Lessons Learned From a Freelance Marketplace Refugee

Andria Kennedy
7 min readJan 20, 2022

And Why Writers Need to STOP Recommending Them

Writer struggling at a laptop
Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay

“Become a six-figure writer in under a year.”

“See how I made $50,000 in just three months.”

“I earned $36,000 in one month and you can, too.”

Sound familiar?

The articles surface on Medium with frightening regularity. Chock-full of enough spelling and grammar errors to get your eyelid twitching and make you question the author’s legitimacy. But you can’t deny their popularity (because claps and views don’t lie, right?) — or the fact some manage to gain curation (proving once and for all that robots should NEVER be allowed to take over the world).

And all of them direct you to one — or more — of the freelance marketplaces:

  • Fiverr
  • FlexJobs
  • Freelancer
  • Guru
  • Toptal
  • Peopleperhour
  • Upwork

With incredible success stories, it’s tempting to succumb to the articles’ siren call. The platforms offer the promise of a steadier paycheck than you’ll get here on Medium. After all, you’re guaranteed payment for your writing — no reliance on the whims of readers.

But writers — genuine writers, with talent AND skill — need to resist the temptation. Stop up your ears with wax and row past those islands as fast as you can.

Because it’s NOT worth the pain. And none of those “get rich quick” articles tell you THAT particular truth.

But I will.

A Bit of Background

Sour grapes, the green-eyed monster, expletive of choice; I hear the skepticism. And while I didn’t rack up independent wealth, I held my own during my years with Upwork. My annual income exceeded what I made working my W-2 job. (Granted, that position was grossly underpaid, but that’s a different story)

Within three months, I achieved the coveted “Top-Rated” ranking that singles you out for recommended jobs. My success was enough that before I could process things, I stopped needing to worry about sending out proposals. My work calendar was full, ensuring clients…

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Andria Kennedy

Freelance science writer, meanderer of thoughts, and complete animal nut. A tiny demon governs my life (she may be a flerken — we’re still running tests).