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Is Upwork Worth It In 2023? [My Personal Experience!]

Is Upwork Worth It? Is Upwork Good? 

Are these questions running through your mind as you are starting out your freelancing journey just like they did when I started mine? 

I remember when I just started out as a freelance writer and was bombarded with loads of information on Upwork, because it seemed to be the number one freelancing platform that was talked about among freelancers. 

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed and confused if you should join this platform, I know exactly how you feel. 

Although Upwork is a challenging platform to understand, newcomers may find it to be quite helpful.

As a budding freelancer, it provides you with access to a sea of potential clients, which is useful when you are first establishing your foot in the freelancing world and might not have your own network.

I was a total beginner when I first started working on Upwork!

This article will cover all the things you need to know about getting started with upwork and if it really is worth your time. Let’s get to it!

1. What Is Upwork?

2. Is Upwork Worth It For Freelancers?

3. How To Find Jobs On Upwork?

4. Is Upwork A Good Way To Make Money?

5. Is It Worth Buying Connects?

6. Is Upwork Better Than Fiverr?

7. Is Upwork Payment Worth It?

8. How Much Money Can You Make On Upwork?

9. Upwork Alternatives

10. Is Upwork A Legit Site?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.

is upwork worth it?

What Is Upwork?

Upwork is a talent marketplace that connects businesses with independent professionals and agencies around the globe.

The two platforms – Elance and oDesk merged to form this platform back in 2013. Then, in 2015, it changed its name to Upwork.

This platform is set up to bring together freelancers and clients who have similar objectives and that is to collectively grow their business.

Upwork’s pool of freelancers consists of experts in various niches such as sales and marketing, writing, digital marketing, designing, and many more. 

The process of signing up for Upwork is a breeze because all you need to do to get started is create a professional profile that could potentially draw in many clients.

However, do note that not all freelancers will be accepted to Upwork.

In order to balance out the demands of clients and freelancers, the team at Upwork occasionally imposes a restriction on the number of new applicants and dismisses the application of those who fall into an already populated niche.

Once your account is created, you can start applying for projects on Upwork by sending client offers. You can price a client an hourly or predetermined rate if they accept your offer.

The key here is to aim for a continuous stream of positive reviews and establish additional connections with clients. This way, you can grow your career as a freelancer and keep making money.

Is Upwork Worth It For Freelancers?

I would say that Upwork is generally worth paying for especially if you are just starting out in your freelancing career. 

So, is working for upwork worth it? Let’s break down why is upwork a good site.

  • One of the perks of working for this platform is that you can build your business from any corner of the world. You do not have to clock into an office daily to get employment from this site. 
  •  You decide what kinds of tasks you want to perform. While you might be tempted to accept any task that comes your way when you first start out, you’ll eventually realize that it is far simpler and more beneficial to focus on projects you enjoy.
  • You can find globally dispersed and diverse Upwork clients. As a result, you can increase your prospects of employment by looking for jobs outside your local area.
  • If you enjoy traveling, working with customers remotely allows you the chance to do so while earning a living.
  • Upwork handles all aspects of managing freelancers. Clients will feel confident hiring and working with freelancers as a result. As a result, you have a better chance of obtaining trustworthy clients.
  • It’s simple and secure to get paid on Upwork. For hourly rates, Upwork keeps track of all the time you put in and automatically bills the client. For fixed rates, the client is to put money into escrow.

With its well-organized and user-friendly payment and time monitoring system, it makes sure that you get compensated for your services.

Upwork has an extensive network of clients and freelancers, making it an excellent place to start your freelancing job as a novice. By accepting more jobs, it enables you to build a record and a more comprehensive profile.

The network has a long track record of achievement for freelancers, who are said to have made $2.5 billion in total in 2022.

There are two membership plans available for freelancers:

The basic plan is free for freelancers to use which brings the question of whether is upwork plus worth it.

The freelancer plus plan is a monthly subscription plan of $14.99. These two plans differ in terms of Connects each month in addition to other features.

The virtual currency you need to acquire in order to send out proposals for projects is called connects. 

With the basic plan, you receive 10 connects per month, whereas you will receive 80 connects per month with the Freelancer Plus plan. 

If you wish to stick to the basic plan, you can always purchase additional connects which are priced at $0.15 each. You can also purchase them in bundles that are priced up to $12 for 80 connects

How To Find Jobs On Upwork?

  • Decide On Your Skill Set
  • Set Up A Comprehensive Profile
  • Set Your Pricing
  • Connect With Potential Clients

1. Decide On Your Skill Set

As a freelancer, you can highlight your unique abilities as a freelancer by leveraging a variety of hard and soft skills. However, you should put the focus solely on a single skill while offering others support.

Freelancers can frequently find work in a variety of industries, carrying out tasks and taking on duties as needed for clients. 

On the other hand, Upwork divides freelancers into groups based on their specialties and areas of interest.

Therefore, you must first determine which specific category best describes your skill set before joining the rat race to land a gig. 

What is your best skill set? What is the one thing you are good at? How can you monetize this skill that you have?

These are some examples of categories that are available on Upwork

Now, remember that these are not the only categories available on their site but merely some popular ones. 

Choosing your specialty area effectively is important in developing your freelance career because it will affect the kinds of assignments you receive.

To do this, consider your areas of greatest strength and what distinguishes you from other independent contractors that provide comparable services. Finding out which skills and specialties are most in demand is crucial.

2. Set Up A Comprehensive Profile

A good profile is one of the keys to your growth on Upwork.

Similar to a resume, your Upwork profile serves as the entry point for a job interview. Therefore, it must leave a positive impression. Your profile must highlight your abilities, character, previous experience, and portfolio of your best works should you have one.

It helps you stand out from other freelancers in the same niche as you and draw in the eyes of a potential client to your proposals. 

Select the projects that are most compatible with your skill set, then select an hourly pay that is commensurate with your abilities and level of experience.

In order for prospects to immediately understand your expertise, be imaginative and clear when creating your portfolio. 

3. Set Your Pricing

Now, when you are setting your price for your projects, remember that Upwork charges a fee on your earnings so factor that in before pricing your services. 

The fee structure on Upwork looks like this:

  • 20% for the first $500 you earn on the platform
  • 10% when you earn anywhere between $500.01 and $10,000 on the platform 
  • 5% when you earn over $10,000

For example, if you were to earn $600 on a project, you will be charged 20% on the first $500 and 10% on the remaining $100. With that said, your take-home pay would be $480.

Yes, it is substantially different from $600 so have this in mind when you are charging your clientele. 

There are two ways to go about charging your client, either an hourly rate or a fixed rate. The Upwork fee structure does not change no matter how you charge them. 

Hourly Rate

Every hourly job is recorded in the Work Diary, which is a feature of the Upwork desktop application. 

The software will retain a wide variety of data on your status on the projects you are working on. The program logs keystrokes, browsing, and clicks while keeping track of your activity in 10-minute timeframes.

You can directly turn the Work Diary on and off whenever you want, however, doing so will prevent you from being eligible for the Hourly Protection service by Upwork.

This program makes sure you get paid when you can show your work is completed in the event a client refuses to compensate you. 


This is a straightforward approach to payment. Projects with fixed prices are easier. When you establish the contract, the person or business hiring you must set aside a specific sum of money. 

You can either set milestones along your project journey and receive payments periodically or receive a lump sum payment once the project is completed. 

4. Score Project Invitations

The hardest aspect of getting started on Upwork will be landing your first gig. I am not going to act like it is an easy task.

Clients are usually hesitant to hire a newcomer without prior work or Upwork evaluations. Do not let that fact demotivate you because let’s face it, everyone had to start somewhere.

When I first started as a freelancer, I earned less than I do now. 

So when you see a freelancer making four or five-figure months, remember that they were once accepting projects for $50 because they were beginners at one point too. 

To find clients, type in the search term related to your niche and job scope in the search bar. 

You may be overwhelmed by the job search results, so carefully review each position and read through the job descriptions before applying for every job that shows up. 

Keeping this in mind, you will be up against other highly qualified freelancers, both newcomers and experienced. Therefore, you must put in your utmost effort. Pay special attention to the positions for which you are most qualified.

Sending a strong proposal is the next step after locating the ideal position. When formulating your pitch:

  • Do not blindly copy a template. For each position you apply for, make your proposal as strong as possible and tailor them accordingly. 
  • Keep in mind that before they browse your profile, the client will first learn about you through your proposal.
  • Make it a compelling teaser, and the client will be intrigued to move forwards with your profile.
  • Keep it brief and educational.
  • Prevent being vague but instead, tell how you can add value to their project with your skills. 
is upwork worth it

FAQs On Is Upwork Worth It

Is Upwork A Good Way To Make Money?

So, is Upwork a good way to make money then? As long as you’re smart about the job search process and you know your worth and your rates, you’ll be able to start making money on Upwork in no time. You could even use Upwork to support yourself full-time.

After your profile has been approved, you can begin earning money on Upwork. 

However, it requires a mixture of planning and effort, just like any other business. Using this platform has made it simple to identify customers, work on Upwork, and be paid. It has also been a fantastic source of fixed pricing and hourly rate tasks.

So, upwork, is it worth it?  I can say with certainty that as a freelancer, it is not something to pass up.

How does upwork work in making money? These are the two main ways:

  • Outbound Earnings
  • Inbound Earnings

Outbound Earnings

This is the common approach for freelancers where you search for customers in the hopes of making a sale. When customers find you and ask you to provide them with a price estimate for your services, you provide it to them and enter into a contract. 

Inbound Earnings

This is the more lucrative approach because this way, clients find you instead. 

With inbound earnings, you do not have to actively be a salesperson for your services and chase clients. The sooner you can shift your focus towards inbound earnings, the higher the earning potential.

To do so, always tweak your profile to ensure it is up-to-date and comprehensive. Make sure your focused skill sets are set up and your project catalog is complete on your profile. 

is upwork worth it

Is It Worth Buying Connects?

Yes, it is worth buying connects, if you see it as an investment in your future. However, if you view it as a technique to obtain gain leads without making an effort, then the answer is that it is not worthwhile. Keep in mind that the quality of connections is also dependent on the freelancer using them.

A Connect is a type of currency that you must use on Upwork when you submit a job application. You could have to pay 1 or 2 Connects for a small project application. Big projects may cost you around 6 Connects to apply.

Here is the kicker though – how upwork works is that you must apply for many jobs on Upwork in order to gain clients, and applying for jobs requires Connects.

I realize it seems contradictory to have to pay money to apply for work, and many independent contractors just dismiss the concept out of hand, but this is something to be aware of when it comes to Upwork – for beginners, it is a numbers game.

It should not come as a surprise that you will need to apply for many jobs when you are first starting out unless you are lucky and score your first job right away. For the most part, freelancers will have to go through many job applications before finding the right client. 

So, you may need to fork out funds to purchase Connects when you are starting out because this can help you build a solid position on the platform with a strong portfolio and stellar reviews. 

You will not need to use Connect once you have acquired a few clients and earned a few 5-star reviews because you will be sought after by clients thanks to your good track record. 

Is Upwork Better Than Fiverr?

I know this question is running through your head – is upwork better than fiverr?
For customers looking for creative expertise, Fiverr offers a wide range of possibilities. Upwork, on the other hand, has a more diverse category of talents and projects and offers free membership.

Freelancers should be aware that anytime they submit a bid for a project, there is a fee to be paid.

When you register as a freelancer on Upwork, you submit proposals with Connects to get gigs. You will work with a variety of clients, from small businesses to teams at multinational corporations.

On the other hand, with Fiverr, you will be advertising your services, and responding to buyers’ requests is how you gain jobs.

These are some brief distinctions between these two platforms:

FeaturesMonthly 10 free Connects
Hourly Protection
Direct agreements
Free Talent Scouting service
Through the Seller Plus subscription, assistance from a success manager is provided.
Advertised Gigs
Fiverr Pro facility
Fee StructureTiered fee structureFixed 20% fee on all earnings
Job ApplicationsRespond to project invites or apply with ConnectsSet up a gig and advertise your services
Payment MethodDirect payment
Money transfer
Wire transfer in US dollars
Deposit payment
Fiverr Revenue Card
Job FlowReview requests in the Project Catalog or write a proposal
Convey project specifics to clients
Sign contract
Record your hours or accomplishments
Submit projects for review
Collect payment
Analyze a customer order or request
Talk details with customers
Complete the task within the allocated time
Obtain payment

Is Upwork Payment Worth It?

Yes, the Upwork payment is worth it. Many features on the website, such as the opportunity to search for work, send proposals, and monitor payments, can be highly beneficial for freelancers.

If you have been wondering if is upwork free, then yes it is free to subscribe but you will need to take out some money to purchase Connects in order to apply for jobs across the platform. 

No, you do not have to worry if is upwork a scam just because you have to make an initial investment to purchase Connects. 

Their free membership is inclusive of 10 Connects monthly. 

However, if you would like to apply for more jobs, then you will need to get more Connects. 

If you connect with a client, you can then work with them to complete the job. Once your project is complete, you will be compensated.

Project payments are held in escrow by Upwork. This implies that when a freelancer is hired, the client will pay the funds to Upwork in advance, and they will store the funds in a secure account until you approve the project is finished. 

At that point, Upwork will transfer the funds using the payment option of your choice after deducting their fees.

How Much Money Can You Make on Upwork?

If you are wondering how much money can you make on Upwork, it is $10-$100 per hour, though, this is not a concrete answer to this question. How much money you make on this platform is subjective to the type of projects and the frequency at which you complete said projects. 

So if you were wondering does upwork work, yes it does, and yes you can make a decent amount of money from the platform.

Talented individuals in the freelance market who have a lot of potentials, regardless if you are a rookie or a seasoned freelancer. Millions of people all around the world use expertise like yours to their advantage and earn money as independent contractors.

Here are 5 factors that can affect the amount you make on this platform.

1. Experience

If you have been wondering is upwork reliable as you spend money on Connects that does not translate to successful job applications, I want you to take a step back and reflect on the experience that you have as a freelancer.

Do not throw in the towel yet, especially during the initial stage of your journey. 

As a beginner, when you land your first few gigs, you will not be earning that much and that is OKAY. The first few projects that you complete are the foundation of your portfolio that can help you grow in your journey.

In any industry, experience is a great asset. The amount that a freelancer is paid often rises as they gain more expertise in their field.

2. Field Of Expertise

The field of expertise of a freelancer is very important to their pricing. If your line of work is very specific like skills for upwork writing in the cryptocurrency niche, you can demand higher pay.

3. Certification

A freelancer’s pay can be greatly increased by education and certification. Although this is dependent on the niche you are in, certified training typically provides a freelancer more negotiating power.

For example, with programming, if you are a specified certification in a particular programming language, you can ask for higher pay. 

4. Feedback

Reviews of prior projects offer a simple approach for a business to confirm the credibility of a freelancer. A freelancer might charge more because they have established their credibility with many favorable reviews.

Upwork Alternatives

is upwork worth it

1. FlexJobs

One of the biggest job boards online is FlexJobs. It offers employment opportunities from a range of reputable enterprises, including small businesses.

You may simply find both remote and location-based jobs using the platform. The platform also guarantees that it is scam-free and that every client who posts a job has been thoroughly vetted.

To participate in FlexJobs, however, you must pay a $9.95 monthly subscription fee. This is considered affordable when you take into account that there is no platform charge to pay.

On other sites, it typically deducts a portion of each task you accomplish. However, FlexJobs enables you to collaborate with numerous clients for a single monthly fee.

2. Fiverr

is upwork worth it

Many consumers use Fiverr, a pioneer in the field of freelance market websites when looking for reasonably priced projects. The usual rate for this site is $5 but you can find projects with higher rates.

According to feedback on Fiverr, many freelancers do not follow through on their promises, so every gig should be taken with a grain of salt.

is upwork worth it

3. FreeUp

Before being allowed to use the platform, you must pass a stringent vetting process that checks your knowledge and experience as they only hire the best 1% of freelancers. 

A decent Upwork substitute with comparable functionality. You must demonstrate your abilities to be approved, not everyone who creates an account will be approved. 

The platform charges its users 20% of each transaction. 

Is Upwork A Legit Site?

So, is upwork com legit? Yes, we can say with finality that Upwork is a legitimate freelancing platform. Many people can attest that it is a legitimate way to make money and build your business network.

It is true that there are scammers and bogus accounts on it, but this is true of practically all freelance marketplaces, so you do not have to worry if is upwork real. 

As for the question is upwork legit – it very much is a legit platform to earn money as a freelancer. 

Is upwork worth it? In short, yes. The potential for Upwork is enormous. You can study the ins and outs of the freelance business while developing the skills and money. It can serve as a launching pad for your career.

Upwork might be worth considering if you are a freelancer who dislikes the thought of switching between many platforms to get work. The idea that Upwork simplifies the freelance job search contributes to its popularity.

Give this platform a try and decide for yourself if it is something worth pursuing. Good luck!

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