Is Upwork Good For Freelancers? Is Upwork Worth It? Is Upwork legit? Is it worth Is it a good way to make money with freelancing and find freelance jobs? Let's take a look.
Upwork is an online job board that has been around since 2015 (it's a result of a merger between oDesk and Elance).
The website lists over 5 million+ freelance gigs, making it one of the biggest freelance job boards in the world.
Let's try to answer the question: Is Upwork Good For Freelancers?
How to Use Upwork
There are two ways freelancers can use Upwork:
1. Find freelance jobs that relate to your field of specialty, bid/apply for projects, and get clients. Work on these projects and get paid to work for clients.
2. Freelancers can post their own projects (much like gigs on Fiverr) or respond to client requests on the site (Upwork Project Catalogue). You are only charged if you secure a gig by accepting payment from your client through Upwork; otherwise, there is no cost to you at all.
Types of Jobs on Upwork
On Upwork, you primarily have two types of jobs: Hourly projects and fixed-price projects.
Hourly projects pay you by the hour (and you'll charge an hourly fee). Upwork guarantees these hourly jobs and every hour you work is every hour you get paid.
You need to track the hours you spend on the project by using Upwork Time Tracker (complete with regular notes on what part of the project(s) you are working on, and more.
Fixed-price projects are what they sound like: You get paid a fixed amount for a project, or tasks related to your project which will be broken down into milestones (which you and your client will agree on before -- or while -- working on the projects.
How Are your Earnings On Upwork Guaranteed?
For the hourly projects, all the work you do for clients is tracked (complete with screenshots of your laptop or desktop, work diaries, and the manual notes you'll add to the time tracker while working).
As long as you are doing this, your payment is guaranteed (depending on how much you charge hourly).
Fixed-price projects have an escrow system in place. This is how Upwork escrow works:
After awarding the contract, the client (after discussion with you or the way you suggest) creates milestones (specific tasks that need to be completed) for the project (sometimes, the entire project could be a milestone as well).
Clients fund each milestone (even if it's just one milestone), and you'll be notified. Clients might (or might not) specify deadlines (also depends on your discussions) for each milestone.
Start working on the milestone, deliver the task on time, and get paid (against that milestone).
Further milestones can be activated only if the previous milestones have been approved and paid for by the clients.
The "escrow" is a third-party financial account (lives inside your Upwork account, tagged to you). Before starting a project, clients have to "fund" this escrow account (you'll be notified that the escrow has been funded).
Note: Don't ever start working without the notification that the contract was awarded to you and that the client funded your milestone. It's one of the major mistakes many freelancers make (so, don't be one of them).
Don't. Ever. Start.
Is Upwork Worth it?
There are several freelancers who've made money on Upwork (and they continue to do so while you are reading this).
The stories are different. The people are different. There are varying skill sets.
Freelancers on Upwork are from various countries around the world.
But there are many who do it.
Here's a video on how much I make on Upwork.
Here's a post on How Morgan Overholt Made USD 500,000+ on Upwork.
Just do a search (for freelancers) on Upwork and you'll see how many people make money on Upwork.
While I can't answer whether or not Upwork is worth it for "you", it's been worth a lot for several people.
Is Upwork Legit?
Upwork is a legitimate site for freelancers to find work. The company is listed on NASDAQ , which means it's a public limited company, and it has been around for a while.
To be honest, I find Upwork more legit than several other companies where I might have ended up with a job.
Most small businesses and startups don't even last for more than 5 years. Upwork has been around for a lot longer.
What are Upwork fees?
Upwork charges 20% from each freelancer's payment and this can be frustrating to some people using Upwork.
But that's a moot point: there's a cost of doing business anywhere in the world. Think of Upwork fees as a cost of doing business.
The fees also reduce (per client) on various thresholds.
For instance, Upwork charges a percentage fee out of your total payments or billing per client:
$10,000.01 or more: 5%
How secure is Upwork for freelancers?
As for the site security itself, Upwork does have security measures put into place like two-factor authentication.
For payment protection (and for freelancer protection), there are several features such as payment protection if something happens (such as clients ghosting on you, clients trying to scam you, or if clients don't pay).
Even before you apply for projects, there are ways for you to determine if the client is good enough (client history, client spending, client feedback, and more).
There are also ways for you to "screen" or "vet" your clients so that you can decide for yourself if you want to work with the client or if you can trust the client.
Looking for resources on how to start earning with Upwork? Would you like to learn more about freelancing?
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