Nightmare on Freelance Street – Don’t shell out for poor quality content

The idea of cheap freelance work is very tempting to the cash-strapped startup or self-published author. There are loads of online marketplaces that promise to deliver speedy freelance work at a fraction of the price. Seems all well and good, but what are you really getting for your money?

If you fall for the promise of cheap and fast freelance work, you could actually be shelling out for low quality content from sub-par freelancers.

How common is low quality content?

You might want to hide behind your sofa for this next part. We’re going to talk about some of the horror stories out there. A quick Google search reveals tons of stories from clients who got burned trying to get cheap freelance work done through an online marketplace. Let’s just say they definitely didn’t get the high quality content they thought they’d signed up for.

Take, for example, indie author Frankie, who tried to use Fiverr to get his book cover designed. Because of his tight budget, the promise of cheap design work was very alluring. However, he worked his way through over 20 designers in an effort to get the end result he wanted. And still, nobody could deliver the design he required. One designer even took payment without delivering any work at all.

By the end he’d spent ten times his original budget and didn’t have any usable work to show for it:

I gave each designer whose cover was close to my vision a second chance and in some cases, a third chance, as well as a tip, if they could get it right – most of them were not able to

Unfortunately, Frankie’s experience is not a one-off. AdEspresso ran an experiment to test some of the top freelance marketplaces out there. They posted a fake project on Fiverr, Upwork and 99Designs to design a fictional Facebook ad. Then they sat back and waited for the results to come in.

What happened next was not what they expected. When they received their finished designs, not one freelancer had managed to fulfil the requirements of their brief.

Out of the numerous designs they received, there was one that was potentially useable. But, this piece of content was very poor quality and not something AdEspresso would have been happy to use in the real world.

I’m sure you’ll agree that’s far from a happy ending. But, it doesn’t have to be like this. You can get good quality freelance work from an online marketplace if you know where to go and what you’re looking for. Here at Twine we want all our clients to get a top quality end result.

How does Twine do it?

You might be forgiven for thinking Twine is just like any of the other freelance marketplaces out there. But, there’s a subtle difference.

We care about the freelance work that’s produced for our buyers. We want to make sure all our buyers get a quality product first time round, and within their budget requirements.

Here’s how we do it:


Personally vettedPurple + yellow illustration of happy people. Vetted pitches ensure quality content and a happy buyer.

Unlike other marketplaces, at Twine we personally vet each pitch you receive to make sure it meets our exacting standards. We don’t want our buyers to receive tons of poor quality, time wasting pitches, which they have to sift through to find a suitable freelancer.

We hand-pick the best pitches from only the top freelance creatives and make sure they can meet the requirements of your project. If they aren’t up to standard, they don’t get a look-in. This means you’re guaranteed quality content at the end.


Manage your projectTwine's 'Manage Brief' page makes it easy to manage your project and get high quality content at the end.

Getting good quality freelance work is all about managing your project from start to finish. Now, this is the responsibility of both the buyer and the freelancer. A lack of good management from one side can spell the end for your project.

But luckily, Twine makes it easy to manage your freelance project, all from one place. Our manage briefs page lets you track the process of your project. It’s a useful hub that lets you see what you’ve completed so far, and what your next steps are.

Each step is completed through Twine, meaning you don’t have to swap between lots of different services to manage your project. Getting high quality content is easier than ever before.


Communication is key

Envelope with 3 speech bubbles saying 'hola', 'hi' and 'ciao' - Twine's messaging system makes communication easy.

Good communication with your freelancer is essential for your project’s success. You and your freelancer both need to be able to ask questions, talk through ideas and give feedback. Without this crucial aspect, you won’t get the end result you want and the work you do receive won’t be what you expected.

It’s a good thing that on Twine you can talk directly to your freelancer. Use our Twine messaging system to reach your freelancer through Twine. Or, use our secure email messaging system. This lets you exchange emails with your freelancer without having to give away any of your personal information, like your email address. Protection for you and your freelancer.


Share filesColourful illustrations of different file types. Twine's file upload system means you can safely get your quality content at the end.

Get updates on the progress of your project by sharing draft files through Twine. Talk through how it’s going and send feedback. When your project is all done, your freelancer will use Twine to send you the final project files.


You’re in safe handsMedal with a tick and dollar symbol.

At Twine we protect our buyers. You’re always covered by our money back guarantee – if you don’t get the work you wanted, you don’t pay a penny. Plus, the Twine team are always on hand to help whenever you need it.

You can send payment for your project at any time during the process. But, Twine will hold onto your payment until you’re 100% happy with the completed project and the work you receive from your freelancer. Only then will we release payment to the freelancer. That’s peace of mind for you.



After studying English Literature at university, Vicky decided she didn’t want to be either a teacher or whoever it is that writes those interminable mash-up novels about Jane Austen and pirates, so sensibly moved into graphic design.

She worked freelance for some time on various projects before starting at Twine and giving the site its unique, colourful look.

Despite having studied in Manchester and spent some years in Cheshire, she’s originally from Cumbria and stubbornly refuses to pick up a Mancunian accent. A keen hiker, Vicky also shows her geographic preferences by preferring the Cumbrian landscape to anything more local.