Like every individual who does side-hustling despite the fact of having a stable full-time job, I also wish to improve my monthly income and start slowly with the working-at-home-life. For that reason, last year, while I was browsing the Internet, I found Freelancer.

Freelancer is an online platform founded by Matt Barie in the year 2009 designed for individuals who are self-employed or who don’t work for a particular person or company.

Although I opened an account on this website last year, I didn’t start on it seriously and I didn’t even land a project there. Yet, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t get offers, proposals or direct messages regarding a certain project. What kind of projects by the way? We’ll tackle that one later on.

It was February this year that I seriously used this website to look for my side-hustling and ever since then, I have been on Freelancer for the lookout of projects.

However, I have noticed some downside working on Freelancer. I am writing this not to slam the website, but to give you ideas about how it’s like working on Freelancer. The post title should not disappoint you hopefully. I guarantee though, Freelancer is a legit website and payout is through a direct bank transfer, express payout, and PayPal. All in all, I have already collected over $2000 working as a freelance translator, ghostwriter, and other small projects.

Work from home

So, here are the ugly sides of working on Freelancer:

1 Scammers, like everywhere

Yes, I placed my bids last year and I also received direct messages. That time, I didn’t know these offers are not even real. When a presumed employer asked for another mode of communication aside from Freelancer, be aware that it could be a scam. Why could be? Some legit employers will ask for your email address for the sake of google doc sharing. You can give your skype account or email address but be advised that Freelancer discourages you from doing it, for your safety.

Most common scams that I have already encountered on this site are, something like this:


I have posted the fake task because need your help.

I’m an expert web developer from China and I want to work on up w o r k.

But my account is suspended because I used VPN.

So if you lend your up w o r k account, I can pay 100$ at every month.

How do you think?


Hi, how are you? A text file is attached.

When you opened it, the message is quite similar to the above one, asking for your Upwork account. At first, I have entertained these offers but giving my Upwork account wouldn’t ever happen in a million years. You might wonder what is scam there?

Well, imagine, giving your account, your own identity and this person will also scam other people with your own identity. Now, who’d be the culprit if this account will be reported? You.

I have also experienced chatting with a supposed recruiter of a famous pharmaceutical company in the USA on Google hangout on the weekend. Hello, weekend? I had a feeling it’s not legit but I went through it, just to see how these lies go on. The pay is ridiculously high like $47/hour and it would be 8 hours a day. If it’s not a scam, then tell me what it is, please.

2. There are shammers too

Now, these shammers are not scammers and they’re real people. They’re freelancers like me. Why shammers and how did I find it out? These freelancers have absurd lies on their profiles and even on their proposals.

Let’s say, there’s a new project, an English-German document translation. I went through the proposals of each person. I saw some proposals who seem so legit, very professional, and there’s one stating, she’s a bilingual English/German translator. Convincing freelancer got the project. Great!

This convincing freelancer used to forward some of the projects to other freelancers, like me. I accepted the project for a not-so-good-payment. I sent her the finished project, and minutes later, she requested to include the English version since she has zero knowledge of the German language. Oh! I was inwardly surprised. If she’s carrying an agency as herself on Freelancer like some accounts with Translator on their name, I would understand it, but she’s an individual and she’s stating in every project proposal that she’s a bilingual freelancer. When a French translation job appears on the website, of course, this freelancer’s proposal will be there too, a bilingual English/French translator. OH-KAY.

3. The pay is ridiculously cheap.

I could only face-palm realizing this fact. Normally, as a translator of the languages English-German and vice versa, I should earn over $0.13/word but on this platform, it’s only $0.01/word. It’s ridiculously cheap and preposterous. Specifically projects coming from a freelancer, whose job is to pass the projects on other freelancers like what the lady does, as mentioned on point no.2. She got the project for $150 but she only paid $20. What a big comical difference. How did I find it out? Stalking on profile. When a main or real employer left feedback and you’d know what kind of project it is if there’s a title and not merely ‘‘Project for (name)’’.

Cheap payment doesn’t only affect translators but also writers. It’s an old story already that writers are underpaid. Some employers would even prefer writers from India, Nigeria or the Philippines due to currency differences. If they pay $10 for a 1000-word article to a freelancer coming from these countries, they won’t hear any complaints. For them, $10 is already a big amount.

4. Never-ending processing time

At last, I have earned enough (over $30 is already capable of withdrawal). It was my first time withdrawing the amount that I have earned from freelancing. I did all the necessities, filled all necessary info for the withdrawal. Then I was stunned after reading what stated below on my screen. Processing time: 14 days. I contacted the customer support and it was their policy for first withdrawals to wait for 14 days for the processing. I had nothing to do when all they said is that is their policy with a link of their Terms and Conditions.

Until now, although I have already paid out a couple of times, it takes 2-3 days for them to process my withdrawal request, additionally another waiting time (2-3 days) for the amount to appear on my bank account. My suggestion will be PayPal for a payout if you have it.

These are solely my opinions based on my experience working on Freelancer. Although there ugly sides working on this platform, you can also start here as a beginner but just be aware of these facts mentioned above.

If you have experiences working on Freelancer, both positive and negative, you are very welcome to share them below.

what platforms are you using for side-hustling? If you’re a business owner, what is your opinion about the payment of employers to freelancers on Freelancer and other freelancing platforms?

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Guest post by Clyde, owner of What Blogs Her Mind


Clyde is the blogger and founder of What Blogs Her Mind which talks about health, lifestyle and travel. If she’s not working as a nurse, she’s busy with blogging and freelancing. If she gets burnout, she enjoys discovering Berlin and cooking. You can visit her blog  and her Instagram account

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Viola October 25, 2019 - 10:02 pm

Being a freelancer is definitely not easy. But I still love this lifestyle!

Clyde October 28, 2019 - 1:07 pm

Hi, thank you for reading this. I love being a part-time freelancer too but the downsides are always there, still loving it anyway. 🙂
Clyde from What Blogs Her Mind

elly paunoska October 25, 2019 - 10:09 pm

I work from time to time as a freelance and this are so helping tips. thank you for this post.

Clyde October 28, 2019 - 1:09 pm

Hi Elly, I’m glad that you find this post helpful and thank you for reading this.

Traci October 25, 2019 - 10:47 pm

I have thought about freelancing for a long time and a lot of the things you list here are some of my biggest fears!

Stephanie October 26, 2019 - 8:01 am

Ugh such true downsides to freelance writing! It can be so frustrating! Keep hustling on!

Jimmy John October 26, 2019 - 8:21 am

great information. especially about the shammers! dont want a half-ass job done on a project because of some make-believe resume

Crickette, The Things I Have to Say October 26, 2019 - 7:54 pm

I am a freelance writer. In the beginning I would find work in platforms such as FREELANCER, but due to the same CONS I have decided to work outside of it. I already receive steady work from a few clients, so we transact outside of the app now. It is easier and cheaper for both of us.

If you’re starting out, though, joining such apps will be beneficial.

Vasundhra October 26, 2019 - 8:34 pm

Oh wow! That so called bilingual shammer is really a blow to freelance work. I’ve experienced the same as a ghostwriter – I was paid peanuts! And this one time, my payment got delayed so long, I filed a complaint against the client. They paid me after weeks, and blocked me. Lol.

Ashli Ferguson October 27, 2019 - 3:37 am

I have never done freelancing before – this is definitely something to think about!

Sally Pederson October 27, 2019 - 4:50 am

Yes, there are pros and cons. I have been on the other side, where people say they can do the project and the work is well……. let’s just say horrendous. I have wasted hours posting and reviewing profiles, waiting days or over a week to get complete garbage back. I know there are good people on sites like these, but they are like finding a needle in a hay stack.

Francisco October 27, 2019 - 12:44 pm

Sounds like can be hard but worthwhile!

Clyde October 28, 2019 - 1:13 pm

Hi Francisco. Yes, you can say that, can be hard especially at first but once you got the grip on freelancing, it will be easier, but still, sometimes, you encounter difficult people and situation. 🙂

Ann October 28, 2019 - 8:29 am

Freelancers are awesome, it can be difficult but worth the experience!

siennylovesdrawing October 28, 2019 - 12:57 pm

thanks for sharing this, very personal experience as a great reference for me as am considering to work as freelancer anytime soon
cheers, siennylovesdrawing

Clyde October 28, 2019 - 1:11 pm

Hi there, thank you for reading this post! You can start whenever you want just do be careful and remember the tips above and my experience. 🙂 Good luck to you!

Cyndi Buchanan October 28, 2019 - 9:10 pm

I haven’t been able to bring myself to working with Freelancer for the reasons you posted. It just doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

WanderlustBeautyDreams October 29, 2019 - 7:17 am

Such great information. I’ve never used the site before but it’s good to know these things. Thanks for sharing the real side and your experience!

Suanlian Tangpua October 30, 2019 - 2:16 pm

I am also working as a freelance graphic and web designer. Yes, Scammer are everywhere also There are shammers too 😀 😀

Hackytips October 31, 2019 - 2:46 am

I have experienced all these in my freelancing journey. Experience teaches everything.

Amber October 31, 2019 - 6:30 pm

Didn’t know platforms like these had a dark side that’s full of scam and waiting.


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