Thursday, 13 February 2014

What is Bid Writing?

What is Bid Writing?

Bid Writing for the Freelancer

For the freelance writer looking at jobsites, it is a fact that the large majority of writing work involves “bid writing.” On closer inspection these jobs involves writing for businesses and companies. For the writer who is versed in writing as a creative pursuit it can all seem a bit corporate. 

The fact is, that many writing gigs want a writer who is versed in sales and marketing, no matter how knowledgable and skilled they are about writing as a creative process. If you want work, you may have to consider bid writing. It is well-paid and there is plenty of work out there, unlike many other types of writing gigs.

To me, something like bid writing seems an anathema. It suggest sales targets, strategies, competitiveness and ruthless tactics and working with people who wouldn’t know their Shakespeare from But surely as wordsmiths we shouldn’t be suspicious, should we? After all, with bid writing we are only stringing some words together to make an impact: something that we do for a living every day.

What does Bid Writing Involve?

Bid writing is now a necessary part of survival and existence for many companies and organisations. They need to win bids in order to stay in business, and bid proposals are made through the writing of bids. 
Bid proposals involves calculating rates, writing selling content and putting together a professional presentation. Sometimes writing bid proposals is part of a targeted campaign to extend a service or develop a new one. For some companies under financial pressure writing a successful bid is vital for it’s survival. Bid writers manage the written and editorial aspects of the proposal development process. They communicate requirements, deadlines and expectations to key stakeholders and the proposal team.
For companies it is vital to have a good bid writer; someone professional and flexible and these are the main skills that they require:
Can you write a good letter? A good bid writer should be able to write a clear and persuasive letter and companies can weed out unsuitable potential bid writers on scrutinising their applications for bad grammar, spelling and hyperbole. They are looking for clear, concise and persuasive writers who can construct an argument. A bid writer will be responsible for creating and presenting highly professional documents.

Are You  Attentive ?  A good bid writer, no matter what their background must get to know and understand the envirornment he/she is writing for. A bid writer needs to understand the organisation and how it works in order to write about the projects they want to deliver. 

Are You Concise? At school we often had to write a precis on a bigger amount of text. It was a valuable exercise in teaching us how to summarize. This is a great skill for a bid writer and an organisation wanting your services will almost certainly want you to paraphrase 1000 words into 100! 

Another thing that a bid writer needs to have, it seems, is experience. It is the old conumdrum, how do you get experience if no one is prepared for take you on?

Experience saves businesses a lot of headaches and money because they want a safe pair of hands. The type of experience that they are looking for is someone who knows how to deliver strategies for achieving financial goals through a number of potential funding organisations. This suggests they want someone who has managed projects before. You could be a damn good writer but you need to undertand the competive process of bid writing: the highs and the lows!

Where Can You Start?
If you possess the skills listed above there is no reason why you shouldn’t apply for bid writing jobs. At first it can be for smaller companies and it may be that you have to accept a smaller financial reward for your endeavours. It is about gaining experience so you can persuade the bigger companies with the bigger budgets that you can do the job. If you are a good writer with some transferable skills from a previous job then apply. It does no harm and it is good practise in itself to sell yourself to gain work. How can you help sell a proposal otherwise?
If you want to undergo a training course there are plenty of them out there! Naturally, the demand for bid writers creates the demand for training!
A good website to look at is It tells you about the differnet types of tender such as construction tenders or NHS proposal bids and how to undergo further training courses. Many companies do in-house training but it is possible to undergo an individual course but I suspect, it isn’t cheap!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Eight Jobsites for UK Based Freelance Writers

Eight Jobsites for UK Based Freelance Writers

In my freelance writing blog I aim to signpost aspiring and established freelance writers to find well-paid work. Here are eight sites where freelance work is advertised all over the UK. 


Adzuna Freelance Writing Jobs UK

Indeed Freelance Writing Jobs UK

Gumtree Freelance Writing Opportunities



Freelance Writing Jobs

Good luck in your job hunting.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Hubpages vs. Suite101

For a writer these two sites are excellent for the simple reason you will be forced to hone your writing skills. The editors are that strict. It does not matter if your subject matter has the ability to drive hundreds of visitors to the site, you as a writer are in boot camp unless you sort out those grammatical errors and typos.

Both sites have writers' guidelines. Adhere to them and if you can stick with them you will be fine.

The good thing about both HubPages and Suite101 are that you are in control of your content. You write what you want using your byline. If you are savvy you share your content on Linkdekin, Twitter and Facebook. You can get yourself out there by joining groups that bear a resemblence to what you are a writing about whether it is freelance writing groups or gardening or social media.

You can create an impressive portfolio, all the more impresssive because of the strict editorial standards. Believe me, both sites really do attract good writers and both are free to join.


I began writing for Suite101  in 2009 and have published several articles. Admittedly, I stopped after a few months only to resume again recently. It is a revenue sharing site but the editorial control is strict, therefor the standard of writing is very high.

You can write about pretty much what you want and the site is flexible enough to upload text, pics and links and receive feedback for your articles.

The pros are that Suite101 features highly on search engines and that it is possible to make money depending how often you want to write.

A writer on Suite101 can network with other writers at the site and I personally have won other writing work from contributing articles to Suite101, when I have shown potential clients my Suite101 portfolio.  

How Does Pay? pays purely off ad-click revenue share. In an older revenue model Suite101 paid a certain amount of money per page view, but they no longer pay according to a page view system. Obviously the more page views you get the better as the more people visit your articles, the greater your chances are for gaining ad clicks. Obviously the more articles you write the greater your chances of attracting more visitors. I have made some revenue doing this writing for Suite101 but it does take a while. It is not an instant payout because that isn’t the way ad-click revenue sharing works.

If you have another outlet to sell your well-written and well-researched articles elsewhere then do so! For example, an article I was going to upload on to Suite101 earned me £150 on a travel website. Not bad for a few hours writing, editing and proofreading!

But if you cannot sell your articles, and you do upload them onto Suite101, they do remain there forever and can theoretically earn you money continuously. It is similar to having your own blog and using Google Adsense: it is up to you to use the tools such as social media and writing for niche subject matter forums to make it pay!

I personally recommend it as a sideline but there are writers who have managed to generate a decent living wage from revenue generated on Suite101. It is down to time and how much income you can generate to support your fledgling writing career. If, you are like me, which I suspect many of you are, options are always dictated by the need to pay the mortgage/rent, feed the kids and run the car!


What Rights Does Keep? requires that articles published on the site are fresh and not currently available elsewhere on the web. They require exclusive web rights to that content for one year. Is that fair? Some say no, some accept that dictum and work within the guidelines.


Hubpages is a Canadian revenue sharing site which has some pretty impressive tools for freelance writers.

HubPages gets over 8 million unique visitors each month. If you are mathmatically minded which unfortunately for such a creative pastime as writing is sometimes an anomaly but a necessity that equates to a ratio of 40 viewers per hub, which is a seductive premise for an aspiring writer who is trying to attract a following or even for an established writer who is seeking to showcase his or her work.

For me, personally, I prefer Hubpages to Suite101. Over the last couple of years it has evolved immensely and for the freelance writer it offers great freedom, great tools to promote their content and a great writing community. And speaking of the Hubpages community, I love the community of  insightful and illuminating English speaking writers from Canada, the US, the UK and Australia who write about a variety of subjects backed up with pictures and videos to enhance their work.

Like Suite101, Hubpages has very high editorial standards: content must be original with no typos, bad grammar and abundant with well-researched information. If nothing else, it will force you, as a writer  to keep up your writerly standards and that can only assist you in winning work for more well-paid gigs. That is a positive.

Which brings me to the next point. How much can you earn on Hubpages?

Writers who like me, love their craft and sharing their well-honed snippets of work cannot survive without revenue for their craft/art. What can Hubpages give you?

Hubpages love long articles. If you have a 1250 word niche article and you insert links and pics the better. Hubpages positively encourages this easy-to-use media, which, believe me, is a huge bonus in the the current world of freelance writing, which has discarded pithy bits of SEO friendly trite content. The more unique and informative you are the better and Hubpages provides a great platform.

With Hubpages you can create “Hubs” on any topic and as long your hubs are being visited by other hubbers, or visitors from the internet you have a good chance of earnig pay per ad-click revenue. You can even promote your own hubs yourself to increase traffic even further.

Another good thing about Hubpages is that here are several income streams to choose from: Google Adsense, affiliate income from Ebay or Amazon, and the HubPages exclusive ad programme. You can choose all of them, or simply choose to go with one or two etc.

This ad programme is optimized for both generous advertising space and for increasing the overall advertising revenue. Of course, you can do this with your own blogs but Hubpages is so massive you cannot count it out.


Authors retain copyright to their work on Hubpages, so only they are in a position to grant  those who want to "use' their work permissions. 

Conclusion: How Are You Paid?

With Suite101 and Hubpages all payments are sent conveniently to your PayPal account on a monthly basis once you have reached the minimum payout requirements.

The amount you earn each month, if you haven’t reached the optimum, carries over to the next month.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 Is it worth touching?

Fiverr is one of the world’s largest marketplace for services starting at $5.

Fiverr is a community of creative people looking for financial independence while living the Gig lifestyle. It offers a safe and fun place to easily hire talented people from all around the world doing customized work for your every need at an affordable price.

Millions of sellers from over 200 countries offer more than 2.8 million services on Fiverr, adding thousands of new ones each day – from the fun and casual to essential business services.”

Okay, that is the blurb on the Fiverr website. I am going to put my neck on the line and say to all you aspiring and established writers, don’t touch it with a barge pole!

$5 equates to about £3.50 for all you UK based writers. Is it that a fair price for quality work? No. So you need to ask yourself this question.


The answer is not very good ones. And the good writers face difficulties.

You could argue that can at least give you a platform. It is free to register and it gives you the opportunity to create a profile and a portfolio but what is the reality of securing work and earning a living?

In order to sell something on Fiverr, you create a “gig,” which is a small service you are willing to perform for $5. You post your “gig” on the website and you are notified when someone orders your service.
48 hours after your work has been successfully delivered, $4 will be deposited into your accounts, $1 taken by Fiverr. Your earnings can be withdrawn to a PayPal account. By all accounts it is quite easy for writers to win “gigs.”
So far, so good. huh?
However, although I have registered myself, I have done a bit of research and what I have gleaned is far too many negatives to write about and I think that it is best for all you writers to read the less than positive reviews about the site, so I have posted this link.
Of course, if anybody has any positive experiences with please post your comments on my blog!

Constant Content and Fiverr. What do they offer the freelance writer?

Constant Content and are two websites that freelance writers can use to look for writing jobs. And get paid for them. At least that is the idea. But before you consider giving up your day job to write for money from the Internet, you need to be aware of the reality of what it is like. I am running blogs for writers' who are novices and need advice.  I have been writing for a living for eight years and have the experience to give advice.
I also want to invite discussion from other writers' to give an overall picture of making money writing from the Internet. In previous posts I have reviewed People Per Hour and Elance. In this post I want to review Constant Content and
How do Constant Content and work and is it worth your while?

Firstly, Constant Content

“Constant Content is one of the Internet's largest and most established marketplaces for SEO friendly content, connecting web publishers to the best content writers online.
With a roster of nearly 70,000 professional writers who have written hundreds of thousands of articles, Constant Content offers the most comprehensive high-quality article and custom content writing service on the Internet today.
Constant Content's service is two faceted and includes the Web's largest catalogue of unique articles for sale as well as a no-risk custom content writing service . Whether you need blog posts, article writing, copywriting, copyediting, SEO writing, press releases,white papers, technical writing or any other written content, we can do it.”

So says the blurb on the Constant Content website obviously aimed at content buyers. 

Believe me, Constant Content is great for those who have already written a niche article on say “The Many Health Benefits of Artichokes.” It gives writers a certain amount of freedom and control over what they write. Then all you have to do is wait for someone to buy it. I have sporadically sold content this way but you as the writer can perhaps work out what sells and who is most likely to buy. Think of Constant Content as a marketplace. You are the seller and the possible revenue is high.
The other good things about Constant Content for the writer is that it does insist on quality and original content. You can set your own price for your original article, something like £30-£50, which far exceeds what you can make on other sites. But, and there is always a “but”, there is a 35% commission charge but that saying, if you sold an article for £50 you would still have £32.50, which is not bad for 500 words.
Also, the editors can be rather nitpicky, rather like Suite 101 in the old days. They will pull you up on everything! It can be a little tiresome but it is part and parcel of the writing experience. If you worked for a newspaper you would get similar scrutiny but it would be instant. On Constant Content the editors can be slow at getting back to you on things they don’t like.
As well as putting your articles out there on Constant Content, you can also respond to requests. As you are dealing with clients directly who want  TO BUY copy pretty quickly, the editors aren’t as stringent with your work as they would normally be! This request system is what works for most writers on Constant Content simply because it is just easier and quicker.
On paper Constant Content is a great way to make money. It will allow you to build a portfolio of content that can be sold to thousands of customers on a global scale. You'll also be able to source a limitless number of new clients to work with through Constant Content’s Public Request System, and easily submit articles for them to review.
You can keep your rights to your own content or sell them. Remember, selling your rights demand a higher price.

However, and there is always a “however”, the reality indicates that you are not able to make a regular and consistent living using Constant Content alone although you CAN earn good money on here and actually FEEL like a writer.
So, on the whole CC is a positive selling-place for writers but cast your net wider to earn more money.


Tomorrow: I will review, I promise!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Is Elance Good for Freelance?

Rather like People Per Hour, Elance is an American based website which sources out experts in web design, computer programming and writing. It was a pioneer in the freelance revolution that evolved with the onset of the Internet.

Employers who do not want to spend money on permanent staff use Elance "experts" to get the job done at a fraction of the price than if they were on a company payroll.

For freelance writers, there is at any given time about 3000 writing jobs available on Elance but there is a lot of competition. It is a global market and Elance has a membership approaching the 3 million mark.

Many of the jobs require social media marketing, SEO and copy writing.

I joined Elance in 2011 but despite uploading my portfolio and profile I have only bid for a few jobs as I was busy elsewhere! However, to build up a list of potential websites that can earn you money it does not hurt to join Elance and create an impressive profile. It is free to join after all. That is the easy bit. The hard bit is allotting the time and the dedication to write proposals to win work. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of competition.

Once you have won a job, others will probably follow especially if you are given good feedback.

Beware, however, of jobs that offer low rates of pay. There are a lot of these on Elance which can be soul-destroying for those who want to earn a reasonable amount of pay for quality work.

There have been mixed reviews about Elance from writers appalled at the low returns but others have managed to successfully win a consistent amount of well-paid work. 

One frustration that many writers do eperience with Elance is that the jobs on offer are never actually given to anyone, probably because they are also on display elsewhere.

My advice is to use Elance but do not rely on it. Use your skills to build up networks and try other writing sites.

But to help you on your way, here are some tips to increase your chances of wining work on Elance:

How to Make Money Writing on the Internet?

Basically, there are three ways to make money from writing on the Internet. You can either use: 

  • Websites that offer membership so you can either bid on work or apply for writing jobs. Sites that I will discuss in future blogs are People Per Hour, Elance, Constant Content, etc.

  • Join sites that offer shared advertising revenue from the posts you write. Sites that include Hub Pages, Suite101, Treasurepen, Schvoong, etc.

  • You can create your own blogs and use advertising and social media to maximise your revenue.

Most writers will do all three. Let’s just first say, it is not easy to earn a living from writing on the Internet. It requires determination, time, a good knowledge of how social media marketing works and the willingness to share advice and ideas with the other members of the writing community.

It is also a plus if you can actually write but I will discuss what good writing is, in another blog, another day.

What I want to do in this post is share my experience of websites that I have used in my writing endeavours!

Websites that advertise work

PPH or People Per Hour is a site for sellers and buyers services that range from design, marketing to writing. It is easy to join and free, although there are costs involved for taking tests to evidence to sellers your competencies i.e in grammar and spelling etc.

You can upload a profile pic and your portfolio, which is basically selling you. What are your skills? Is it SEO, writing Guest Posts, or are you an academic writer? What are your skills? This is your chance to sell yourself to attract clients. But be honest. Don't say that you are a social media expert who can write guest post blogs on technology sites if your interests and skills are American History and proofreading.

I joined PPH less than three years ago and through the site I have earned over £3000. Not a fortune, I know but I haven’t been consistent in my bidding. There is a lot of work that comes up on the site from all over the world and obviously, the more work you win, the better it looks on your profile. Any writer needs a good portfolio. If you are a novice, give a sample of what you can do.

PPH is a writer friendly site. For mobile phone users there is a free PPH app and new jobs are instantly emailed to you. There are free bidding credits but if you want to bid more there is a charge. I, personally, have never had to do this.

After sifting through the jobs, and believe me, there are quite a few to sift through, I find I have enough free credits to make the proposals that I want. When making a proposal sell yourself. Use grammatically correct English with no spelling mistakes. Attach files of your work or pastes links (better if it is relevant to the job you are applying for)! As I previously stated, It is no good saying you can write a fashion blog if you know nothing about it.

To bid for a job, consider the money offered. I have found that some buyers are absolutely ridiculous in what they are prepared to pay. Do you really want to write 500 words for £1?

Do you think that it is possible to churn out 3000 words within a day? No.

What you need to do is never sell yourself short. On PPH there are many so-called writers whose first language is not English. What they do is apply for work at ridiculously low rates in return for a mangled mish-mash of Google translated English.

You, as a professional writer, are better than that.You should work out how much money you will earn in an hour doing this type of work. If the job is going to take you three hours and you want a decent return, then don’t sell yourself short. A truly professional firm will consider you and if you win the job, you will give a totally professional standard of work.

The buyer gives feedback on the site and the more positive comments you receive from customers, the more likely you will be hired again and again.

Payment wise, PPH ask for a deposit from the buyer to put in an Escrow account. When you have completed the work and the customer is happy then you create an invoice through PPH. Money is paid via PayPal. All writers need a PayPal account.

Whatever you do, do not be tempted by a buyer who wants to do business outside of PPH. Not at least until you have established a long working relationship. PPH protects writers- that is why they do charge a commission but don’t make the mistake I did once. I rewrote a whole website for a customer I found through PPH, who simply did not pay me. Because I was so desperate for work at the time I worked outside of PPH, at his request. If buyers are using the PPH website to search for quality writers then they should stick with PPH despite them sometimes suggesting that you don’t!

Don’t forget you can report late payers or tricky customers- you know the type- that move the goalposts and nitpick through your work. I

On the whole, my experience of PPH has been good and positive! It takes a while for payments to be approved but that is general for any freelance writer! You are always waiting for that cheque!

I would welcome any feedback to this blog. Have you had a good or bad experience of PPH? I would love you to share it.

NEXT BLOG: Review of Elance.