Upwork is a platform for people to hire and become freelancers. Freelancers offer their services for tasks that other people require doing, it’s a form of self-employment. Upwork was created when Elance and oDesk merged together a few years ago.
According to their latest statistics, they have 5 million registered clients and 12 million registered freelancers. On average around 3 million jobs are posted to the platform every year. The amount that the freelancer is paid for the job depends on the nature and size of the task, often the pay is somewhat negotiated or will be undercut by another freelancer.
- Finding clients: Very large client base means that there are plenty of contracts to work on.
- Removing bad reviews: Upwork allows you to remove 1 negative review from your account every 3 months. So if you get an unreasonable client, they won’t be able to tarnish your good reputation.
- Payment advantages: As you work with one client more often your fee is continuously reduced. After $10,000 with one client, your fee is reduced down to 5% of your earnings.
- Payment bonuses: Clients can pay you bonuses for a job well done.
- No work shortage: The platform offers a large variety of work including jobs like graphic design.
- Hard to start out: Your first client is truly a milestone. It can be very difficult to get your first client as Upwork can be a competitive marketplace, but when you do, clients after that are much easier. This is because your profile shows past billings and client reviews.
- Low budget clients: A lot of people on Upwork don’t want to spend too much money to get their freelance work done.
- Website user-experience needs important: This sounds like a job for a website tester. Upwork’s website is old and needs updating. This can make it hard to work sometimes.
- High fees: As well as paying to submit work requests, you have to pay a percentage on your profiles. These percentages are as follows:
- First £500 – 20%
- £500.01-$10,000 – 10%
- £10,000+ – 5%
requirements to sign up
Upwork doesn’t really have any requirements to sign up. There are only really 2 basic requirements.
- A valid email address: We recommend making a new one just for your freelance work to avoid spam.
- Valid billing method: This means a valid bank account.
Upwork for freelancers
If you wish to become a freelancer on Upwork, you need to look at it as any other self-employed business. The first thing you need to do is build your portfolio. This can be a little difficult because no one wants to be the first customer, but when you get past that first milestone, it’s smooth sailing. You build your portfolio like any other business. You complete work, and your customers will leave reviews. If you haven’t had your first job yet, the only thing you can do is design templates to give customers a preview of your work.
We recommend creating 4-8 previews of what type of content you can offer. For example, if you specialize in graphics designing, then build a company logo, design a few ad videos, design anything to show off what you can offer. This will show your customers what you can do and will help your sales.
how much can you make?
As mentioned, Upwork takes a cut of your earnings:
- First £500 – 20%
- £500.01-$10,000 – 10%
- £10,000+ – 5%
This means that if you accept a gig for £20, and you complete it in one hour, your earnings will be £16.
On Upwork, you can get paid either hourly or at a fixed rate. Most people usually go for fixed-rate as it’s hard to tell how long a job will take. The hourly rate works just the same as the fixed rate. For your first £500, Upwork will take 20%, but once you get past that £500 threshold, they only take 10%. So your £16 per hour will go up to £18.
So to answer the question, there isn’t really a direct and simple answer. You’re classed as self-employed, so you won’t have a fixed figure. Although, the more work you do, the more you’ll be paid. It’s known that people can make up to £10,000 per month on Upwork, but this is going full time and being dedicated.
As a beginner, people won’t be willing to pay big numbers for your work as they don’t know what you can do. Your only strategy here is to undercut your competitors and offer work for a smaller amount. Customers usually look at the cheaper offers or the freelancers with the best ratings. If you can’t match the best ratings, then undercutting is your best bet.
Upwork is very safe and secure. You can either get paid through PayPal, direct deposit, or wire transfer. If you feel like you’ve been underpaid or haven’t been compensated, you can submit a dispute and Upwork will review your case.
Here’s an overview of the hourly rate and fixed payment:
Upwork hourly rate has a pretty impressive system in place. When you accept an hourly rate job, it’ll get put into your diary and you’ll work on it as if it was shift work. Upwork will monetize everything you do on your computer from scrolling, typing, browser searches, etc, and is updated every 10 minutes. This is to make sure you don’t drag out the work to get paid more. This ensures you’re paid for the work you’ve done, even if the client refuses. You get paid weekly when carrying out hourly work.
Fixed projects are a lot more basic, this is why they’re the preferred option. You and the customer agree on a price, and you get paid the figure when the work is complete. You’ll get paid more the harder the project. One method to get higher payments is to grow your portfolio. Freelancers with experience tend to get more custom, as well as higher payments.
Upwork for customers
As a customer on Upwork, it may seem a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing which freelancer to go with, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Upwork is a beginner-friendly marketplace and can be made pretty simple. The first thing you need to consider is, what are you looking for?
Are you looking for an Instagram advertising video? Are you looking for someone to design you a company logo? Whatever it is you’re looking for, you need to identify it.
If it’s your first time buying, you probably won’t know any freelancers on Upwork, and this is fine. Your best bet here is to create a proposal requesting work. After about an hour, you’ll have more than enough freelancers contacting you. After a while, you’ll be able to identify which freelancers work best in each category.
Although Upwork can be a very competitive marketplace, choosing which freelancer to go with doesn’t have to be difficult. All creators should have past work on their portfolio so you can have a feel for what they can do. As well as this, you can filter by price and reviews. This is important because you can see how past clients have felt about their work in the reviews.
How much does content cost?
Upwork costs can range massively. Upwork recommends paying through a safe service such as Paypal for full protection and security. The price really depends on what work you need to do. Upwork is very similar to Fiverr in this aspect. If you need a company logo designing or something of that nature, you get what you pay for. If you pay £20, you could pick yourself a pretty decent logo. But if you paid £150, you could get a brilliant one. Although, it’s not necessary to pay these prices. You can still get good content with a lower budget.
Upwork “professionals” will usually charge more than the standard joe. This is because they’re more experienced, which is fair. Beginners usually charge a lot less so they can build up their portfolio, which makes sense. This doesn’t mean their work will be bad, it just means they don’t have the portfolio to charge more. If you want to stay safe, pay that bit extra for great work. If you’re on a budget, spend a little less.
how to sign up for Upwork
- First of all, head to the Upwork home page here to access the signup section. Click on the sign-up button at the top of the page.
- Once you are on the signup page you will need to add your name and an email address for your account. It may be best for you to create a separate email for this account.
- After your account has been confirmed as genuine you will need to add what country you are in and create a password for your account. You will also need to agree to the terms and conditions and state if you are signing as a client or freelancer.
- After you click work as a Freelancer you will be prompted to create an account username. Lastly, you will need to correctly input a captcha to prove that you are not a bot.
- An email will then be sent to the address that you gave earlier, find this email and click on the link to verify your email address.
- Once the account has been verified the last thing you need to do is add your credentials. This will let clients get a better understanding of what you are offering and make them more likely to hire you.
- If your application is successful, you are now fully set up and ready to begin job searching.