I signed up with lots of freelancer job websites when I first started out writing articles for clients on the Internet and over time whittled these down to an amazing ‘one’ site that seemed to be worthwhile.
I say worthwhile because it is the only one that is easy enough to navigate, although there are still certain factors which could be improved on the site. The problem seems to be an eternal one of how to protect ‘a project creator’ and then how to protect ‘the freelance writer’.
How Do You Protect Your Work?
Now, when I say protect I mean how to ensure that work that’s posted is genuine and how to make sure that writers actually receive their financial rewards for the jobs they undertake to do.
It is easy enough to create a site where people can post jobs for writers and a few of these websites have even won awards, freelancer.com is one of them. A vision of one man has benefited many writers and employers. However, it’s easy enough to take fees from members of these websites but what about the backup, what of the need to support clients?
This is where many of these freelancer job websites fall down. I should imagine like any business that gets too big, they automatically lose touch with the people who are the ones that keep them in business, these are after all their clients.
Who Are the Clients on Freelancer Job Websites?
Now we need to ask ourselves ‘who are these clients’? Well, the answer is simple because it is everyone who pays them a commission and this means both the project creator and the writers who bid on the jobs that are posted.
Where I feel these sites fall short is that they do appear to favour the ‘project creators’ when it comes to any kind of dispute. The unfortunate thing is that there are a percentage of projects that go wrong and it is usually the writers who have to bear the brunt of not getting rewarded for their hard labours.
In this virtual world where transparency is paramount to success, I have often wondered just how a writer can pursue an identity they have met through these sites when they refuse to contact them after a project has ended. The conclusion is that they cannot, and it is as simple as that.
There is no recourse for a writer and they will receive no help from the sites they use to find work. You see it is written in their Terms and Conditions that they only put two people together and that is where their responsibility ends. An employer may well deposit a Milestone into an account for a writer, but the sad fact is that this is absolutely no guarantee that the writer will get paid because project creators can withdraw these Milestones when they please.