I’ve put up my second bid at freelancer.com (external link). It would be nice to get the work but there are over 30 people bidding. I continue to think sites like freelancer are the future. With query letters to hardcopy magazines you have to sell an idea and you have to sell yourself. With online jobs the idea and the work already exists. You ‘just’ have to sell yourself.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is a timeline with online work. You know when the bidding period ends. And you should know when the work is awarded, even if you don’t get the job. With magazines you have no idea, for the vast majority of publications, when or if an employer will ever get back to you. Drawbacks? The message boards say employers may, for whatever reason, not award the work to anyone. So there may not be finality. But these freelance sites introduce a world of work beyond the query letter. I’ll put in more bids and share what I find.
Update: I’ve put up a bid at elance.com and have heard nothing back. Same thing with my second proposal at freelance. Frustrating. I will have to bid other jobs and decline work if necessary. Refusing a job is unprofessional. But employers are under no compunction to award the work they have proposed, nor give a reason why. All of us freelancers, therefore, must continue to bid jobs until something does come through. One saving grace is that so many people bid on assignments that an employer will have a ready list of 25 to 30 people to go to next. All of this is far from perfect.
September 30, 2015 Update. None of the freelance sites appear to ever tell you if a job has actually been awarded. One hint if you are going to bid at one of these sites, pass up all overseas employers. There’s nothing good that will come out of bidding on work from Kenya, Pakistan, or the Ukraine.