Thanks for joining me today for my review of Upwork, a platform that is designed to offer work from home opportunities to freelancers.
My review will cover everything you need to know about the site before you decide to try it yourself. I will be finding out how you get started, how the platform works, how to make money and get paid, and of course what the pros and cons are likely to be.
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Introduction To Upwork
Upwork is a freelancing platform that connects employers (clients) to professional, skilled individuals looking for work from home opportunities. The platform was established in 2015, after two similar freelancing websites known as Elance and oDesk merged to form Upwork.
Ever since its launch, Upwork prides itself as one of the biggest freelancing platforms available today. This brings us to the big question. Can you really make money working from home using this platform?
Getting Started At Upwork
Signing up with Upwork is absolutely free for freelancers. However, you may upgrade your account and become a Plus member for only $10 a month.
Signing up is simple and straightforward. You just need to enter your name, and work email address, and then set up your password. After verifying your email address, you must create your profile and await approval from Upwork.
It is important to ensure your profile is professional and reflects your abilities accurately. See the instructional video below from Upwork which offers tips on getting your profile up to scratch.
What is important to note is that Upwork are very strict when it comes to accepting applications from freelancers. Your application to join this platform has to go through a stringent review process that seeks to test your skills and experience.
The reason for this process is to ensure that Upwork admits highly skilled and reliable freelancers who are more likely to deliver high-quality work. The decision to join will be communicated to you within 24 hours.
How Does Upwork Work?
Upwork uses a bidding system where freelancers have to submit proposals to clients to get jobs. Essentially, you just have to search for projects that match your interests and skills, and then bid for them.
You will see all the details about the project, including the requirements, timeline and payment info.
The client or owner of the project will go through several proposals before making a decision on who to hire. Once you are hired, you must work on the project strictly as per requirements and set timelines.
Finding work is often the hardest part, especially for newbies. This is because most clients prefer to work with freelancers who have a good track record and several reviews.
Also, competition for jobs is extremely rife considering the fact that you will be up against highly skilled freelancers.
Nevertheless, this should not discourage you, as plenty of clients are willing to offer jobs to newbies and entry-level freelancers.
Try to ensure that you apply for jobs that only match your skills and interests. To secure a job, your proposal must be optimised for that particular task.
It isn’t recommended that you use a template for example when applying for different jobs. Additionally, keep your proposal short and informative to increase your chances of securing the job.
Upwork offers two types of contracts:
- hourly jobs
- Fixed-price jobs.
Hourly jobs are tracked weekly, and it is your responsibility to record time worked on your work diary. Funds will be moved to your Upwork account once the work week is over and the client has not raised any disputes.
On the other hand, fixed price jobs have a preset rate. If the client is offering $200 for the project, you will receive this amount in your account when you complete the job.
With fixed-price jobs, you may also get paid a set installment after reaching a specific milestone.
The beauty of working on this platform is that you get to see the amount of money the client is offering before bidding for the project. This allows you to select high paying projects that match your skills and interests.
Also, there are plenty of jobs to choose from, and you can put together a profitable freelancing business once you build trust with your clients.
Payments At Upwork
Upwork charges a service fee for every job you do. This fee ranges from 5% to 20% depending on the amount paid by each client.
Amounts below $500 are charged 20% while amounts above $500 but below $10,000 are charged 10%. Amounts exceeding $10,000 are charged 5%.
This sliding service fee is based on the amount each client pays. For instance, if your earnings from a particular client exceed $10,000, you will be charged 10%.
However, if you get a new client paying less than $500, you will be charged a 20% service fee for earnings from that new customer.
Payments on Upwork are 100% safe. The platform offers a Payment Protection Guarantee that protects freelancers from unscrupulous clients.
Upwork demands that all clients must pre-fund their projects before you start working on them. Upwork also has a robust resolution center that settles disputes quickly and amicably.
This platform does not have a minimum payout threshold. You may withdraw your earnings at anytime via bank transfer, PayPal or wire transfer.
What Is Good About Upwork?
- Free to join
- Plenty of jobs
- No minimum balance
- Fast payments
- Multiple payment options
- Robust resolution centre
- Stringent application process
What Isn’t So Good About Upwork?
- Has what some may consider to be a high service fee
- Competition is rife
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Final Thoughts On Upwork
Upwork is one of the best freelancer platforms available today. They offer plenty of jobs, while payments are fast and safe.
However, joining this platform is a tough task. You have to go through a stringent review process to gain admission. Also, you have to bid for jobs and compete with highly skilled professionals to get hired.
Despite the few concerns, Upwork remains a viable freelancer platform.
Star Rating 3.5/5- A top freelancing platform that can become a full time source of income for those with the available skills. Getting accepted on the site could however prove to be a big obstacle for some.
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