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According to a private study:. If you are seeking a safe freelancing haven wherein to build your network of contacts, you first need to understand the magnitude of changes to Upwork, and why working there is akin to banging your head against a wall. The platform has one of the highest income tax rates for low-wage workers in the world. The pricing model is a massive headache for freelancers who take on numerous low-income jobs to pay their bills. In the end, few users will earn a reasonable income once Upwork takes its cut. Pre-merge Elance had around 78, jobs listed, while Odesk had around 48, The majority of jobs displayed on these sites have been expired for weeks, months, or even a whole year.

Freelancers migrating from Elance to Upwork were penalized by an instant drop in reputation. For some very highly qualified freelancers, this could lead to months of vying for work with little or no success. Upwork wants to move itself and its freelancers in a more corporate direction. Many are OK with earning less, as long as the work is fun and they feel like they are helping smaller businesses grow. What Upwork may have forgotten is that the better you are as a freelancer, the more freedom you have to choose where you work, and who you work with.

This means that some profiles will never pop-up, and it limits the number of available jobs and freelancers for hire. Some well-rated users have reported that Upwork banned their accounts out of nowhere.

The power of focus

One India-based freelancer with outstanding reviews who had made over , USD on the platform was suddenly banned without explanation or opportunity for appeal. Started by an Australian Entrepreneur, Freelancer. Pretty impressive, to say the least. But just like its biggest competitor — Upwork — Freelancer. The sheer popularity of the platform makes it difficult to get decent-paying jobs…unless you have a good reputation on the site.


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To do this, users must first serve several lousy-paying contracts. If you hop on sitejabber. Out of 2, reviews, 1, awarded the platform only 1 out of 5 stars. We came up with software for marketing departments to use to run their business. That idea helped us attract a Series A round.

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Elance Series: Part 4 How to Maximize Your Potential

I don't think there was a need for what we were building. We invented something assuming people had a problem. We didn't build something because people said, "Hey, we have a problem. Then someone turned us on to a staffing firm that was having all sorts of IT problems. He had a real need for a database system to connect his offices--and we had our first real client. That established a line of sight to building a big business. I'm sure your investors were happy you finally landed a client.

When we went back to our investors and said, "Hey, we've got it, we're going to be staffing and recruiting software giants someday! I kept waiting for proof we were going to be successful. I didn't believe we would be a big business someday. If you had said we would have employees, offices in three countries, year over year growth of approximately 50 percent, and we would be leading our market, I would never have believed it. I was so beaten down from having failed with these other concepts. That's one problem with all the "fail often" rhetoric; confidence, once lost, can be hard to regain.

Yes, and my concern prevented me from going back and thumping the table to ask for money. It took me two years to realize we'd created a really big business. Sure, we were growing really quickly, so we had no real problems raising capital, but frankly we did it later than we should have. Elance currently takes 8. On Upwork, it's 10 percent. If a client and freelancer have worked or are currently working together on Elance, the project will be grandfathered in at the lower 8.

Freelancers should continue to build the fees into their bids, but that will mean increasing their fees.

How I made over $4,000 in my first month on Elance (Upwork)

Constant communication. While the chat is probably more good then bad, it does raise a few concerns. When a client is considering multiple freelancers, it makes sense that the speed of the response might come into play, or that one freelancer might work out the deal before another even logs on. There will likely be a greater sense of urgency in responding to chat messages, which can make it harder to unplug and make freelancers feel even more like they're always at work.

More competition. Add up the Elancers and the oDeskers, and there will be more freelancers bidding on the same work. Payment delays. Both Elance and Upwork will use an Escrow system, with the Escrow funded before the work starts. Upwork has a security period before releasing the funds, which means the money isn't available until five business days after the item is complete. Elance currently has a three-day gap between funding the escrow and the freelancer receiving the funds.


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More tracking. Like Elance, the Upwork tracker for pay-by-the-hour projects will take screenshots so clients can see how the freelancer is spending their time, but the new system also monitors the number of clicks and keystrokes.