Introduction to Upwork.com
Today we are going to discuss a company which freelancers and clients frequent. It is called Upwork and it is significant to note that the article focuses mostly on selling our services as freelancers.
However, we as affiliate marketers or traditional offline businesses can both use this platform to outsource tasks – that is pay others to do our work.
I have used this platform in the past for purchasing articles. Since then, I have moved to a smaller, more private company named Human Proof Designs.
This is because I am somewhat familiar with the owner through our association at Wealthy Affiliate, they are reliable and serve my needs.
But with a few well-executed strategies you can certainly find reliable people to do your bidding at Upwork and if you are a small business owner looking to make a few bucks on the side while your biz is growing this is a good place to start.
What is Upwork?
Upwork is an online marketplace for freelancers and service providers, where clients post gigs and jobs, and freelancers can submit proposals to do the work.
Upwork was founded in 2015, with the merging of two popular freelance platforms: Elance and oDesk, making it one of the very earliest online freelance platforms.
Over time, Upwork has expanded to serve companies and employees around the world and is available in most countries except:
- North Korea
In 2017, Upwork reported over 14 million users in 180 countries around the world and $1 billion in annual freelancer billings.
Upwork has a wide variety of jobs and gigs available in different industries, including web and mobile development, design, writing, administration, customer service, marketing, and more.
How Does Upwork Work?
For freelancers who join Upwork, they must first create a profile that features their skills, experience, credentials, and their rate and availability for new projects.
Over time, they will also get ratings and feedback from their Upwork clients which will appear on their profile.
Employers or clients who join Upwork can post projects or jobs on the site, and they can search freelancer profiles and invite specific people to apply for their posting, or freelancers can search for projects and submit a proposal for consideration.
When an employer and freelancer enter into an agreement with each other, Upwork becomes the communication and payment center for the work.
All correspondence, file transfers, invoices or time sheets, and payment processing is done through Upwork. The client initially transfers money to Upwork, which is held in escrow until the work is approved.
Upwork then credits the money to the freelancer, who can get paid by PayPal, Skrill, direct deposit, or other methods. Upon completion of the project, both parties rate each other and can leave written comments if they choose.
What Does Upwork Cost?
Upwork is free for employers to post jobs, but collects 2.75% from employers as a payment processing fee.
There are advanced employer plans that include personalized services like custom reporting, hand-matching of candidates to jobs, and other bonuses, but they don’t publish pricing on those employer plans.
Upwork is also free for qualified freelancers to join, and freelancers don’t pay to be a member of the site. Instead, Upwork makes most of their money by charging freelancers a percentage of the total amount of each job they do on the platform.
The cost schedule is as follows:
- $0-$500 lifetime earnings with a single Upwork client: 20%
- $500.01-$10,000 lifetime earnings with a single Upwork client: 10%
- Over $10,000-lifetime earnings with a single Upwork client: 5%
Therefore, the best approach for a freelancer is to keep working with the same clients over and over if possible, in order to lower the fee, rather than work with many different clients.
This pricing structure change is relatively recent and intended to motivate freelancers to deliver high-quality work and build long-term relationships on the platform.
Upwork has been around a long time, and there are many online reviews based on the experiences people have had on the platform over the years. Here are some of the major pros and cons:
Pros of Upwork
[ Freedom ]
You have the privilege to work anywhere you want. Many people don’t like the idea of waking up early in the morning to go to an office job. Upwork makes it easy for freelancers to work from the comfort of their own home.
[ Payment is reliable ]
Every freelancer knows the potential for clients to try to change the terms or withhold payment for one reason or another.
While clients on Upwork can still engage in this behaviour, the fact that you have the assurance that they have already fronted the money to Upwork to cover the contract, and it’s being held for you, dramatically increases the chances that you will get paid, and reduces the percentage of clients who refuse to pay for completed work.
[ Huge variety of projects ]
Because Upwork has been around so long, it has gained traction in the orthodox work community. This means that companies around the world, large and small, use Upwork for various projects, and freelancers have access to a wide range of clients, jobs, and rate ranges.
[ Good search tools ]
There are a lot of jobs and clients on Upwork, and many of them are very low paying. Using their excellent search tools and filters, you can narrow yourself down into the skills, categories, job types, and payment ranges you are looking for.
Cons of Upwork
[ Loss of privacy ]
Hourly work on Upwork means installing their software on your computer, which will then log your activity and take a screenshot every 10 minutes.
While this offers clients assurance that you are actively working during all the time you claim to be, some projects and jobs involve research and thinking that may not lend themselves to this kind of observation.
If you prefer to have more privacy in your time management, steer away from hourly rate jobs on Upwork and stick to milestone-based employment instead.
[ Competition reduces rates ]
Because freelancers on Upwork compete with each other on a global scale, many freelancers reduce their prices or underbid jobs to get the work.
Over time, this leads to a site-wide reduction in the rates that clients expect to pay for quality work. This level of competition doesn’t lend itself to earning as much as you might with private clients.
How Does a Freelancer Join Upwork?
In order to join Upwork as a freelancer, you need to apply. They will review your resume, skills, and experience and determine whether you are a good fit for the site. If they feel that you don’t have enough talent or experience, they will reject your application.
However, it’s such a huge platform with a global reach, that it may be worth getting more experience or taking some classes and trying a second time to gain access to the jobs on Upwork.
Conclusion to Upwork.com
Most of you reading this article may be looking for people to perform tasks for your on or offline business. This is just one of many places you can search for freelancers. Please also read my article Virtual Assistant Jobs from Home.
It is geared towards people looking to earn money online, however, it also list’s a number of websites as you scroll down the page where you can hire workers.
Finally, because I am an affiliate marketer and my purpose with project freedom is to help other like-minded folks realize their dreams of true financial security, I highly recommend you read my review of Wealthy Affiliate.
While it is true that finding freelance work is important to paying the bills having a long-term strategy so you can retire in comfort is also crucial.
Note: The feature Image was created by Devan at Canva.com