Are freelance writer marketplaces a racket?
December 20, 2005 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Anyone out there ever forked over money to join a freelance writing marketplace website, like the one at MediaBistro, or Freelance Work Exchange? What's it like in there: are reputable folks hiring? Is it drawing away employers from free sites like Craigslist, or vice-versa? And was it worth it?
posted by johngoren to Work & Money (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I paid to join MediaBistro for two reasons: access to their health insurance, and their "How To Pitch" series, back when I was looking for a literary agent. The only reason I still pay the $$ is because I am using their health insurance. On the other hand, people do seem to find it useful. There *are* tons of reputable jobs on there, and there is also the freelancer's marketplace, which is viewed by employers as more reliable than Craigslist, and viewed by freelancers as more reliable than Craigslist (no tales of woe of not getting paid or getting ripped off as you will find on CL). MB is totally on the up and up.
posted by micawber at 12:39 PM on December 20, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks...(great David Copperfield reference in your username by the way)
posted by johngoren at 12:58 PM on December 20, 2005

I wouldn't say the job listings on Mediabistro are great. (Though compared to Craigslist, well, they sort of are, actually.) But they're not strong in freelance opportunity particularly. Discussion on the boards seems lively though. And in this market (ie, "shitty"), probably anything you can do to help yourself is a good idea.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:41 PM on December 20, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, RJ, I'm interested specifically in the freelance marketplace as opposed to the fulltime job listings -- finance director at Simon & Schuster or whatnot.
posted by johngoren at 1:55 PM on December 20, 2005

I'm a professional freelance writer and photographer, and I've gotten a few good writing gigs out of the blue through Mediabistro in the year or so since I've joined. (I have an Avantguild membership).

The how-to-pitch articles are good, too, though that information goes stale very quickly. I haven't really explored too much more of the site (don't live in LA or NY, for starters). But it's more than paid for itself.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:22 PM on December 20, 2005

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