Kenyans on Freelancer – Part 1

If you’re a regular here, then you know about, or as some members call it, GAF. No, that’s not some secret subscribers code. It’s just the initials of the site’s old name, Get a Freelancer [Dot Com]. I’ve wanted to join the site for a long time, but I was afraid to try. I was eventually bullied into signing up [bless my bully!] and I’ve been working on this site for almost a month, so I thought it’d be good to do a little recap.

GAF is like a modern day sweatshop. We often complain about little kids in Indonesia being forced to sew buttons for 12 hours a day at 20 cents an hour. GAF is like that, except that we’re all grown adults and we use our minds more than our fingers. We write, design, create … and most of us  have more than one degree.

Here’s how it works. You go on the site and you register as a worker. You study the job board and look at the tasks and projects. You choose the jobs you want and decide how much you want to be paid. You approach the employer and say you’d like to do job XYZ in 123 days and that you’d like to be paid Q amount of dollars.

And then a worker from India peeks over your shoulder, looks at your bid, offers to do the same work $30, and gets the job. I’m not making this up.

Well ok, it’s not really that bad, not all the time. I’ve bid as much as $350 dollars for a gig, and sometimes you get paid what you bid. But the average bid on the site is $30, so you might not want to ask to be paid a thousand.

When an employer posts a job, they tell you how much they’re willing to pay. The usual budget is $30 to $250. As a freelancer, you can bid any figure within that range, but usually, the lowest bid wins, and a lot of people bid just $30.  When I tried for my first job, the prospective client was quite impressed with my work and my samples, but asked if I would be willing to lower my bid. I did. He has paid me a lot more since.

Getting a job is not just about price though. Sometimes, a client will willingly pay more money if he feels that your work is deserving. When you apply for a job, you read the project requirements, then click ‘Bid on this project’. You’re taken to a page where you key in your  price, suggest the duration of the task, and write a little note of 5000 characters explaining why you’re right for the job. You have the option to send a private message to the client’s inbox, where you can whisper sweet nothings and offer kickbacks or a bribe.

I’m just saying that. Nobody offers kickbacks or bribes. I think.

Once you’re awarded a task, you do it and deliver, and then you get paid. The client has an option to put up a public review of your work, saying how good you are or how much you suck. The more reviews you get, the more chances you have of winning bids in future.

So far, I’ve worked with two clients on the site and gotten one review. Both clients seem quite happy with my work and have given me repeat business. But I have to keep bidding for new clients because at $30 per assignment, you have to do  hundreds before it adds up. Sometimes when a client likes your work, they pitch you directly, so you’ll look at the job board and see ‘Job for Threeceebee’, meaning no one else is allowed to bid. Other times, the client will send work directly to your inbox and not post it on the job board at all.

…to be continued…

Crystal Ading’ is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through

Additional Resources


  1. […] you’re just stepping in, you can gather the first part of this here. Moving […]

  2. […] by Crystal Leave a reply » TweetIf you’re just stepping in, please have a look at the first and second […]

  3. […] – Part 4 August 20th, 2010 by Crystal Leave a reply » TweetHere’s Part 1, Part 2 and Part […]

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