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Worried over "Too many proposals" bans

Active Member
Pauline M Member Since: Apr 15, 2015
1 of 9

Hello!

I want to get some advice from fellow freelancers after learning about Upwork's changes.

I've been pretty much a full-time freelancer here since 2015 and after the first year I almost stopped applying to jobs - I was getting enough invitations (in fact, I had to turn a lot of them down). A couple of months ago the invitations stopped, pretty much for good - in 3 months I got as many as I used to get in a week. I still had some ongoing work with my regular clients and thought ok, maybe it's a temporary situation and things will get better. They didn't so I looked at my 140 connects just laying around and decided it was time to start applying again.

 

After applying to jobs for a month I stumbled on articles online that now you can get banned for basically using 60-70 connects in a month, doesn't matter how much you earned, whether you're Top Rated or not or how old your account is - a period of intensive job search with few awarded contracts might permanently kill your account.


I did get a few invitations and 2 very small contracts out of that bout of searching but they're not nearly enough to keep me afloat and I need to continue applying to jobs to try and get another contract, but now I'm really worried that Upwork's system might consider me unappealing, past earnings or not.

 

To make things clear:
1) I'm never spamming or sending identical proposals. They are, however, often similar - there are only so many ways to spice things up when you're applying to similar jobs.
2) I'm rarely sending out more than 3-5 proposals a day (I just realized I sent 6 today and now I'm REALLY worriedSmiley Happy).
3) I almost ran out of those connects in the first month, so I got the Plus subscription, but now I'm wondering if I'm just shooting myself in the foot by buying more connects, spending which might shut down my account.

 

From reading the forum I see that the Upwork staff is not disclosing any rules for how users can safely apply to jobs other than "get hired often". Sadly, whenever I'm checking back on those jobs I applied to I very often see that the client never came back to look at them again, so most of those proposals basically go down the drain, tailored or not.

 

I will now create profiles on other freelance sites, of course (something I had the luxury of not thinking about all these years), but I'm really curious to know how other freelancers are coping with this whole thing and maybe you guys have any advice for me what to do in this situation: should I now lay low and look for work elsewhere or is it still ok to try and apply to, say 1-2 jobs per day without having to fear a permanent ban?

 

tl;dr: stopped getting invitations that I used to steadily get for the last 4 years, applied to a lot of jobs, now learned that my eagerness might backfire

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
2 of 9

I'm pretty sure they stopped doing that when they started charging for connects. 

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
3 of 9

If you have been smart applying only to jobs you are perfectly sure you can do, bidding like 1-2 per day, I wouldn't worry.

 

The "too many proposal" ban was implemented some time ago and there was a hell of discussion at the time. They never said what is "too many" however it was clear that the ban was implemented to get rid of freelancers who spam clients, sending proposals to any job they find. Now with the new connects system I guess that has changed because now connects are not for free.

 

The invitations number has been reduced this last couple of months because free clients have invitation limits now.

Community Guru
Olga Q Member Since: Sep 5, 2012
4 of 9

Sergio S wrote:

The invitations number has been reduced this last couple of months because free clients have invitation limits now.


I don't think that's the only reason. I was getting 4,5 invites/month since last November and in the past 2 months I got 12.

Active Member
Pauline M Member Since: Apr 15, 2015
5 of 9

Olga Q wrote:

 

I don't think that's the only reason. I was getting 4,5 invites/month since last November and in the past 2 months I got 12.

So that's where my invitations went!Smiley Happy Kidding. 

I guess I need to rehaul my profile then. If there are freelancers whose amount of invitations didn't drop after the changes took place, maybe you guys are doing something right.

Community Guru
Olga Q Member Since: Sep 5, 2012
6 of 9

Pauline M wrote:

I guess I need to rehaul my profile then. If there are freelancers whose amount of invitations didn't drop after the changes took place, maybe you guys are doing something right.



Look, I wouldn't read too much into it. Back in 2016, I was getting like 22 invites per month; I didn't have to apply to jobs so on and so forth... Since then, invites have pretty much decreased; it doesn't matter whether I'm at 100% JSS or 94% - I've struggled to land as many jobs as I did back then. Am I worried? Yes, a bit. Is it my fault things have changed? No, it isn't. We're freelancers in the digital age and we're basically at the hands of algorithms. And I've noticed that things usually change during Summer months...

Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
7 of 9

I can't imagine that Upwork would ban you for sending too many proposals.  You have had consistent success and have won jobs in the last two months.  We all have to worry about something but I think you can take this one off your list.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
BEST ANSWER
8 of 9

The moderators have said several times that freelancers are no longer suspended/ banned for excess unsuccessful proposals. That was an initiative aimed at robo-bidders.

Active Member
Pauline M Member Since: Apr 15, 2015
9 of 9

Thanks to everybody who replied.Smiley Happy

I'm glad to hear that apparently those suspensions no longer happen and am going to continue looking for jobs in peace then.

 

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