In this post, I’m going to reveal one of the most commonly overlooked opportunities for finding freelance projects and how I was able to land over $7,000 in one month in projects.

I’m talking about job bidding sites like Elance. And the best part is that this happened just 6 months after I got started.

Why Many Freelancers Swear Off Job Bidding Sites

Job bidding sites like Elance have gotten a bad reputation from some of the top bloggers and freelancing gurus, mostly due to low paying projects.

These sites allow just about anyone to sign up from countries all over the world. That means that you are potentially competing against people living in countries where a few hundred dollars is enough to get by for the month.

I’ve read a lot of blogs and books about freelancing and almost none of them recommend job bidding sites. In fact, some of them tell you to stay away from them.

Why I Decided to Join Anyways

So if all the experts were saying to stay away from job bidding sites like Elance, then why did I decide to join in the first place?

Here are a few reasons…

1. I noticed that there were other freelancers from the US that were doing pretty well.

These were the people that stuck around long enough to figure out how things work and build their reputations.

So I figured if it worked for them, then I could make it work for me too.

2. Targeted prospects

I liked that the prospects were highly targeted. In other words, people that were there were already interested in buying what I had to sell.

If you compare it to networking and other forms of marketing, then this is actually a big advantage. You don’t have to convince them to buy because they are already looking for your service.

3. Efficiency

I can find highly qualified prospects and send them my info very quickly. For a beginner freelancer, this can be one of the easiest places to start finding prospective clients.

And quite honestly, it seemed like one of the easiest things to try.

My $7,000+ Month

My highest paying month of my first year on Elance was about $7,000 which came in December. Here are some details of how I achieved this milestone.

1. Regular clients

I had a big project from a regular client. This resulted in a big portion of the payout.

Some people might think that once the website is done, the client won’t need your help anymore. Although sometimes this is true, I’ve found that a lot of times, they will keep coming back to you for more work.

Building relations with clients and getting repeat business from them is one of the keys to success in freelancing, whatever channels you choose to market yourself on. I probably get around an estimated third to half of my monthly projects from regular clients.

2. Building a Strong Profile

One of the benefits to sticking with freelancing sites like Elance is that you can build your ratings profile. Unlike freelancing in the real world, people can actually get a sense of your work history and see how you did with other clients.

Over time, getting good projects becomes easier and people will actually seek you out for their projects. Sometimes, I get invited to close to a dozen projects in a day.

3. Systematize Your Work Day

Being organized and controlling your time is very important. I set aside time to bid on new projects, work on daily tasks, and other things.

Avoid distractions, including allowing clients to interrupt you at random times. Treat it like a real business and not just making money on the side.

To sum it up, freelancing sites are a great opportunity for newbie freelancers and anyone struggling to get more clients.