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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