*Another Great Writer Wrangler Site Review: www.guru.com
By Laura Spencer
I have been a member at guru.com since before it was called guru.com (the site used to be known as CreativeMoonligher.com. There also used to be related sites called ITmoonlighter.com, OFFICEmoonlighter.com, and BIZmoonlighter.com. All of the sites were part of an overarching site called Emoonlighter.com.). My involvement with the site has always been solely as a guru (independent contractor).
At one time I even had a paid membership. My current membership is a free membership. (Ironically enough, the times I did get work through this site I was not a paying member.)
Things I Like About guru.com
- Navigation. I have looked at several other job bidding sites. I find the interface at www.guru.com to be clean and easy to follow.
- Project tracking. This site provides a project list of projects that I’ve bid on (Project Tracker), a Watch List for project that I’m interested in, and summary of past jobs.
- Online resume and portfolio. I like the convenience of having a resume stored online and readily available for potential clients to see. (Some levels of paid membership also allow you to link to websites that you have created or to create an online portfolio.)
- Regular leads. Even as a nonpaying member I receive more leads (averaging about six a month) from this site than from any of the other bidding sites where I am registered as a free member.
- Invoicing tool. Not only does the site provide an online invoicing tool, but also it keeps a record of every invoice that you’ve ever sent. I can still see invoices that I sent out over three years ago.
- Prompt Payment. I was paid quickly (within a few days) by direct deposit for the jobs that obtained through this site.
- Feedback Rating. I like being able to see how other contractors rated employers. I confess that I was a little nervous about being rated myself thinking that I might be downgraded unfairly, but it turned out that I received a high rating.
- Help System. The online help for this site is excellent.
Things I Don’t Like About guru.com
- The Site’s Cut. It’s important to remember that the site receives a percentage of your payment. This percentage is higher if you have a free membership.
- Other Bidders. At this site you cannot see what other bidders are bidding (or at least I haven’t been able to discover a way to do it).
- Project Quality. At most bidding site there is a significant quantity of jobs that are either described in such vague terms, that don’t seem to be anything that I want to do, or that don’t pay well. From what I’ve seen, this site is no exception.
- The Best Jobs. Understandably, the best jobs are usually available to paying members first.
- Unrated Employers. Many employers are unrated, so you don’t know anything about their history or what other contractors have thought about them.
What I Don’t Know Much About
- Escrow. The site has it and it does make me feel slightly better. However, I never had a problem with a payment.
- Mediation and Arbitration Services. If escrow is used the site also offers mediation and arbitration services as needed. Again, I’ve never had a problem so I’ve never used these services.
In summary, I have found www.guru.com to be very comparable to the other bidding sites on the Internet. At the current time, I do not get most of my business through bidding sites. However, I am registered at three or four such sites. For a writer who is willing to bid frequently and who is willing to be diligent about searching for new leads, I believe that sites like www.guru.com can play a role in their overall business plan.
Laura Spencer is a freelance writer who specializes in business and technical writing. Laura blogs at www.writingthoughts.com.