Video: Should you write for Upwork or Fiverr?

When you're starting out as a freelance writer, it's tempting to look for work on freelance job sites like Upwork or Fiverr. But can you really build a career writing $10 blog posts? 

While it's certainly possible, I don't recommend it. In this video, I explain why. 

Not a fan of videos? Read the video transcript below.

Video transcript

Hey, this is Amy again. What I want to talk to you about today is another question that I get asked a lot by people who are just starting out as freelance writers.

And maybe they don't have their first client yet or they just need to build up some experience to be able to show people what they do.

They come to me and they say, Amy, this is my situation. I've been thinking about doing a little bit of writing on Fiverr or Freelancer or oDesk. I don't even keep up to date with what they're called anymore.

They want to know if it's worth, I guess, pimping out their services for $5 an article or sometimes even worse. I have never written for any of those sites and I don't recommend to other people that they do either. It can be tempting, especially if you don't have any experience or a big portfolio.

I also think, in my opinion, those websites, it's a race to the bottom. It's the lowest common denominator. If you're going to pay $5 for an article, you're not going to get quality. As a freelance writer, you're not going to learn very much from the experience either.

I just think there are other better ways to land your first client or to get experience. Get your own website. Start a blog. Start writing. Show people what you can do even if it hasn't been in a paid capacity.

Instead of investing your energy and writing 1000 words for $10, put that energy ... That takes time. That's a couple of hours. Put that time into generating leads. Call an old employer and tell them what you do. Tell a friend or send an email.

There are so many ways to get work and to get experience. I don't think the return on your time investment is worth it when you use some of those sites.

You have to have confidence in your own work, as well. If you have confidence in your own work, you're not going to slum it over on Fiverr or that sort of thing. Maybe slum is the wrong word.

Anyway, there are a lot of people who've had success on those sorts of websites. You do one $0.50 job for somebody and then the next time they'll pay you $50. You get on their books and you build it up and they become a really great regular client.

I'm still not convinced. If you can figure out a way to do it, that's awesome. My advice to people is still that maybe there are other ways to get started as well.