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Freelancers Avoid UpWork  – Why UpWork Is NOT Good For Beginners

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Last Updated on 2 years by Go Review Rite

Have you heard that freelancing is one of the fastest ways to make money online?

Perhaps you already have some skills you plan to monetize and you are now searching for a platform to get clients.

Wait. Don’t register on any website yet. You need to read this.

You might be starting out your freelancing career and probably thinking or wrapping your head around which platform is better for you to leverage as a beginner. 

You’ve jumped on Upwork but is Upwork the best place to start your freelancing career? The answer is probably not.

So in this article, I am going to show you the 3 major reasons why you should not consider Upwork as a client-finding platform when you are just starting out.

Table Of Contents

Reasons #1. – UpWork Fees 

Upwork is the most expensive place to start out as a beginner.

 You’re looking to make money but it seems you’re putting in even more and more cash with a really low chance of getting something in return.

 It doesn’t seem logical to be losing while starting out, this can even kill your freelancing career right before it begins as you would begin to see it as unfruitful and maybe not meant for you.

UpWork Fees 
  • Your first $500 made on the platform is going to be charged at 20%.

This is almost double what you are going to get on other platforms.

  • Though after the first $500, your fee actually drops to 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000.
  • Also it drops further to 5% for total billings with your client that exceeds $10,000. Though most freelancers never get to this point.

Reasons #2 – Upwork Proposals 

Upwork vs guru vs freelancer Proposals 

Among freelancing companies, Upwork happens to be the most expensive on proposals.

  • Guru allows you to apply 8 times for free
  • Freelancer allows you to apply 10 times for free
  • Upwork allows you to apply 0 times for free

With Upwork, you will have to pay to apply for jobs. They charge 15 cents per credit and then there is a certain amount of credit you would need for each job.

 So in the ideal sense, no job is free.

On the Upwork job, proposal costs change based on the value of the job. 

For example, if the client has a good hiring history or a project that is going to pay or result in more money, it is going to cost you more to apply to those kinds of jobs.

 So there is actually no standard price you will get on Upwork, unlike other freelancing companies where you know exactly how much you are going to pay.

How Much Does Fiverr Cost to Use?

Fiverr keeps it simple with no fees. There is no subscription to sign up for, and you do not have to pay anything to list services.

 When you complete a job, Fiverr simply takes 20% off each transaction.  

Freelance Co
Free Proposal
Upwork0$15 – 70 Connects
Freelancer10$10 – 20 Bids
Guru8$4.95 – 50 Bids
FiverrUnlimited20% on each completed job

From the above, it is expressly clear and you can see that it is going to be much less expensive,

if you build your portfolio with other freelancing companies as your bids will go a lot further and you will spend less time applying to them.

Reason # 3. High Competition On UpWork

Competition On UpWork

Upwork is super hyper-competitive. It is not great if you are just getting started as it is very hard to break out. 

Upwork’s operation tries to get fewer and fewer people to apply for jobs. 

This is why their fees are high and they want their higher performance freelancers to get the royal and preferential treatment.

Well, this actually makes sense If you are a client, as you would want to get the best possible freelancers and not waste your time. 

Looking out for a bunch of new people is somehow frustrating and time-consuming but Upwork helps in time-saving for a client. 

Overall, persons are forced to apply for jobs that they are actually qualified for, which is a good side to the coin.

The review process in addition to all of these above has also been changed.

 This implies that if Upwork thinks you are not qualified for a job, they’ll put you in a whole different category altogether. 

You will have to be manually found by a client, and hey who wants to go through that?.

 Clients trust the suggestions relayed to them by Upwork rather than searching for you. 

Though when you are able to get the first or second jobs, it then gets tremendously easier. 

Landing the very first job on Upwork is the hard part as it seems everything is against you.

Reason # 4. Client First On Upwork 

Freelancers Avoid Upwork

On Upwork, the client is always right. There is just no way you can change that. You are not Upwork’s customer.

 As freelancers on the platform, we are not the customers of Upwork, 99designs, Freelancer, Guru, Fiverr, or any other freelancing company. 

So when there is a dispute, they would always side with the client as you or any other freelancer are simply the product.

 The freelancer is the product that is being offered to the customer who in this case is the client and when it comes to billing, 99% of the time you are going to lose whatever the dispute is. 

So if you are just getting started on the Upwork platform, it is recommended you look for jobs that are at an hourly rate.

 It guarantees as long as you are using the systems they have put in place for taking screenshots and tracking your time.

you are going to be paid and you are much more likely to win any sort of debate of if this person didn’t do their job when it is hourly than when it is delivered or fixed.

Once you have a couple of reviews and track records, you can go take those jobs with high confidence and you will know you can not be taken advantage of as much, since they see you have a track record.


Freelancing offers remote work which is now on the increase over the years and means the flexibility to work from anywhere outside the traditional office setting, 

whether due to travel or distance to the local office or any reason at all.

Freelancing is a great way to generate part-time and eventually full-time income if you learn how to generate your own business and see to its success of it.

1 thought on “Freelancers Avoid UpWork  – Why UpWork Is NOT Good For Beginners”

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