The way we make a living from writing has changed dramatically over the couple of decades. Before, writers were found at the library in paperback format or the books could be bought from a newly formed Amazon. But today, we are overwhelmed by the digital age of social media, ebooks and self-publishing. The quest for making a living from writing has evolved and we have much more control of how we go about it.
The freelance industry appears to have exploded all over the world. Freelance websites have emerged into the market attracting both professionals and freelancers, particularly in America. The question is, how viable is it to make a living from these websites alone? Elance made $200 million dollars in 2012 and they said that 500,000 businesses are posting over 100,000 jobs every month. From starting in 1999, that’s not that bad going. With those figures, we’d expect that jobs are readily available and there are ample to go around, but with 53 million Americans now freelancing, how many people are competing for just the one job? Is this pushing the price of work down? One freelancer I spoke to referred to sites such as Elance as, ‘race-to-the-bottom middleman sites’.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be documenting if it is easy and sustainable to generate work via the freelance websites and to see if they are all they say they are. I will be using Elance, as it is a platform I am familiar with. No longer are we putting pen to paper, but fingers to keyboard to earn a quick buck. Let’s see how easy that really is. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well!