I want to create an online writing/editing career for myself so that I can retire from my regular job. Ideally I need to still be bringing in income so that my husband and I can meet all our outgoing expenses and have money left over for some fun stuff (travel and entertainment). We also want to have money in the bank to support our family if they need our help. I plan to spend a lot of time kayaking when I do retire!

This is what I have learnt during my first week of looking for online work:

Read on for my experiences with the one I have spent the most time on so far:


This is obviously a website you can launch your career from. Freelancer.com is the world’s largest feelancing site that posts work opportunities (projects) that freelancers around the world can bid on. I read there have been over 6.5 million projects completed to date. The projects range from web work, proof-reading, writing, editing and design work to data entry and marketing – to name just a few of the categories.

The site is not intuitive to use and takes a bit of working out. I have spent hours on freelancer.com searching for projects that could suit me, looking at how other writer/editors describe their skill sets, and reading advice on how to make a successful bid. Some of the projects pay such a ridiculously small amount ($5 an hour for writing jobs) it seems silly to even bid on them. Is the site relying on newbies like me, who have no reviews as yet, to take on these jobs in order to gain a rating? I have decided not to go down this path but to bid only on jobs that I feel very confident I could undertake successfully, writing or editing on topics that I have knowledge of, or that interest me. It may take me a while to win a bid – the site itself claims it takes an average of 35 bids before winning a project – but I have time on my side.

My first bid, on a project that hasn’t closed yet, was posted by an Australian needing some editing work for publishing by an institution very similar to the one I currently work for. I thought my background experience, knowledge of the editing work and the fact that I am working in Australia would give me a very good opportunity to win the project – even though my bid was then much higher than the other bids. The next day when I checked the site the bid amounts had increased and several of the other bidders, who the day before were flying an American flag near their name, now had an Australian flag as well. I can’t quite work out how a bidder can be in America and Australia at the same time but I have realized the bidding process on projects is extremely competitive. I have much more to learn.

I am on my first month’s free trial of freelancer.com but I have already spent money on the site. I did an English grammar test because I thought it was a prerequisite for a project I wanted to bid on. The test was so incredibly easy I think all it would prove is that I am an English speaker who did some high school. I don’t begrudge freelancer.com taking a cut of any money I do make via the site but I will be wary of spending too much more money on ways that may or may not increase my chances of being noticed and winning bids.

I am now filtering the jobs listed on freelancer.com by Australian projects. This is my current strategy for finding suitable work for me to bid on. I wonder how I will do.

Source by Lee Buchanan

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