Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to Navigate Online Job Boards

Navigating the multitude of online job boards can be overwhelming.  Which ones are free?  Are they easy to use?  These online platforms connect freelance writers and employers.  But which one should you choose? 


Elance's motto is to provide "Instant Access to Great Talent."   In addition to writers, this job board is open to programmers, designers, administrators, marketers, consultants, accountants, mobile developers.  Members have profiles which include a picture, job history, portfolio, skills, resume, and contact info.  Elance also offers skills tests and gives you the option of listing these scores on your profile. 

How Elance works

  1. Clients post job offers for free. 
  2. Writers submit bids and proposals to the client. 
  3. The client reviews these proposals and awards the job to a writer of his choice. 
  4. Once both parties agree to the terms, the client funds his Elance Escrow. 
  5. Writer completes the work.
  6. Client approves work.
  7. Elance deducts 6.75%-8.75% from the contractor's fee.  Keep this in mind when submitting bids. 
  8. Writer gets paid.


Freelance Writing's goal is "Helping freelance writers to succeed since 1997."  This job board offers job listings for freelance writing jobs as well as articles for freelance writers. 

This site posts original job offers as well as job offers from multiple other job platforms such as Elance, Craigslist, and Guru.  Most of these listings tell writers upfront how much the pay is and asks that you reply by email with attached resume and writing samples.


Guru is a global job platform that matches writers with employers based on their qualifications.  Guru Recommended is a tool that recommends projects to writers based on their qualifications

Guru utilizes SafePay which guarantees payment protection.  Employers pay Guru upfront before work begins. 
"As certain milestones are reached or upon completion of the job, the Employer approves the work and we pay you for the value of the work completed.  We also offer Dispute Resolution Services in case a misunderstanding arises."  -Guru.com


Freelancer claims to be "the world's largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace for small business."  They have connected over 4 million employers and freelancers globally from over 234 countries and regions.  This is one of those boards where writers view job listings and submit bids on projects.  There are 4 different plans available

  • Free, 10% fee on jobs, 10 bids a month, and list 20 skills
  • Basic 4.95 a month (free 30-day trial), 10% fee on jobs, 50 bids a month, 50 skills
  • Standard, $24.95 a month, 5% fee on jobs, 150 bids, 100 skills
  • Premium, $49.95 a month, 3% job fee, 500 bids, 250 skills


I found this to be the most unconventional way of finding writing opportunities, but it does exist.  Craigslist is free for both the client and the writer.  It offers no guarantees though so be cautious when researching these postings.