I posted a short while ago on a commission I won for a PowerPoint presentation for a business competition and fund raising exercise that needed to be undertaken in English with foreign owners at the helm of the company.
This was Get A Freelancer or GAF as it is more commonly known by users.
I’ve used GAF for about 6 months now and it is a great source of projects to bid on in order to generate some work. You’ll find all forms of online content being requested by project providers and the entry level is as low as you will need the bar to be in order to be able to compete. If you have been following my posts here at Supaproofread but have not yet taken the plunge, here is your chance to get your hands dirty and become a professional scribbler.
GAF has a simple and straight forward registration process, you do not need a credit card and it is free to join though I do pay $12 per month to get access to juicier projects (that’s about £6). As a virgin writer you don’t need to worry about that.
Set up a PayPal account in anticipation of being paid – again simple to do and it will ease any issues with receiving funds. Just follow the hyperlink and note, you will need a credit or debit card to register but again it is free to join.
Once you have completed the registration process you need to set up your profile. You will see a lot of terms that may have absolutely no meaning to you such as SEO, Python, ASP, .NET and so on however you need not be in the least concerned about them. I set the GAF site to notify me by email of projects that I may be interested in and to do this create your profile when you register.
If you restrict yourself to copywriting until you have some experience launching off elsewhere this will ensure you are focused on projects that you have a decent chance of winning. Your profile once created will automatically set up an email notification that can be managed and will let you know whenever a project is filed under your criteria. Personally, I receive between 5 and 10 emails from GAF each day and I scan them every evening.
Once you are registered, your profile is established and you have Paypal set up to receive payment you are now free to bid on projects.
My advice is stick to small projects at this time and get a taste for what is expected. Bid on as many projects as you like, but without any reviews to give you a reference for potential project providers you will need to do two things and do them well.
First, you need to price yourself competitively but this does not mean you are competing with “Ms Fillipino 500 words $1 in Manilla” or “Mr Rajid I have MBA inIngrish in Madras” who will compete purely on price (and there are a lot that will). Take a look at “Western” bidders and see what the benchmark is that they are pitching at and undercut them, so for instance if you see ERH bidding $25 for 1,000 words, offer $12 as your bid (pretty much a standard new writer rate) and hope the provider is cost conscious and wants a westerner writing the copy.
The second thing to do well is to bid clearly, concisely and in a way in which it is clear to the provider that you at least sound like you know what you are talking about. Here is a sample of a bid I placed a couple of days ago on a GAF project:
“This supplements my bid for your 13 wedding articles.
Kindly note my reviews and GAF itself is a client (refer to project provider “billion” in my reviews). References are also available upon request.
I am a professional writer and have been for 2 years; kindly note I am not a part-timer looking to make a few extra bucks or speak and write English as a second language. I produce very high quality work as you can judge from my reviews; all of these clients now regularly use my services and indeed have me on retainer.
My work shall be:
1. 100% original, final drafts being Copyscape checked prior to submission to you and written by me personally;
2. On-topic, grammatically correct and free of errors – I always proof final submissions;
3. SEO optimized as you specify;
4. Delivered to agreed deadline; and
5. Written in US or UK English as you specify.
A sample is attached and further work may be viewed at:
www. supaproofread.com & blog (post as ERH)”
Use that as a template but amend as required and a word of warning, ensure your bid is relevant to the project and do not just cut & paste willy nilly; this happens all to frequently and it will make you look unprofessional.
GAF has a system for accepting bids, the formal ‘place a bid’ tabs on the project page but I tend to simply input a one line sentence along the lines of:
“This is my bid of $XXX for your project. Kindly refer to the PM for a detailed bid.”
The PM in question is the Project Management messaging service and you will find this to the right of the project provider’s name on the bidding page. Using the PM to post a detailed bid ensures a degree of privacy from other bidders in terms of the service and quality standards you are offering.
Once you’re finished move on to the next project you are interested in and away you go; if you do come across a project with ERH as a bidder… move on 😉