Elance Blog

5 Job Post Writing Tips to Get the Right Contractor

One of the most challenging things for clients when they first get started on Elance can be the process of writing a job post. You put up your post, only to find that either no one submits a proposal, or you get dozens of unqualified bids to sort through. In some cases, you might wind up spending hours answering questions about the project from interested contractors, only to come up without a satisfactory prospect. Finding the right contractor on Elance is, in part, reliant on your job post. You need to create a job post that accurately reflects the work you want to have done, as well as the type of contractor you want to do it.

Here are several elements you need to include in your job post if you want to find the right candidate the first time:

1. Create a descriptive job title.
Your job title needs to be succinct, but it also needs to contain some essential bits of information. “Writer needed” might be accurate, for example, but it doesn’t tell contractors what kind of writing you need to have done. Try to include at least the specific type of work you need to have done. For example, your title might be “Sales page writer needed,” or “Blog post writer needed.”

2. List your actual project budget.
One of the more frustrating experiences for clients occurs when they either simply accept the default project budget, or when they put in a budget that doesn’t reflect their actual willingness to pay.

If you want to have 50 blog posts written and you list your budget as $500, for example, you’re not going to get bids from those contractors whose rates are above $10 per post. That’s not a problem if that’s the level of writing you’re looking for, but if you can afford $20 per post and want higher quality, you’ve got to set the budget correctly.

3. Include specifics in the job description.
You also need to be specific and detailed in the way you describe your job. Consider the following two examples:

“I would like to have some blog posts written about finance topics.”

“I would like to have 50 blog posts of 500-750 words written about personal financial management.”

The second example is only five words longer than the first, yet it gives potential contractors a wealth of additional information. It tells the contractors what sort of expertise you’re looking for as well as the exact parameters of the job in terms of word count and number of blog posts.

The first job description will likely garner you many bids—perhaps as many as 30 to 50. Most of those bids won’t fit your project because you haven’t provided a scope. You’ll wind up having many discussions with potential contractors about approximate word count and number of posts that could have been avoided with just five additional words in your description.

4. Mention any special requirements.
If you’re looking for someone to provide the work in a specific format, say so. For example, if you want contractors to provide the 50 blog posts in Word Perfect format, mention that in the job description. This usually isn’t a problem, but some contractors may not have access to the specialized applications or skills you’re looking for.

5. Be honest about the potential for additional work.
If you want to try out a bunch of different contractors to see if you can find one that might fit your needs before you hire one long-term, say so. However if you’re just sort of testing the waters and it’s going to be another year before you’re actually ready to start the long-term project, don’t dangle that in front of your contractors.

Here’s a little secret from the contractor perspective: it’s not too hard to tell whether a client is being truthful when they say that a project can lead to additional work. Unfortunately, there are those out there who use this promise of additional work to get reduced rates, with no real intention of giving additional work. Contractors can be a jaded, skeptical bunch at times, and such statements without supporting evidence (such as a long client history on Elance) are likely to be dismissed.

Finding the right contractor on Elance doesn’t have to be a long, difficult process. There are plenty of qualified contractors here with the skill sets you need. By putting some real thought into your job posting you’ll save yourself the headache of having to search over and over again, or of coming up dry altogether.

About the Author:
Bob Younce is the owner of Composing Business, a freelance copywriting firm currently ranked in the Top 50 writing providers on Elance. Composing Business is dedicated to helping other small businesses get ahead with high-quality, compelling copy. Contact Bob on Elance or visit his website at www.composingbusiness.com.



very nice post thanks to you for sharing....


Hi Bob,

This is valuable advice both for buyers and providers. Strange, how just a little bit more targeted effort can actually lead to reaching your goals.

Here's my list.


Great post! One additional point, from a provider's perspective: Many buyers want work done fast, cheap, and well. Most of the time you can have only two of the three:

Fast and well done (high cost - the provider is making a living wage while focusing on your project )
Fast and cheap (quality often suffers unless the job is a tiny one - provider is doing lots of cheap projects to boost stats or to make ends meet)
Well done and inexpensive (slow turnaround time - provider fits your work in between other projects or is a new provider trying to get his or her profile off the ground)

Best of luck! There are many excellent providers here, and at least one of them is sure to be a great match for your project.

Great post, thanks for sharing this.
Action Games

Thank you for so usefull information!