Anybody Else Side Hustling Through UpWork?


Anybody else side hustling through UpWork?

I discovered them a while back through a blog post on sites to make money. I set up my profile, found a gig that looked like a good fit, and pitched for it.

I was hired in July, or August, and made about $1K by the middle of November. I fulfilled that contract and a few weeks later was contacted by the clients, requesting that I apply for their new gig.

Picked it up and finished the contract for 5 articles. Just had a new contract open for 2 articles.

I’m a Ghost Writer, so I don’t have a By Line, but I have money rolling into my PayPal account, and I don’t have to go somewhere to make it.

There’s more to UpWork than writing gigs, but so far that’s all I’ve pursued. In fact, with other commitments, I haven’t even looked for gigs outside the one that I have.

The nice thing about picking up some Freelance $$, I can afford to hire a writer for my blog. Her first post will come out later this month.

I wrote through another platform, but made less for 5 articles than I did my first with UpWork. I won’t go back to that one, for sure.

What are some other good Side Hustle sites, other than UpWork?


DTDG does:


Honestly, you are the first review I’ve read that has been positive. Maybe I’m just hanging out in all the wrong places on the www :wink:. Sounds like a good gig.


Really? No other positive reviews? I’ve had nothing but good things with UpWork, and I tweet with a young lady that also has positive feedback for them.

Upwork’s system went down a few months back and everybody was wailing and sobbing. was no big thing, as far as I was concerned.

Well, for me, so far so good.


I can’t comment as to what they are like as a worker, but I’ve used them as a boss to temporarily ramp up my team when we’ve been super busy or needed one off specialist skills.

The results have been mixed, generally more positive than not.

For simple commodity skill jobs it was great.

However it is worth noting there is usually a bit of friction getting the freelancer producing what the boss needs, if that differs at all from what they have done before. No different to inducting new staff at a workplace, just on a smaller scale.

The other observation is for freelancers it is super competitive and on a bit of a race to the bottom in terms of rates.

Often times the freelancers take longer than required to turn around work, because they need to spend so much of their time bidding for future jobs to ensure their work stack has enough lined up to keep them earning.

It has certainly highlighted location arbitrage in action. There are some fantastic writers and coders with English skills as good as can be found in the U.K. based in South Africa, the Philippines, and Pakistan. They are willing to do the job for maybe 20% of what a local would charge, so as a boss providing you factor the issues I highlighted above into task timelines it can definitely be a useful way of getting things done cost effectively.

After putting tasks out to the market this way it does have me questioning the viability of many commodity professions in expensive locales, particularly those that aren’t client facing.

Hope providing the view from the other side of the hiring table helps you out @Shin


Never having been on the other side of the table, it’s interesting to read your thoughts.

“. . . . if that differs at all from what they have done before.” Interesting, as I had to write a piece in a manner that I hadn’t written before. I was very fortunate in that my client was flexible in the timeline, and editing the piece while I worked on it. It was a very positive experience, indeed.

So far, my expereince has been positive. My first experience at freelancing was through BlogMutt. That was the opposite.

Low pay, and simply write a piece and hope it got picked up.

I made more on my first UpWork piece than 5 through BogMutt.

Thanks for the insight!


I used to do it but most of the gigs I landed paid peanuts so I stopped


I have nothing to compare my UpWork income to, other than BlogMutt, where I made a flat $8.00 and article.

I wrote 5 and made $40.00, then pulled out. I’ve made a bit over $1000.00 since August. Which works for me, as I’m not trying to freelance a fulltime income. I’m just side hustling my retirement and investment income.

What kind of gigs did you do through UpWork? Are you using another platform now?


I used to do freelance writing on Upwork - I got paid $20 per article once upon a time (2 years ago) and loved it, but since then there’s articles that only pay between $5-$10 less the 25% Upwork cut (or whatever it is now, it used to be 10%) which I feel isn’t worth my time anymore. Looking for new gigs kind of got annoying as well since I’m competing with people from waaay cheaper countries bidding on jobs like from India, for instance. There is no way my $18 an hour could compete with like $3 an hour they are offering.

I have since moved into reselling and focusing more on building my blog instead of doing UpWork. If it leads to more freelance work offline, then that’s great, if not then I have more time to focus on other things like reading blogs/learning :wink:


I guess I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had only the one client and have made enough that UpWork takes the lowest commission. I can see why you moved on.

You mentioned reselling. What’s involved? Like you, I’m about learning.


I’m a sort of advanced travel hacker, so reselling is a means for us to manufacture more points, and make a small profit in the end.
Some resell gift cards and some resell merchandise - where you buy low (usually deals) and sell high (products on eBay or craigslist, while others use Amazon FBA, depends on their niche).


I prefer UpDog.


If you are looking for freelance writing assignments I would strongly recommend connecting with some larger companies in your area who write white papers and offer to write one on any topic. Forging relationships with companies - just email their head of research or their HR department to connect you with the right person, is an awesome way to get larger ongoing freelance gigs. I used to white papers for a consulting firm in Chicago and because they are large companies they have big budgets for these types of efforts. Its not uncommon to get $5,000-$7,000 per white paper if its well researched.

They are very much like writing college papers - then the company just edits it and puts an executive’s name on it. That’s how most companies develop their “thought leadership” white papers - outsourcing them to freelancers. I know one guy who makes an extra $50,000/year doing these and they really don’t take him that much time. The topics can be pretty boring though - the one I wrote was on supply chain technology, but the $5,000 was worth it! I don’t freelance write anymore, but it’s an awesome side hustle when you’ve built up your networks! Best of luck :yum:


Wow! Great info. Never thought one could make good money writing. Guess I’m gonna have to work up to that. Thanks for the feedback!


I was hoping for a “What’s UpDog?” #SMH


Wow @PoF, you waited a whole month to deliver that Dad joke punch line? Respect.

The way that died are you sure you’re not a forensic pathologist? :wink:


I use Upwork as well for writing. I only apply for jobs that accept at least 3 cents per word. Most clients are only willing to pay 1 cent per word ($10 per 1000 words).

Needless to say there is a lot of jobs I do not apply for, but, I have managed to land two long-term clients and several one-time clients. As others mentioned, it gets old quickly taking so much time to submit proposals for jobs with the “race to the bottom.”

The only other platform I used was that also has good online reviews. I never did land a job and it seems to be a site that nickels & dimes you and it’s hard to find open jobs. You have to pay $5,$10, or $15 to take the certification tests to qualify for jobs. Plus you can spend additional money to put your bid at the top of the proposal list, etc.


There is a website for freelancers I like even better than UpWork - XPlace. I’ve recently registered as a finance freelancer there:, and I must admit it has excellent working conditions: higher hourly rates than most other freelance job boards, a lot of high-paying opportunities in any field for any level of expertise, and no commission fee requirement.


Anyone use UpWork or similar for non-writing work?
The design work I do requires a lot of back and forth with clients so I’ve been hesitant to try something like UpWork because I assume the rates are too low to make up for the time spent with clients.