Sorry Elma. Like Preston said, this is a free market.
I believe you will do better when you stop worrying about how your competition is fairing - unless it's something like checking out their profiles to learn from them - and begin to seek ways of improving your position in the market.
* Read some material on how to make yourself appealing to a client in a professional manner.
For one, your cover letter says something about you - shouldn't be a one-liner and shouldn't be a story. Write something that tempts the client to invite you, at least, for an interview.
* Tailor your application to suit the job you are applying for. You cannot afford to send a standard cover letter for every job application; at least not at this stage.
* Once you clinch an hourly job (seems like that's where your interest is), do your best. Better spend some of your own time off the tracking system than clock in hours you haven't worked. And if you have no experience to show on your profile history (haven't checked your profile) mind your rates. The veterans you see, no matter how good, did not begin at $30/hr, believe me.
I don't know how much of that advice you needed but the main point you need to note is the importance of focusing on yourself - your abilities, your preparedness - that kind of thing. Focusing on other people will just get you frustrated and off focus.
It's really none of your business on how many jobs someone has or what they apply for, now is it? Focus on yourself and maybe you can get to the place many of us are at. This is a free marketplace, and you have no right to be accusatory or blame your own problems of not getting a job on freelancers who are in demand, SORRY. Grow up.
Since you mentioned about pending hourly contracts and yet still applying, it can be possible that those contracts have no active tasks so they are just showing on the user's profile but they don't have anything to do in connection with that contract. That's my case. Hence, I need to apply or accept new contracts and hope there are continuous tasks.
No offense, but this isn't the welfare line. What is this talk about fair? You make it sound like freelancers are just getting money from thin air and somehow taking it from you.
"Farming"? Do you think freelancers can just farm with no repercussions? What happens when the client (the person paying the magic money) doesn't get the work they paid for? Good luck "farming", this isn't World of Warcraft.
With that said, it IS FAIR. Many of us started out charging very low to build a reputation (sacrificed). Then our reputation earned us more work at higher rates... and over a course of 10 years some of us have a very solid reputation and do excellent work for our clients.
Some of these clients appreciate the value of quality over quantity. My best advice is to build your reputation, then you too can work those hours.
I know it's frustrating to not get any work but all you really need is one good client and a good project. The rest will follow. My only advice to you is to avoid free work and cheap writing jobs. Never sell yourself short like the rest of them. Often times you have to set your price so high only the best clients can see you.
P.S. I started mid Feb this year with 0 hours.
Even the veterans were newbies in the beginning. We are independent professionals, there is nothing "selfish" about work. You work hard, earn good reputation and get more work. If you want more hours, make sure you work on more hourly jobs. As for securing income, that's part of being a freelancer.
Sure, if you have a bunch of work history, a comprehensive portfolio and good feedback, then you're probably a bit more likely to get work than somebody who has none of these things. However, everybody has to start somewhere, and the most successful freelancers here all started with zero work or ratings at some point. On Upwork that is, they may have been successful elsewhere.
The point is, that we all have the same boxes that we can add content to when submitting a proposal and we all have the same features and abilities when it comes to searching for projects and marketing ourselves to potential clients. It's essentially a level playing field where individuals have the ability to
The successful people are obviously doing something right, and it may have some of the longer than other's to hit their stride, but they got there in the end. You might be successful here, you might not... and even if you are successful, it might take time.
But if you're not successful then that's nobody else's fault. I don't see any reason why one freelancer should give away work or sabotage their chances, just so another freelancer can get more work. Even if a freelancer's welfare was at risk due to a lack of work here, that would an issue for governments and charities, not a freelancing platform.
And look at it this way... you've already had 9 jobs here. There will be people who have had 0 to 8 jobs here. Should you give them some of your work/money as a result?
But on a side note, Elmar Rhex is a really cool name.
I got my first job on Elance because the client had a dog called Fergie and liked my name. If anyone's really struggling to find work try changing your name to Rover or Spot, and see if that helps.