Thoughts from the Outside

My analysis on freelance writing sites has sparked a flurry of interesting discussion. At first, I was of the view that freelance sites could be a feasible way of making, however, after speaking to other freelancers, I am beginning to realise that these sites cannot be relied on. I decided to create a freelancing questionnaire, which I distributed on my Twitter and Facebook, which is still in circulation to see if this was the case. I also passed this across to my local SfEP (Society for Editors & Proofreaders) group leader, Claire Handy. Claire chairs the West Midlands group monthly in Birmingham.  The results are as follows:

  • 40% of those surveyed have been freelancing for over five years
  • 80% stated that they find it relatively easy to find freelance work
  • Over half find their work from Social Media, with the rest relying on word of mouth to gain work. Interestingly, 40% of those surveyed use freelance sites
  • Just under 75% believe that freelance sites are somewhat viable in terms of gaining work. One surveyed commented that this is dependent on ‘the level of the website’.
  • 60% of those surveyed have used a freelance site to look for work. One surveyed is a regular user of Elance, whereas another is currently using
  • 60% believe that freelance websites have not made it harder for them to gain work
  • The consensus was split in regards to whether freelance sites have made clients expect to pay less for work. The percentages were even across the board, including an option for ‘don’t know’.
  • Overall, an overwhelming 80% believe that freelance sites are not damaging the freelance industry

Of those surveyed, 75% were women, with an average age between 30 – 44. 

The results have been somewhat in favour of the freelance sites, which counteracts other discussions I have had with other writers. These conversations are due to follow in the coming days. I have a meet set up with an ex freelance writer early next month, so all being well, this will also shed some light on the matter. It can never hurt to have too many opinions! If anyone would like to get in touch regarding this, then please do not hesitate to do so.


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