Upwork Review: Can You Earn A Full Time Income?

Welcome to My Upwork Review

Upwork is one of the largest, if not the largest online freelance marketplace in the world.

However, with millions of freelancers working on the platform, making it extremely competitive, is it a viable option for people looking for a full-time income?

Let me help you explore more in this detailed review!

There is no doubt you can find plenty of success stories out there, with people earning 100k a year or even more from their home. However, there are plenty of sad stories, as well.

In this review, I aim to provide you the ultimate truth about Upwork, and if you really can replicate the success stories out there?

Keep in mind, when there are around two million freelancers currently earning on Upwork, there is an almost equal number of freelancer profiles who have failed to earn anything so far.

What is Upwork? 
Inside Upwork
Who is Upwork For?
The Truth About Upwork
Things I Like About Upwork
Is Upwork A Scam?
How I Start A Small Business Online

In the last few years, I find many people running behind the success stories, but failing to achieve any significant result.

Most people want quick results and want to replicate what others did in years within months. 

This is not the right approach to competitive online marketplaces like Upwork.

When Upwork can become a good source for a full-time income for you, you also need to create a strategy, spend time, and must have the right approach.

To be honest, if you want a more sustainable and long-term solution to earn a full-time income, there are alternatives available like affiliate marketing.

Unlike Upwork where you trade your time for money, affiliate marketing allows you to earn passive income.

If you are interested to learn about affiliate marketing and how to turn it into a powerful source of passive income, then I suggest you try My #1 Recommendation. This program has has helped me earn a full time income by promoting affiliate products.

However, if you have the skills to sell and want to work as a freelancer, Upwork can potentially become a good source of your full-time income. Let's explore more.


Product Name: Upwork

Founder/Owner: Stratis Karamanlakis and Odysseas Tsatalos in addition to Beerud Sheth

Product Type: Freelance marketplace

Price: Free with a paid $14.99/month membership for better perks

Best For: Freelancers like copywriters, programmers, graphic designers, animators, and anyone with a skill to sell.

Summary: Upwork is a leading freelance platform that allows you to create a profile, become a member (free or paid), bid for jobs, work for clients, and get paid.

With only $14.99 paid membership, it is also one of the most affordable platforms out there.

As a popular platform, there are thousands of jobs to bid, while easy to follow dashboard and process also makes it convenient for new freelancers.

However, with millions of freelancers active on the platform, it is tough to find the first few jobs when you don't have any previous work experience to show. 

Rating: 8/10

Recommendation: Yes, if you have the right skills, and do not mind to trade your time for a full time income.

What Is Upwork? 

Led by its CEO, Stephane Kasriel, Upwork is a leading freelancing site in the world. It is ranked among the largest freelance marketplaces on the internet with millions of freelancers and employers using the platform daily.

Formerly known as odesk, Upwork was founded in 2015 after the merger of elance and odesk, both major freelance platforms at that time. 

The platform allows skilled freelancers to create their profile and find work. If you have the right skills, right approach, and excellent communication skills, you can also make Upwork a source of your full-time earnings.

However, a lot depends on the skills you have and the demand for that skill on the platform. For example, check out this video about some of the popular freelancing jobs on online platforms.

Upwork offers two membership programs, one is free, and the other is paid. You have to pay $14.99 a month for paid membership with perks like free connects and customized profile link.

Inside Upwork

Well, as I have already mentioned above, Upwork is a leading freelance marketplace, and to be honest, for all the right reasons. The platform is not only very easy to navigate, rewarding, but also fast and secure. 

For me, it is one of the simplest and easy to follow freelancing platform out there. To become a member, you just need to choose between free or paid membership as well as verify your identity.

When free membership works well, the paid membership has its own perks like 70 free connects, and better visibility when applying for jobs. 

Freelance Jobs/Contracts

Once you have a complete profile, you can start applying for jobs that are available in abundance. You can choose between hourly and fixed price jobs, both secure payment methods, so you don't have to worry about payments. 

For hourly contracts, you have to work with Upwork team application that keeps track of your working hours, and clients pay according to the hours logged.

When working on team app, you can track your working hours precisely. It takes random screenshots of your working screens within ten minutes, and saves it under your work-diary.

This way, clients can see what you are working on. The team app also has simple interface, just click on start, and it will begin tracking.

For fixed-price contracts, Upwork transfer agreed amount to an escrow amount from the client, and release payment to you when you submit work. Easy, simple, and secure, isn't it?

The escrow payment works for both employer and employees. You don't have to worry about the payment as it is already in escrow when you're working, while client has to approve your work to release it. This way, it makes payments secure for both.

Upwork Dashboard

The freelance dashboard is also easy to use. You can view your current active contracts, payment reports, and can use Upwork messages to communicate with clients, through text or audio/video calls.

Freelancer Profile

To convert Upwork as a source of full-time income, you need to keep your profile in the best possible shape. So how do you create a top profile?

Well, Upwork rates your profile based on the client's experience with you for every job and calculates a cumulative score called JSS (Job Success Score). Freelancers with 90+ JSS are ranked as top-rated freelancers, with a higher possibility of securing a job. 

Similarly, make sure your profile has a nice description, work experience, your education history, and most importantly, an impressive portfolio. Here is an example of an Upwork profile with high JSS score.

Payments through Upwork are also easy and secure to transfer. You have plenty of payment methods that you can add to your account, from your bank account to Payoneer or PayPal.

Upwork collects all your earnings, both from fixed-price and hourly contracts under your account that you can transfer to your preferred payment method any time you want. 

Job Categories Inside Upwork

Upwork allows you to choose from a wide range of job categories, making it easier for you to find a job under your preferred categories.

Some of their most popular categories include web development, IT & networking, software development, mobile app development, data sciences, design, writing, legal, admin support, customer service, sales & marketing, and several more.

Who Is Upwork For?

The online platform is for people who want to start a freelance career at a small scale and turn it into a full-time income.

It is best for those who have some skills to sell, like copywriting, programming, graphic designing, animation, video editing, customer support, marketing, and even accounting.

If you have any skill to sell, you can create a platform, set a price, and start bidding on projects that you find right for your skills.

If you have excellent communication skills, know how to write a convincing cover letter, there is no reason you can't find some great contracts on Upwork.

As it is one of the largest platforms on the internet, there are plenty of jobs available to bid on. I can find thousands under most categories.

However, if you are new, you have to face fierce competition, especially from the freelancers with already impressive profiles and work history. 

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The key is to bid on smaller and relatively low-cost projects at the start, the type of projects other freelancers with big profiles are not interested in.

As your profile and work history grows, you can bid for better and more expensive projects as well.

The Truth About Upwork

Well, like every other thing in the world, there are some drawbacks to the platform as well. I have listed some of the most common here.

Truth #1: Not as Easy as It May Sound

First, as I mentioned earlier, for the new freelancer, it is not easy to find projects that pay more. You have to start small or be patient. 

Simply put, you're not alone on the platform, so each job posted by a client attracts dozens of other freelancers as well. Easy jobs like data entry gigs even attract hundreds of applications.

For example, here is one job that received up to 50 proposals.

Truth #2: You Can Lose Your Account without Much Explanation Anytime 

Second, you also need to make sure you are following all the terms and conditions precisely. Upwork, in most cases, is very strict, and their customer support is not always helpful. 

They can put your profile on hold for a number of reasons, and guess what, most of the time customer support doesn't even tell you the reason for which your account is on hold. 

I am sure you can find thousands of freelancers online who have lost their active and big profiles for different reasons. Make sure to read each and every term and condition, and follow even the minute detail.

Truth #3: You Also Have to Pay More than Your Expectations

You may also have to buy a paid subscription to compete with the competition. Even though it is not mandatory, but I recommend it for new freelancers.  

Upwork has recently introduced paid connects that were free before. You use connects whenever you bid for a job. With more connects and extra features, you can have a better chance to find work.

The connects may range from 2 to 6 per job, and cost $0.15 per connect. For a new freelancer, you may have to buy a significant number of connects to find the first few jobs.

In my opinion, even when Upwork is not really an expensive platform compared to some other similar freelancing platforms, it is not entirely free for you.

With a paid subscription and monthly connects, you probably have to pay around USD 20 to USD 30 a month.

Things I Like About Upwork

Based on my own experience with Upwork, there are plenty of things to like. One thing that I noticed is the number of jobs. You can find thousands of new jobs daily under almost all categories. The more jobs, the higher the chance of you getting hired.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of competition as well. However, I have noticed that Upwork is trying to keep a healthy balance between the jobs available and freelancers on the platform.

Under some categories with an already high number of freelancers, getting your profile approved is not an easy task anymore unless you can show experience, skills, and convincing portfolio to Upwork.

This new approach makes sure the marketplace doesn't get too crowded, which is often the case with other similar platforms.

In addition, I find it really easy to work with. There is absolutely no learning curve involved, as everything is simple and easy to follow. You just have to create your profile, get it approved, and start applying for suitable jobs.

There are also several payment methods to choose from like direct bank transfer, Payoneer, PayPal, and more. Payment is guaranteed by Upwork, so you don't have to worry about payment frauds.

Simply put, the freelancing platform offers you everything you may look for on such a website. It is up to you how you use the opportunity to your favor.

Is Upwork A Scam? 

Upwork is definitely a legit online platform offering you a genuine option to earn online. In the last few years, I met many freelancers who started small on Upwork but now earning a full-time income from the platform.

However, there are also some cases where people failed to find suitable work and quit after some time. In both cases, it is nothing to do with Upwork. It depends on your own skill and how you approach work and clients on the platform.

Upwork is used by millions from all around the globe, so you can trust the platform. Upwork also follows an hourly payment or fixed-price contracts with escrow payments, making it sure that freelancers get the money for their work without hassle.

I do recommend Upwork to freelancers with unique skills for a full-time income. It may take some time, but there is no reason why you can't earn a handsome amount from Upwork.

However, if you are someone who wants to earn passive income without the need to face rejection from clients every now and then, I suggest you try affiliate marketing.

How I Start A Small Business Online

A few years ago, I was also pursuing the same, finding ways to earn passive full-time income outside of 9 to 5 job. This was when I started an online business through affiliate marketing. 

I created a review blog rich in good content to recommend affiliate products in make money online niche.

By applying content marketing strategy, producing quality and in-depth content, coupled with good SEO practices, I successfully build an online business after some time to generate regular income. 

However, the road to success was not easy. You have to invest your time to learn the strategy, some money to get business resources, and make smart decisions throughout your journey to make the most out of online opportunities. 

Despite it takes time and effort to become successful, at least I can now start to earn passive income and do not require to trade time for money.

If you want to follow the same path to success, but don't want to face the same hurdles that I faced, I recommend reading “My Free Guide To Start A Small Business Online“.

Inside this guide, you’ll learn the exact step-by-step route I took to build a sustainable online business that has helped me quit my c-level day job.

I hope my Upwork review can help you make an informed decision on whether this is the right option for you to earn a full-time income.

If you find this review valuable, and if there are others in your circle who want to earn online, feel free to share this review.

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10 thoughts on “Upwork Review: Can You Earn A Full Time Income?”

  1. amazing…this is a really great post up here. My cousin who is a graphic designer and content creator has been jobless for a while and has been searching for means to get jobs but unfortunately hasn’t gotten any. This is a really great review that has properly engaged in research and knows what it entails..thanks for reviewing this upwork platform… Now he has the opportunity to make a choice.

  2. True, you will have to trade your time for money, which I believe is also not the best way to go about online business. I have spent several hours bidding for work and I have had success with a few. But in my opinion, it is worth a shot for anyone trying too earn a little extra money. Don’t think it’s sustainable as competition is strong with little return.

    I agree with you, the best form of earning online is through affiliate marketing. At least with this one, you will not have to spend so much time begging for work.

    Thank you for such a thorough review, Much appreciated!

    1. Glad that you too believe affiliate marketing is the way forward. That’s why I only engage freelancers from Upwork and never want to provide my services there. Better spend my time building niche websites than to write for others. 

  3. I have seen many good assignments completed via Upwork as the marketing team I work with each day use Upwork Global quite regularly.

    Many skilled and talented freelancers are available depending upon what need you have in terms of day to day business needs.

    The key is being able to demonstrate a relatable skill that people can put to work in order to get a project or work requirement satisfied.

    It does seem more linked to freelancers in the marketing and promotional space, but I am thinking about researching this platform more to see if some of my analyst and business partnering experience could be applied to it.

  4. You have done great work by giving us all the details and what to expect from Upwork. At least if anyone of us who are going into Upwork we will sure of what to get.

    Will everybody and what interests them, for me, I want a passive income source so I will consider your number one recommendation so that I can also benefit from this great platform.

    What should I expect joining your recommendation platform?

    I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to online matter and thanks for giving us an honest truth about Upwork.

    1. I would advise you to join with an open heart. Despite this opportunity is not for everyone, but to the bare minimum, you try. It’s free to start anyway. So just do it! Wish you good luck. 

  5. I know you said that people make money from this line of business but the fact is that I am a little worried if this can actually turn into a full time income for me. To succeed in this line of business really involves the skill you are offering to the market. If your skill is not in demand then it is really going to be difficult turning it into a consistent income source. 

    I do see it working as a way to make quick money but for anyone looking to turn this into a full time income would require the skills that are hot in the market.

  6. Hello

    Very interesting place

    I have a WA account that I run an affiliate marketing site.

    Upwork didn’t know it and it really made an impression on me that it can be a good source of full time income.

    The good news is for anyone who wants to work as a freelancer on the platform can write and find thousands of new jobs daily in almost all categories

    There will certainly be a subscription, but I believe the benefits of the platform are small

    In the future I would like to try Upwork, I like the challenges, and I also believe in working on my website and both of them together to make a good income

    Thank you for your information and your enlightening article.

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