What is Upwork and How Does Upwork Work?

What is Upwork and How Does It Work

What is Upwork?

Upwork is a worldwide marketplace that links businesses with freelancers. It is a place where companies post jobs, and freelancers try to get those jobs.

The process starts with hiring on Upwork. It ends with finishing the job. Upwork makes sure this flow is smooth. They give many tools like job posting, proposals, interviews, managing projects, and making payments. All these parts work together in the Upwork system.

Upwork has many types of experts. These are not just writers, programmers, designers, marketers, and consultants. There are also others. On Upwork, you find freelancers from beginners to experts. They give help in more than 70 kinds of work. So, Upwork is a center for many skills and services.

Is Upwork Legit?

The answer is Yes, Upwork is a legit company. Upwork came into being from the union of two distinct platforms: Elance and oDesk. These platforms merged in 2015, giving us the Upwork we know today.

Over the years, Upwork has seen tremendous growth. It evolved from a simple platform into a vast digital marketplace. This evolution made it an ideal space for freelancing with Upwork. Upwork now caters to millions of freelancers and clients, making it a leading player in the gig economy.

Several milestones mark Upwork’s journey. In 2018, it went public, a significant achievement. Upwork has also expanded its reach across the globe. Now, it caters to freelancers from over 180 countries.

Another notable milestone is the Upwork Plus and Business subscription launch, enhancing the client experience. These feats testify to Upwork’s continuous growth and success.

How Does Upwork Work?

How Does Upwork Work

For Freelancers

The journey of freelancing with Upwork starts with registration. It’s a process that demands attention to detail. Let’s break it down.

Building Your Upwork Profile

Your Upwork profile is your first impression. It showcases your skills, experience, and services. This profile includes your photo, title, overview, skills, and education. Remember, a robust profile increases your chances of getting hired on Upwork.

Showcasing Portfolio and Skills on Upwork

Setting up your portfolio on Upwork is a crucial step. It lets you showcase your work samples, giving clients a glimpse of your talent. Additionally, listing your skills accurately can attract relevant job offers. Your skills serve as keywords that help clients find you.

Understanding the Upwork Approval Process

Once you create your profile and set up your portfolio, you submit your profile for approval. The Upwork approval process screens your profile. It checks for completeness, skills, and demand for your services. A tip here is to ensure your profile is error-free and well-crafted to pass this step.

For Clients

Becoming a client on Upwork is a straightforward process. Here’s how it works.

Crafting an Upwork Job Posting

The first step after registration is creating an Upwork job posting. In this post, you describe the project, set the budget, and define the timeline. A well-crafted job post attracts skilled freelancers to your project. The following main categories are available:

  • Development & IT
  • Design & Creative
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Writing & Translation
  • Admin & Customer Support
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Legal
  • HR & Training
  • Engineering & Architecture

Grasping Job Visibility on Upwork

Job visibility on Upwork is about who can see your job post. You can set it as public, private, or Upwork only. Public means any freelancer can see it. Private means only those you invite can see it. Upwork only means only active Upwork freelancers can see it.

Picking the Right Freelancer

Choosing the right freelancer for a job is vital. You can do this by screening freelancers on Upwork based on their proposals, profiles, and client reviews. The Upwork interview process also allows you to gauge the suitability of a freelancer before hiring. It’s all about picking the right talent for your project.

The Job Proposal Process on Upwork

The job proposal process is a significant part of Upwork’s operations. It involves a series of steps.

Freelancer Bids on Upwork Jobs

Freelancers start by bidding on Upwork jobs that match their skills. They write a proposal, which is a pitch explaining why they’re the best fit for the job. Learning how to write effective Upwork proposals can boost their chances of winning the job.

Reviewing Proposals

Clients then review these proposals. They assess each freelancer’s skills, experience, and rates. Clients also consider the freelancer’s job success score and client reviews. This process helps them shortlist potential freelancers for the job.

The Communication and Interview Process

The next step involves communication. Upwork offers a chat system for clients and freelancers to discuss project details. The Upwork interview process may follow, where clients further assess the freelancers. This interaction can ensure a good match before the project kicks off.

How Much Does Upwork Take?

Upwork charges freelancers a sliding fee based on the client relationship’s lifetime billings. It’s 20% for the first $500 billed with the client. It drops to 10% for billings between $500.01 and $10,000. For billings above $10,000, it’s just 5%. Clients, on the other hand, pay a flat 3% payment processing fee. The Upwork fee structure aims to encourage long-term collaborations.

How Does Upwork Pay?

Upwork offers various withdrawal methods for freelancers. These include direct deposit, wire transfer, PayPal, and Payoneer. Freelancers can choose the method most convenient to them.

Clients have multiple ways to fund their payments on Upwork. They can use credit cards, PayPal, or bank transfers. The aim is to make the payment process as smooth as possible for all parties.

What Are Connects on Upwork?

Connects are an important part of Upwork. They help freelancers catch the eye of possible clients. Think of them as online currency. Each freelancer gets 10 or 70 free Connects every month. These Connects allow freelancers and clients to talk and work together. They help build strong ties.

Upwork has a goal to create a strong marketplace. This place is for freelancers and clients. They can meet and build good working ties. As a freelancer or an agency, Connects are used to reach out. They show interest in a client’s project.

Upwork’s Escrow Services

Understanding Upwork’s Escrow services can bring peace of mind to both clients and freelancers.

What is Escrow?

Escrow refers to a third-party service that securely holds funds. In the case of Upwork, when a client hires a freelancer, the payment goes into an escrow account. This account holds the funds until the freelancer completes the job.

Safety Measures on Upwork

Upwork’s escrow services offer protection for both parties. For clients, it ensures they only pay for approved work. For freelancers, it guarantees payment for completed work. Upwork’s security measures aim to build a trustworthy environment.

Handling Disputes on Upwork

Despite best efforts, disputes can occur. The dispute resolution on Upwork steps in here. The process is simple. Upwork’s team reviews the dispute, hears both parties, and suggests a resolution. This way, it ensures fairness and justice in its operations.

Tips for Success on Upwork

For Freelancers

Crafting an Appealing Profile

Creating an appealing freelancer profile on Upwork is your ticket to success. Highlight your skills, showcase your best work in your portfolio, and write a captivating profile overview. Remember, your profile is your first impression on potential clients.

Penning Effective Proposals

Writing effective Upwork proposals can set you apart from the competition. Make your proposal client-focused, addressing their needs directly. Show your enthusiasm for the project and explain why you’re the best fit.

Nurturing Client Relationships

Managing client relationships on Upwork is crucial for long-term success. Good communication, delivering quality work, and adhering to deadlines can foster healthy relationships. Positive interactions can lead to repeat hires and positive reviews. These steps can help freelancers thrive on Upwork.

For Clients

Drafting a Clear Job Description

The first step to successful hiring on Upwork is writing a clear job description. Outline your project’s scope, the skills required, and the expected timeline. A clear job post can attract relevant and skilled freelancers.

Streamlining Freelancer Selection

Screening freelancers on Upwork efficiently is key. Review proposals, profiles, and client reviews thoroughly. The Upwork interview process also offers a chance to assess freelancers before hiring. These steps ensure you hire the best talent for your job.

Overseeing Projects and Giving Feedback

Managing projects on Upwork and providing feedback are critical. Keep communication lines open and set clear expectations. Giving regular feedback can ensure project success. These practices can help clients get the most out of Upwork.

Pros and Cons of Upwork

Like any platform, Upwork has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore them.


For Freelancers

Upwork offers freelancers a wide array of job opportunities. It allows them to work remotely, choose projects aligning with their skills, and build a portfolio. The platform also ensures secure payments via its escrow services. These are some advantages of using Upwork for freelancers.

For Clients

Clients can access a vast pool of global talent on Upwork. The platform simplifies the hiring process and allows for easy project management. Clients can also review freelancer profiles and past client reviews to make informed hiring decisions.


For Freelancers

While the advantages are noteworthy, there are also disadvantages of using Upwork for freelancers. The platform is highly competitive, and landing the first job can be tough, especially for beginners. The fee structure can also take a significant chunk from earnings, particularly for low-budget projects.

For Clients

For clients, the sheer number of proposals for each job can be overwhelming. Additionally, while Upwork has quality control measures, there can still be instances of freelancers not meeting expectations. These are factors clients should consider when using the platform.

Upwork user reviews

Overall, Upwork has a Trustpilot rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Upwork User Reviews

As you can see, out of a little over 9,000 reviews from both buyers and sellers, 76% of them gave the platform a 5-star rating. However, the fact that 16% left a 1-star review is a bit concerning.

Amazing site for new freelancers like myself

“I love Upwork! Love it. I was new to freelancing when the pandemic hit, but I had to do something to make ends meet. Not only have I met amazing clients and increased my hourly rate over time, but I have payment protection that other sites don’t offer. I know I’ll get paid for my work. They even have features you can use to filter for like client’s payment is “verified” or their rating from previous freelancers out of 5 stars.”

User friendly platform with great tools

“We have used Upwork in our company the last few months. We wanted to outsource some copywriting services and we chose Upwork as s platform. I don’t know why the reviews are not better. In my experience, it is one of the most easy to use in the market + It provides many tools in order to find the freelancer of your choice and monitor your projects with them.
We are really satisfied so far”


“I posted a job and got scammed by the freelancer, who didn’t delivered any work.
Customer support didn’t helped and protected the freelancer, took my money and closed my account
STAY AWAY from Upwork people!”

My verified rated account was suspended…

“My verified rated account was suspended suddenly while working on project
Didn’t know why this happens
After my tries upwork did not supported to restore my account
But I don’t know without any reason how can account be banned”

Is Upwork Worth It?

Upwork serves as a beneficial platform for both freelancers and clients. Despite a few hurdles, its vast marketplace, secure payment processes, and quality assurance make it stand out among freelance platforms.

If you’re considering stepping into the world of freelancing or hiring freelancers, Upwork is worth exploring. Be it building a portfolio, writing proposals, or managing projects, the platform offers tools and features to aid your journey. Take your first step, keep our tips in mind, and you could be on your way to success with Upwork.

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