My areas are creative writing and data mining/data entry, both of which are insanely oversaturated on Upwork. It's typical for a job to have 20-50 bids by the time I see it. Should I still use my limited connections to bid, or is it a longshot at that point? I imagine that a client would be so overwhelmed by that point and wouldn't even read the later ones.
I have gotten to the point where I check jobs at least a dozen times a day to try to get one of the first bids in, figuring that has got to help.
I also have no idea if my hourly amount is too high because I have the free version that doesn't let you see bids. I'm thinking about trying the paid version just for that and the extra connections.
I've had the same experience with data entry jobs. At this point I'll very rarely bother to bid on a data entry job, because I can't imagine that my bid is going to make any difference unless I seriously undervalue my work. It isn't worth it to me to try to get a reasonable amount of money for a job I can do incredibly well and effectively, but that someone else is willing to do for $5.
My advice, simply based on the number of data entry jobs I have bid on and the lack of responses I have received, would be to ignore data entry jobs altogether. They're tempting, but I've wasted too many connections hoping to somehow, impossibly, stand out in a crowd of other people with the same skills. If you can set yourself apart on a particular job, go for it, but otherwise it appears to be a long shot.
I don't know why any freelancer who has to regularly find new projects on Upwork would not pay $10 a month to be able to see the range of bids on projects they are interested in.
It's imperfect information, but gives you an idea of what you're up against on all projects you submit proposals on.
I doubt pricing is the be-all and end-all of successful proposals in all specialty areas on Upwork. But if your area of specialty is a commodity, low pricing might be key to successful bids. And let's not forget that a client can exclude all proposals from freelancers with sub-90 JSS, regardless whether the client has any idea how that "rating" is calculated.
For myself, I never submit proposals on projects where more than 20 bids are already in the hopper. Truth be told, I'm so busy I don't submit many proposals at all anymore.
And I don't submit proposals where my minimum bid price will be well above the high end of the existing range of bids, though I do confess to occasionally bidding on jobs with pricing that is waaaaay higher than the current range when the client posts a massive job with extensive requirements and and a budget that would work out to only a few dollars per hour of work required. Some clients have no clue how much work their projects will require if they want a good job done.
Thanks for your comments, Will! When I first started here, it was to see if this was something I could see myself doing long-term. I tried Freelancer.com and didn't like it at all. Now that I have been having steady work on here, I'm ready to invest in the paid membership. :-)
I'm a writer too. If I see 50 bids, I usually pass the job on by.
The exception is when the job literally seems tailor-made for me (or I for it, if you want to look at things that way).
If the job is SCREAMING "This is yours!" I'll go for it anyway. And I'll hit the ground running with a proposal opener to that effect. Otherwise...nah.
It's not a matter of saving on connects. I never use all my connects, and some months I don't use any connects at all. I just don't like fighting through a crowd to get noticed, and potentially not even having my proposal opened due to the client being swamped. Perhaps I've missed out on one or two good jobs that way, but I've also missed out on a lot of headaches and extra work only to get no response, so it's kind of a wash, IMO.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
John K wrote:
I’ve only tried the paid membership for a month and I don’t write or do data entry but for fixed price jobs, I’ve always assumed that the lowest bids are ridiculously low and the average would be fairly close to the client’s original budget so I think knowing the range isn’t too useful.
The highest and lowest amounts are misleading, because like the number of applicants, they only include those who have not been declined or archived, not everyone who applied.
I have no problem bidding (significantly) over both the budget and the highest bid, including multiples of either. I pay very little attention to the budget (or what other people are doing - that's none of my business. My business is my business.) If the budget roughly aligns with my expectations, I do bid the budget, otherwise I ignore it.
Thanks for your comments, Melanie. Every once in awhile I will see something that really speaks to me and I'll apply even if they have preferred qualifications that I don't meet. Though I feel like those are really pointless as well.
If you want to, regularly check back on the jobs you applied to and see what the going rate was for the person they engaged, you may be surprised that they often don't take the lowest rate.
Also you never know, I had someone come back a week later on a job with 60 applicants and hire me today. My rate for that one was lower than normal but I need the work at the moment.
Don't sell yourself short.