Basically you open an account and then you have to read the Elance University crap and take a test on that. This site is not easy to navigate and that is apparent by the fact that you have to take and pass a test on how to use their site. Then you can upload a portfolio of your writing or related free lance work. (web design etc) My friend Tammy has it down to a science. She has a really professional looking portfolio etc on there.
Then you go "bid" on jobs and try to get them. I have been told initially you may have to do some of the lower paying jobs to build your reputation. Once you get that you can bid on the higher paying jobs. For sure people that can write well in English have a huge advantage over the free lancers there bidding that are from Pakistan etc.
You can take the tests offered to show prospective clients that you do understand and can write in English :) I did take a couple of the tests and scored well.
Hey how did a picture of Annie get in here??
Anyway my friends all seem to just love Elance and make tons of money there. Just don't screw up setting up your account like I did. When I have more time I am going to give it another try if I can get someone to fix my account. I have been told it is way better than Demand Studios as you do not have to put up with cranky editors.
As usual if you decide to try it please use my referral link when you sign up.