Are the budgets that a client sets an hourly rate or is it the price for the entire project? I see some budgets at $25 for a 5,000 word short story. I can only assume that is $25 per hour. I also see some budgets for $1,000. I can only assume that is for the entire project.
Budgets only appear on fixed rate contracts, and are for the whole project.
Nothing stops you from ignoring the budget, and bidding what would make it worth your while to do the contract.
Some clients just enter a budget as the system forces them, and will happily pay more or less.
The trick is to differentiate between those and the cheapskate bottomfeeders who honestly expect to get their stuff done at slave labour rates.
Thank you for the response. I see many projects on UpWork that I would love to work on, however, I am not about to write an original short story of 5k words for only $25. Why does UpWork allow such clients to exist? Seems strange to me. But then, what makes my opinion worth anything.
If you find a fiction-writing job on Upwork that pays $25/hour, it will be a little like winning the lottery. There are a lot of good-paying writing jobs here, but I've never seen one in the fiction arena. I'm sure there is a stray project now and then that has decent rates, but Upwork is a sea of fiction mills paying $70-300 for novels.
I see that you're working on a novel of your own--you may want to focus your creative efforts on your own content and consider another type of writing for pay.
Thanks for the advice. I think I am just going to finish my own novel and try to get it published. UpWork doesn't seem right to me for some reason - clients actually thinking that a professional writer will write a 5k short story for $25.
They don't think that, Bruce--most of the fiction clients here on Upwork aren't expecting or interested in "professional writers." That's not necessarily true in other areas of writing; I'm a writer and I charge $72/hour on Upwork. There are many writers here who charge more per hour than I do. But, fiction writing is not generally a lucrative "for hire" market anywhere (there are exceptions, but fairly narrow), and definitely not on Upwork.