Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Freelance writing job boards... Same job, different board...

Awhile back, I commented on my general distaste for freelance content job boards. Basically, I found the amount of effort necessary to successfully utilize the boards was too great considering the reward and that pursuing other marketing efforts made more sense to me. I also found that using these boards from the other side of the table (as a buyer) was a giant pain in the neck and felt that might have an impact on the value of these sites.

A forum discussion about the boards recently caught my eye and I thought I would take a few minutes to revisit the topic.

Some involved in the conversation argued that they were quite valuable. They noted that it is possible to secure reasonably-paying freelance writing jobs and that they had secured many repeat clients that grew out of board jobs.

Others maintain that the listed jobs offer substandard pay overall and that the same jobs appear on a number of sites, dilluting the value of any one particular board.

I can't really speak to the rate question as it stands today. I abandoned use of the job boards in favor of other alternatives some time ago and don't have any firsthand knowledge about what people are making, in general, from those opportunities. I do know that when I sought work via the boards that they did tend to be a little less lucrative than other jobs and that there were some that were certainly rated for an economy unlike my own, but that is no big surprise.

The fact that many buyers are posting the same jobs on multiple boards, however, made me think...

I recalled my experience as a buyer and the avalanche of responses I received for a relatively small job. Making a valid choice based on quality was virtually impossible simply due to the massive response. I can only imagine how annoying it would be to cull through a series of sites in pursuit of a freelance writer! It would be insanely inefficient.

Who would go through that kind of hassle? Unless it was for a huge, critical job, I would guess that those multi-site posters are probably not as focused on quality as they are on price tags. It's easy to "leaf through" seven hundred bidders to find the lowest rate. Actually looking at what each one has to offer, however, is a chore. If you multiply that chore over five or six boards... Well, forget about it.

I think it's probably safe to say that anyone shopping a smaller project over multiple sites is out searching for the right price tag, more than they are the right writer or overall package. I don't ncessarily begrudge them for that. There are certain online business models where quality takes a backseat to quantity, whether we like it or not.

I could be wrong, but I just cannot imagine anyone shopping a small project taking the time and energy required to plow through the resulting mess.