name and your paypal are different? Avatar type photos would look unprofessional.

And what about a profile? Most of the good stuff on my CV is identifiable and unusual, especially combined with each other. Even common things like university, year and degree really narrows down identity.

chitofftheshovel Thu 10-Nov-16 17:15:45

Thanks cock I wasn't aware I needed such specific qualification. Just how do you get that?

YAB totally U thinking you can be a proofreader with the poor grammar and punctuation displayed in your OP.

EssentialHummus Thu 10-Nov-16 17:56:01

constance that's a wholly unhelpful comment.

While there are proofreading qualifications, and while these offer a certain expectation of quality, there are plenty of jobs on PPH which just need a competent, eagle-eyed native English speaker to make corrections and re-write for impact. I do something different on PPH and get requests for this sometimes, out of the blue. There is demand for it.

sportinguista Thu 10-Nov-16 18:19:48

I'm not qualified as a copywriter or proof reader but do both for clients as part of my job (graphic designer). I gained the experience through working in marketing and often being called on to do it even though it's not part of my role. As I have to self proof anyway, I have a high standard of grammar and you can generally get a feel for what works for those kind of projects.

Being a freelancer you tend to have to be quite hard headed and able to take some knocks. Value yourself and don't be afraid to knock back clients who are not prepared to pay what you're worth. Make sure you have all your behind the scenes stuff set up like tax, a PayPal account as you won't always bill through the site, invoices, a decent place to work and a business space to hold client meetings. It is quite rewarding being your own boss but it can be quite intensive. Good luck!

Sorry I realise that was unhelpful. But I am a trained proofreader and I find it very irritating how people think they can turn their hand to this career without skills and training. The OP did not demonstrate the necessary skills - in fact it did the complete opposite. What I should have said, however, is that there are some really great (but unfortunately not cheap) courses where one can brush up on grammar and punctuation and learn the many, many facets of proofreading. If you are serious about it as a career then I would suggest you start there. If, however, you don't see it as a career but as a way to make a quick buck, then I'm afraid you'll need to reassess.

chitofftheshovel Thu 10-Nov-16 20:22:45

No constance that was not helpful.
You can pick apart my thread if you like, but do remember it was a post on mumsnet; not a professional peace (see what I did there?!)

PlasticBertrand Thu 10-Nov-16 20:41:47

I'm not a copy editor but I work with several. It's not just spelling and grammar, it's knowing where to hyphen a word over a line break and whether perfume names should be in italics or not. It's a lot more specialised than it looks.

HughLauriesStubble Thu 10-Nov-16 20:41:58

Op I get most of my copywriting/ghostwriting work through Upwork. I'm good at what I do and am busy enough that I can pick and choose jobs and often need to turn down offers. I think most of this comes from having good reviews and feedback scores so you might need to do the first few jobs for a lower than average rate before you can increase your price. I only do part time hours because I am also a sahm but if I had the time and childcare, I could definitely earn a decent full time living from it.

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