Upwork - Becoming Pay to Play?

I have been working on Upwork for more than 2-years. Everything was going fine until the last couple of months when the number of high-quality jobs started plummeting. Personally, I didn’t have a clue what was the root of this problem. That is until I’ve had the chance to be on the buyer’s side. When I was on the buyer’s side - things were hectic. Hundreds of proposals from Meksells - and only a handful of proposals made sense. In the end, we hired a couple of designers that didn’t deliver what was promised.

In the past, we used to have 60 connects available for free. However, today Upwork announced, that every connection should be purchased for $0.15. Meaning, without buying a bundle, you most likely won’t be able to apply for a job. (https://www.upwork.com/i/connects/).

In my opinion, this move by Upwork isn’t bad at all. It might really lower down the number of meksels, as they can’t spam anymore. However, on the other side, 15 cents isn’t a lot of money.

Here is how I see it:


  • Fewer meksells spamming.
  • I would have more chance to be hired.
  • It would be easier for the clients to the meksels up to some extent.


  • I don’t like this, as in the future, Upwork might turn into PPH.
  • Perhaps, driving away clients as they would get lot fewer proposals.

Honestly, this won’t affect me a lot - as I tend to apply to a few jobs a month. Personally, I only apply to jobs which are interesting to me, have a deadline that I can make, the client has a great rating, and they don’t lowball. I am hired on 40-50% of the proposals that I send (not more than 10 proposals per year). Which means that this isn’t bad at all for me.

I know that this won’t affect most of you, as you don’t offer your services on Upwork. However, I find it appropriate to share it with everyone here.

1 Like

I have an old profile in reasonable shape which I’m always thinking I should get back into, but every time I look at UW, the copywriting jobs are crap - not to put too fine a point on it - and UW seems to have done some new and insane thing.

It looks like sentiment is generally positive on the UW subreddit although I’ve only skimmed it so far.

I think I’m on the fence as I don’t use it and it does seem like a good move to dump meksells, but at the same time… meh. Mind you, I think

  • Fewer meksells spamming [and]
  • Perhaps, driving away clients as they would get lot fewer proposals

Kinda cancel each other out. No way to tell until it’s launched. Perhaps buyers should also pay a .15 listing fee? Every time I look it’s acres of terrible jobs!

EDIT: It looks like everyone hates meksells, though!

Definitely, a listing-fee should be put in place. You are absolutely right, most of the jobs on Upwork are total crap for the past 6-months. I have scored only one (new) great client (a YouTuber) and that’s it.


I used to find it very good (before I joined Fiverr) for long-term (12mo+) contracts that paid a living wage here. I couldn’t keep both up when my Fiverr career took off though, so I chose Fiverr. Pro prices mean things on Fiverr calmed down a lot, but… yeah, UW doesn’t look attractive anymore on multiple fronts, and those long-term contracts are rare as a hen’s teeth.


Definitely, especially for your price-range the contracts that you can get on Upwork are scarce. Brexit would happen sooner, that you would be able to find a great contract.

I need to try to apply for a pro once again. However, I always ger rejected, I guess I don’t have it in me. :upside_down_face:

The PRO prices are a bonus, but the lack of constant work isn’t (I get lazy when I’m not busy), so a ‘pay cut’ isn’t necessarily bad.

But I’m really not prepared to put in all this work of searching for, and finding pretend great jobs that aren’t/being ignored every day for months until I find that contract. And also, I suspect it won’t be possible for me to use my Fiverr profile to say look at the amazing deal you’re getting so hire me. Which is a little irritating too :slight_smile:

I’m still not quite sure how I managed to become a PRO, give the high threshold it apparently has and the fact I got scandalously banned from the forum for being rude to the community and its wonderful ambassadors!

1 Like

It is not your fault if 5R can not tell a good seller when you apply for Pro! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Your reputation was still there when I joined the Forum in July of '18. But then since then many have either left or been banned from the Forum. :cry:

1 Like

They want a quiet and boring forum filled with meksells and helpful people to do CS’ job within strict parameters. They basically ripped the interesting heart out the forum, leading it to be the comparative cesspit it is today. By ‘they’ I mean corporate, not mods. Their loss, I s’pose.


PS found UW’s awful April Fool’s!

Spot the meksell comments…

1 Like

The comments are more funny than the article. It seems some did not understand that it was a joke!

1 Like