The pros and cons of upwork as a freelancer

Upwork is a fantastic platform for freelancers to find work. Clients can independently post their own job listings and accept proposals from freelancers who want to work for them. Freelancers can earn money and propose their own rates based on the client’s budget. Of course, there is plenty of opportunities to further your career as a freelancer and this is a place to start, but let’s look at the pros and cons of using Upwork. 

Upwork as a freelancer

The pros-

There is a variety of clients requiring different experience

You can apply to any job on the site which gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with many different clients. Upwork have many clients representing big-name brands and companies, as well as smaller clients. Being able to pitch your ideas is always good practise and even more so when it’s a project you’re excited by. You can choose work in a variety of specialisms from writing, graphic design, video editing and so much more. On Upwork, there is a wide pool of different jobs and talents.

It’s a great place to start freelancing

Working through Upwork is a great way to find your feet in the world of freelancing and you get to see how much you would want to charge in the real world. If you are interested in graphic design, for example, you will be able to gain easy freelance experience and make some money in the process. This can be a great motivating factor for freelancers starting out and find what rates they want to propose.

You get to set your own rates

Unlike other sites the majority of the time you get to set your own rates per hour. There a ton of other sites similar to upwork where projects are posted at under minimum wage per hour. A variety of clients ask for huge projects on a shoestring budget. By inputting your own rates it allows brands to decide for themselves if they’d like to work with you or another freelancer. 

Working through Upwork is a great way to find your feet in the world of freelancing and you get to see how much you would want to charge in the real world. If you are interested in graphic design, for example, you will be able to gain easy freelance experience and make some money in the process. This can be a great motivating factor for freelancers starting out and find what rates they want to propose.

The Cons-

Upwork takes a 20% cut of your earnings

Sadly, Upwork will take a 20% cut of your project earnings. This can be frustrating to some people as freelancers want their hard-earned cash. This can lead to freelancers seeking higher costs on their proposals to clients. Which of course may equal less work for the freelancer. For international clients, the currency on Upwork is default set to US dollars so bear in mind the currency exchange rates. 

Cheap may be preferable

In some cases, clients on upwork may favour freelancers who are offering to work for a cheaper rate. This can be frustrating as you want to charge a reasonable rate to earn a profit from your work and the hours that you put in, but sadly some clients will favour the freelancers who are charging the lower rates.

Proposals take time and credits

Although the same applies to pitching to a client off Upwork, the difference is you can apply to a large number of proposals, write decent ones too and hear nothing back. With Upwork you either have to buy credits to bid for each piece of work which is anywhere between 2-8 credits. Or pay for a monthly membership. If you’re applying to loads per day, you’ll need to purchase more credits. 

Should I use Upwork? 

If you’re starting off as a freelancer with no clients it may be a good place to start. Not only will it allow you to build your portfolio and experience some client work but it will also allow you to make some money as you do so. 

For freelancers who are more established and have lots of work already it’s probably not the place to find your next client. But if you’re looking for something new when it goes quiet, it’s always worth checking Upwork.