Upwork New Fee Structure Can Be a Good Thing

It has already been some months now since Upwork rolled out their new fee structure. After a lot of complaints from mainly low-fare providers who felt that additional 10% of overhead costs will ruin their business relying on petty small jobs, the things are now getting calmer.

The new fee structure represented in graph. Courtesy of UpworkFrom a general perspective, Upwork’s 20% is much. It appears to you when you compare it to the cost of other overheads, such as PayPal and wire transfers. But it still leaves you with 80% less these smaller overheads. Basically, your earnings before taxes should be around 70% and 75% now when Upwork increased their fees for most providers. But let’s see if there is something good in it.

Upwork encourages Freelancers to increase their fees

And not only for the amount of the fee increase. As you perhaps noticed, large companies use increase of taxes or other government regulations to hike prices of their products and services much more than the taxes actually rose. So if your hourly rate was $20 and you managed to get enough workload with that, you should not just increase the amount for $2.25 which will cover for the fee hike. You should start charging $25 instead. Remember that serious clients care about you, the provider, because they know only a satisfied and properly paid freelancer will get the work done the way they hope for. They also know that the fee increase can influence the performance of providers who remain idle on changing their rates, so these clients are ready to pay more.

Quit with One-Off Jobs

One-off jobs are great if you are a newbie aiming to get your first Job Success Score and make it good. However, over a long term, you should never fall to the sentiment that you run a delivery service on Upwork. Instead, you should regard to yourself on as to a contractor, the one who only undertakes large projects. Upwork will reward this as for every penny after the first $500 earned from a single client you will be paying just 10%. In most cases clients will never notice that. Their expenses for your services will stay the same, and you will be paying lower fees from then on. Depending on your job, hourly rate and project scope it will take you from a couple of days to several weeks to achieve that $500 mark with a single client. The best would be if you manage to make $10,000 from a single client – a point at which you keep paying just 5% fee for every job with that single client – perhaps the lowest platform overhead around. Upwork wants you and your clients make steady contracts which can be considered employment.

Consider That a Good Thing

Many providers who were the first to complain about Upwork’s new pricing are no longer around, perhaps simply because they left this platform behind and resorted to other sources of income. Even better, they drew their low-paying, low-quality clients with themselves. Clients who pay very low rates are usually very lousy in communication, too. These will certainly ruin your Job Success Score and drop you miles away from that famous Top Rated badge. You would best never have such people as your clients.

Instead, Upwork is now slowly turning into a place where you can find long-term opportunities for steady income. If you consistently work on improving your skills, communication and profile marketing, you will certainly find success there. Despite there’s still room for improvement, the overall atmosphere on Upwork appears to be better than before. Continue reading

‘Little’ things that make online work so GREAT!





Working online might allow you more time for favorite activities.

Accelerating advent of information technologies increases automation in many aspects of our life. Work is not an exception.  Office clerks, call center agents, IT developers and many others can now switch their work to a location of their choice, with an only condition to have a fast Internet connection available there. Even many location-dependent jobs can have some tasks completed online. For example, a dentist can consult with their patients using a webcam, or learn some new things related to their profession using scholarly sources available online. OK, these two examples do help but don’t generate revenue directly, but how about signing up to an online work marketplace and become a part-time writer of dentistry related articles? That’d be a good way to supplement one’s income. But let’s turn back to those who can switch their entire work to a random location.


Adjustable working hours


If you like outdoor activities such as biking, you will not be able to enjoy much in it with a nine-to-five work pattern.  You assume that an ideal job would start at 8am and last until noon, after which you get a long pause for your favorite outdoor activity while it’s still daytime, just to go back to work at dust and do the rest of your hours during the evening. Or you would like some other unusual working pattern? Flexible timing is often pointed out as one of major advantages of online work.

If your online job requires any kind of real-time interaction you will have to stick to a working schedule ordered by your employer or clients. But as an online worker or entrepreneur you will have a chance to be on your own with timing. Propose them a schedule which best suits your needs which still fits into their working hours expectations. For example, if you’re a customer support specialist for some home appliances firm, you can propose an evening shift instead of customary nine-to-five one, and it will be the time when most people are at home, using these appliances and encounter most issues for which they need your service. Even if you provide support for something professional, such as office furniture, where you can’t do much to change your standard working hours, you will still avoid commuting, allowing you more time and flexibility to negotiate with the employer. Maybe you will like or need to start and finish your work one hour earlier than usual. Tell them that you’re always ready to start a bit earlier or later.


Zero Commute Costs


Commuting is on the dark side of urban lifestyle, it takes away both your time and money. You get up earlier and get back to home later just because your office is not really close to your home. Moreover you need to spend money on a car, its maintenance and fuel. What you get in reward is stress about getting there on time, having to cope with traffic congestion and possible car breakages. Even if you use cheaper public transport, you basically just waste even more time to save little money. Working online means you have no commute at all. Well, OK, you go from your bedroom to your porch office via bathroom and kitchen.

Having not to spend on personal transport, you will be in advantage to anyone who has to do so. If you keep your hourly wage online the same as it’s now “offline”, it will actually be more money for you. Commuting is defacto an overhead cost, just like a bank’s commission. You can’t avoid it whenever you go to a remote office. Until recently the only theoretical solution to this was to either find a job close to home or moveing close to work. However, benefits from that are decent and few people made such moves.

Four easiest online work solutions

Online work is real. Millions of people across the globe use the Internet as their primary source of income. Some people even manage to reach high paid jobs without leaving the warmth of their homes. They in fact may visit their employer’s physical premises, though only a couple of times over a year. And it’s not only Web developers and other IT professionals. Online working world has hundreds of thousands of virtual office assistants, writers, graphics designers, video and music producers, phone operators, salespeople, and many others. Basically, any job where the outcome of everyday tasks can be stored electronically as data and delivered through the Internet or any other network is a potential online job.


Online work also gave another meaning to the notion of outsourcing. Companies assign freelancers for short tasks, subprojects, projects, programs and lengthy job assignments should they save more money and find better talent. Though, there are many concerns arising from outsourcing jobs and projects online. This concept basically means that firms should hire people they can’t physically reach, so these can’t be sure about how real that person, skills, education, experience and other working qualities are. The best solution for that are online marketplaces where job postings are standardized, and where all employers/clients and freelancers/providers need to build their profile and reputation. Online marketplaces like Upwork or Freelancer help both sides connect in a better way and develop trusted business relations.


Here we will see some of the largest marketplaces which can help you find online work.





Although it technically evolved from oDesk, Upwork is actually a child of merging oDesk with Elance. Both were among the top three general-purpose marketplaces, just to integrate into the present-day state. Upwork is a general purpose online work marketplace, which means it covers all kinds of work which can be carried out over the Internet. You will be able to choose one or more categories of work, take skill tests to assess your knowledge and show to the world if the test score is good. Doing this is just a small part of building  your profile. You need to complete your profile to 100% by adding your personal info, previous experience, education, a picture of you, work portfolio items and to verifying your payment method.


Upwork is a very secure marketplace where freelancers don’t have to pay anything prior finding work. It basically charges a 10% fee only when freelancer gets paid, and it’s their main source of income by far. There is also a paid membership plan for freelancers, but it doesn’t offer much.  Security of payments is very high. All you need to do is to make sure that anyone who hires you funded the milestone for work. Unless a client funds the milestone, you shouldn’t even start working. One the milestone is funded, your payment is almost secure, and even n the case when the client vanishes you’ll receive these monies after a couple of weeks after the official deadline.


However, it also has some drawbacks. Upwork is notorious for its frequent outages and users often reports back-end bugs such as private messages not going through, notification settings not taking effect etc. In meantime, they have managed to improve the overall service quality, so nowadays it’s working mainly fine.





As the major and only serious competitor to Upwork, Freelancer stands out with huge abundance of projects. By the number of jobs posted Freelancer is larger than Upwork, though there’s way too many low budget jobs. If you live in a high income country many of these will be unacceptable for you. Still, Freelancer is always good when you want to know how do you rate on a major online market. On Upwork, there are more high paid jobs, but these are often too few and the competition is very high, so you will often depend on luck. Speaking of Freelancer, as long as you stay on a paid membership plan,  you will be able to build your reputation and collect “Credits” Your Credits can be exchanged for many items on the website which are otherwise paid: tests, bids and bid highlights. Practically, the more you grow by doing projects, tests, earning achievement badges and passing levels like in a computer game, the more bids you will be able to place on a monthly basis. You should never fear that you’ll run out of bids. Actually, you will struggle to spend these.


There is a dark side of it as well. One of the most troublesome things related to Freelancer is that once you get hired the platform fee is deducted from your account immediately. That practically means if you find a scammer, you will be not just duped into free work, but also indebted by the platform. Beware that it’s raining scammers there. The best way to pick actual clients is to choose only  those who verified their payment method, though even then you need to be watchful. Just like on Upwork, any service one can offer remotely over the Internet can be sold on this platform.





I know you’re now a bit surprised, since this website‘s main purpose isn’t to help people make for living, but its perhaps the fastest way to get money and online publicity, which in long term can turn into even more money.  You probably saw a video of an iPhone destruction. YouTube users exposed their iPhones to microwaves, blenders,  boiling water, lava, put them under trucks, tanks, trains, destroyed them with chainsaws, hammer drills, assault rifles, sniper rifles and other destructive devices. What’s common for all these weird videos is that these multiply returned their investments – which included not only the destroyed phones, but also time of everyone involved, setting preparations etc. Of course, you aren’t now going to toast your iPhone just to publish it on YouTube. You should film something you excel at and deem interesting for public.


Vlogging is the core of earning on YouTube. Since it’s a Google service, YouTube acts as the the video section of this world’s largest search engine and is by far the most popular video platform. You will not have to worry about things online bloggers have to, such as search engine optimization and backlinking. What you need is just two things: being viral and being regular. Now high quality camera devices are very affordable, and these make high quality videos. You will need just to know basics of video editing. It’s even more important to have a well prepared setting for your video to make it appealing for the viewer’s eyes. If the content is viral and different from other videos covering the same topic or interest, you can quickly get a high amount of views, put the ads on and watch the amount generated grows.




This is the third largest general online work marketplace, similar to Freelancer and Upwork. PeoplePerHour encourages direct communication between “buyers” and “sellers” how do they call clients and freelancers respectively. The main distinctive feature is the two-way nature of the market. A Seller can submit proposals to job postings and can offer Hourlies. A Hourlie is a package of services which you can offer to Buyers to be executed within an hour. Yours is to standardize the package and start selling. A good photo or image inseparable part of your Hourlie, regardless the category. Seems like PeoplePerHour emphasizes visual representation in all its concepts.


This marketplace looks more serious than the previous two, but features less clients and less projects. However, if your personal marketing is good and you know how to sell yourself through negotiation, this might be the best choice for you.


First step into working online might be tough for you. Finding a first job requires sacrifice. You will be in need to lower and cut down your real life hourly rate for the first time, make a shiny profile, or differ in what you do. This last one is the gold for most online businesses. Being different the right way can get you online work success quickly.






Online Career Trends is a new website which covers various topics pertaining to online work. It will regularly cover all major news, issues and events related to freelancing, online working communities, digital nomads, online human resource management, business trends and more.


This site aims at freelancers, clients who seek freelance talent, company employees who bring their work home, carry at least some tasks remotely over the Internet, or are looking for opportunities to work outside their office in the future. Online Career Trends will guide you through your first steps into online working world, try to resolve some of your concerns or issues related to it, bring you tips, tricks and first-hand experiences to learn from. It doesn’t matter if you’re a programmer, Web developer, logo designer, photographer, administrative clerk or a writer. All industries will be covered with news, tips, tricks and other useful articles.