The Influencers Lied to Me About Freelancing On Upwork

Nick Nolan
6 min readAug 30
Image via Unsplash+ / Getty Images

One of the first pieces of advice I heard when I started freelancing was to stay far, far, far away from websites like Upwork and Fiverr.

During my first month freelancing, I worked with a design coach. She had a podcast and business that helped freelance designers build their business and increase revenue. She hired me to repurpose the podcasts into articles. A lot of the advice she shared on the pod was about building a brand and staying off the typical freelance farms.

I wasn’t a designer, but I was brand new to freelancing, so I took the advice to heart.

I heard a similar take from other people.

Fiverr and Upwork were terrible places for freelancers who want to make lots of money and work with high-quality clients.

These places were a race to the bottom.

You must never go there!

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So, that’s exactly what I did for the next 6+ months.

I tried every other option to find prospects, with some success.

Then I wanted to start freelancing full-time. I needed to find a few more clients to cover my expenses and started researching different ways I could make it happen.

I was surprised to discover that lots of people were recommending sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Now I was stuck in a dilemma — who do I listen to? The people who told me to stay away? or the people who tell me this is the best way to find more clients?

One side was telling me that I’d never find a high-paying gig on Upwork.

The other side was telling me I could make six figures on Upwork.

The best option was to go see for myself.

I created an Upwork account and started scrolling through the listings. I applied for a few that seemed relevant and interesting.



I didn’t land a single gig.

At least, not on Day 1.

Nick Nolan

Freelance marketing consultant | Writing about Copywriting, SEO, and Social Media