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Hiring freelancer for a test project

Hello there,

I'm new to Upwork and this is my first time hiring freelancers for my writing project. 

I set up a job posting for a fixed rate project for a 7 book series (that would pay a fixed rate for the completion of all the books). However, I found a freelancer that I has agreed to do a trial run by only writing the 1st book in the series to see if his work meets my expectations. I'm not sure if I need to set up a new job for this since it will be a different fixed rate than the whole series, OR if I just need to set up the first book as the only milestone for the project with the appropriate fixed pay for that book?  The second way would be easier, but if I end up using not using this same freelancer for the rest of the project, would I just end the contract after paying him for the first milestone (completion of first book)? Thank you for your help with this!


Community Member

You don't have to create a new job for this. If you have found your freelancer for the first book, then all you need do is set up the contract and fund the milestone for the first book. If you don't continue with the freelancer, then you pay him or her, and close the contract and start again. If you continue with the freelancer, then all you do is to fund the next milestone. It would probably be better to fund a milestone for each book and to pay on delivery. 


ETA: Once the freelancer has sent you the work and pressed the submit button, you have 14 days in which to review the work and to ask for changes if needed. 

Excellent advice from Nichola.


I would add:
If you fund additional milestones, or if you close a fixed-price contract and create a NEW fixed-price contract... the cost is the same.


As a freelancer, I have worked with clients using multiple milestones in a single contract, and I have worked using multiple single-milestone contracts.

Thank you for the additional note!

Thank you for this very helpful explanation! I was concerned that if I hit
the HIRE button I would have to pay the entire project BID PRICE even
though I'm only hiring this freelancer for a test run project to see if
they could work out long term. From your note, I understand that I only
have to pay for and fund the first milestone that I set in the contract.
And then if I like their work, I can just fund the next milestone. If they
don't work out, pay them for the first milestone and close the contract.

Andrea, all of the advice above is very helpful.

I only add the tactical aspect to this kind of situation.

A freelancer sees a big project but only gets to execute part of it (the first milestone). He/she will be slightly disappointed for bit getting to go further. It might be reflected on the review you get as a client.

What I do is I set up decent size projects and if I see a risk AND time is of essence, I hire two guys. Each project is complete as such, yet they might be small. I might pay more for the certainty of getting the right guy for the job, but that's just my risk management approach.

Then, offer more projects to the same freelancer who I find being the best fit.

I don't even try to make a project with $10K budget with first milestone being just $500. It would set the wrong expectations. I'd rather have 10 projects of $500 and after those the last one could be $5K since by now I have certainty of who does what for what price with an arrangement that is good for both.

See the carefulness in this approach?

Lastly, I'd have to mention that very few of the best freelancers over here start projects that are labeled as tests. They know what they can do and only promise realistic things when the "victory" is certain. You won't even see them unless the match with your project is perfect and there is no playing around with some tests. 😉

So, as long as you keep talking about test projects, you'll probably never attract the best talents.
Community Member

Hi, I have posted a job to hire a writer and I feel this thread is relevant.
If I understand the above advice correctly, I can pay a freelancer to write a section (one section at a time) using "milestones". However:

1 :: I have not already set milestones into the job when I initially posted it. Can I do this now without looking unprofessional to the candidates?

2 :: Can I hire multiple freelancers to write sections (as a test), pay them all for each test, and still hire one of them to write the rest of the entire book, all in one job?
... If it is indeed possible, but would be easier to create multiple job posts, please do let me know.

Thank you

Yes, you may do that. And it is NOT unprofessional.

Thank you, Preston.

Do you have a link to a guide to illustrate this process please?

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