Success in freelancing depends on two major factors, first the users and secondly the freelancing platform. There are different freelancing platforms each with a different set of features. These features are what make the platforms unique. While there are so many angles with regards to the overall success of an online marketplace, we take a closer look at common avoidable mistakes that freelancers make everyday impacting negatively on their overall success.


                                   Profile Mistakes

1. Names

This may seem like an obvious thing but we wouldn’t mention it if we haven’t received complaints from Buyers. Some of our freelancers are too careless, for lack of a better word, to even spell their names correctly.


A profile name that appears as John Doe is different from john doe.


What does the Buyer think when he/she sees the name john doe applying for the job titled Expert Writers Needed? How can john doe be an expert writer when he can’t write his name correctly?

Chances are the Buyer will not proceed to the main bid message sent by this particular freelancer.


2. Incomplete Profile

Your profile should speak for you. We recently introduced new fields such as Title/Tag, Objective & Career Background. Freelancers should use this to put more information in addition to what is in the about me section.

Here is a sample that can guide you (Only a sample and should NOT be used anywhere)


Title/Tag: Article Writer

Objective: Writing quality content that will add value to the readers

Career Background: Having completed my university education, I decided to try out freelancing and I have since attained certification from CopyBlogger & IWAI

About Me: I have been freelancing for the past 3 years having done several projects for different clients as shown in my portfolio. As an article writer I have written content in several niches include technology, astronomy, agriculture, fashion etc.  Writing is my full time job and I am currently open to offers. Apart from writing I also do, keyword research, Search Engine Optimization as well as Social Media Marketing.


This profile paints a better picture to the Buyer compared to the one below


Title/Tag: Article Writer

Objective: Not mentioned

Career Background: Not Mentioned

About Me: I like freelancing.

Note that in the sample we provided, we did not fill up the page with a lot of information. We only mentioned what the Buyer could be interested to know. The Buyer needs to make fast decisions therefore do not make your profile too long.


3. Portfolio Items                

For freelancers who have been freelancing for some time, they must have done jobs elsewhere since Apexlisting is a pretty new platform.

For new freelancers, check whether in your work history you have something to showcase. If not ensure to add at least one portfolio item of the first job you get here.


                                          Bidding Mistakes


1. Bids Too Short

We came across bid details with very few words like

“I am interested”

“Please hire me”

“I will offer the best”

“You can trust me on this”

It is not bad to be straight to the point but then there are other jobs that require you to write at least a paragraph.

Here is an example of a better bid.



Article Writer Needed

Bid Message: 

Good day,

I would like to express my interest on the Article Writing job you recently posted. With my 2 years experience in writing, I would like to offer you nothing but high quality content, well researched, well formatted, plagiarism free and delivered on time.


Despite the fact that the bid is a little short the Buyer can easily notice a few things. One is that you know the specific job you are bidding on, two, you have 2 years of writing experience, 3 you understand that your work should be well structured and not plagiarized. You already caught the attention of the Buyer with just 2 statements.


2. Not following instructions

We noticed that Buyers want to test attention to details at the very beginning. This is why most of the jobs have some sort of question to check whether the freelancer can follow simple instructions.

Based on our findings, out of 20 freelancers only 5 are able to follow specific bid instructions.


An Example of bid instruction is

Start your bid with the following statement “I love freelancing”

Freelancers who don’t start their bids with the given statement already send a negative message to the Buyer showing how they skip simple instructions.


3. Grammar & Spelling

This is where most of our freelancers are guilty. We have been posting internal job offers and the results are astonishing. Freelancers are sending bids like they don’t matter. If you are to ever succeed in freelancing, you have to first succeed in your bidding strategy. Avoid spelling & grammar errors at all cost.


4. Copy Pasting bids

Creating a bid message and copy pasting it on every bid you send is another common mistake freelancers make. Every job is different. 2 jobs may have similar titles such as article writing but may be completely different. It is advisable to read the job description and write a bid that fits the description.


                                        Other Recommendations


1. Verification

Apexlistings is open for registration to anybody but then once you join as a freelancer, you have to take an additional step so that you stand out from the rest.

We call this VERIFICATION, where freelancers submit academic papers as well as identification documents.

Freelancer Plus members with an active subscription get verified for free. 


2. Services

Most Buyers only want to register once they find their preferred freelancer. That is why we introduced the Add Service option to allow freelancers create specific services and include a contact where Buyers can reach them faster. This helps Buyers to shorten the hiring time by simply ordering the service. 


3. Online Status

As a freelancer you never know when a Buyer will contact you. Usually buyers send messages before picking a freelancer. If you take long before replying, chances are, the Buyer will move to next freelancer. Therefore freelancers should regularly check their account or email addresses for notifications.


4. Email White listing

Sometimes we contact freelancers to ask why they did not accept the offer from the Buyer and they tell us they never received the offer. On finding out why, we discovered the offers went into spam box and were missed out. Same applies to messages. While we don’t have control over email deliverability and where the emails land, we know that white listing emails from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will help new emails land into your inbox.


Freelancing is very demanding, it requires patience, persistence and resilience. Freelancers should be more proactive by advertising links to their profile and services for maximum exposure.