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Dry Spell

Active Member
John P Member Since: May 3, 2018
1 of 5

I've been on Upwork for a couple years and snagged several projects in Electrical Engineering and Editing. But for some strange reason, it's been dead for several months despite sending several proposals almost every week. I've been using the same template for my proposals, to which I add a few sentences about the particular project. It's almost like I've been shut off, but there's no warnings or messages that would indicate that.

Vast majority of my ratings and comments have been very positive. The one thing I've noticed, a couple of my longer-term clients stopped responding after the project was done. I got paid and all seemed fine but they didn't close the project or rate me. I've tried contacting them but no response.

Anybody shed some light on this, I'd appreciate it!

Community Guru
Pat M Member Since: Jun 18, 2016
2 of 5

John, since your Profile is not public, it's difficult to determine what may be occurring.  Perhaps those ratings/comments that haven't been positive are negatively impacting Client's opinions as well as your JSS.


Dryspells can occur with freelancing.  Unfortunately there are those Clients that don't close contracts; thus provide feedback.  Reasoning can vary.


You may need to close the contracts yourself as open contracts without activity can decrease JSS at some point.  Upon closing you'll be prompted to give feedback; perhaps your previous Clients will provide it at that time as well.    


There's an overwhelming amount of information within this Community regarding what you're asking about.  You may want to spend further time searching and reviewing.  Good luck to you, John!

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
3 of 5



If you do close idle projects after a few weeks or months of inactivity, I suggest you drop a note to each client to let them know why you've closed the project, that you'd welcome the chance to work for them again and that you have left excellent feedback for them (if that is all true).


A lot of clients really have no idea how all of Upwork's bells and whistles are supposed to work. 


Others here will no doubt disagree with me, but if you are getting no bites on your proposals and no invites from prospective clients, the easiest thing to test is your pricing. Upwork's predecessor Elance made winning bids public, so a freelancer could see if their proposed rate was different than the winning rate. With Upwork's opacity in this respect, you'll have to submit proposals at lower rates that are still acceptable to you and keep track of whether those proposals have a higher success rate for you.


For most freelancers, I'd expect they are happier to work 20 hours a week @ $10/hour than 5 hours a week @ $30/hour. But some freelancers think they don't need to worry about competing on price. But until the basic laws of economics are rescinded, price will always play a role in any business's success.



Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 5

I'm going into my slow season. June seems to drop off fast and then things get better sept/oct. I'll go write some stuff for mills during this time, but I've learned to beef up the savings account and enjoy the slow period and work on personal projects.

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5 of 5
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I have to say Jennifer, one of the best pieces of advice I read by you was a few years back when you said "always have 3 sources of income". It's golden and so very much the truth of freelancing.


Gotta have backup over the backup if one is serious about making a living from freelancing and not crawling back to the corporate world. 


To the OP: It's been slow this month for me as well, but just started picking up again. Ebb & flow.