Freelance On Upwork. Travel The World On New York Wages?

Become A Freelancer On Upwork And You Can Really Work From Anywhere. But, Freelancers Either Love Upwork Or They Hate Them, there is ‘no in between‘. I’ll show you why.

If you want to travel the world on New York wages I’ve included 4 ways to instantly increase your Upwork earnings.

Happy Upwork members claim they’re earning $100,000 per year or more. And the haters are feeling like they’re undervalued and ripped off by exorbitant fees.

Get all the facts in this review before you become a Freelancer on Upwork or go just straight to my  #No 1 Recommended Way to Make Money Online.

Freelance For Upwork.
Upwork Is A Company With Global Reach. You Will Often Be Working With International Clients.

Name; Upwork


Cost; 20%, 10%, 5% of earnings.

Rating; 70/100

Who And What Is The Purpose Of Upwork?

Upwork Global Inc. is an International company with their head office in California. The purpose of their existence ( apart from making profits) is to link freelancers to firms who outsource some aspects of their projects.

If you have any online digital skills there are many companies and individuals who need your specific talent to get their project finished.

Top Companies like Unilever, Pinterest, Opentable, Panasonic, NBC are all regular clients using the Upwork freelancers.

More than 100,000 projects are listed each month on Upwork and they have over 4 million clients.

Who can do freelance work with Upwork?

Freelance for Upwork As A Photographer
Freelance Image Makers And Image Manipulators And Video Makers Can Work On Client Projects Remotely

Upwork is open to all nationalities. If you have skills as a content marketer, copywriter, app developer, bookkeeper, social media or SEO expert or website builder. Illustrators, photographers and photo manipulators, logo designers and photoshop experts are all in demand on Upwork.

Some freelancers are students needing extra funds for college,or  people who want to work from home, or moonlighters with other jobs. Professionals working fulltime as individual freelancers can use Upwork to find clients.

Upwork Business Opportunity

Upwork also welcomes freelancers and companies that have subcontractors or employees who plan to tackle projects together. For the entrepreneurs, this is a golden opportunity to build your own business, enlisting your own team of outsourced freelance workers. With a project manager to correspond with the client and co-ordinate whole projects, your clients avoid the need to outsource multiple freelancers.

How much do Upwork freelancers charge?

At Upwork the freelancer always set their own rate. Pricing is tied to skill level and the demand for that skill. Because the Upwork job opportunities are worldwide, a freelancer is not limited by their local hourly rates of pay. This allows them to live and work anywhere in the world like Costa Rica, and charge New York prices, depending on their reputation and talent. You can earn as much as your skills are worth to a global clientele.

Rates Of New Freelancers On Upwork

These skill/rates below are coming from students wanting to earn spare cash, or people with general office skills or popular accounting software.

Per hour USD                 Skill Set
$30.00 A PHP/MySql based tech expert from India
$30.00 A Real Estate Property Accountant from US with Quickbooks, Buildium and Appfolio
$36.00 An Accountant/Bookkeeper from US
$20.00 A Bookkeeper from India
$11.00 A Virtual Assistant from Nairobi
$11.00 A Virtual Assistant from Bosnia and Herzegovina with advanced skills in Calculus, Algebra, Geometry and Maths
$19.00 A US Virtual Assistant specialising in Medical Office procedure
$25.00 US Writer specialising Academic Writing, Content writing, Editor Transcriptionist,
$30.00 US Editor, writer, proofreader, copywriter
$25.00 US Translator; Polish , English , Hebrew Translator, creative writer, typist
$19.00 Indian Web Dev; WordPress Programming, Editing, Fixing

Grow Your Earning Power With A Good Reputation.

Pay rates for online work are related closely to your reputation. The Upwork method to build a reputation is through client feedback.

Clients are required to give feedback on your work, after their project is complete. They report their levels of satisfaction or otherwise.

Upwork states that on average, freelancers who build on their reputation also increase their hourly rate by 60% in the second year and up to 190% in their third year. If you start out charging only  $20 ph, like the examples above, in your second year you can choose to increase your rate to $32ph…in your third year it could be as high as $58ph.

Freelance For Upwork Web designers, content marketers
Your Skills Are Needed By Outsourcing Companies Worldwide. As A Freelance Project Worker You Can Complete The Job And Move On, Or You Can Seek Longer Term Contract Work .

Higher Earnings Are Possible.

After working with Upwork for a time your knowledge of the system can help earn better dividends. It’s not so much your years of ‘Graphic Design’ experience that will earn the extra dollars. Rather, your experience in how to find and lock in the best clients is where the New York Wages are.

I have colleagues charging $100, $125, $150 per hour at Upwork in the field of content writing. They have been carefully building great reputations in just a few years. They have perfected their approach to new clients, honed their skills and refined their business focus. All of this fine tuning allows them to reach better paying clients.

4 Tips To Increase Your Upwork Earning Power

1. Working Relationships is what Upwork is all about. Remember your client is human too. He responds to genuine, respectful and clear connection. Your application should win him over not turn him off by being all about you. He wants to know you understand his goals.

2. To better understand your client’s goals be certain to use the ‘Additional Questions’ section in your application. This is where communication begins and the working relationship deepens. A rapport develops through questions, in turn building trust and mutual understanding. The client’s confidence in you increases.

3. Now that you have a client’s confidence, ignore the posted budget! Don’t reject a job opportunity purely because it has a low budget. And certainly don’t undercut another freelancers prices. All this does is keep you being undervalued, literally. Clients understand “Pay peanuts, get monkeys” and so very low prices lead them to think the quality is also low. That’s not how you want to be perceived.

It is common for Upwork clients to pay far more than their budget allocation. They feel they’ve found a better quality candidate who understands them and their goals. Such a healthy working relationship is worth the extra cost to them.

4. Spread Yourself Around. Go through the categories to see how many you can legitimately list yourself under. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into just one skill. If you are a decent writer you can also be a proof reader and you probably have SEO skills and copywriting ability.

5. Stand out from the herd of other applicants. Quality Clients actually hand pick small groups of freelancers to avoid being spammed on an open jobs board, and also to avoid wasting time reviewing multi applicants.

How To Stand Out? With a cover letter that speaks to the client and a profile image that makes them like and trust you. Describe why you are interested in their project and let them see your enthusiasm. If you sound bored or appear disorganised, they will quickly eliminate you from the list.

About Upwork Support

  • To get Started;

    Freelance For Upwork With Mobile And Desktop Apps
    The Upwork Platform Uses Mobile And Desktop Apps To Manage Timesheets Ensuring A Freelancer Gets Paid For Each Hour Worked

The best place to find out all you need to know is in the Freelancer’s Guide. Get the PDF here. And how it all works for a freelancer here.

  • 24/7 Customer Support Service and a clear dispute resolution process are available should you ever need it. Unfortunately, the customer service is where a majority of user complaints arise. Both freelancers and clients are reporting glitches in navigation and reporting. 
  • Client Billing Method

To manage your hours/rates billing, Upwork provides a free timesheet application that tracks time and takes screen shots while the freelancer is billing. The apps are for desktop Windows, OSX and Linux and a mobile app for iOS and Android.

These apps enable accurate logs of the time each job takes and ensures the freelancer is paid for all the time they work.

  • Free Skills Tests

Unlike ,Upwork gives you access to free skills tests. Tests are scored on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0, 0 being lowest and a pass being 2.5.

Upwork has a Percentile ranking as well,  a feature that compares your score to other freelancers who took the same test. Percentile rank is calculated by averaging all test results in each subject.

For example, you may have scored a high mark in English grammar, say 4.2. If the average of all tests are 4.7 you will be ranked as below average. 

All of your public tests are listed on your profile, but it is your choice which results are made public. Over time you will probably improve some skills. In which case you can retake the test to reflect a higher score and rank.

In June 2016, Upwork reported $1billion in annual freelancer billing from 12 million freelancers and 5 million clients worldwide.

How To Get An Upwork Gig

Thousands of jobs are posted every day and you need to sift through them like any online job search. To tailor the search to your field of interest, set up a job feed based on saved searches, this way you get only the relevant job notifications. 

Decide what kind of job you want to do.  ie; hourly or project work, part time or long contract work, how many hours are you available each week.

When you have found the job to match your criteria, make an application to the client. See my important four tips above for making your application appealing and successful.

Click here to get started at Upwork.

Upwork Payment System And Fees.

Freelance with Upwork and work from Anywhere
Freelancing With Upwork Is Definitely Worth Investigating If You Want To Have A Portable Income And Online Payments.

As of June 21, 2016, freelancers pay a “sliding service fee” based on total lifetime billings with each client:

  • 20% for the first $500 billed to the client across all contracts,
  • 10% for total billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000, and
  • 5% for total billings with the client that exceed $10,000.

Payments can be made using credit cards, PayPal, or bank transfer. Payments are made through Upwork’s escrow system, which transfers the funds to freelancers after a 6-day security holding period.

Freelancers will set up a preffered payment schedule upon joining or can choose to withdraw available funds from their account manually.

Why are some people unhappy with Upwork?

Complaints about fees;

Most complaints are about the 20%, 10%, 5% fees. Many freelancers feel that paying to do work is unfair. There are other freelance agencies who agree with this and consequently only charge fees to the client, never the worker. See my Text Broker Review.

For example;

  • An 8 hour job @ $20 per hour will earn $160 , minus 20% = $128. You really only have to work this formula for 3.125 days, after which you pay the lesser 10% fee.
  • 80 hours(10 working days) @ $125 ph minus $1000 in fees will get you into the 5% bracket

If you are trying to compete by charging less, it will take a lot longer for you to escape the 20% fee. If you are charging your best price, you will jump into the next bracket quickly.

Complaints about site difficulties for users;thumbs down

Both clients and freelancers report having difficulty navigating the over complicated platform, especially since the merging of Elance and oDesk.

Extra costs;

Freelancers also need to consider additional costs such as VAT or GST and PayPal cash conversion rates if your bank is in another country.  There is in some freelance cases the issue of double income tax if you reside outside the USA. Also, inter state US double tax in some circumstances. See if your country has a tax treaty with the US here.

To work with Upwork you must agree to their terms and accept the fees. The only way to make good with these fees is to take them into consideration when you initially set your rates…and the reason why undercutting rates will cause you to fail as a freelancer.

My Final Opinion

To maintain respect and reward for your talent don’t undersell or underestimate yourself.

‘Everything is hard before it is easy’ and I think a persistent person could turn Upwork into a good income stream.

Yes, Upwork is legitimate. Yes, you can work from anywhere with this job. Yes, it is low risk. I like that Upwork have online payment methods, in particular PayPal, because for people on the move these are the best options.

The reasons I have scored Upwork lower (70/100) in this review is this.

  • It is not fair or reasonable to charge people to work. I believe the hirer should carry the cost and Upwork is already profiting from freelancers through their escrow system.
  • As a business method, I find it is more difficult to work to deadlines with freelance projects when you are traveling.
  • Filling out timesheets reminds me of my old JOB!

Get paid to work, don’t pay to work. Why get paid per article, when you can get paid for the same article over and over?

Better still… be your own boss, build your own scalable online business and pay yourself a recurring, passive income.  See how.

Name; Upwork


Cost; 20%, 10%, 5% of earnings.

Rating; 70/100

Want to make money online and be your own boss?…

(and never pay to work! )

best way to make money online

Feel free to contact me personally (top right) for more info or leave your opinion in the comments below.

Go Far and Go Well,

From Janelle,

Founder of The Cashed Up     Earn Your Freedom Online

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  1. Wil said:

    Upwork is an amazing platform. I needed some mobile app creation work done and I found a developer who was able to put together a fantastic project for me. I don’t want to throw all types of marketing on your page, but if you’re interested, the app is called WeXplor. Feel free to check it out in the App Store or Google Play. I’d recommend Upwork to anyone looking to get professional work done. It is a great platform. Awesome article explaining the pros and cons.

    August 13, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      thats fantastic. How about cost Will? Did you think the pricing was fair to both parties?

      August 14, 2016
  2. Derek Marshall said:

    Hi there,

    I absolutely love the name of this site! tickled me pink when I seen it!

    Thanks for the explanation on exactly what upwork is, who its is for and a guide as how much someone can charge for their skills. The price increase from year to year is a handy tip. I am now thinking what I can do to gain a few pennies from upwork.

    August 13, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      the cool thing is…you can work for up work and up work can work for you. You can hire very good content writers on up work.

      Always set a rate that covers costs and still leaves you with a satisfying amount. Remember freelancers rates don’t normally cover annual leave or sick leave or super annuation etc. These costs have to come from somewhere.

      August 14, 2016
  3. Anke said:

    Hi Janelle, I was looking forward reading your review about Upwork. Your article provides a thorough research on this company and definitely helps me to make an informed decision when I look for freelance jobs online. The payments seem to be quite good, and I like that you can do a skill test. But those fees are really high. That is quite disappointing. Otherwise, it would be probably a good company to work with. I wonder what your verdict about Textbroker will be?

    August 14, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      hi Anne. The sneak preview on Text broker is a thumbs up. …published next week. J

      August 14, 2016

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