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Upwork affiliate program

What is Upwork

Upwork is a website where freelancers can offer their services to potential clients. In addition, people can post jobs where they are looking for a freelancer to complete the work. In many ways it is similar to fiverr.com but in general the quality of freelancers and the work they produce is much higher on upwork but obviously this tends to come at a greater cost.

Does Upwork have an affiliate program?

At the present time, Upwork does not have an affiliate program and based on comments by the company and other interested parties it would appear that there is little likelihood of an affiliate program for Upwork in the near future. This is likely to be because there are already a large number of freelancers registered on the site and therefore Upwork probably feel it is unnecessary to incentivise further sign ups by using affiliates to promote the site.

Upwork was formed a number of years ago by the merger of odesk and elance. In the past an affiliate program did exist and was run by CJ affiliates but this was discontinued.

Upwork Referral Program

Upwork affiliate program

Despite the fact that Upwork currently does not have an affiliate program, some existing freelancers are able to take advantage of their referral program.

Top rated freelancers are able to pass on a link to potential clients that are not currently signed up with Upwork using this link me the freelancer doesn’t have to pay the commission from that client should they sign up to using the Upwork platform.


Upwork affiliate program alternatives

If you are looking for some alternative affiliate programs in the freelancing niche then the following might prove interesting:

fiverr.com affiliate program

The fiverr affiliate program pays out only on first time buyers. In fact, if that not only does the person have to be a first time buyer, they must actually not have a fiverr account prior to using your affiliate link in order for you to earn the commission.

The amount of commission you will receive depends on the niche in which the freelancer is working and ranges from $10 to $50. You are also able to refer clients to freelancers in the fiver pro team and this would give a commission of $150. Although it should be noted this figure would not change no matter how much was spent with fiverr even if the client spent $100,000 you would only receive $150 commission. There is also a 30% commission payable on sales of courses available on the fiver learn platform.


You can sign up for the freelancer.com affiliate program here. The commission you will receive will depend upon the amount of money that the referred party spends on a project. You should receive commissions on projects completed in the first 100 days. This would be net of any costs and charges that Freelancer.com normally apply.


SEOclerks.com is a site where people purchase services such as link building, guest posts, programming, seo services, web development and article writing amongst others.

This is an unusual program in that it offers affiliates payments for the life of the client. although the commission is only 10% it does apply to every single order that the referred customer makes.

Some other affiliate programs:

Etsy affiliate program

The Etsy affiliate program is discussed in greater detail in this post. To summarise, the low payout means that this program is probably not worth the effort of creating specific content unless you already have an audience that is strongly aligned with the Etsy vibe.


Arguably one of the most well-known affiliate programs certainly in the make money online/ digital marketing space. It is quite possible to make quite a reasonable income from Clickfunnels since it’s cheapest monthly plan is currently $97 and it has many many upsells into products costing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. Many of the products are monthly subscriptions so would give you a recurring income as long as the person you referred maintained their membership.

The CEO, Russell Brunson, has shown himself to be a master marketer to the extent that Clickfunnels is seen as the de facto market leader in its niche. From your point of view, this might create a problem though. It will be difficult to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other affiliate marketers all desperate to get people to sign up to Clickfunnels.

Web hosting

Pretty well every web host on the planet will be running an affiliate program. Since the majority of people looking to start an online business will need a website at some point then this is one product that really shouldn’t require the hard sell.

It really should be one of the first affiliate offers that you include on your blog (assuming of course that you have a blog). Some of the most well-known hosting companies include Bluehost, Siteground, HostGator and Ionos.

You can see a review of some of the top hosting companies in this post.

freelancers enjoying themselves while working

Web Design

Once someone has sorted out their hosting provider they may also need other services.  if they are going to use WordPress to build their website then a number of tools might prove useful. ThemeIsle and ElegentThemes provide high quality themes and plugins for WordPress sites which you could recommend to your audience.
Elementor and BeaverBuilder are two well known page builders that have affiliate programs. I use Elementor Pro myself! Both make building a nice looking website that much easier using drag and drop functionality.
Envato is an excellent resource for WordPress themes and plugins and their affiliate program pays a respectable 30% of the initial sale in commission.

CDN services

Optimole and  MaxCDN provide content delivery network services. basically they host images and other media from your website to speed up your website load times.This is an important part of making your website as attractive as possible so a CDN subscription is something that many webmasters we’ll decide to buy.  It is a lot easier to sell something to people that they think they need rather than selling something they don’t.

Email Marketing

An important part of any online marketing funnel is email marketing. In particular automating emails to your list. In order to do this, you are going to need some form of email marketing software.  There are a number of excellent options that you could recommend to your audience such as GetResponse Aweber or ConvertKit.

Amazon Associates

Probably the daddy of all affiliate programs. Thousands upon thousands of websites have been created purely to drive traffic to Amazon with the website owner picking up the commission. However, the reduction in the commission percentages in 2020 has made it more difficult to achieve a significant income unless you are driving a lot of traffic.
If you follow this model then you are generally looking at creating review type articles or comparison articles where you highlight the features and benefits of a particular product.

Two Tier Affiliate Programs

There are a number of affiliate programs that not only pay commissions for any sales you make but also pay commissions on the sales that anyone you referred also made. This means you get two bites at the cherry.

Kartra and BuilderAll are two popular software packages that offer a 2 tier commission structure and as an added bonus also offer recurring income.

Both products are similar in that they offer a suite of tools that allow online entrepreneurs to manage their businesses.

Rather than having to have an email marketing tool, a landing page builder, web hosting etc they provide all of this under one roof.

As an added bonus kartra offer free trial and builderall is now free for their starter plan.

If you decide to promote Builderall then you will receive 100% of the first monthly payment a customer makes and 30% of any monthly payments they make. If they go on to sign up people then you will earn 30% of the monthly payments they make too.

Kartra offers a 40% commission on monthly payments (their packages start at $97) and you could also achieve an additional 10% if any of your affiliates attract new users to kartra under them.

Depending on the niche you are in, it is possible to find a number of 2 tier offers such as web hosting, financial trading, gambling and dating. Given that mot everyone is comfortable promoting some of those types of products, you can do some more digging if you’d are interested in those niches.

freelancers working


So although Upwork doesn’t have an affiliate program at the moment I think you can see that there are a number of very interesting opportunities open to you as an affiliate marketer.  Being successful ultimately depends on your ability to put the right offers in front of the right traffic. If you are able to do that consistently then you should have a profitable business going forward.


Related: Etsy Affiliate Program ReviewKartra vs ClickFunnelsHow to make money on Fiverr, How to make money with YouTube