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For nearly five years, I’ve been working on writing projects through Elance, a web-based platform for online freelance work. Businesses post jobs and freelancers submit proposals. The site provides a virtual workroom, so clients and contractors can exchange messages and documents while maintaining anonymity, and have an official record of work in progress. Elance provides an escrow account and once the funds are escrowed, they guarantee payment if the contracted work is delivered. A reasonable commission is deducted from the earnings, which are released to PayPal when the deliverables are met. “In 2013, Elance was selected as one of Red Herring’s top 100 companies,” according to Wikipedia.

Getting started was difficult, but I found my niche in resume/ LinkedIn profile writing, and landed some great clients, many of whom became repeat customers. With experience, I was able to build a profile I was proud of and this in turn seemed to attract more clients. The site is easy to navigate and Customer Service is very helpful. The template for proposals is uniform, encompassing background and methodology, so I was able to develop a strong presentation that I could readily customize to the job posted.

Well…all good things come to an end.

Elance merged with their competitor, oDesk, and the company that emerged is called Upwork. Many Elance subscribers are not happy, myself included. I’ve begun to research other freelance sites, but I’m not sure I will find the quality platform I’ve become accustomed to. I miss the Elance design, virtual workroom, job search email alerts, easy non-interview bidding process, free and fast PayPal transactions, customized profile, credential verifications, and viewable client star ratings.

If you’re an online freelancer, please share your experience and recommended platforms.

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