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The Truth about Online Job Sites like Guru.com – Part I

Editor’s Note: This review of Guru.com is over three years old, and we’ve received a lot of negative feedback about Guru.com in the years since then…our present stance is ‘caveat emptor’…..we would advise caution to anyone considering using Guru.com at the present time.

Many freelance writers flock to online job sites to find and apply for jobs. One of those sites is Guru.com. Last year I took the plunge and signed up with them. My first project was to write 15 blogs for a financial markets website. My accounting degree came in handy for this assignment. It was quite an experience from start to finish. Here’s part one of my review of Guru.com.

Guru.com [1] was established in 1998 as SOFTmoonlighter.com. “A number of spin-off sites were consolidated as A2Zmoonlighter.com in 2000.” The goal of the website was to provide a place for people who wanted to moonlight to supplement their regular income. In less than one year, the website attracted 50,000 users. Guru.com launched in 2004 and has been going strong as the largest marketplace for freelancers. They are only one of many online job sites on the internet.

What we like

Guru.com is a great site if you’re beginning a freelance writing [2] career. The free membership offers a lot for beginners. You can upload a resume, samples of your work, list your skills, create a bio, upload your picture, and so much more.

Once you sign up with Guru.com, you’ll start to receive notifications about projects. Your success depends on how well you build your profile. You can receive one or two a day; it depends on what the employer is looking for. Plus, it’s up to you how many projects you receive and accept.

If you have no idea how to create a bid or proposal, don’t sweat it. Guru.com provide samples of a bid and proposal. Some online job sites may not provide this information. At least you’ll have a guide for future reference.

As far as online job sites goes, Guru.com’s bidding process is easy. When you receive a project notification or invitation, you click on SUBMIT, enter your dollar amount, click a few boxes (answer questions), and create and submit your bid. It’s that easy. When you receive an assignment, you can either accept or reject it.

What we don’t like

Unfortunately, there’s a down side. Freelancers pay a lot of fees just to get paid. By the time you deduct the fees, a $100 project could drop to $88! Then again, it’s how you look at it. If it only takes you 15 minutes to finish a project, $88 is not bad. It’s all a matter of perception.

It would be nice if Guru.com sent an email making you aware that the system is having technical difficulties. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to bid on a project and you keep getting kicked out of the system. A message will be posted in the MY ADMIN section on the right hand side. If you’re a freelancer looking for work, chances are you’ll go straight to your project notifications and ignore the message.

Online job sites are a great way to make extra cash or jump start your writing career. You could develop very valuable contacts. You’ll also learn a lot about being “your own boss.” It takes discipline and organization to be a freelance writer [3]. Chances are you’ll have many writing assignments; you’ll need to keep track of them.

Stay tuned for part two of my review of Guru.com. I’ll be discussing Guru.com’s fees and “tips and tricks” for Guru.com.


Did you sign up Guru.com? Do you like it? Why or why not?1