Cover Image - Is Upwork Good or Bad? – Upwork review

Is Upwork Good or Bad? – Upwork review


This July, on 27th I completed my first work anniversary. Yeah, time flies fast. I joined Upwork last year as a freelance programmer, in February. And here is the Upwork review after one year of use...

It’s another thing that I completed the profile only in July, as a part-time freelance writer. It's more than a year since then. (Check What I did last summer!)

So, my Upwork experience and what is Upwork all about.

How does Upwork work?

Upwork is a website for freelance assignments and does Upwork really work? Well, it does. People around the world post their requirements for a freelancer across different categories. And these requirements can either be one-time or for a long-term opportunity.

Moreover, the registration to Upwork is free. But if you decided to work as a freelancer at Upwork, you need to pass their screening. Because of a large number of freelancers working through their site, Upwork has limited new registrations. So, you need to have some good set of skills which you think they don’t have in abundance.

How to get a job on Upwork?

There are thousands of freelance jobs posted daily, and there are two ways you land one. Either you send the job posters captivating proposals, or the client sends you an invitation to apply. And I got my first job through an invitation from the client. In both the cases, however, you need to prepare an interesting application which makes the clients look no further.

Apart from the clients, there is a team of talent acquisition professionals searching for the right freelancer for the jobs posted there. So, make sure you keep your Upwork profile updated with relevant skills and portfolio items. But don’t you think that you can’t get jobs on Upwork without any experience. I started with a clean slate there.

I had few product reviews which I put up as my portfolio just so that the portfolio section doesn’t look empty. OK, I got my first job within a week, but for the next one, I had to wait for another month. Still, for the next six months, I couldn’t add anything more to my portfolio. I was getting jobs regularly but only ghostwriting contracts, and thus, the feedback matters.

After receiving a few feedbacks, I started using them as a reason for the clients to hire me. And except for one, all my client experience has been superb. All the Upwork jobs I completed, got me quick payments, except for one client who forgot what we discussed. But the Upwork support executives got the matter sorted.

And it brings me to the next thing of my Upwork review – the Upwork payment method. (Read My first 100 dollars)

How to get paid on Upwork?

Once you and the client agree on the terms, the client will initiate the contract, and you can then, start working. There are two types of contracts on Upwork – Hourly and Fixed-price. For the hourly jobs, you get paid weekly. You log your hours using the Upwork Desktop client and get paid automatically if the client doesn’t have any objection to the work logged.

For the fixed-price ones, you submit your assignment to the client, and he will then approve the payment. Whatever your contract is, the amount will reflect in your account after five days, minus the Upwork fees. Upwork calculates its fees based on your relationship with respective clients.

It takes 20% of the payment for any new client you start working. The fees, however, reduce to 10% after you completed $500 of work with that particular client and it’s 5% after $10,000. And it’s one of the reasons I go for long-term collaborations. I have got two there who provide me with regular work.

Money transfer

Now, coming to monetising those figures in your Upwork account – how to transfer money from Upwork to a bank account. You can either do it yourself or set a frequency of automatic transfer. For me, Upwork India payment methods supported are direct bank transfer and PayPal transfer. The two PayPal transfers I made so far, have been instant. No complaints there!

Is Upwork safe?

OK, now let’s get to the important question – How safe is Upwork? I don’t know about other freelance job sites, but after working at Upwork for a year, I will say it’s safe. All you need is to take precautions, a bit of awareness and do all business within Upwork.

They have an integrated messenger which can handle file transfers as well as messages. And if you ever have a dispute, the support team will accept only those messages as proof. Don’t send them screenshots of your conversation through emails. Any conversation outside Upwork and you violate the terms.

As for payment, work for only those clients who have “Payment Method verified” displayed, and of course… check feedback by the freelancers. Yep! It’s a two-way business. Both the clients and freelancers provide feedback to each other upon completion of the contract.

Conclusion – Is Upwork Good for me or Bad?

Like other things, the decision depends on individual preferences. I started my freelancing career with Upwork and find it one of the best freelance websites. I don’t have experience with other Upwork alternatives, so not in the position to compare.

But I do use LinkedIn to get freelancing opportunities. Even my friend Mark Quadros, a B2B content writer, has used Reddit and social media to grow an extensive network of clients.

By the way, Upwork did limit my profile visibility recently as I didn’t make any earning for quite some time (more than a month). But, thanks to the long-term collaboration with my client, I got an assignment, made an earning and unblocked myself. Else, I would have to hit a new client and get him/her provide me with a job, and also pay me on time. Another reason to go for long-term projects on Upwork!

Except that, I didn't have any memorable bad experience with Upwork in the past year. Moreover, they even awarded me the "Top Rated" badge.

And now, I will end this review of Upwork, with a link to my Upwork profile.

Or you can scan the code to go there.

My Upwork QR code