Every freelancer wants to be on Upwork these days. The platform has set itself apart as a haven for skilled nomads. 

But getting jobs and growing on the platform has become very challenging in recent times. I mean, newbies struggle really hard to get their first clients. 

While it’s true that Upwork is not as easy as it used to be, there are a few strategies to help you attract high paying clients on the platforms. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced freelancer, if you implement the tips shared in this article, your freelancing game will change forever. 

I know you are reading this article right now because you desperately want to get your first client.

You have probably sent over 100 proposals in the past few months, yet not even a client responded to these proposals. 

And at this moment you are probably contemplating giving up. 

You are already allowing the naysayer part of your brain to convince you that perhaps freelancing isn’t for you. 

Well, I have just one thing to tell you – anybody can be successful on Upwork. 

All you need is to have an exceptional skill to offer with a great work ethic. 

That being said, here are 5 things to consider when starting out on Upwork. 

5 Things to Consider When Starting Out on Upwork

#1. Your Skill Level 

Your Skill

Your skill level is your most important asset as a freelancer on Upwork. And the more skilled you are, the higher your chances of being successful on the platform. 

However, I see newbie freelancers making the mistake of becoming jack of all trades and master of none. 

These guys would want to be a content writer, product review writer, copywriter, web designer, Virtual Assistant, etc. 

They will basically send proposals for every job they see on Upwork. I keep asking myself why would someone send a proposal for a job they don’t even have the skill to do. 

Well! These people’s mindset is that anything is learnable. 

I mean, they believe that even if they don’t have the skill, they can watch it on YouTube and execute the project. 


Initially you may get one or two jobs with this method. But overtime, not focusing on a particular area my affect your growth on the platform. 

Your profile won’t have a focus. And clients won’t take you seriously if you follow this part. 

Okay, let me convince you better. 

Put yourself in the client’s shoe.

Would you want to pay someone who’s not an expert $1000 to executive a sensitive project. 

I guess your answer is No. 

Now you understand why you aren’t earning enough on Upwork. Even though you get a job, you will be underpriced. 

What Happened to My Friend

When my close friend started Upwork initially he made a similar mistake. He’s a graphic designer but specialized in Indesign. 

He helps publishers format their books and get them ready for publishing. 

Of course, this is a very lucrative niche on Upwork. 

He started very well. But over time, he started doing stuffs that are completely unrelated. 

For instance, he included video editing and scriptwriting in the same account. 

Guess what happened?

The account’s performance reduced drastically. And he told me about it. 

When I checked his profile, I saw what he did.

He corrected and the account is doing great again.

You see, when it comes to Upwork, focusing on your skill level is important; it will increase your chances of success on the platform. 

#2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job at First 

You like it or not, Upwork is demanding. I mean, it requires you to have enough time, especially when you start getting jobs. 

So, it’s important to decide whether you want to become a full-time or part-time freelancer on the platform

I always advise newbies to transition from 9 to 5 jobs to freelancing on Upwork gradually. 

I know, you will want to tell me that the higher the risk, the higher the return, blah blah blah..,

But like you already know from my previous articles, success on  Upwork is not automatic. 

So, you can start your freelancing journey gradually and scale it over time. 

What most people do is to start freelancing on Upwork on a part-time basis while doing their 9 to 5 jobs. 

And once they are able to establish a reputation on the platform. And start getting jobs regularly, they will now resign from whatever job they are doing and face freelancing full time. 

So, don’t make the mistake of leaving your current source of income to face freelancing full time. 

It may be very challening especially if you don’t have enough savings to carter for your everyday needs.

But if you do it gradually, you won’t be under pressure to get a client. 

#3. Success Takes Time On Upwork

Mentioned this a bit in the previous point, but I think it’s important to re-emphasize it. 

I know you have heard so many stories of how freelancers started their journey on Upwork and became successful. 

And the way these guys sound in their success stories, you even belief that once you create an account on Upwork, Boom! Money will start showering down from the sky. LOL!

Hey! Wake up from slumber, it doesn’t work that way. 

Outside the skill you have to offer, you still need to learn additional skills like time-management, client networking, financial planning, etc. 

And trust me, it may take a while for you to get use to the digital nomadic lifestyle. 

To avoid heartbreak and disappointment, I always advise new freelancers to give themselves 4 months of consistent effort before they expect start making money on Upwork

Don’t get this wrong. 

Sometimes, you may land your first client within the first two weeks of creating an Upwork account. 

But here’s the thing. If you join Upwork with so much expectation about earning. And end up not getting a client after two months, you may get discouraged. 

So, that’s why you should expect to start earning income on Upwork within the first 4 months. 

And if you apply the right strategies and be consistent, there’s no way you won’t have started making money by the end of your 4th month on Upwork. 

#4. You May Be Busier than You Think 

The fact that freelancing gives you time and flexibility to work when you like doesn’t mean you won’t be busy. 

You may even be busier than you were before you started freelancing. Sometimes, you may have no option but to assembly a small team. 

Freelancers undertake a lot of work everyday. They work harder and put in extra effort to put a smile in their client’s face. 

So, if you are looking for where to make a quick bucks. Let me be sincere, freelancing on Upwork is definitely not for you.

Just brush CV and start looking for a new job. 

The truth is, there’s more to freelancing than what people think. 

Guys, it’s not quick and easy like most people assume it to be. 

Being your own boss is more difficult, stressful, and time-consuming than ever. 

Most times, you may not be able to take vacations, take time off, eat lunch, etc. 

You may even work round the clock. Sometimes, you may have no option but to work on Christmas day. 

C’mon, you wouldn’t want to disappoint your client, especially if it’s a high paying one. 

So, do you still want to be a freelancer? Oh, don’t decide yet, wait until you read the last thing to consider when starting out on Upwork. 

#5. How Much to Charge For Your Work  

Sometimes, new freelancing on Upwork don’t take this seriously. But that’s wrong. 

It’s actually an important decision you should make when starting out on upwork. You should decide whether you will charge per hour or per project. 

However, generally, how much you are charging should depend on the value you are offering.

If you are offering great value, clients will be willing to pay more. So, it’s advisable to always improve your skills and learn about trends in your niche. 

So, do you think freelancing on Upwork is for you? Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section. 


I specialize in building, managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and optimizing WordPress Web Design/ or Elementor Pro and WooCommerce powered websites.

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