Megan Grant
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Why Freelance Writing on Upwork and Fiverr is a WASTE of Your Time

January 28, 2021

Hi! I’m Megan, the founder of Revenue Spark, and I’m here to tell you to stop wasting your time looking for freelance writing jobs on Upwork and Fiverr. Let’s talk about what you can do instead.

For a lot of freelance writers, especially when they’re just starting out, the advice they often receive is to look for work on job boards and bidding sites. One of the more popular ones is Upwork. Even though it’s not really a job board, I’m also including Fiverr in this, because I’m seeing freelance writers using this one more and more.

Before I tick anyone off, I don’t believe that these sites are inherently bad. Rather, it’s the way that people use them that makes them a waste of your time. Let’s talk about why.

Psst! If you prefer video over text, check this out.

Why You Should Avoid Upwork and Fiverr for Freelance Writing Jobs

1: They’re insanely competitive.

You know how you read that Upwork and Fiverr are great ways to make money as a freelance writer?

So did everyone else.

They’re ALL THERE. Which means that these platforms are very saturated, and very competitive, with sometimes hundreds of writers competing for one crappy job, and you know what that means…

Or maybe you don’t, so I’ll tell ya.

It’s a race to the bottom.

What I mean is that the competition on these sites is so high that writers just keep undercutting each other, lowering their rates more and more and more, until they’re making $5 to write 1,000 words.

I think I’m gonna vomit.

Think about how much work you’d have to be doing to make real money.

And you’re not going to get that much work anyway becauseee…. It’s too competitive.

This is a vicious spiral, and here’s what happens next.

2. The clients using these sites care much more about the price tag than anything else.

Including quality and value. They don’t care.

They go on sites like Upwork and Fiverr because they know that they can hire a freelance writer for dirt cheap.

Is that all you deserve?

No, of course not.

3. And this one really gives me cramps: UPWORK CHARGES FEES.

I get it. They have to make their money somewhere. But, does that make it suck any less for you, the freelance writer? No.

If you get a job on Upwork, you have to pay them. So, you were probably making very little in the first place, AND another chunk of that goes to Upwork. Here are their current fees at the time of this video, directly from their website.

  • 20% for the first $500 billed with the client
  • 10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for lifetime billings with the client that exceed $10,000

I’m definitely gonna vomit now.

This brings me to my final reason why sites like Upwork and Fiverr suck.

4. You’re not in control.

They are. They can raise their fees. They can suspend your account. They can do whatever the heck they want. You don’t have ownership over any of this.

How can you be a business owner, and not… have… ownership….?

Alright, so I’ve given you plenty of reasons to avoid finding work on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Let’s talk about much better ways to find great work as a freelance writer and importantly, make the money that you want.

LinkedIn. Let’s start there. LinkedIn will completely change your business and your income.

It’s this perfect in-between point. It’s not a 100% business-oriented site, but it’s also not 100% social media. It’s somewhere in the middle. This makes it very easy and appropriate to reach out to people, send them a message, and say, “Hey, thanks so much for connecting with me. I’m a writer, and I’m really interested in creating blog content for your company. Can we talk more?”

If you need some help learning how to generate B2B leads on LinkedIn, go check out this video, where I go into a lot more detail.

Another effective way to approach and land new freelance writing clients is cold emailing. This is when you email a company who you have no prior relationship with, have not yet communicated with, and you do it with the ultimate goal of selling your services.

If you’ve watched any of my videos, you know I’m a big fan of cold emailing. After getting off job boards and bidding sites, I switched to cold emailing and my business took off.

Go check out this video and learn how to do it yourself.

There’s one more option I want to suggest. I’ve talked before about LinkedIn vs cold emailing — specifically, which one is more effective. This video goes into the nitty-gritty of that.

In a nutshell, one of the most effective ways to land clients is to combine LinkedIn outreach with email.

You reach out to your leads on LinkedIn, and then take the conversation to email. So, it’s not technically cold emailing, because the lead isn’t “cold.” This is called warm emailing, because you’ve warmed the lead up first, in this case, on LinkedIn.

This is how I teach client acquisition in my program, Revenue Spark. By leveraging the combined potential of both LinkedIn and email, the results, the conversion rate, are incredible.

If you want to learn how to get the ball rolling with this method, grab this free guide to LinkedIn optimization and email outreach. I’ll show you how to optimize your LinkedIn page to improve your rankings and increase the traffic to your page, and I’ve also included one of my proven email templates that you can use for both cold emailing and warm emailing.