Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Low Pay expecting expertise - Move to a lowcost platform

mattnewnham
Active Member
Matthew N Member Since: Dec 26, 2018
1 of 21

Upwork is supposed to be a platform for professional freelancers. Sadly in recent months, those offering work are paying less and less. I don't want to be offensive but India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Asia are among the worst and I have wasted valuable time submitting proposals for experts or intermediate only to find the pay rate below that of a complete beginner. 

There needs to be a lower limit on what should be paid. Fair enough it is about supply and demand but the pay offered by some people offering contracts is more suited to Fiverr.com.  I often quote companies looking for Expert writers $30 per hour or at least $50 per 1000 words - the cost to hire a professional - and end up in discussions asking for $5 to $10 per hour. I don't want to create any snobbery on Upwork but platforms do exist where the much lower rates are the norm and the skills presented are not too bad.

As professional freelancers, we are being downgraded and abused through rates such as these and our professionalism is being made a mockery of.  

Of course, some of us will work for slightly lower rates than others but the respect for our craft is essential.  

I do not know if there is a way that Upwork can control the payment offers for particular classes of expertise, minimum rates per hour or minimum project costs. Yes, Upwork does have the best resource of the best freelancers but I am sure most of us are now getting fed up with people wanting experts and paying peanuts. 

In the commercial world, it may even make sense for Upwork to collaborate with Fiverr.com or create their own no-frills, low budget platform to weed out those really who don't appreciate the value of a freelancer.

Any ideas guys?  Other than just ignoring the poor payers - sadly though, it costs us a few credits to find this out because very often the job description is false in terms of what the client is willing to pay in the end.

My ideas:

Rethink the Job Posting Process - some sort of verification that the budget presented is realistic and suitable for Upwork

Create a low-budget section of jobs in a Fiverr style 

Credit Refund if after submitting a quote it turns out the seller is paying nothing like what was proposed on the job description

 

drahony
Active Member
Martin D Member Since: Jul 16, 2019
2 of 21

It is the paying to propose to find this out that I feel is the problem.

It is an intrinsic part of any platform that it is going to be competative as hell when you include countries that have a large volume of people who are happy to work for far less. I'd be over the moon getting work on Upwork in their shoes

 

I just resent paying to connect to find out and then get slammed for 20% when I eventually get some decent clients.

 

Arg..

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 21

Matthew, you're bidding on the wrong jobs--and, possibly, cutting your own throat by bidding too low. 

 

Through selection of the jobs you bid on and/or attempting to compete on price, you've put yourself in competition with the low-end of the freelancing pool. You need to up your target market. Bid on fewer jobs, much more carefully targeted, and bid higher. 

 

The professional freelancers here are in no way being "downgraded," because we ignore the bottom-end clients and the freelancers who work for them. They have nothing to do with us. Nordstrom does not sell fewer shoes because Walmart offers flip-flops for 99 cents.

 

If you have doubts, look at the profiles of some of the writers who post regularly here.

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
4 of 21

Matthew, a quick glance through your profile confirms you are a writer ... or a superb liar.  And I sincerely doubt if the latter is the case.

 

Get picky about which jobs you go after.  Raise your rates.  The link has established international guidelines ...

 

https://www.the-efa.org/rates/

jillvance
Active Member
Jill V Member Since: Sep 20, 2019
5 of 21

I am afraid I do not agree with you about 'bidding on the wrong jobs'. I bid and won a job writing a book, for 'an expert for $1,200' - then someone came along and contacted the client offering to do the work for $20, or the client found another bid for this amount, (not sure what order it happened).  I did not bid on low paying jobs, yet was then harassed and insulted by client for being a 'thief because if another person would do it for $20 I was asking too much'

Your example about the shoes is not valid as these 2 shops are not in the same store. It is as if someone sets up outside the entrance to a shop, offering what appears to be the exact same product but for 500% less - then it will affect the shop.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 21

Jill, it sounds to me as if you are making the same mistake. $1,200 for a 50,000 word book is about 2.4 cents per word--lower than many content mills pay for inexperienced writers to crank out low-end, ghostwritten articles. 

 

If you're able to steadily write 1,000 words per hour and spend exactly zero time on proofing, self-editing, revisions from the client, research, etc., then you might possibly achieve an hourly rate of $24. Not horribly low, perhaps, but certainly not high enough to cross into the bracket where clients understand the skills and value a writer brings and are willing to pay for it. And, of course, the real effective per-hour rate will likely be much lower, since it's unlikely that you're going to do one 1,000-word-per-hour draft and not even proofread it.

 

Obviously $1,200 is a lot more than $20. But, $1,200 for a 50,000 word book still has you in competition with mill writers, not professionals. It does not represent the kind of shift that I and others were recommending to OP. 

 

Of course, everyone's rates are different, and are determined by a variety of factors. Just as a point of reference, though, I charge more than $1,200 for a 7,500-word e-book. There are other writers here charging $300-500 for a 500-1000 word blog post.

 

fabrizio-zambuto
Ace Contributor
Fabrizio Z Member Since: Aug 1, 2016
7 of 21

Tiffany,

1) on this platform, there's a system where if you pay you know howmuch the others are bidding and can bid less. Many entry level freelancers want to get going in this platform so they bid as low as they can to land the job. 

2) Employers which obviously want to pay as little as possible, offer jobs at super low prices. After hardly 10 minutes, you already have 20-50 applicants.

3) Employers, emboldened by this, start offering low paying jobs even to the $$$ frelancers, 

at some point those who selll themselves for peanuts land the jobs, the others wait for the good, well paid jobs which hardly ever arrive (i've been on this platform for three years now, getting worse every year)

After one month waiting for the right occasion or simply not trying anymore, you lose your public status. Sure, you can have it reinstated and then you get another month but yiouo get the point.

today you have the other problem: you connects come at a price, so you pay your connects, you give 20% to Upwork, than 2 more USD to send your money to Paypal. A 10 USd job = 8 USD minus 2 USD to send it to paypal, 6 USD (minus the connects you paid, the VAT etc, so actually you end up with less than 6 USD.

So, because of corporate greed, bad management decisions (vased on greed) and disqualifying jobs (due to silly policies), what you have now on this platform is cheap labor, arrogant employers, a Job success score that puts continuous pressure on you and all the jobs going to cheapsters.

 

But sure, blame all this on "bidding for the wrong jobs"

 

Sooner or later someone will come up with better platforms, best freelancers will migrate and you will be left with incompetent newbies. So, let me give you a suggestion, dear Tiffeny: tell management it's time to change course before it's too late

 

Fabrizio.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 21

Fabrizio Z wrote:

Tiffany,

1) on this platform, there's a system where if you pay you know howmuch the others are bidding and can bid less. Many entry level freelancers want to get going in this platform so they bid as low as they can to land the job. 

 

There is, yes. I hate that feature, since it is so destructive to freelancers--especially newcomers who mistakenly think putting themselves in the shallowest end of the pool will help them get established.

 

2) Employers which obviously want to pay as little as possible, offer jobs at super low prices. After hardly 10 minutes, you already have 20-50 applicants.

 

Yep, that's a garbage job. No reason to bid on it at all unless you're a very low-end freelancer. I'd rather work with the "employers" (they're not) who are willing to pay for quality, wouldn't you? 

 

3) Employers, emboldened by this, start offering low paying jobs even to the $$$ frelancers, 

at some point those who selll themselves for peanuts land the jobs, the others wait for the good, well paid jobs which hardly ever arrive (i've been on this platform for three years now, getting worse every year)

 

I charge $105/hour and write only in a very narrow niche, and I see several jobs that are good prospects every time I look. I think many freelancers get the wrong impression because of the proportions. On any given day, I might see 150 garbage jobs and 2-3 good ones. So what? That small number (in relative terms) of good prospects is plenty to keep me busy, and the same is true for a lot of other writers here. 

 

After one month waiting for the right occasion or simply not trying anymore, you lose your public status. Sure, you can have it reinstated and then you get another month but yiouo get the point.

 

Do you get a lot of invitations to jobs you're interested in working on? If so, I'm a bit confused by your lament about the availability of good prospects. If not, then "losing public status" has absolutely no effect on you. 

 

today you have the other problem: you connects come at a price, so you pay your connects, you give 20% to Upwork, than 2 more USD to send your money to Paypal. A 10 USd job = 8 USD minus 2 USD to send it to paypal, 6 USD (minus the connects you paid, the VAT etc, so actually you end up with less than 6 USD.

 

The thing is, Upwork doesn't want $10 USD jobs. Even before they came out and said so directly, it was obvious in the way they incentivize freelancers. If the policy were motivated by greed, wouldn't they be charging 10 or 20% on high earning contracts, rather than chasing that $2 and letting the big bucks slide?

So, because of corporate greed, bad management decisions (vased on greed) and disqualifying jobs (due to silly policies), what you have now on this platform is cheap labor, arrogant employers, a Job success score that puts continuous pressure on you and all the jobs going to cheapsters.

 

It's interesting how people keep complaining that there's nothing here but cheap  labor, but then fly into a rage when those of us who earn thousands of dollars/month through Upwork dare to speak. If low-billing freelancers and high-billing freelancers both offend you, what is it that you would be happy to see?

 

But sure, blame all this on "bidding for the wrong jobs"

 

Well, those of us who bid on what I consider the right jobs make tons of money. Those who insist on bidding on garbage seem to spend most of their days posting about how they can't make any money. Which seems like a more lucrative strategy to you? 

 

Sooner or later someone will come up with better platforms, best freelancers will migrate and you will be left with incompetent newbies. So, let me give you a suggestion, dear Tiffeny: tell management it's time to change course before it's too late

 

Why would the best freelancers migrate when the best freelancers are repeatedly stating in these forums that they're fine with the way things are?

 

Fabrizio.


 

amurigi
Ace Contributor
Anne M Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
9 of 21

Fabrizio, I totally agree with you. There are so many clients in the writing category offering ridiculously low rates, it's unbelievable. And yes, it is getting worse. I have spent almost $10 this month on connects and I have received no work. The invitations I have received so far, I have had to turn all them down because they offering very very low pay. 

 

So I'm looking at other websites to see if I can get better paying writing jobs because most of the writing jobs on UW are paying peanuts. It's literally pointless to buy connects to apply to such jobs. 

jillvance
Active Member
Jill V Member Since: Sep 20, 2019
10 of 21

You replied to a post that did not mention any word count!

Where did you get that it was a 50,000 word book? I didn't say that in the above post - you just made it up or took it from another post, not this one. Why would you do that? 

Why attack someone for something that isn't true? I really do not understand why you would do such a horrible thing.

I will not reply to any more of your messages as I do not like people who make things up. I also do not like people who criticise and judge others without bothering to know all the information.

 

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS