You already know that I strongly discourage copywriters from using job-bidding sites like Upwork or Fiverr or Freelancer to find work. (If you need a reminder, here’s why.)
And people love to try to argue that with me. Case in point, here’s an article someone posted on one of our ads to “prove” that people can make six figures on Upwork.
Now, I’ve never said that you can’t make six figures on Upwork (or any of the others)—only that it’s a completely unnecessary and utterly exhausting way to do it.
Let’s look at the math from the copywriter in the article:
This is an absolutely crazy way to work—totally unsustainable and totally unnecessary! WHY would you be okay with working 18-hour days to make $2,700 when you could work a 6- or 7-hour day to make the same amount? And how could you have 27 jobs in your queue—or 40 to 50!—and not burn out?
Also, in order to average $60 an order for a 100-word email and average $150-$200 an hour, he’s writing 2-3 emails an hour, potentially for 18 hours a day. (And that doesn’t include research!) What kind of quality can his clients possibly be getting??
And, as our head coach, Kate, noted when I posted this image in our student-only Facebook group. Forty to fifty jobs in the queue should be closer to a YEARLY total. I get stressed out at just the thought of having 40-50 projects to do in a month, much less a day!
There is absolutely no need to be working these kinds of hours and at this kind of breakneck pace—especially since you can’t possibly produce consistently great work for your clients at that pace and, if you can’t do that, what’s your value to them, to begin with?
Job-bidding sites are just NOT the best way for a copywriter to get consistent and high-paying work (read: the kind of rates that our high level of skill deserves). They seem “easy” and they seem “less scary” than pitching…until you learn to pitch correctly and give it a try.
Which is how most new things work, right? They might seem scary or intimidating, but once you follow the steps given to you and just do it (and with, say, some support from other people who are doing the same thing), you discover that it’s actually a lot easier than it seems.
And wouldn’t you rather reach six figures (no promises, of course—you’ve got to put in the work) by working six or seven hours a day rather than working 16 or 18? I mean, that’s literally working from 6 am to midnight as many days as you need to. What seems “easy” actually turns out to be so very much harder in practice.
Your turn! Have I finally convinced you that “easy” isn’t so easy at all? Let me know in the comments below.