Are you a freelance writer who is wondering whether PeoplePerHour (PPH) is good for getting writing jobs?
Here are my PeoplePerHour highlights as a freelancer:
- Earned to date £6.1k
- Completed 100 jobs
I’ve been a freelance writer on PPH since 2012. £6.1K is not a lot for 6 years, is it?
Depends on how you look at it.
From 2012 and 2016, I only used it occasionally as I was working full-time. But, since January 2017 I’ve been a full-time freelancer and PPH accounts for approximately half of my freelance writing income.
So, will you find success on PPH as a freelancer? Is it any good for freelance writing jobs?
I’ll share my PPH experience with you and let you decide.
PeoplePerHour: How Does It Work?
Here’s a quick summary.
If you are a buyer:
1 Post a ‘project’ (job).
2 Receive proposals from freelancers.
3 If you find your perfect freelancer, award the job.
4 Pay the deposit into an Escrow account.
5 Upon completion, pay the invoice and leave feedback.
If you are a seller (a freelancer):
1 Send proposals for jobs.
2 Receive a deposit for each awarded job.
3 Complete the job.
4 Raise the invoice and get paid.
You get 15 free credits per month, each job proposal costs at least 1 credit.
Another way to buy and sell is through ‘Offers’ (formerly called ‘Hourlies’).
A freelancer can set up any number of fixed priced ‘offers’. All the buyer has to do, is hit ‘Buy Now’. The seller is obliged to deliver as per the offer description and timeframe.
Here’s what they look like on your profile:
How Much Commission Does PPH Take?
PeoplePerHour charge fees for various things – not just commission on jobs.
When you pay for the completion of a project, PeoplePerHour charges a commission of 60p plus 10% of the value of the project.
Optional extras include:
- £10 to mark the project as ‘urgent’
- £26 if you want to include an automated NDA for the freelancer to sign
- £50 for the ‘talent scout’ service – this is where PPH review proposals and send you a 3 shortlisted recommendations
- £50 to make the project ‘featured’ (so that freelancers see your job at the top of search results pages)
PeoplePerHour take a service fee per job completed. Here is how it is calculated:
If you earn over £5000 per buyer – 3.5%
If you earn between £500 and £5000 per buyer – 7.5%
If you earn less than £500 per buyer – 20%
The listed earnings exclude VAT and the minimum service fee is £2.50.
As mentioned earlier, you receive 15 free credits per month. These are spent on submitting proposals. You can purchase more at a cost.
When you get paid for completed projects, the money sits in your PPH User Account. To withdraw this to your bank, there is no fee. But for other accounts, there are. For example, a 1.9% withdrawal fee is charged for PayPal.
Optional extras include:
- £9.95 to ‘feature’ your offer (to increase the visibility of it)
You can read a detailed breakdown of fees on the PPH website.
Pros And Cons Of PPH For Freelance Writing Jobs
The Good Bits
PeoplePerHour helped me launch my freelance writing business.
It enabled me to:
- Build a portfolio (while getting paid)
- Understand how freelance writing jobs work and what to look out for
- Obtain independent client testimonials
I had to start cheap. Once I gained a few client testimonials, I was able to increase my rates. In fact, within 3 months, I was charging five times what I started on.
Now that I have gained momentum as a freelance writer on the site, I charge going rates.
But there are a few obstacles to relying on it for a full-time income.
The Bad Bits
Their service fee hurts.
PPH takes a hefty commission from sellers. It can be deflating when quoting for jobs and seeing how much you’ll actually take home.
Too many buyers want cheap freelancers.
Quite frankly, the number of freelancers who under charge, regardless of experience, is astounding. It influences buyer expectations and makes well-paid jobs hard to come by.
How To Get Started (it’s not as easy as it used to be)
When I started on PPH, I just set up my profile and started bidding on jobs.
Now, the process is slightly harder.
Here is how it works.
- Complete an application form to become a freelancer.
- Wait for approval.
- Build your profile and start bidding for jobs.
In order to keep your new profile active, you have to win a certain amount of jobs. I can’t find the exact amount on their website – sorry.
The thing to remember is that to be successful on PPH you have to play a long game.
No matter how good you are, you’re unlikely to start getting well-paid freelance writing jobs quickly. You have to invest in creating a polished freelancer profile, bidding for lots of projects and collecting positive customer feedback.
The Secrets Of Winning Freelance Writing Jobs
Over the years, my profile, portfolio and offers have undergone a number of facelifts. And each time, I have seen an improvement in the number of freelance writing jobs I am winning.
Here are my top 3 tips:
#1 Write a personal profile
Writing in a formal style doesn’t help buyers connect with you.
So, avoid writing in the third person. Address your potential buyer with ‘you’.
#2 Display a high-quality portfolio
People want to see examples of high-quality work at a glance. They might not even click on your portfolio items. So, you should keep it visual. And pick a few samples rather than a lot, that showcase your skills.
#3 Write strong proposals
Tailor each proposal to the buyer’s job description.
If they haven’t included very much detail (a common problem), you can ask clarification questions that display at the bottom. Or, you can submit a proposal that asks questions. This is a great way of starting a two-way dialogue with the buyer.
One thing that has transformed the success of my proposals is sending a live sample whenever possible. I always share a link to my portfolio but if I can, I send clients an example of what I can produce for them in-line with their project description.
#4 Create as many targeted ‘offers’ as possible
My offers have generated a large portion of my PPH income.
When you are creating offers, think of a bitesize service you can offer. Explain what it includes as concisely and confidently as possible.
Another tip is to be conservative with the timeframe you set to deliver the offer to the buyer. That way, you won’t be penalised for being late and, you can earn more through add-on services like faster delivery.
Many buyers prefer the idea of selecting freelancers themselves and clicking ‘buy now’. It’s much faster than wading through hundreds of proposals. So taking the time to set up offers is worthwhile.
Honestly, I’m not sure if they are completely fulfilling their mission. But, putting that aside, is PPH the right website for you to get freelance writing jobs?
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are undecided about whether to join PPH as a freelance writer:
- Are you willing to wait a while before getting well-paid jobs?
- Have you got the time to invest in gaining momentum on the site?
- Can you afford to accept freelance writing jobs that are less than your going rate?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then it is likely that you will get value out of joining PPH.
However, if you want well-paid jobs right away, this isn’t the site for you.
For me, PPH helped me launch my career. And it currently serves as a part-time income. I could definitely earn more but I am choosy about who I work with and the rates I am willing to accept.
I’d love to hear about your PeoplePerHour experiences…
Please share them with me by commenting below!