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Re: Too Many Low-Paying Clients in the Writing Category

Ace Contributor
Anne M Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
1 of 5

Each month, I apply to over 20 jobs and hardly get a reply. The few times I have been invited to interviews, nothing has happened. So I tried to figure out why I am not able to land a single job in weeks even with a top rated status and I realized its all about the rates.


I am writer specializing in Web Content and Blog Writing and I have come to see that there are way too many clients offering low paying jobs in this category. Even clients who have been on this site for years. 


For Instance, in the Web Content section, the number of fixed priced jobs are less than the hourly priced jobs. Most of the clients in this section are offering hourly jobs where the rate per hour is no more than $5. In many of the job descriptions, you find a client asking if you can do a 700 or 1000 word article in one hour. Why? because the article will cost them less than $5. Realistically, on average a 500 word article costs between $10 to $45. Personally, I cannot even research and write a 500 word article in under an hour and even if I can, there is no way I am going to work for $5 or less for it.


The least I charge per hour is $15 and I believe this is one of the reasons why I am not getting hired. Too many clients looking for very low rates. So if you get paid $5 per article, you minus the 20% service charge fee, what are you making? You might as well work for free.


With some of the fixed paying jobs, you find that the rate does not match the amount of work. How can we get rid of the many low paying clients on Upwork or what can be done to ensure that clients do not take advantage of freelancers in this kind of manner. Its frustrating.Woman Sad



Ace Contributor
Patricia V Member Since: Aug 3, 2016
2 of 5

I'm afraid there's nothing we can do about it, Anne...


This happens a lot on my area too (and all others, I believe!): clients post jobs asking for an expert translator, but will pay $0,001 per word, with UpWork fees. Of course they won't get an expert for this price, but what can you do?

UpWork is a free platform and if there's people willing to sell their work for such low rates - and clients who are pleased with the results -, they have all the right to do so. 


All I can advise is: try to step up the game. Improve your profile, make a kick ass portfolio, work on your proposals... and hope to find some clients who are willing to pay what you are worth! They are out there, I promise.

Community Guru
Ravindra B Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
3 of 5

“The least I charge per hour is $15 and I believe this is one of the reasons why I am not getting hired.”


No, that is not the reason you are not getting hired. Many Upworkers are getting writing and editing jobs at much higher rates.


As Patricia says, “Improve your profile, make a kick ass portfolio, work on your proposals...”

"Certa bonum certamen"
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
4 of 5

You're externalizing your locus of control. 


There are many writers who do well on Upwork despite the lowballers. 


Use your research skills to determine what they are doing correctly. 


Even if they removed the lowballers, why do you think you'd be able to compete with UPwork's top writers?


That's a fundamental research question to ask yourself.


I write web copy, articles, blogs, and white papers for many clients. Am I invited to low paying writing jobs? Yes. I decline them. 



Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 5

I believe the reason you're not getting hired at fair rates is that you are presenting yourself as a generalist with nothing to set you apart. When there are no clear differentiators, why wouldn't the client take the cheaper option?


I'm a legal marketing writer. Period. I charge $67/hour and get hired a lot. Jennifer M is an IT writer. She charges way more than I do and also gets hired a lot.


In what area can you offer something that the average generalist writer cannot?