I had a few weeks where I could do nothing but wait for business to respond. I’m in the middle of selling a client’s business. And this requires a lot more waiting than work. Plus, my other clients only need a bit of maintenance at the moment before business picks up after NZ’s winter.
I prefer to be working apart from the few hours I spend with the kids each day. Usually, I would fill this time with writing gists and trend alerts or cold calling and door to door marketing. However, cold calling and door to door marketing have time restraints. You can’t contact someone when they aren’t in the office.
Upwork and Fiverr
I needed to fill my evenings and free time. So, I thought I’d try out Fiverr and Upwork to see what I could dig up. I probably need to play around more with my Fiverr profile more, but Upwork had some interesting work available. It’s where I found Prepare with Foresight. It’s a fascinating site, but of course, my articles are the best thing about it. Yes, I’m just being cute. It’s a joke, a small joke but a joke nonetheless.
I also found someone through Upwork, Seocontent1, who said I could work according to my own schedule, and they would pay on a weekly basis. Well, the working at my own schedule was great, but their failure to pay was a little downer. I don’t like not being paid for my work unless it’s on agreed terms.
To be honest, I wouldn’t normally care except I downloaded a virus the other day. I’m really embarrassed about it, but I (or rather people like me) were specifically targeted. The Upwork ad was clearly written to attract a particular type of person. That means there is a real issue to address on Upwork. People are being exploited, and I feel like being a voice in the hurricane.
The Malware Enthusiast (Rebecca.Howard34)
So, the virus came from someone pointing me to Rebecca Howard on Skype. I’ve spoken with legitimate businesses from Upwork through Skype. So, this was fine with me until he/she sent me a .zip file. Well, the malware enthusiast sold themselves so well (actually a little too well, but I was too stupid to see it) that I despite the warning bells, I just had to open that zip file politely as “Rebecca” requested.
This was not a good time for me to have cybersecurity issues. I won’t go into the personal details, but suffice it to say I was easy prey. And these people really should be searching for more appropriate marks, but that’s part of the joys of the digital age. I really did know better, but I wasn’t thinking straight.
The Non-Payer (Seocontent1)
So, I also wrote some short articles for the aforementioned Seoconent1. I have posted these articles under the category Seocontent1 minus 2 articles which have already been published.
So, it was a race to Copyscape to see if I could beat the non-payer to the punch. And it looks like I was able to beat a good many of my articles before they were published. Will that do anything to the non-payer? Probably not. However, as I said, I feel the need to be a voice in the hurricane just in case someone can hear me through the noise. I just want people to avoid the problems I’ve had. Always be cautious online and in business. People will rip you off if they can. People are not basically good or bad. We are all, at our core, selfish. Some of us choose to rise above the noise and confusion, but others just want their own gain.
Upwork in Question
So, I am left with a few questions about the viability of Upwork. There’s really no reason to blame the platform for these two issues. Of course, Rebecca Howard might be acting on their behalf to discourage people from leaving the site, but saying that would be pure speculation.
However, the site is not very friendly for newcomers. There is no way for Upwork to validate prior work which means everyone starts out at zero. They apparently used to have a “rising stars” classification that helped newcomers. Even that requires a bit of work to achieve. I’ve submitted a great many proposals, and only a handful have responded. Those who have have mostly been good, but even besides the two mentioned above, I have received some messages that clearly did not pertain to their advertisement.
Upwork is a great idea, but like everything else, there is a big gulf between its potential and its reality. Ultimately, you’re better off starting your own business providing either a product or service that does not require this type of marketing.