Using Upwork to Earn a Living as Freelance Writer: Part 2

in #writing3 years ago

Upwork is the biggest freelance platform on the web, but is it worth the hassle?


In Part 1, I discussed my experience using Upwork to gain freelance writing work. For starting out with no track record on the site, I've found the platform to be useful.

As with any activity, one must be especially persistent when beginning a commercial endeavor, in this case providing writing services for clients online. Sure, I have a decent portfolio to showcase writing samples, which is certainly better than nothing, but without a single review on Upwork, it's not easy to catch the big fish.

Upwork allows freelancers to connect with a large number of clients across the globe, and for writers, this is no different. While this is certainly useful, the platform isn't without its faults...

The downsides of Upwork


There are a few noteworthy negative aspects of the platform that aspiring freelancers need to be aware of. First, the site provides you with 60 connects per month, which is the token used to send proposals to prospective clients. Typically, a proposal costs two connects, meaning a basic account will only be able to submit 30 proposals per month.

Purchasing the $10 per month upgrade provides you with only 15 additional connects per month, though it also allows you to have unused connects roll over (free accounts don't), up to 140 connects. This limited amount of connects hasn't currently affected me, though I could see it becoming a problem once I shift to a more full-time workload.

Another aspect of Upwork that is slightly annoying is the user interface of the site itself. If you click on a job and then hit the back button on your browser, you'll be taken much further back than the page you were just on. For whatever reason, the site makes you use its own back button to go back to the previous page. This seems minor, but it's an irritation worth mentioning.

Perhaps the worst part of Upwork are the fees. While you can acquire work without paying any subscription fees, the initial commission fee is 20% of your contract. This goes down to 10% once you reach $500 from the same job, and 5% when you reach $10,000, and unlikely feat to achieve with a single job.

20% is a significant fee to charge and I think it would be more reasonable to knock the fee down based on how much you earn overall during a certain period, say per month/quarter/year. I understand this is the way Upwork earns most of its revenue, but it's a steep price to pay over time.

Overall, Upwork is definitely worth your time as a freelance writer


I've found Upwork to be a useful way to start gaining freelance writing clients. It's far from a perfect platform, as the UI isn't intuitive, the fees are excessive, and there are other quirks that could be ironed out, but it's certainly something that shouldn't be avoided if you're trying to make it as a freelancer.

The number of open writing projects for tags such as 'content writing', 'article writing' is anywhere from 1,200-2,000 jobs, a significant amount of potential clients to filter through. Compared with the other main platform Freelancer, I've found the quality of jobs to be much higher and worth my time.

In the overall picture, the ideal scenario would be to gain consistent work from multiple clients through Upwork and eventually propose to take the work off the site as a way to avoid the fees. Even if the clients decided not to go this route, Upwork is still worth your time and should be utilized if you aren't doing so already.

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Again, I agree with everything you have said in your post. The main thing I do not like about upwork is the fact that they bought or took over elance. Even thought elance was a much smaller network than what upwork is now, elance had a simpler interface, you would know a little more about the client and you had a little more control as a bidder. Also the fee was just under 10%. To me it seemed like upwork didn't like the competition from elance and did a corporate take over and in the end we have an inferior product. That being said, I looked around for other alternatives and can't find anything much better. . I have not had the same success with upwork as I did with elance, which was not much to begin with.
BTW, I do mechanical design engineering work Great post, Uv & Rs.

Aye, that tends to happen with mergers. You buy out your competition to jack up fees.

I just discovered a site called Clear Voice, where you don't have to submit proposals and the site will pair you with appropriate projects based on your skill level and pay requirements. I created my profile and I'll report back if I find success. It appears this platform is more for content marketers, however.

I will take a look at Clear Voice.

Thanks for this information, I have been thinking in using sites like this one to offer similar services.

What is the type of content that you have been writing?

I will probably open my account in there in a couple of hours.


You bet! I've been creating blog posts for companies and editing other people's work.


Do you think upwork is the best platform to work as a freelancer? I ask this because I know there are others like fiverr? By any chance do you have experience in some of the other platforms?

I have only used freelancer a limited amount, though the quality of work on the site seemed mediocre by comparison. Having a 'US only' option on Upwork eliminates the race to the bottom bidding wars that international writers will create.

I am excited to use Clear Voice, however.

Thanks for this important information, I am interested in being a freelance but I do not know how. I hope to read more publications that talk about how to be. @wfuneme

Best of luck to you.