10 Tips for Hiring on Elance.Com

Build Your TeamI have too many WordPress websites to provide content for them all and I outsource some of the work to specialized article writers on Elance.  You can go to Elance to expand your staff beyond just you and outsource a job that you would usually perform.

Unfortunately when I first started creating WordPress websites from scratch I wasted a lot of money on unnecessary mistakes. It is not always easy to judge how well a person will do a job from half way across the world. There is no face to face contact with some contractors, although I like to try and achieve this through Skpe. I have writers in the USA, the UK, and even Europe.

Posting Your First Job On Elance

Posting your first job on Elance can be a little daunting but the first step is the easiest. All you have to do is sign into your Elance account, press on the hire menu item, then choose post a job from the menu.

It is easy to starting posting a job, but the hardest thing is to get the job description right.

5 Tips For Hiring on Elance

1 ** Be Clear About What YOU Want

If you are vague with your job description then what ever you haven’t mentioned, usually happens. It is almost your fault for not finding the right person on Elance.com. You need to be precise and take time writing your listing.

Having a plan is the best way to approach this. You shouldn’t just create a job on the fly and hope for good results.

2 **Set a Price Range

Set a price range of what you want to pay because otherwise you are wasting both your time and the writers time when they put in a proposal. You do not want extravagant quotes coming in. Some people get paid more than others for doing the exact same thing so be careful.

3 **Set Your Job Criteria

Set you job job criteria and be strict and stick to it. If you are upfront with the rules now, hopefully you will flush out the people that do not suit you. If they get freaked out when they see your criteria that’s good. You only want the right person for the job.

4 **Delivery For The Job

Tell people exactly when you expect delivery because people can get very slack when working unsupervised. Just remember that the people applying for this job are from other parts of the world and have different work ethics. What you think is normal and courteous, may not be in their country.


When hiring the right person on Elance.com always use Escrow which allows Elance to hold your funds until you are ready to release them. Do not release the funds before the job has been completed.

A friend of mine released $200 accidentally before receiving any work and the writer mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth, along with the money. He used Escrow but his inexperience led him to push the RELEASE FUNDS button. If the writer had not supplied the work and the funds were still in Escrow they would have been returned to him. Elance is great that way.

Example Job Listing – Hiring the Right Person on Elance.com

I need many articles but this job is for 25 to see how we work together. I am a serious buyer and will continue to give you work providing you adhere to these guidelines:


*** You must be able to write in good flowing English.

*** You need to engage the reader and make them feel like you are talking directly to them.

*** You must deliver articles on time, as per schedule.

*** All articles are to be on the same Word 2003 doc. We do not accept word 2007. (This is so my VA can open them.)

*** The file name must be labeled clearly. Eg. Niche_yourname_1-10 and Niche_yourname_10-20

*** Each article on the Word document must have its own title.

*** All articles need to be 500 words in length. They should also contain subheadings and sometimes bullet points.

*** All articles will be checked through Copyscape so make sure you are providing 100% original content. No PLR content.

*** While writing an article you must wear red underwear. (Just checking if you are paying attention)

*** You relinquish all authorship of articles.

*** You must provide the same high standard throughout the whole project. If your output does not match your sample work then we will have to cancel our job.


1. Subject one

2. Subject two

3. Subject three


See the attached sample and then choose a topic from above and write your own sample article to send to me. I will not accept previously written articles. I want you to choose from the subjects above.


I am on a budget as I buy 100’s of articles a week on a variety of niches. For this project I want to pay $4 for 500 words, however depending on the quality of your sample, this price may increase.

I will not accept any bids higher than $100. Please do not waste your time if you cannot fit to our budget.

Hire a World of Talent at Elance

Result: If your asking “WOW, did she even get any responses to this job advert?” Well the answer is yes! I had about 5 applicants and I actually chose 2. That’s how good they were.

Job 2 Example – Hiring From Elance

I need a person who can write well and make computer problem solving sound interesting and easy.

You also need to have perfect English skills. I do not have time to edit your articles.

I want to concentrate on solving computer problems that occur. This is a permanent job for the right person as I will never stop buying great content.

This job will be for 2 articles at 1000 words each. You will have to put the article into a WordPress website and save it as a draft. If you have images you will need to add them too.

Articles should include subheadings and focus on a few main keywords. (therefore sticking to the subject) These subheadings are included in the word count.

I am expecting the best quality, most interesting articles. If you are a beginner then do not apply and waste my time.

Please quote for 2 x 1000 word articles. Also remember that this should be your permanent price for ongoing regular work.

Result: I received 20 or more applications for this job and hired one person. That person has been working for me for two years now.

Update: Since this post was published I have hired many more people to write for me. Hiring the right person on Elance.com or any other job website gets easier with experience. Also the key is to keep great writers busy with your work so they have no time to work for others.. Ha Ha.

Example Job Template 3

When posting a job on Elance there are job templates available to use. Simply press on the job template you want to use and it will be loaded into your job description area. Then you can edit and add extra text.

Here is the Article Writer template:

We’re looking for an Article Writer to generate high-quality written content for our business.

Your responsibilities:

– Develop content themes based on the direction and creative brief provided by our team
– Write original, high-quality, SEO-friendly articles that communicate our messaging to a wide variety of audiences
– Publish written articles on a variety of content websites, content management systems or media outlets
– Take on ad-hoc writing projects as they arise
– Contribute ideas on improving existing messaging and content

Your qualifications:

– Excellent writing, grammar, spelling and formatting
– Strong communication skills
– An exceptional portfolio that demonstrates an ability to create compelling copy for a wide variety of brands, audiences and industries
– A complete Elance profile
– References or an established reputation on Elance preferred

5 Bonus Tips For Hiring On Elance

6 ** Never Show Your Inexperience

You know how a dog can smell fear, well so can some people on the internet. If you show a weakness you are practically asking to be ripped off. I know this is not a nice reality to face but I don’t think you want me to lie. If you are a newbie, go and research some job descriptions and work on it until it looks like you are in charge.

7 ** Never Release Funds Early or Pay In Advance

As my friend had to learn the hard way, you can now learn by his mistake. Never pay an Elancer or anyone until you have received what you require from them.

Some people will expect to get paid in advance also..This is not recommended at all. the only time to pay for the work you requested is when you have the finished product in your hands and you are completely happy with it.

8 ** Don’t Over Share Details of Your Project

I have read some job descriptions that totally give away the best ideas! These crazy people tell every detail about their idea to the world for someone to take advantage of. You should only really do into further details when you have hired the person for the job. Only release close examples of what you might need, not the actual project.

9 ** Use Skill Levels

In Elance you can require a minimum skill level to show your job to. for example you might require a 4.5 skill level for English and therefore only people that have passed that level can apply for your job.

10 ** After Hiring, Keep Communication Open

Working over the internet can be difficult as you cannot see the other persons facial expressions. Therefore you have to read between the lines and also be careful how you write. Simple things you usually say to someone in person can be interpreted in many different ways if not written in the full context.

Keep in constant contact with the person you employ. Keep up to date with progress on the project and tell them if you are pleased or not happy with their work.

Hiring the right person on Elance.com definitely requires that you scare a few people off first.


  1. says

    The idea of Elance is great, but the quality of applications for your posted work range from WTF – to – Just OK. Within seconds of posting a job, you get a million auto-applications from people in third work countries who barely speak English. Aside from that, a majority of the application will be far above your pay range and include a generic response about how qualified they are and never mention anything specific to the job you posted. I wish we had better success with Elance, the concept of it is wonderful, the quality, not so much.

  2. says

    God article As an Elance provider myself, I have been thinking a lot about the other side of things lately. Of the things you mentioned, I think that feedback is really revealing, not only because you can see what the provider’s (and buyer’s) track record is, but because you can get a sense of their Elance job histories. What kinds of jobs have they been involved with and how well did they do them (and for how much)?
    Veeramanchineni Lalitha recently posted..41 Simple Arabic Mehndi Designs : Mehandi Guide

    • says

      Yes that is true. Checking their job history is a great idea.. I do this easier on Odesk though as you can see more job details. Elance kind of only shows you a minimal amount of info.

  3. says

    Hello ! These are impeccable tips. Once I was searching for the job on Elance and I found lots of people with no price tag. This was not good for me to experience. So one must care about these minors things while posting a job.
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  4. says

    I started my online journey as a freelancer on oDesk (will merge with Elance in the next few months), but the bidding process is just not viable for freelancers, as it drives prices to the bottom.

    I actually started at $2 per 500 words — but that was just to get the first couple of gigs and, of course, the testimonials.

    Good jobs are hard to find on such platforms, and, frankly, I pity writers who get into the trouble of placing bid after bid after bid for similar paying levels.
    Helene Poulakou recently posted..Social Media and Productivity

  5. Itender Rawat says

    Currently using freelancer. Will soon work with elance too. Really helpful points you added. I love to work as freelancer and would follow the tips from your post. Thanks for sharing this piece of informative article.
    Itender Rawat recently posted..Some Best DVD Makers for Mac

  6. John Will says

    Hi Mitz!
    It’s really a nice post.I was looking for some nice tips whcih i found here.Thanks for sharing these beautiful ideas.Thanks for sharing these tips.
    John Will recently posted..Live Cricket Streaming

  7. Maja says

    It is growing trend on the freelancing sites that service providers get job from one site and post this project on other freelancing site at low price. These persons are known as Freelancer Boss,
    Mitlz I appreciate your tips.
    Maja recently posted..Reasons for Short Haircuts

  8. hillmart says

    I think as a Elance freelancer worker and a client, in both the cases i think one has to keep these important points in mind. This would help both in either case in getting a job or for hiring a lancer for the job. I think these are the standards set by a elance manager. Goog post i would say.

  9. says

    I have never hired anyone to work for myself, but I was working as a HR manger for some time in IT industry…and it’s not a very easy thing, I’d rather tell you. Both sides have many requirements that should be met

  10. says

    Back when I was in the semiconductor industry, we once invited a PHD scientist to our corporate office for an on-site interview/meeting. He shows up with his son in tow. He wasn’t interested but want us to interview his son instead who recently graduated from college.
    Ann recently posted..FDA’S Latest Developments on Hair Loss!!

  11. Live Cricket says

    Hi Mitz!
    My boss has hired a few people to write articles for our blog to help with SEO, he picked 1 good one out of 3. I want to help him write future ads to put on Elance so we can get good writers. Also I stumbled upon this article because I was looking for a good web designer to do contract work every now and then.

  12. John Will says

    Hi Mitz!
    These are Really Excellent tips on how to hire the right people for your startup company. You not only need great candidates, you also need candidates who will be able to thrive in a startup environment. Before hiring, you’ll want to explain the realities of startup life in the in person or video interview. Turnover can be costly, and you want to make sure you’re hiring passionate people who will stick with your company, not bail when the going gets tough. Thanks Mitz for share very Important tips

  13. Andrei says

    Well I have to tell that you really have to pay attention to what you are hiring these days on elance…I hired 2 writers, one from India and the other one from Pakistan to write 5 articles each, +1000 words / article. It’s been 2 weeks and I have 2 articles from one, the other didn’t deliver a thing…
    Andrei recently posted..Google ruins the excitement caused by Nexus 4

  14. Aasma says

    Hi Mitz,

    I never hired anyone using Elance or Odesk. However I do use their services to find relevant work according to our services. If you could help me I need one more help from you… Can you give some examples to prepare good Elance profile so that you can get more work. I’m not looking to show fraud details, instead how to display your normal services in very effective way??
    Aasma recently posted..Online Mobile Recharge Software Developers

  15. says

    Hi Mitz
    Great post.Thanks for share it.I agree with your all tips. Find the right people for your business is very essential. Of course, preparation is the vital thing, you have to make certain that you already know who will be the people available, how they do things, what they do and how your company could help their business. Lists will give you far in achieving your business strategies.
    Santosh recently posted..Most Loved Destinations Around The World During Christmas

  16. Clarkmartin says

    Hi MITZ
    These are Excellent tips on how to hire the right people for your startup company. You not only need great candidates, you also need candidates who will be able to thrive in a startup environment. Before hiring, you’ll want to explain the realities of startup life in the in person or video interview. Turnover can be costly, and you want to make sure you’re hiring passionate people who will stick with your company, not bail when the going gets tough. Thanks Mitz for share very Important tips.
    Clarkmartin recently posted..CEE LO Sexual Assault Accuser Had Long History with Singer

    • Mitz says

      Yes you are right that turnover is costly. I like to see what people need and try and supply a better working environment, especially if they are great at what they do. I do not like having to find new people. I will stick with the ones I find for years if they let me??

    • says

      The escrow part is interesting writer have nice thought about payout cash without any work deliver that’s so awful, that you cant do any single task then how you able to withdraw an amount.

  17. says

    Really, really simple question for you on this, Mitz…

    By having folks release all authorship, you then take what they’ve written and spin it in your own way, add SEO “optimization tunes” and claim as your own article?

    I haven’t considered doing anything like this yet for 2 reasons: 1) I’m not making money thus far, and 2) I’m really hoping to get some “organic” guest authors – ideally that I already know. But it’s really good to know this is available and it can be made to work!!

    And Okay – I guess I gave another question as well. What’s a VA??

    Mark recently posted..Tree Planting 101

    • Mitz says

      A VA is a Virtual assistant.
      I get articles from writers and rarely publish them as is. Sometimes I publish their article under their name, not mine… Other times I edit the article to my liking and publish it as mine… That takes time also but helps me save time. :)

  18. Mark Tesa says

    Hiring the right person highly depends on you. If you are not clear on what you want then you might just end up hiring the wrong person and it might not be his or her fault but yours. If you can conduct an interview then it can really assists you in hiring the right person.

  19. gary says

    Actually, no good writer will ever do work for money sitting in an escrow account. If the buyer dies, or gets in a car accident, or Elance goes bankrupt, all that work was a waste of time.

    Seriously, if you use the escrow account to hold funds until you get your payment, you will get garbage for a product.

  20. Karl says

    Great article! My boss has hired a few people to write articles for our blog to help with SEO, he picked 1 good one out of 3. I want to help him write future ads to put on Elance so we can get good writers. Also I stumbled upon this article because I was looking for a good web designer to do contract work every now and then. I don’t suppose you have any tips for writing elance ads for that?

    • mitz says

      Yes I do have one great tip…Go to odesk.com and search through the job listings to get ideas for what to put…Elance does not let you see as much detail as Odesk, however I like to hire people from Elance as I like the system.

  21. mitz says

    You really have to make sure you mention everything you want to get done or you will get burned…Elance.com is a great website but it can be costly if you do not know what you are doing?

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