UpWork is, till date, the best online marketplace there is for freelancers. While others may disagree to this, personally, I am more comfortable on UpWork than anywhere else. 

The Journey of Upwork: An Online Freelance Marketplace

UpWork began as oDesk, but later merged with Elance to create a new platform – combining all the old clients and freelancers from both platforms.

I had accounts on both of them but only one completed job on Elance. From the very beginning, I concentrated on oDesk and till now, I only have one account on one single marketplace.

Is Upwork very Difficult for Newcomer Freelancers?

Some people – freelancers, mostly – would argue that UpWork is strict. I somewhat agree with them, but I also think that it is necessary for UpWork to be a little authoritarian. However, they are sometimes a little too lenient towards the clients, but they are trying to change that.

In conclusion, I have no serious complaints against UpWork. I have complaints towards some of their clients, though, and I think Upwork needs to be a little stricter in choosing their client profiles.

Why is Upwork so Important?

Coming back to the point: 

UpWork is till date the biggest online marketplace for freelancers to find work and for clients to find freelancers.

Especially after the merge with Elance, this is indeed the largest freelance marketplace in the world.

There are, according to the statistics from March 2017, around 14 million registered freelancers and 5 million clients working together at UpWork. I am one of them.

My Time as a Freelancer on Upwork

I started on January 2014 with a personal account, and now I also have an agency account – at a very early stage of its journey. I have worked on roughly 230+ projects and have around 1800 hours accumulated on my profile. From July 2015 onwards, I have the “Top Rated” badge on my profile.

How Does Upwork Operate?

If I want to be very simple, UpWork is basically a hub where two kinds of people meet: clients and freelancers. 

Clients are the people who are looking for freelancers to work on their projects, and freelance workers are the ones looking for work.

Freelancers have an account/profile where they showcase their skills, talk about themselves, and feature their portfolio. Clients post jobs where they describe what they want and what type of workers they are looking for. Job posts also mention deadlines and budgets.

When freelance workers come across these job posts, they apply.

Freelancers state their expertise on the job, whether they have done something similar and whether they have relative samples to show.

It is also important to mention whether they can finish the project within the deadline mentioned by the client.

Negotiations are continued over the budget, as well. When clients look through the applications sent by freelancers, they can actually select more than one person to negotiate with.

From this point on wards, clients and freelancers communicate directly to complete their jobs.  

Clients and freelancers can communicate through Upwork or mail each other directly, or even Skype or through phone. All modes of communication is open for both clients and freelancers. At the end of the discussion, if both parties agree on all the terms, the relationship continues. The client offers the freelancer the job and the freelancer accepts. The freelancer starts working, communicating with the client all through the process – if that’s what they prefer. 

Is Upwork Safe to Use?

When the project is completed, the client pays the freelancer via UpWork. They might end the project there or continue, depending on the situation. But if they decide to end it, both the freelancer and the client would leave each other feedback.

Positive feedback are important for freelancers to advance in their UpWork career. It’s the same for clients if they want to hire more freelancers to work for them in the future.

UpWork holds the payment for a few days in their custody; After everything is clear – it automatically sends the money to the freelancer’s account from where they can withdraw it anytime they want.

This – in a nutshell – is how UpWork Online Freelancer Marketplace works! 

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