Many beginning writers when they are just starting out try bidding websites as a way to begin getting writing gigs. I was no different and just like everyone else I tried them, however, unlike some writers I was not willing to lower my expectations of what I should be paid just to make money. The worst thing a beginning writer can do to himself is to devalue his writing skills. I speak from experience with this one. One of the biggest problems with bidding sites is that there is always going to be someone willing to work for next to nothing in order to get a good review, or a recommendation. While it’s true that sometimes doing a few jobs on bidding sites can make you a little moolah, as well as get you a good recommendation, it’s not always the case, and you could in fact make more money and get that recommendation by choosing other means of getting writing gigs.
As long as there are people willing take $5 for a well researched article that is SEO compliant, the chances of your making much money through bidding websites is pretty slim.
Another problem with bidding websites is that the clients are not “your” clients but the bidding website’s clients. So while you might get a good review from one of these bidding websites that means you may win more bids, it doesn’t mean that you have a new client that is all yours and that will throw work your way when it becomes available in the future. So, not only are you working for peanuts, but the client isn’t yours. Most bidding websites have rules against taking jobs outside the bidding website from established clients of said bidding websites. In fact, for some of them doing any negotiations outside the bidding website’s framework can get you banned for life from the bidding website in question.
These two reasons alone are enough for me as a full-time writer to steer clear of bidding websites. While some people do have some form of success with them, I’ve found that those who do often find themselves working harder rather than smarter. First because they are taking less money for their work and are having to give a percentage of the fee to the bidding website, and secondly because if they decide to leave they cannot take any of the bidding websites client’s with them. Personally, I prefer to work smarter and establish relationships with new clients on my own, this ensures the possibility of future work if the client is happy with the first product, and it may even translate to other new clients when said happy client refers someone else to me. I encourage all beginning writers to do the same.
So, the best thing to do with bidding websites is to avoid them and instead find your own long term clients that you can then cultivate yourself.