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Am I doing it right? (An urgent 3-question thread)

Community Guru
Ramon B Member Since: Jan 11, 2015
11 of 31

This happened to me when I had my first contract. They're using the need for 'revisions' to get extra work, and will also use it as an excuse not to pay him. For all I know, it's the same person!

Community Guru
Delwar H Member Since: Jan 30, 2015
12 of 31

Hi Cameron, 


In your profile overview you already stated " I don't write to make money. I write because i love to. "  

So, money isn't the highest priority, why complain. 


You looks too young (in your profile picture) to be a freelancer.





Active Member
Cameron C Member Since: Mar 24, 2016
13 of 31

Hello Delwar,

Well, yes I get that a lot but I'm not naive. I know that I'm young, that's why I'm asking experts here at Upwork. Even a 9-year old can write and get paid, what more a college student? I don't write to make money but it's serendipitous that I could here in Upwork. College tuition ain't cheap and if I can work whilst studying, why not? That's why I complained. 

Community Guru
Giorgi N Member Since: Dec 5, 2015
14 of 31

O my God - 20$ for 10 1500 word articles? 
That is a slavery! Do you want to be a slave? No? Then run away from that client. Refund him any money you already received from him. I am ready to send you 20$ if you just run, run away quickly man.


That was kind of joke, but that is just unimaginable! Of course you should ask for some raise. If he don't agree see paragraph 1.

Active Member
Cameron C Member Since: Mar 24, 2016
15 of 31

Might I ask what's an appropriate price for a 3500 word article? I'm gonna ask for an Upwork contract and a raise. 

Community Guru
Hanna N Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
16 of 31



UpWork support wrote that:


"I'm sorry to hear about your experience, please note you are not hired for the job you mentioned."


UpWork TOS forbids doing work for clients met on UpWork outside of the website. Therefore, if he tries to enforce whatever contract he has gotten you to sign, notify him that as getting paid outside of UpWork is against the TOS and could get both of you into a lot of trouble, you will not be able to honour the contract.


Then withdraw your bid, block the client and report them as "asking for work outside of UpWork" or "Asking for free work". I believe both will apply.


You asked earlier in this thread what the normal rate for writing something would be. You could do a search on Google about "Freelancer writing rates" or something along those lines and you'd find dozens of websites that will give you some idea. However, if you are only starting in the field - which is sound like you are - you will find it very hard to get these rates, as they are what established writers with experience get.


However, they should serve as an aspiration and a reality check. The high end of the bracket is your long-term goal. The low end of the bracket is your short-term goal, and it also works as something you can compare the jobs you see with. If the client is offering cents of the dollar, then it is probably not a client you want to work with, and accepting jobs like that, you are also effectively keeping up these client's belief that peanuts pay for quality content. If you accept the peanuts as payment, you are peeing in everyone's cereals.


At this point, you will probably be the most successful if you apply to jobs where they way is decent, but not in the professional rates yet. If you do take low-paid jobs, take ones that allow you to hone your craft and become better at it, jobs you enjoy doing and jobs that help you grow your portfolio. Don't take jobs where the client slaps you with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) because you do not know enough to understand when it is truly needed and when the client is using it as a way to pull the wool over your eyes; they might even make you sign one to sell your articles forward for a much higher price than what they gave you. NDA will, for the most part, also forbid you from using the pieces that you've written to be used in your portfolio, so they also work against a beginner in this way.


I took a look at your profile and your overview. It is inspired, but it is not an overview of a freelancer; it's an overview of an aspiring writer. You say that you write because you love to write. Unfortunately, for many clients this will translate as you willing to work for peanuts, and for many others, it will give an impression of a greenhorn that hasn't really been baptized in the industry yet and therefor might be hard to work with if they need to ask for revisions etc. It may sound like you will put the writing above the client's needs. 


Remember that freelancers are in it for the money. If you love the work too much to mind what you're being paid, you will never get to a point where you will be able to pay your bills with it. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
17 of 31

lol this thread is hilarious!



 "I don't write for money." Yeah, you sure don't buddy. haha

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
18 of 31

Hi Cameron,


I'm sorry to hear about your experience, please note you are not hired for the job you mentioned.


If you go to Find Work > Job Applications you will be able to check whether any of your applications were accepted. Applications you see in the "Active Candidacies" section have been accepted and the client would like to discuss the job further or have an interview with you, but that doesn't mean the job is awarded to you.

Don't start working without an active contract, which would show in your "My Jobs" tab. You can find more details here.


You can ask your client to award you the job and fund Escrow for the contract amount, so they will be able to process the payment. If your client needs assistance in doing this, ask them to contact Customer Support and our team will guide them through the process.


If you client doesn't respond, please take screenshots of your communication and share them with Support.


Let me also share a few other resources that you will find useful as a new freelancer on Upwork. You can find valuable information in the Getting Started as a Freelancer section of the Help Center and by reading "A Freelancer's Guide to Upwork". I also suggest watching our educational videos and reading the best practice advice shared by other users:


Freelancer Tutorial Videos

Want to get that first job? Then check this out...

Proposal Workshop Video


Let us know if you have any further questions.

Community Leader
Loredana B Member Since: Feb 26, 2016
19 of 31

Cameron, you might want to rephrase your overview and the description of your studies in order to remove every single phrase that reads anything similar to "I love to write and proofread, and I've been basically doing it for free my entire life".


Mentioning that you love what you do so much that you've accepted to work for free in the past will only attract bad clients that will want to take advantage of your and your work.


We all love what we do, that's why we're doing it.


And while I find your enthusiasm refreshing and I can understand how passionate you are about writing, I don't think insisting so much on this will have a good outcome for you, at least not on Upwork.


On top of that, I know that students with no actual work experience need to fill in their profiles with mostly pro-bono projects or anything along those lines that helped them gain some experience, I've been there too as a student, but on Upwork you have the choice to showcase your talent and skills by adding portfolio items instead of work experience.


No one on here cares what side projects you were involved in during high-school, they just care what your skills are and what you can do right now.


So leave "proofreading for free for colleagues because I'm a nice person" aside, get rid of it completely, and work on some portfolio items.


Write a couple of articles, watermark them, and add them to your portfolio. Do the same with proofread samples.


Use the portfolio section to your advantage to showcase your talent and skils, but please, once again, for the love of god, remove anything that even slightly suggests that you've done this kind of work for free at some point in your life.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
20 of 31



I am just lending weight to the really good advice you have received here. The headline not the bottom line  is to stop working for this client right now and do not send him the work you have already done. If you like what you have done then keep it for your portfolio.


If you go on working for people like this, you will sink to the slimy bottom of the writers' pond and nobody will chuck you a life belt. What is more, you will get your account here terminated, which would be a pity, because you can do a lot to develop your skills here.


You wrote:


"He did make me sign a contract with his writing services company that he owns. So I am in a bad spot, aren't I?"


The only bad spot that you are in is of your own making. You did not have to sign his contract. The good news is that contract is only worth the paper it is written on, and it would be laughed out of court. So you can relax about that. You in fact signed on to a far more important contract when you joined Upwork and you agreed (even if you didn't read them) to abide by Upwork's Terms of Service.


Tell the client, 'Thank you but no thank you and sue me if you dare', and then start looking for a proper gig on this site.


And - report the client! Smiley Happy