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Newbie needs help...

I'm very new, and I probably just screwed up...

I took my very first contract for what I thought was writing a 1,000 word article for $10.00 (that was my first mistake).  The initial offering does not mention multiple articles - it isn't really specific at all.  So I provided the 1,000 word article and thought I was done.  Then another milestone appears for another 1,000 word article.  I've looked all through the initial offerring and cannot find anything I possibly had missed regarding having to write a certain # of articles all for only $10 (not $10 ea as far as I can tell).


This is my first job.  If I end the contract, I will likely get a bad review and won't be able to get work on here again.


Thanks in advance for advice.



Was the first milestone funded?


If it was, and you have delivered the work then press the release payment button, and for the second milestone if it hasn't been funded, write politely to your client and tell him/her you can start work once payment on the first milestone has been released and the second has been funded. 


I have a feeling you are not going to win on this one.




Yes - for half of price ($5)


Now, the next milestone (that appeared today) shows $10, but does not say 'funded'.  



Oops I take that back - on the actual contract, the second article/milestone says Funded. It didn't say funded on the offer.


So is this second milestone like a second contract?  Sorry for the noob questions, I'm so confused by the terminology!


I also just noticed this line in his offer as well: NOTE: I deposited $5 for the first milestone. I will deposit the remaining $5 when you start the job.


I did not get the second deposit of $5.00 when I started the job.  Unless he's saying that the second article is "the job"?




Sorry, I added more to my reply above.  All you can do is to write to the client and say you can do no more work until the job description is clarified, and that payment on the first milestone is released. 


This is a cheap client, don't go down this road, not even to get started. Also you should read Upwork's ToS and other help pages before bidding on jobs, you'll avoid a lot of pitfalls if you do. One thing you must do is to remove all your contact information including websites etc. from your profile as this is against the ToS and you risk having your account suspended. However, you can give this information in your proposals.

Thanks, I just removed that info in my profile.


I appreciate the advice.

Oh dear.....


Rule number 1: Clarify scope in minute detail and in writing PRIOR to taking on any contract.

Rule number 2: NEVER deliver work for an unfunded or partially funded milestone.


I would contact the client and clarify that your understanding of the contract was to deliver one 1000 word article for peanuts $10 and that you hope he was pleased with the article. Ask him to kindly release the remainder of the full payment for said article. At that point you can then point out that you would be willing to write one more at $ 10.00 for him, but have only spare capacity for that one extra one. Explain that you will be pleased to start once the first one is fully paid for and the second one fully funded.


do the extra one article, consider it an expensive lesson well learned, then RUN!!!

Thanks for the advice!

Yeah... it was a lesson learned.  I thought I'd just bang out one article for $10 to get something on my portfolio to get started.



Lisa, as a native English speaker you can get so soooo much more per a 1000-word article in English, even as a beginner here.


Also, listen to your gut. People ignore it. I ignored it. But every time I felt something might be wrong, I neglected that feeling, and as a result things didn't end well for me. Not bad, but not good either.


If you feel something's wrong, then most probably it really is wrong. It may be the client's condescending tone, or their lack of effort to talk and explain (as if you read minds), or they have difficulties expressing what they want (or they aren't native Engish speakers), or ... they pay very low! There may be other subtleties, but once you start feeling uncomfortable during the initial interview with the client, then maybe it's better to listen to that feeling.


Don't beat yourself up, it's just one of many.  Kudos to you for getting a job in just 2 hours of being here.  It takes some of us weeks and months.