5 Reasons Why UpWork isn’t Suitable for Passive Income – All You Need to Know, & More

UpWork is the first choice for many freelancers to start an active income source. It provides multiple features you can use to expand your overall earnings. 

However, when it comes to passive income, UpWork lacks some of the critical aspects. 

In this post, we’ll address various reasons why UpWork isn’t a viable platform for passive income. 

Quick Summary

We’ll cover the following topics by the end of this post: 

Let’s get started. 

5 Interesting Reasons Why UpWork isn’t Good Passive Income

You can use UpWork to support yourself financially and gain financial freedom in a short period of time. However, this only applies to the active income aspect of UpWork.

When it comes to passive income, UpWork falls behind compared to some other social platforms like Instagram or Facebook. 

Let’s see what are the reasons behind it. 

Platform Dynamic

UpWork is designed to provide a social space for B2P and P2P work-related interactions. To support that, the platform has an active payment system. 

Almost every job, short-term or long-term, that you can find on UpWork requires active participation on your end. Opportunities for passive income are hard to come by. 

Why aren’t there many passive income opportunities?

Unlike an online store where you can buy pre-determined products/services, UpWork clients demand personalized services. 

Platform Dynamic

You can display various pre-built samples of work but it only serves as an attraction point for new clients. 

Is it necessary to actively participate?

Even on a small project like logo design, you have to consistently update your client on the progress. It is essential to your reputation as an individual and a professional. 

For example, let’s say you specialize in the API field. Any client that you encounter will demand a base level of app functionality. 

Even though the required amount of work is small, you still have to actively work and update your client on the situation. 

Payment System

The entire payment system of UpWork is based on two different types of jobs. Either you can choose hourly-based jobs or project-based jobs. 

In both cases, your payments depend on the progress of the job. Especially, in the case of hourly-based jobs, you are only paid for the amount of time you work. 

Payment System

How does that impact me as a freelancer?

To put it simply, you won’t get paid if you don’t show any progress. All and any sort of progress requires your active participation which removes the idea of passive income. 

For example, Let’s say a client hires you to design a simple logo. You are paid some amount upfront and the residual is decided to be paid after the logo is finalized. 

Without your active participation, the client won’t pay you.

Nature of Jobs

It goes without saying that most jobs you can find on UpWork are related to some sort of technical skill. It can either be graphic design, media management, or simply web design. 

Nature of Jobs

Every single technical job has some sort of active aspect tied to it. 

For example, let’s say you are a customer service freelancer. You have to deal with all the things related to customer service listed by your client. 

This automatically puts you in an active spot. Although your work isn’t tedious, it still demands you to be active which is opposite to the idea of passive income

Client’s Mindset

One important reason why you can’t use UpWork for passive income is the basic mindset of every client. 

Every single client on UpWork is looking for a freelancer that can perform a specific task within a pre-determined deadline. They aren’t looking for work that is already done. 

Client’s Mindset

For example, let’s suppose you are a freelance graphic designer. You have multiple samples of your work displayed on your UpWork profile. 

The only benefit you get from it is credibility. Any client that you land isn’t interested in buying your previous work.

Why aren’t clients interested in buying previous work?

This is mainly because every single client is looking for a customized form of work. As mentioned in the above example, your past work only shows how good you are. 

Even if it’s a simple logo, the clients want it to be made how they envision it. Not the other way around. 

How does it impact me as a freelancer?

With unique demands on the table, you have to actively work and try to achieve desired results. This is opposite to the core idea of passive income. 

Lack of Tools

Lastly, UpWork lacks the tools required to establish a passive income source. The only tool you have at your disposal is the proposal one. 

You can pre-define your various proposals to approach various clients. Even in these proposals, you can only mention your workload and your desired payments. 

Lack of Tools

How is it different compared to other platforms?

Let’s take the example of Shopify. It is a versatile platform that provides ample space for freelancers to provide all sorts of services. 

You can develop an online store and showcase pre-determined services like social media strategies. 

Unlike UpWork, a customer/client cannot demand a customized form of that service. If they are interested, they will buy it. 

Alternatives for Passive Income

Even though UpWork is suitable for freelancers to find various jobs, it isn’t necessary. You can hop on to other platforms and thrive as a freelancer. 

Let’s check out some alternatives you can use to develop a passive income source


As a freelancer, you can upload various forms of art and designs for interested clients. Moreover, you can also promote yourself to stand out from the competition.


Facebook is also a viable alternative if you are looking to establish multiple income sources. It has a dedicated marketplace that you can use to your advantage. 


Another useful alternative is Shopify. It is a social collection of unique online stores. You can sell anything from art to simple logo designs. 

Important Tips to Keep in Mind

Let’s check out some important things to keep in mind before you select a platform for passive income. 

Wrapping Things Up…

This brings us to the end of our post of 5 Reasons Why UpWork isn’t suitable for Passive Income. We hope you can use these details to make an informed decision. 

UpWork is arguably one of the best platforms to earn online. However, the only downside is that you can effectively develop a passive income source through this platform. 

Do let us know what you think in the comments below.