Once upon a time, the only way to work or earn money with your skill was to work 9 to 5. But everything changes with the emergence of freelancing platforms.
Since the creation of freelancer.com (the first freelancing platform) there have been paradigm shifts in work patterns.
Employees now mostly work remotely.
And business owners and solopreneurs no longer have a large number of staff on their payroll.
All they need to do is to hire freelancers from any platform to handle the task at hand.
Enough of all the story; let’s talk about Upwork.
Upwork is arguably the best freelancing platform out there. If you understand how it works, you could become a millionaire.
Yes. You saw that correctly.
If you have an exceptional work ethic and the right attitude to work, you can become a millionaire on Upwork.
But you have to understand the platform first. Know how it works and identify the best way to stand out.
Unless you understand how Upwork works as a freelancing platform, you will struggle for a long time.
I remember my first time on Upwork. Oops! Things were really tough for me.
I would send countless proposals every day, yet not a single client would reach out to me.
Trust me, nothing is as frustrating as working so hard to get a client, yet not getting a result.
After struggling for so long, I finally discovered the secret of upwork. And ever since then, I have been literally printing dollars from Upwork.
If you want to be like me, read this article to the end.
Disclaimer: This is a long post. But it will be worth your time.
What is Upwork and How Does It Work?
As of today, Upwork is the best platform for freelancers.
If you have the right skill, understand how to write a killer proposal, and secrets of the platform, viola!!! You are good to go.
Well, if you haven’t really made a dime online before…
Or you tried Upwork in the past and failed, you may want to doubt the fact that you can make money on the platform.
But according to Upwork, freelancers on the platform earned over $2.3 billion across 10,000 skills categories, in 2020.
Think about it – $2.3 billion!!!
Do you know you could be part of the freelancers making such money on Upwork? Yes.
Then again, you can’t give what you don’t have.
That is why it’s strongly advisable to understand the Upwork platform and how it works before you start using it.
So, what exactly is Upwork?
Upwork is an online marketplace that connects people with skills (freelancers) with those who need those skills (clients).
With Upwork, professionals like you can find projects, communicate with clients, and of course, get paid.
It doesn’t matter whether you are new in the freelancing world, Upwork is a great place to start.
However, the platform is really competitive these days. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of new freelancers creating accounts on the platform on a daily basis.
As a result, new freelancers end up taking projects at a lower rate.
Never walk through the path of accepting projects at lower prices. It will not only affect your earning potential but also your growth.
My Experience With Accepting Projects At Lower Prices
During my early days in Upwork, I had a not-so-good experience with a client. I charged him about $500 dollars to execute a particular project.
Actually, the client already agreed to the project.
But when he went through my work history, he realized that I did a similar project for another client at a much cheaper rate.
And the client came back trying to renegotiate what I earlier told him. I saw the red light and I refused to reduce the price further.
Although I didn’t get the contract, I learned a valuable lesson about pricing that day.
My point? Don’t be too desperate to secure a job.
Try to make an effort to sell your client. Let them know your unique value proposition.
But don’t’ resort to downpricing yourself just because you want to secure a contract. It will mess up your profile.
How Does Upwork Work?
If you understand how Upwork works, you can make a fortune from the platform within a short while.
It’s an amazing platform to kick start your freelancing platform.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner in the freelancing business or you are an experienced professional; you will find the Upwork platform helpful.
If you make up your mind to start freelancing on Upwork, the first step is to create a profile.
Interestingly, it’s completely free to create a profile on the platform.
All you need to do is ensure that your profile title is eye-catching. Also, you need to write an irresistible client-focused overview.
If you are a writer, for instance, try to reflect your writing skill on your overview. It gives people assurances about your skill level.
When creating your profile on Upwork, it’s important to include your work history, skills, and photograph.
If possible, include an introduction video, it makes your profile standout and possibly attracts more clients.
Once you are through with creating your profile, the next step is to explore more creative ways to earn on the platform.
You can bid for jobs, pitch your projects, and discuss your in-demand skills with Upwork recruiters.
When you discuss your skills with Upwork recruiters, they can help you find opportunities that align with your passion and career goals.
Is There Any App for Upwork?
Do you really think the biggest freelancing platform in the world doesn’t have a mobile App?
Of course, Upwork has a mobile application. The App is available on both Google Play Store and the Apple store.
Once you download and install the app, you can bid for jobs, send proposals, and even communicate with clients on the go.
Why Should I Start My Freelancing Journey on Upwork?
The gig economy is growing rapidly. For instance, there are currently 53 million freelancers in the United States alone.
In fact, about one-third of the world’s working-class population are freelancers.
There’s one thing you should know about freelancing though – people don’t engage in freelancing out of necessity.
Every freelancer you see out there, choose the path because of the need to work on their own terms.
Whether you want to do freelancing as a side hustle, part-time, or full-time, the Upwork freelancing platform is the right place for you.
So, if you are wondering why you should start your freelancing journey on Upwork, here is why;
#1. It Gives You More Freedom
Freelancing on Upwork gives you freedom. It gives freedom to travel around the world, go on vacation, and do the things you have always wanted to do.
Once you become a digital nomad on Upwork, you will be in charge of your time. It’s like running your business and you have the liberty to take in new clients as you wish.
You can decide to do a fixed price rate or hourly rate contract. Of course, you can charge whatever you like as your hourly rate.
But it’s always better to choose the hourly rate that reflects on your skill level and experience.
If a client gives you a project that seems to be too complex, you have the option to decline it. Yes, that is the beauty of freelancing on Upwork.
It gives you total freedom to work as you wish.
#2. Flexible Hours
What I enjoy most as a freelancer on Upwork is the flexible hours. I mean, I can set my own hours and when I feel exhausted, I stop, take some time off, and start again.
Even if you are a stay-at-home mom, you can become a freelancer on Upwork and work flexibly.
With Upwork, you can go to an amazing vacation location while still working on a client project. Indeed, that is a dream come true.
The possibilities on the platform are endless. All you have to do is make good use of its flexible hours.
#3. Self – Management
Every freelancer is their own boss. You are in charge of your life, your time, and your schedule.
So, you can choose the amount of work you accept, the way you dress, and how you run your freelancing business.
But generally, how fast your freelancing business grows depends on you. That is why it’s important to take every project seriously.
Treat every client with the right attitude, and handle your projects like your life depends on them.
Don’t forget to always seek new clients and negotiate better rates.
#4. Location Flexibility
Every freelancing gig you handle on Upwork is a short-term commitment. You don’t have any long-term commitment with any organization or client, except if you decide to.
You can tour around the world as a freelancer. In fact, you can be living in the most remote village in Africa and work for a client in the United States.
My point? Upwork makes it possible to live the life of your dream.
#5. Compensation and Earning Control
One of the best aspects of being a freelancer on Upwork is that you are in control of your earnings and compensation.
If you are strategic enough in your approach on the platform, your earning potential is limitless.
Just think for a moment..
Imagine how amazing it would be if you don’t have to ask your boss for a raise. I mean, you basically set your rate and review once in a while.
Well! That is every professional’s fantasy. And Upwork can make that fantasy come to reality within a twinkle of an eye.
You should know that the rate range you charge on Upwork will to an extent be determined by the forces of demand and supply on the platform.
But over the years, you can increase your rate on the platform. That is after you gain enough reputation on the platform.
#6. Improved Skill Set
When you become a freelancer on Upwork, you will be handling several projects. I mean, from simple to more complex projects requiring a high level of creativity.
One thing is certain – each of these projects brings something new to the table. And they will give you the perfect opportunity to hone and expand your skill set.
The more you handle a wide variety of projects on Upwork, the more growth opportunities you have.
#7. It Provides You An Opportunity to Test Your Small Business Concept
If you want to become an entrepreneur or a small business owner, Upwork is a perfect platform to start.
It helps you build your client list and gradually grow your business over time.
There are several freelancers who started their entrepreneurial journey on Upwork. And they are really doing great today.
How Can I Create an Upwork Account (Upwork Signup)?
One of the areas that discourage people most from starting their career on Upwork is signing up.
Let me tell you the brutal truth. It’s not easy to create an account on Upwork.
For every 10 accounts that people create on the platform, Upwork only approves two.
I know you are feeling discouraged already. But you don’t have to blame the platform.
At all times, Upwork tries to balance the forces of demand and supply on the platform. In other words, they try to ensure that the number of clients on the platforms is far more than the freelancers.
You can only charge clients more on a freelancing platform where they have limited options.
And that is what Upwork is doing. If you look at it objectively, it’s a way of favoring the freelancers on the platform.
Normally, it takes 24 hours for your new Upwork account to be approved or rejected…
So, here are a step by step procedure to create an Upwork account;
Steps to Create an Upwork Account
#1. Visit www.upwork.com
The first to become a freelancer on Upwork is to visit the website. Once you are on the website, click on sign up.
Upon clicking on sign up, a new page will display where you can register your details.
However, you will have two options here – you can either register as a freelancer or as a client.
If you are reading this article right now, I’m pretty sure you want to register as a freelancer.
So, you should click the freelancing option.
Ensure that you don’t have any account on Upwork prior to this moment.
If you are creating a new account because the previous one isn’t performing well. That is a gross violation of Upwork Terms of Service.
And it could lead to the banning of both accounts.
You can read our article on how to apply for jobs and get hired on Upwork. It will give you an idea of how to improve your Upwork account performance.
Again, if you forget your password, don’t hesitate to contact the Upwork Support Team.
#2. Sign Up Via Email Account
We already established that it’s a gloss violation of Upwork Terms of Service to open more than one freelancing account on the platform.
So, you will need a functioning email account before you sign up for Upwork. As a rule, it’s advisable to ensure that you know your email password before using it.
You can either use a professional email address or use your Gmail or Apple ID. Just do whatever makes the process easier for you.
Once you sign up with a valid email, you will receive a verification link from Upwork. Without this verification link, you can proceed to the next step.
#3. Enter Your Basic Login Credentials
During the sign up stage, Upwork will require you to drop your basic credential details.
These details include your first and last names, your password, and your geographical location.
Once you input your basic credentials, accept the YouTube Terms of Service, and click create an account.
#4. Describe the Title of Your Expertise
Your profile title is arguably the most important part of your Upwork profile.
It’s the first thing a client sees on your profile and could either encourage or deter them from doing business with you.
I have a whole lot of generic Title descriptions on Upwork. Trust me, it’s really annoying when I see freelancers who aren’t willing to think a little bit outside the box.
But that is a topic for another day…
For now, let’s focus on creating an Upwork account.
Let’s assume your area of expertise is Web, Mobile & Software Dev…
Ensure that you select up to four subcategories from the drop-down list that matches your expertise.
After which you select your related skill category as Game Programming and Mobile Development.
As a rule, only choose two relevant categories instead of 4. Experienced freelancers believe that choosing the entire 4 categories could make Upwork ranking algorithms to derank your profile.
But Upwork is yet to say anything about it. However, let’s go with some of the advice of our freelancing veterans on the platform.
#5. Select Your Experience Level
After creating a suitable title for your profile, the next step is to select your experience level.
It’s advisable to select the option that accurately describes your experience as it relates to the skill you are offering.
Unfortunately, freelancers always make the mistake of hyping their experience level just to get quick jobs.
Although you may attract clients to hire you, if your experience doesn’t match their experience, they may leave a negative review on your account.
And this could affect you in the long run.
So, if you have no experience, select entry-level. Similarly, if you have a significant level of proficiency, you should go for expert level.
Once you fill in the above detail, you should click on save and continue.
#6. Add Your Education Status
The next step is to click on the plus sign “+” to include education status to your profile.
You should include your current degree, the schools you have attended in the past, the award earned, and more importantly your extracurricular activities.
#7. Select Language Proficiency
Your language proficiency level is another important information you should include in your Upwork profile.
For instance, if you understand English, select it and specify the proficiency level. The proficiency level could be basic, conversational, fluent, and native.
The language proficiency level will go a long way to determine how well you communicate with your audience.
Regardless of your niche, you should include your English Language proficiency level.
#8. List Your Work Experience
Your work experience in the related field can go a long way to build your credibility on Upwork.
If you are just starting out on the platform, clients can easily judge your credibility from the work experience you enlist on your account.
Furthermore, ensure you have enough samples to convince potential clients to do business with you.
#9. Set Your Hourly Rate
Your hourly rate is one of the most important information you need to post on your Upwork profile.
Without it, Upwork may not approve your account.
My bad, let me explain the hourly rate properly to you. Your hourly rate is the amount you charge per hour for the services you render to a client.
As a rule, always adjust your hourly rate based on your experience level. For instance, if you are a beginner, you should charge a minimum of $15 per hour.
Similarly, if you are an expert you should charge a minimum of $30 per hour.
Bear in mind that you can always adjust your hourly rate when submitting a proposal.
Les I forget, Upwork charges 20% fee from every money earned on the platform. Always remember that.
Upwork simplifies payment options for freelancers. As a freelancer on the platform, you can withdraw your earnings through:
Paypal – It’s perfect for freelancers in the US and Europes.
Payoneer – Payoneer is more convenient for freelancers in Asia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.
#10. Write a Profile Description
Profile description on Upwork is an area freelancers pay less attention to. But in reality, when implemented correctly, it could be the game changing strategy for your Upwork journey.
Make your profile description very engaging and spell casting. Write it in a way that makes it irresistible to your potential client.
After writing your profile description, ensure that you upload a professional photograph of yourself.
The photograph should have a simple background because Upwork won’t accept any photograph with logos or watermark.
Don’t forget to add your residency and contact details to your profile. You should include your city name, postal code, and phone number.
After filling the information in this section, ensure you review everything again before you submit the application.
What Skills Can I Offer On Upwork?
The first questions most people ask before creating a freelancing account on Upwork is “What skills can I offer on Upwork”?
I have been there before. And I know that feeling of not knowing what to do.
But don’t worry. After this section, you will have an idea of the different skills you can offer on Upwork.
Some of these skills you may already have. And the ones you don’t have, you can learn them easily.
There’s one thing I so much love about Upwork though – they continuously make efforts to provide their clients with freelancers who have relevant and current skills.
So, if you want to make it big on the platform, you must be ready to keep honing your skills.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 in-demand skills for technology, marketing, and customer service freelancers on Upwork.
Top 10 In-demand Tech Skills on Upwork
If you want to become a tech freelancer on Upwork, ensure you have some of these skills;
- Web Programming.
- Web Design.
- Graphic Design
Top 10 In-demand Marketing Skills On Upwork
- B2B Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Lead Generation
- Social Media Marketing
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing research
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Management
Top 10 In-demand Customer Service Skills on Upwork
- Online Chat Support
- Administrative Support
- Answering Product Questions
- Customer Service
- Customer Support
- Phone Support
- Email Communication
- Communication Etiquettes
- Email Support
Is Upwork Good for Beginners?
As a beginner in the world of freelancing using the Upwork platform, you may want to know if the platform is suitable for beginners.
The good news is Upwork is an amazing way to start your freelancing career. As a registered freelancer on the platform, you can scan through thousands of job posts and see the ones you can handle.
But you will definitely experience a few challenges as a beginner on Upwork.
You may not have the experience to upsell a client or even convince them to hire you.
However, you can overcome these beginners’ hurdles on Upwork if you work very hard. I mean, work as if your entire life depends on your success on the platform.
As you send proposals and try to get clients’ attention, don’t forget to hone your skills along the line.
Follow some of the most successful freelancers in your niche for growth hacks and success tips.
Furthermore, take your time to learn the art of writing irresistible proposals that cast spells on potential clients.
In a nutshell, as a beginner on Upwork, you must be persistent, perseverance, and endure. Also, try to learn the writing techniques for using the platforms, it will play an important role in your success.
Are Students Allowed On Upwork?
Of course, students are allowed on Upwork. You see, Upwork doesn’t discriminate against freelancers on the basis of their educational level.
Regardless of your educational level, you can become a freelancer on Upwork. All you need to thrive on the platform are your exceptional skills.
There are several top-rated freelancers on the platform without a university education. Yet, these sellers are making 7 figures income on the Upwork annually.
For better understanding, here is the eligibility to join and use Upwork;
Firstly, irrespective of where you live, you have an obligation to with any work authorization that you may have on Upwork.
However, the platform doesn’t offer universal services to all international locations. Most times, you can’t use Upwork in the following specific restriction cases;
For instance, as of May 1, 2022, Upwork suspended its operations in Russia and Belarus.
And this is due to the challenges the Russia-Ukraine war posed to Upwork’s mission and operational ability to bring Economic empowerment to those who seek it.
You can learn more about the suspension here.
Additionally, the United States law prohibited Upwork from conducting business with individuals or entities that either reside or travel to restricted areas.
So, if you live in the following region or countries, you can’t use Upwork;
- North Korea
- Crimea Region of Ukraine.
- Individual National of Cuba
The list changes frequently. So, before you register on Upwork ensure that you don’t fall into this category.
How Do I Get My First Upwork Client?
One of the biggest challenges freelancers face on the platform is getting their first client.
I have seen several promising freelancers give up on Upwork because they couldn’t get their first client after several months.
Well, I understand how it feels when you send countless proposals, yet no client reaches out to you.
It’s every freelancer’s nightmare. And after a while, you may be asking yourself if you are even doing the right thing.
Like I mentioned earlier, applying the right tactics on Upwork will increase your success rate.
During my early days on Upwork, I almost gave up when I read an article about the platform.
The blogger was obviously discouraging freelancers from working on Upwork. According to him, freelancing on Upwork is the most terrible thing you can do with your time.
He further opined that to make it on Upwork, you must do the following;
- Accept $4/hr to compete ( the lower your hourly rate the better).
- You need experience and a thriving network in the industry.
- You need a website and a deep relevant portfolio of your past gigs.
But over time, I realized that some of these things people say about Upwork aren’t true.
Once you understand what clients are looking for on Upwork and how to fill that void, you will start getting high paying jobs.
So, here are expert tips to help you get your first job on Upwork;
Tips to Help You Get Your First Jobs on Upwork
#1. Create a Mini-Sample for Every Job
The Mini-Sample technique is one of the most effective ways to get clients’ attention on Upwork.
First thing first, take a look at the job you want to send a proposal for and ensure that you understand the requirements.
If it’s in the writing niche for instance, search online and look for websites that are in the same niche.
In fact, look for that exact topic the client wants you to write about. Once you find the topic, read the first few paragraphs to understand the concept.
After which, write a unique 250 word article that you will send as a sample for that job you are trying to get.
Interestingly, this process shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to complete. Once you approach every job on Upwork this way, you have a higher chance of success.
With this approach, you will get one job for every 5 proposals you send. Trust me, this approach is the best way to get your first client as a beginner on Upwork.
#2. Don’t Apply for Jobs Only to Earn Money
Newbies always make the mistake of applying for jobs, just to earn money. Always prioritize client satisfaction over money.
And the best way to satisfy your client is to apply for jobs that you can handle. Don’t go and send your proposals for a job you know you can’t handle.
Just because the client wants to pay 500 dollars for a 2000 word article on a very niche topic that requires experience.
You don’t have experience in this niche, you haven’t done anything in that niche before But you sent a proposal and got the job.
In the end, you did an amateur job for the client who requested for a refund or gave you negative feedback.
Things like this will hurt your growth on Upwork. So, only apply for jobs you can do and avoid projects you can’t handle regardless of the clients’ budget.
#3. Don’t Talk About Price Too Early
Don’t allow price to be the center of your conversation with your client. Discuss value and tell the client how you can help them solve their problem.
If you use this approach, you will always secure the contract after most job interviews. Like I mentioned, just learn to apply the right techniques.
#4. Share Your Experience in Your Proposal
One of the best ways to get a client’s attention on Upwork is when you share your experiences relating to the job description.
During my early days in Upwork, I once sent a proposal for a job. And the client sent me a job offer without an interview.
Yeah, It was like magic.
The project was to write articles about cats. So, in my proposal, I mentioned that “you don’t know how amazing cats are until you live with one under the same roof. “
I even mentioned how I had always hated cats from a distance. But when my grandfather got one, I fell in love with it.
In fact, it became my closest companion. And during this process I started learning more about cats, and what some of their body language means.
I gave so many instances about my experience with cats. And how I will write about my experience in the client’s article.
The client gave me the job. I later wrote over 50 articles for the client. The contact lasted for over six months.
My point? If you have any experience relating to the job you are sending a proposal for, don’t hesitate to mention it in your application.
It increases your chances of getting the job.
#5. Be a Good Communicator
Your ability to communicate effectively can also help you to gain more clients on Upwork.
Interestingly, your communication skill can help you discuss, explore, and share the smallest details during an interview with a client.
And a potential client tends to be confident in your skills if you pay attention to the tiniest details in the job description.
So, try to be sincere and responsive during your conversation with a potential client. And don’t forget to appeal to their good nature.
Avoid being forceful or cocky, otherwise, you may just chase the client away. Lastly, don’t forget to ask questions about the project.
Asking questions clarify issues and reduce the tendency of disagreement between you and the client.
#6. Always Be Ready for the Interview
After sending your proposal, be mentally prepared for the interview. So, try to research more about the projects and learn a few things about the clients’ business.
The information you will gather will make you outstanding during the interview.
Let’s put you in the client’s shoes. How would you feel if a freelancer is so knowledgeable about your business and the project you want to execute?
Of course, you would want to work with that freelancer. So, stay ahead of other freelancers who are being interviewed for the same project by researching additional details about the project and the client.
#7. Don’t Give Up
Heads up, most Upwork clients are very professional and tend to hire experienced and capable freelancers for their projects.
You don’t have to give up because of this. Just prepare your mind that you will meet clients with different personalities along the line.
But don’t take any of them personally. Remind yourself that freelancing is a serious business with a lot of competition.
If you can overcome the initial hurdle, you will enjoy the vast world of freelancing.
How Does Upwork Beginners Make Money?
As a beginner, making money on Upwork may seem like an impossible task to you. Well, every top-rated freelancer on the platform once felt that way.
But don’t allow the fear of the unknown to discourage you from taking your freelancing career to the next level.
So, as a beginner on Upwork, here are three things you should pay close attention to. If you can do this, you are a few steps away from landing your first client and start earning money.
#1. Write a Good Profile Description
Never Underrate the power of a good Upwork profile description. It’s one of the easiest ways to cast a spell on a client.
Unfortunately, newbies don’t really pay attention to this area. All they are interested in is creating a profile, sending proposals, and being hopeful that clients will contact them.
Well, that’s not how Upwork works.
Before clients start contacting you on the platforms, you need to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts.
I mean, you must tighten all loose ends; and that includes writing a good profile description.
Let me explain to you why it’s important to have a good description for your Upwork profile.
The first thing clients notice about you is your profile description. And more clients will reach out and send invitations to you if you have a well-written and eye-catching profile description.
As a rule, include your best skills and how you can offer exceptional value to your clients in your profile description.
#2. A Professional Photo
Here’s another area that you should not neglect. As a beginner, you need to upload a professional photo on your Upwork profile.
Avoid using cartoons or flowers as your Upwork display picture. They look so childish. With these photos on your profile, no client will take you seriously.
So, it’s advisable to upload a headshot image of yourself with enough lighting. It will make you look professional and trustworthy.
Remember, you aren’t there to defend whatever impression your clients have about you as a result of the image you upload.
That is why it’s recommended you use a professional photo that makes you appear responsible and trustworthy.
#3. Have a Great Portfolio
Generally, as a newbie on Upwork, you won’t have ratings or reviews. So, the only proof of your expertise or experience will be your portfolio.
If you have worked for someone outside of Upwork, you can include such work as part of your portfolio.
But ensure that the samples you are using as your portfolio are relevant or related to your niche.
If you pay attention to these three areas, you can easily get clients’ attention on Upwork.
What are the Best Upwork Jobs for a Beginner?
As a beginner on Upwork, there are a number of jobs you can handle on Upwork. But over time, you can hone your skills so that you can start bidding for high ticket projects.
But here are some of the best Upwork jobs for a beginner;
#1. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistant (VA) is one of the most beginner friendly jobs on Upwork. As a VA on Upwork, you basically provide administrative services to your clients.
So, clients can contact you to help them plan their calendars, manage their documents, and other administrative tasks.
VA is one of the most competitive jobs on Upwork. However, when you apply the right techniques, you can easily get a VA gig on the platform.
As a beginner, set your hourly rate at $10-$15, once you start getting jobs, you can increase the rate as you wish.
#2. Content Writing
Content writing is one of the broadest aspects of freelancing. In this niche, clients will hire you to write blogs, articles, etc.
Every day, there are thousands of job descriptions on Upwork. So, if you think you have basic writing skills, you should consider the content writing niche.
#3. Transcription Gigs
Transcription gigs are also one of the best jobs for Beginners on YouTube. It entails writing out the conversations in audio files.
These gigs fall under medical, legal, and general transition. Although transition gigs are relatively easy, you need a certain skill level to handle them.
The job requires you to transcribe audio narrations into well-written articles. However, freelancers don’t like this niche because the pay is usually lower than other writing niches on Upwork.
Interestingly, there are several software that you can use to make this process easy for you. Once you transcribe the audio files, you can use Grammarly to proofread the write-up.
#4. Data Entry Jobs
Competitive research and data entry gigs are one of the easiest jobs to get on Upwork.
Of course, the pay is good and if you do a great job, you are likely to get long-term clients. I know a top rated freelancer on Upwork in the Data entry niche.
The freelancer only has 4 active clients and he makes over 5k dollars every month.
My point? If you decide to enter the data entry niche on Upwork, you should hone your skills over time.
Try to be familiar with the Office Suites applications and several other applications that will aid your job as a data entry freelancer.
#5. Voice Recordings
Do you have a nice voice? Does your voice give people goosebumps? Do you understand the law of voiceover?
If the answers to the above questions are in the affirmative, you should consider the voice recording niche.
All you need is a good mic, download the audacity app on your laptop, and set up a mini studio at home.
The client will provide you with a script to work with.
How to Make $100k Dollars on Upwork
If you are new in the freelancing world, you will think making $100,000 is far from possible. But with the right techniques, you can make more than $100k on Upwork.
Guys, I ain’t kidding. Some dudes have become millionaires in dollars courtesy of Upwork.
So, if you are wondering how you can make $100k dollars on Upwork, this section will give you information on that.
If you still doubt me, here are a number of freelancers that have earned over 100,000 dollars on Upwork.
Freelancers that Have Earned Over 100,000 Dollars Upwork
NIche: Professional website development and design.
Location: Chandigarh, India
Earnings on Upwork: $200k
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Earnings on Upwork: $400k
Niche: Voice Over with Personality
Location: Grovetown, United States.
Earnings on Upwork: $200k
Niche: Creative Design
Location: San Rafael, United States
Earnings on Upwork: Over $100k
Niche: Sales Funnel Expert
Location: Sunderland, United Kingdom.
Earnings on Upwork: $100k
I could go on and on…
There are countless freelancers on Upwork who have earned over 100k dollars. And you can also do this.
All you have to do is to take every piece of information shared in this article seriously. This article is based on my several years of experience on Upwork.
So, the information you get in this article, you won’t get anywhere else. So, pay close attention to whatever I’m saying.
If you want to earn $100k and more on Upwork, here are a few tips for you.
Don’t just read these tips, implement them immediately and see how they will change your freelancing game for good.
#1. Identify Your Capabilities and Areas You Can Shine
Before starting your freelancing journey, it’s advisable to evaluable yourself. Such an evaluation will help you to understand your area of strength and the niche you can be successful.
Try to understand what you are good at and identify the skills you can offer. And whatever decisions you are making, ensure that it’s long-term.
Ask yourself this question – if I decide to offer this service, can I still do it 10 years from now?
Even though your skills are not great, you can always hone your skills along the line.
But what is important is your willingness and ability to learn or improve your skills. If you don’t have this trait, don’t venture into a niche you aren’t familiar with.
Some of the most successful freelancers you see out there didn’t become successful overnight.
They just had to hone their skills over the years. And that is the beauty of freelancing.
Additionally, if you are currently doing a full-time job, you don’t have to quit immediately. Start a freelancing career, and grow it gradually.
Once you start earning a good amount of money, you can gradually transition into freelancing full-time.
#2. Understand Your Niche
After deciding on the services to offer, take your time to understand the market. Know what your clients want and understand their needs.
With this, you will know exactly how to charge your clients.
I think one of the reasons why Freelancers keep getting low-paying jobs is a lack of understanding of the market in which they operate.
I once sent a proposal for a job and the client’s budget was $50. But my proposal price was $100.
And guess what? I still got the job.
In a nutshell, if you understand your niche very well, you can easily get a high-paying job on Upwork.
Once you prove to clients that you will provide exceptional value for money spent, they won’t mind paying you higher than average freelancers.
#3. Get Ready for the Grind
Don’t allow what you see on social media to deceive you. Freelancing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
It requires consistent effort like every other business. Of course, you can build a six-figure business from Upwork.
So, you should be willing to work tirelessly to improve your skill. Once you grind really hard on Upwork, you tend to build an exceptional reputation on the platform.
It’s easy to get premium and high-paying clients when you build a reputation on the platform.
#4. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
One of the best ways to grow on Upwork is to establish a reputation as an expert who only delivers quality jobs.
If you only focus on getting more jobs to keep you busy, you can’t secure long-term clients.
So, if you really want to make $100k on Upwork, you should prioritize quality over quantity. The more you satisfy your clients with exceptional jobs, the more positive feedback and recommendations you get.
During my early days in Upwork, I once worked for a client. He owned a roofing company in Connecticut.
I did an awesome job for him. And within a few weeks, the website I built for him started ranking on Google’s first page.
In fact, the website ranked number 5 for the keyword “roofing contractors in Connecticuts.”
Guess what happened?
The client placed me on a monthly retainer to be optimizing the website regularly. And he recommended my services to a few other roofing companies.
You see, it pays to deliver quality jobs to your clients. Regardless of what your client is paying you, ensure you offer exceptional value for every dime they spend.
One thing about clients is that – a low-paying client can become a high-paying client in the future.
I once had a client, who paid me $100 dollars to do minor optimization on his website. After a few weeks, he came back and hired me for a $1500 project.
Yeah, you read that correctly. That is why it’s important to treat every client nicely, regardless of how much they are paying you.
#5. Improve Your Skills Regularly
If you are serious about making $100k on Upwork, you must be willing to improve your skills regularly.
It’s simple, the more you improve your skills, the more you will deliver better work to your clients.
Interestingly, once you regularly deliver high-quality jobs, people will pay more for your services, and engage you for a long-term contract.
Try to watch videos relating to your niche on YouTube, read blog posts, and if possible, search for a free course on Udemy.
Anybody can earn $100k on Upwork (irrespective of their skill levels). But you need to implement these techniques and take improving your skills seriously.
No client wants to spend their hard-earned dollars on a low-quality job. So, as a freelancer learn new skills, and improve your existing ones.
It will go a long way to help you grow and increase your earning potential.
How Do I Write a Killer Upwork proposal?
Proposal writing is one of the most important skills to help you gain more jobs on Upwork.
Some of the most successful freelancers on the platform have mastered the art of writing killer proposals over time.
You may have exceptional skills. You may be highly experienced. And you may even have a success track record to show.
But if you don’t know how to write proposals, you may find it difficult to get jobs on Upwork.
About 65% of freelancers on Upwork fail because of their inability to write spell-casting proposals.
Just put yourself in the clients’ shoes. If you were to post a job on Upwork today, what would make you pick one freelancer over another?
Oh! Don’t worry. I know the word you are looking for is “the quality of their proposals”.
You may have zero experience with Upwork. You may not even have a single review or feedback. Yet, with a great proposal, a client may choose you over a top-rated freelancer.
But first, what is an Upwork Proposal?
An Upwork proposal basically allows you to submit a message with your application for a job on Upwork.
It helps you to convince the client that you are the perfect freelancer for a particular job.
In my opinion, an Upwork proposal is like an elevator pitch or a cover letter. You are basically giving cogent reasons why the client should hire you for their project.
The proposals that produce the highest results are those that focus on how you can help clients solve their problems or challenges.
It’s quite unfortunate that most freelancers don’t take proposal writing seriously. They write a generic proposal for every project.
The rule of thumb is that every proposal should be unique and resonate with your client’s requirements.
NEVER USE A COPY AND PASTE PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
If you are currently using a copy and paste proposal template, stop it. Perhaps, it’s one of the reasons you aren’t getting jobs on Upwork.
Trust me, clients can spot a copy and past proposals from miles away.
I know this may be more time-efficient for you. But it’s one of the most ineffective ways of sending proposals.
So, try to write unique proposals for every job post. Again, keep your proposal short, relevant, and specific.
How Not to Write a Proposal
Before I teach you how to write a killer proposal, let me show you how not to write a proposal.
Once you learn the right pattern of writing an Upwork proposal, you can easily spot mistakes from other people’s proposals.
I once hired talents from Upwork to handle a project that was outside my skillsets. Of course, I posted the job and was expecting to see awesome proposals.
Guess what happened?
I saw some really insanely ridiculous proposals that cracked my ribs. LOL.
Imagine someone sending something like this as a job proposal
I saw your job description for a Data entry professional. I’m a new freelancer on Upwork; please give me this job so that I can grow my account.
Here’s another proposal I received from a job I posted for a Virtual Assistant.
Check it out.
“I’m a well-rounded virtual assistant.
I have over 5 years of customer service experience in telecommunications. Over the years, I have gained expertise in placing orders, service recovery from orders, billing, device troubleshooting, and obtaining clients’ complaints.
I have worked in a high-pressure environment which helps me to develop attention to detail, resilience, and flexibility in different situations.
I look forward to growing your business with my wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills.”
Well, I know what you are thinking right now. You are probably wondering if I hired the freelancer who sent the second proposal.
What do you think? Do you think I hired him? Well, keep reading you will know.
To a novice with little or no experience in the freelancing game, that proposal is exceptional. I mean, the freelancer has the experience and obvious confidence about their delivery.
But like most freelancers, he/she missed a critical aspect of proposal writing.
Unfortunately, I didn’t hire a freelancer for the job. Yeah, it’s heartbreaking. Yet, it’s what it is.
The proposal snitched on him.
If you take a second look at the proposal, you will notice one thing…
It’s selfish and centered only on the freelancer. He didn’t even tell me what I’ll gain by hiring him.
Now you understand.
Here’s the structure of the proposal;
- The freelancer gave an account of his job experience.
- Talk about his skill and how long he has been working
- It was all about him…
Clients don’t like hiring freelancers that talk about themselves throughout the proposal. Perhaps, that is why I didn’t hire him.
If your proposal isn’t showing any empathy for the client’s problem, you are less likely to get that job.
That is why it’s important to understand the actual problem your client is facing, empathize with your client, and think of creative ways to solve the problem.
Once you mention all these in your proposals, the client will naturally connect with you.
It’s not rocket science, it’s as simple as it sounds.
All clients want from you on Upwork is to ease their pain. And if your proposal convinces them that you understand their pain and know exactly how to solve it, they would want to give you a try.
How to Write an Upwork Proposal
Once you understand the Upwork proposal writing structure, you will convert 7 from every 10 proposals sent.
Yeah. It’s very possible.
I hardly talk about myself or my experience whenever I send an Upwork proposal. It’s always about the clients and their business.
Here is an example of a proposal I want to send for an SEO content writing job description.
The first thing I did was to check the client’s job history to get his name.
After which I sent him the following proposal;
The biggest mistake business owners like you make when writing SEO content for your website is that you only focus on keywords.
I know keywords are an important SEO ranking factor. But as you optimize your content for a particular keyword, you should also ensure that the content is engaging and resonates well with your audience.
Even if your content ranks first page on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), it won’t be long before the ranking drops.
And that is because when your content is not engaging enough, the bounce rate on your web page will increase.
This will seriously affect your page ranking.
But if you hire me for this job; I will deliver a high-quality job that doesn’t only rank high on Search Engines Results Pages, but also engages and resonates well with your audience.
Find attached my recent SEO article sample.
Quick question – Have you done your keyword research already or do you want me to help you with it?
Kindly let me know so I can factor it in while working on your project.
Talk to you soon!
If you take the time to analyze the above proposal, you will realize the following;
#1. I Addressed the Client By His Name
The first thing you will notice about this proposal is that I addressed the client by his name. You see, this technique works like magic.
Hold done, let’s do a quick exercise.
Just imagine, you are the client. After strolling through several proposals, you suddenly saw a proposal that addresses you by your first name – Hello Jordan.
Well, I don’t know, but If I were the client, I would want to contact you and interview you immediately.
And that is because you have proven to me that you are different. In fact, being able to search for my name and address me directly is an indication that you are serious-minded.
Generally, when you address clients by their name on proposals, it draws their attention to your proposal.
So, try to always address your clients by their names when sending proposals. It’s easy, read through the client’s history, you will see freelancers’ feedback.
And if you take your time to search through the feedback thoroughly, you will definitely get the client’s name.
#2. Identify the Clients’ Problem in the Proposal
From the example, you will see that I identified the client’s problem. See below…
“The biggest mistakes business owners like you make when writing SEO content for your website is that you only focus on keywords.”
There are several reasons why you need to identify the clients’ challenges in your proposal. But don’t worry, I will talk about it in subsequent articles.
#3. Tell Your Clients that You can Solve the Problem and Tell them How
In my proposal, I mentioned that if the client hires me, I can help them solve his problem. Furthermore, I gave a breakdown of how I can help the client solve the problem.
“But if you hire me for this job; I will deliver a high-quality job that doesn’t only rank high on Search Engines Results Pages, but also engages and resonates well with your audience.”
I understood what the client was looking for and I promise to proffer that result-oriented, and time-bound solution.
By doing this, I was able to create a vision of a solution in the client’s head. And didn’t have any other option but to hire me.
Try to always include samples of your work whenever you send a proposal. It helps you to build credibility, especially if you are a beginner on Upwork.
Of course, it’s wrong to use the same sample for every proposal you send. Try to use a sample that’s a bit related to the post.
Trust me, if you follow the process discussed in this section, more than 80% of your proposals will convert.
What Are the Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Upwork Proposal
Like you already, every freelancer on Upwork wants to be successful. And being successful on Upwork means you land as many high-paying clients as possible.
But if you aren’t sending the right proposal like I already mentioned, your chances of getting hired on the platform will be slim.
So, in this section, we will discuss some of the common mistakes to avoid when sending proposals on Upwork;
#1. Applying for the Wrong Jobs.
Beginners on Upwork make this mistake quite a lot. Just because they are desperate to earn money, they just apply for every job they see.
Imagine someone who hasn’t done any crypto-related project before is sending a proposal for a Crypto related job?
Even if you get the job, you can’t offer your client exceptional value. And this could lead to negative reviews which will eventually ruin your credibility on Upwork.
So, try to apply for the job in that you have experience, skills, and expertise. That way, you can provide great value to your client.
Interestingly, offering great value to clients boost your credibility on Upwork as you will get positive feedback.
#2. Not Understanding the Job Requirements and Specifications Before
Most freelancers are guilty of this. They don’t take their time to review a job requirement and specifications before posting.
All they do is send generic and shallow proposals for every job post they see on Upwork.
And trust me guys, if this is what you are currently doing, your chances of getting a job on Upwork are slim.
Try to read every job description thoroughly to understand the requirements. After which, you craft your proposal in accordance with the job requirements.
It’s important to show the client that you read and understand the job description.
For instance, a client may write somewhere within the job description that you should mention a word or a phrase at the beginning of your proposal.
And you won’t know this if you fail to read the requirements of the jobs.
I know you are smiling right now. Perhaps, that’s because you have done it several times.
Well, now you know that it’s wrong, always read job descriptions to understand the clients’ requirements.
It will give you an idea of how to craft the perfect proposal for the job.
#3. Not Sending Sample of Your Previous Work
I mentioned earlier in the previous section that sending samples of related projects increases your credibility.
It gives clients the assurance that you are the perfect person to handle their projects.
So, if you have been sending naked proposals without samples, please start sending samples.
And don’t just send some random sample, ensure that every sample you send along with a proposal is related to the job you are bidding for.
You can’t be sending a sample of a real estate article to a client that wants you to write a leadership article.
If you don’t like sending samples directly to clients, you can refer them to check your portfolio on Upwork.
Whichever way, try to show clients that you can handle their project. And the best way to do that is by sending samples or referring them to your portfolio.
#4. Sending Lengthy and Unattractive Proposals
Freelancers who want to impress clients with their experience end up sending lengthy and unattractive proposals.
But the truth is, these clients don’t have all day to look through lengthy proposals.
If you can’t grab a client’s attention with the first 2 sentences of the proposal, you aren’t getting that job bro.
So, try to only include only the most important information in your proposals and leave unnecessary details.
How Much Does It Cost to Submit a Proposal on Upwork?
Contrary to what you may think, submitting proposals on Upwork is not free. I know this may come as a shock to you, but it’s the truth.
Any proposal you send on Upwork will cost you Connects. It could be two, three, and sometimes six, depending on the client’s history on Upwork.
Sometimes, a proposal may cost you as high as 7 Connects; especially if the client is a high paying client.
Generally, there are three ways to get Connects on Upwork – Monthly free Connects, Buy Connects, and Earn Connects.
Monthly Free Connects
Upwork gives every freelancer a number of free Connects to help them win more jobs on the platform.
If you have a Freelancer Basic account, you will receive 10 free Connects monthly. Also, if you have a Freelancer plus account, you will receive 70 free Connects monthly.
If you don’t know much about Freelancer Plus Account, check here.
If you exhaust your monthly free Connects, before the end of the year, you can buy additional Connects.
Generally, Upwork charges 15 cents ($0.15) per Connect and are sold in bundles of 10, 20, 40, 60, and 80.
To buy an additional Connect, go to Settings, select Membership and Connects, and click on Add More Connects.
Interestingly, you can still earn Connects outside the monthly free Connects Upwork gives you.
Here is how you can earn Connects on Upwork;
That makes a total of 80 free Connects. So, if you are yet to complete the Upwork Readiness Test, take it to get 40 Free Connects.
Win An Interview
Upwork rewards freelancers with 10 free Connects whenever they win an interview. With this method, you can get more than 50 Connects in just one week.
Just imagine you have 5 interviews in one week? That is 50 Connects already.
Complete an Upwork Skill Certification
Once you earn an Upwork skill certificate, you will enjoy a one-time Connect bonus.
When You Earn a Badge
Most times, Upwork Talent Badge comes with a free Connect.
Which Payment Option is Best for Upwork?
I don’t think there’s any preferred payment option on Upwork. It depends on what works best for you in your location.
But generally, here are some of the payment options, available on Upwork;
- Paper Checks
- Direct Contracts
- Electronic Funds Transfer
As you can see there are several payment options on Upwork. But whatever payment method you are choosing will depend on your needs and preferences.
Of course, each of these methods have their pros and cons. However, I strongly advise you to choose what works best for you.
By now you understand that Upwork is one of the best (if not the best) freelancing platforms out there.
It’s beginner friendly and if you understand how the platform works, you can start earning money in no time.
But you should know that success on Upwork is not overnight. Sometimes, you may not get your first gig on the platform until after three to four months.
Yeah, I know it’s discouraging. Yet, if you can persevere and keep pushing, in no time you will start making money real quick.
As you start your Upwork journey, take personal development and skills improvement seriously.
That is the only way you can grow a 7 figure income ( in dollars ) from Upwork.
You may think it’s impossible to make a 7 figure income from Upwork. But when you start your freelancing journey, you will be amazed how easy it is to be successful on Upwork.
Lastly, try to read Upwork Terms of Services and adhere to them strictly. Violation of some of these terms could lead to instant suspension of your account.