We’re getting a lot of support tickets, PMs, emails, and posts about soft blocks, so here’s a run down about what this is, why you might not be able to see work, and when you might be soft blocked.
What Are Soft Blocks?
Soft blocks are a tool we use on managed content (larger projects that are managed by a CC admin in some capacity). We use them to ensure workers who are new to the specific project don’t complete dozens of tasks without fully understanding the instructions, style requirements, etc. for that project.
What that means is that after a certain number of tasks on a specific managed content project, you may see all the work in the queue for that project only disappear. We set the soft block number depending on the length and complexity of the task, usually between 2 and 5 items.
The soft block isn’t rolling. That’s to say: you don’t get blocked every 5 items. The block is removed after you’ve completed the requisite number of items and they have been accepted by the CC admin. Once you’re through the soft block on that project, it doesn’t happen again.
You can, however, be blacklisted from a project even after getting through the soft block if the admin in charge of the project decides you are not performing up to the requirements. Some common reasons for getting blacklisted from a project include:
- Repeatedly not following instructions for the project
- Writing under the quality level required for the project
- Simply not understanding or being able to write to that particular client’s voice or style needs
- Repeatedly resubmitting work without addressing revision requests
Note that being soft blocked or even blacklisted from a particular project is not necessarily a commentary on your writing and doesn’t preclude you from other work. We have some writers who have not been able to meet one client’s requirements or style, but they excel at what another client wants.
Am I Soft Blocked on the Marketplace?
Soft blocks are per project, and you can’t be soft blocked across the entire platform or marketplace.
Why Can’t I See Any Work?
You can see work at your star level that is posted to the open queue, to teams you are on, or as a direct order to you. Work can be posted in the Marketplace or under managed content, and under each section, there are writing and editing tabs. Make sure you are clicking on the right tab to see the work.
If you don’t see any work, then none is available within your credentials and star levels at this time.
But, I Just Got an Email Saying There Was Work
Freelancing is a competitive business, and work goes quickly. It’s common for work to be gone in just the time it takes you to see an email and click over to look for the work, especially during times when work is less flush across the platform or the industry. For example, experienced freelancers expect work to slow down in January and pick back up slowly before hitting feast periods in the spring.
Every freelancer is unique, of course, and how you experience the flux and flow of work depends on your niche, how you’ve built your personal brand and portfolios, where you work, and your experience level. It’s a good idea to track your work through the year so you can plan for the normal ups and downs you might see start to trend.
What Do I Do When There Isn’t Work?
I use work down times for a lot of things, including:
- Catching up on non-freelancing obligations so I’m free to grab and complete work when it is available
- Spending time with my family, which makes up for the days when I’m locked away with the computer during feast periods
- Editing and bettering my online portfolios and profiles
- Applying for new writing gigs
Self care (seriously, get it while you can