Upwork allows freelancers of all sorts to apply for jobs posted by clients. The freelancers can have free accounts where they purchase "connects" that can be used to apply for jobs, OR the freelancers can have a paid account and he/she will be given 70 connects each month. It used to cost two connects to apply for any job, but Upwork has now started charging 2, 4, or 6 connects to apply for a job, depending on the value of the job. Upwork used to charge freelancers $10/month for a "Plus Account" (where they would get 70 "free" connects) and they have now started charging $15/month. Freelancers can buy additional connects for 15 cents each in various quantities.
What all this really means is that freelancers are now paying WAY MORE for the privilege of bidding on jobs. On top of this, Upwork charges 20% commission to the freelancers for the agreed contract price. This is DOUBLE what Freelancer.com and some other freelance websites charge!
Upwork pushed a video explaining the price increases, saying that the new system would decrease the number of freelancers bidding on jobs and therefore increase a freelancer's chances of getting a job. THAT WAS TOTAL BS! The exact opposite has turned out to be true. Many freelancers are now only applying for low value jobs in order to only be charged two connects rather than 4 or 6 connects.
Bottom line: Many of us are paying way more to work on Upwork and we are getting fewer and fewer jobs. WHATEVER YOU DO, STAY AWAY FROM UPWORK!!! HORRIBLE! GREEDY! AND THE WEBSITE IS ALWAYS HAVING PROBLEMS!
I should add that many of the clients who post jobs on Upwork are looking to have work done at RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES. Some ask to have designs submitted before hiring the freelancer. Be VERY careful and try to judge the client before you bid on a job!