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How the new Connects regulation is affecting the freelancers & dramatically decreasing their income.

Active Member
Rami A Member Since: Dec 23, 2015
1 of 38

Hello, I am one of the top freelancers on this site and been here for years. I like to discuss the connects numbers. Limiting the connects is a good idea because there are lot of fake users or robots who apply to lot of projects however my problem is that Upwork over limited the connects.

The problem is that Upwork is thinking about what satisfies the clients and not what satisfies the freelancers. By limiting connects, the number of bids per project have decreased but for a freelancer, that caused serious problems that threat my existense and the existence of the majority of other high rated freelancers on this site.

I have only 60 bids which means i can apply to 30 projects which means I must apply to 1 project per day to keep my connects till the end of the month. And due to high competition, on average I apply to 20 projects to be hired on one. so by this regulation, I am only being hired on around one project per month and that is very little and my earnings have decreased a lot.

Plus, it is true that the canceled projects connects are returned however what are the percentage of the cancelled projects? in a full month I barely receive one cancelled project or often none.

And what is the percentage of the clients who post jobs that end up hiring a freelancer. I guess it is between 10 to 20% and the remaining clients either forget about their posts, they are fake , or just testing the water to know about the prices, etc.

Upwork must take those into consideration, and buying connects is very expensive on the site specially buying connects does not guarantee being hired on new project for the reasons I mentioned above, which makes buying connects expensive and very risky.

Upwork must find a solution to the freelancers on this site. Either increase the free connects to 120 (which means I can apply to 2 projects per day) or do a membership that gives a lot of connects for a price that the site can choose. Because sadly, this way, the good and brave freelancers on this site, like me, are in serious problem in keeping their earnings as it was when the site was as oDesk which at the end will makes them find alternative freelancers sites.

I love Odesk and Upwork and that is why I am trying to inform you about the problem I am facing on this site and which is affecting me a lot.

Thank you

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 38

On average, I use one connect per month. So for me, it would be better if Upwork decreased the number of connects that contractors receive.


Be appreciative of the number you already receive. You pay absolutely nothing for them.


You are correct that the system is in place to make things better for the clients. As it should be, because clients are the people who pay Upwork. Clients' credit cards are charged. Not yours.


The happier clients are with their experience, the more likely they are to return and tell other people about their successful experience here.


So bottom line: Limited connects means happier clients, which means more jobs, which means more money for me personally.

Active Member
Rami A Member Since: Dec 23, 2015
3 of 38

You only use one connect per month, that not normal. maybe you are a client here and I am talking about freelancers on this site. 

If the good freelancers who used to earn good amount on this site leave this site since their earning decrease, means what remains are only the new freelancers. so the quality of work that the client receive will decrease.

Plus right those connects are free but do not forget that Upwork charge us 10% on everythign we earn so those connects are not free (in an indirect way)

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 38

Rami, thank you for your thoughtful original post and for your response.


You are correct that using only one connect per month on average is not normal. But that should be your goal... To use as few connects as possible. Because you make money doing work, not by using connects.


If you are working steadily because you have long-term projects and because you receive invitations, you will be making more money than if you spend your time applying to lots of jobs.


I am not saying that this is an easy level to get to, but that should be your goal.


And for the record, I am primarily a contractor, not a client.


When I started out, I used up my allotments of proposals and I did not get work readily. But I persevered and now, after less than two years on Upwork, I rarely use connects because I am too busy with work.


In my first year, I rarely received invitations, but most of my work now comes from private invites. When I do send a proposal, it demonstrates a deep level of understanding for the client's needs, and even passion for their project. My proposals are completely about the prospective client. They are not about me.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 38

@Rami A wrote:

You only use one connect per month, that not normal. maybe you are a client here and I am talking about freelancers on this site.

 Preston is a Freelancer, as am I.


I have used 1 or 2 Connects in the last 3 months.


You need to apply smarter, not more often.

Community Guru
Tarpinder S Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
6 of 38

If two connects are required to bid on one project, how come you are spending 1 connect per month, that means you are getting half job, that is not possible.


You bluntly say that it is ok, but for majority of freelancers who survive on fixed price jobs of $5 to $100, this limit is not good.


A person may have long term clients like you, but not everyone.


Try to respect other person's view, not just always I spend 1 or 2 connects per month.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 38

@Tarpinder S wrote:

If two connects are required to bid on one project, how come you are spending 1 connect per month, that means you are getting half job, that is not possible.


 It is. On average I use up 1-2 Connects a month. I go months without applying.


the thing you are not understanding is that if everyone has more connects then there will be more applicants for jobs so your chances of winning a contract are the same, but the client gets even more spam than now.


Freelancers who apply intelligently and have a good profile, a good history, and write great proposals should rarely need more than 60 connects. 


In the rare event that they do they can upgrade their membership.


the whole point of bringing in the connects system was to stop freelancers spamming clients to the point where they can hardly keep up with the floods of unqualified applications from clearly unsuitable applicants.


Will that drive a certain sector of the freelancing pool away? Yes.


Frankly that is yet another Good Thing!


Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
8 of 38

Hello Rami,

maybe the number of connects is less fundamental for some categories rather than yours. I work here as a translator and I have never ran out of connects... what Preston and Petra mean is that if you are a top worker, you don't need to struggle to find any work: the work will find you.


Good luck,


Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
9 of 38

If you believe that having more connects will result in you getting more work, then you should consider buying more connects. If additional connects are what you need to secure more work, then they are a cost of doing business. If the cost of you doing business is too high, then you need to alter your rates, reduce costs, change your approach so you get more than one job in twenty, or look for another line of work. 


Sounds blunt, but that's just the way it is. 

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
10 of 38

It seems that the 20:1 ratio is a bit too high.  Can I make it 30:1? lol