Upwork is an online freelancer platform that connects clients and freelancers. As a freelancer at this website, you get the chance to work with clients all over the world. Anything from small to bigger projects in different niches. I shared my guide on how you can turn your Upwork profile into a thousand a business!
I discovered Upwork in 2014 when I had just moved to London. I had no job, not a lot of money and I was living with my parents. Even though I had a successful blog and I earned some money from it, it didn`t give me enough to quit my “non-existent” job (if you know what I mean).
At the time Upwork was quite new and it was mostly known in the United States and I found it by chance when I was looking for freelancer jobs online.
It took me maybe 2-3 months until I managed to get my first writing job, which was for a makeup blog. This was rather exciting and I remember how proud I was of this achievement. The payment was $15 and I was ecstatic!
Now a couple of years later I have earned thousands at this platform and it has truly been a rewarding, challenging and fantastic experience. I have worked with clients all over the world, been working with lots of different projects and I have learned so much about the industry, how to deal with clients, how to negotiate, how to bid on jobs, etc.
The journey has been so crazy and I am unbelievably grateful that I can work from home, anywhere, any time.
Because I have been receiving so many questions about how I earn money on Upwork, I have decided to put together an Upwork guide which might be helpful for some of you.
Upwork Guide for 2021
To make it easier for you to understand the Upwork process I have written them in different sections.
The Sign-Up Process
The signing up process is quite easy and what you need to do is filling in personal details, information about your “service”, education, career points, skills, etc.
It is very important to use your real name when signing up to Upwork, this is because they have a very strict policy and your application won’t be successful otherwise.
IMPORTANT: Every member at this site will have to go through a verification process where you will be asked to provide legal documents or passports to verify your identification. They will also have a 5-10 minute call with you to make sure you are real and you fit the description. This is very important and will help you get more jobs and find new clients. When you have been accepted you will receive a “blue tick” beside your name as I have got on my profile here
Membership and Connects
As a freelancer on Upwork, you can choose between two plans, Basic Free or The Freelancer Plus plan. In the Basic Free plan, you don`t get the same privileges as if you were a freelancer plus but it is possible to still find jobs and bid on jobs. However I do recommend the Freelancer Plus plan because you get 70 Connects per month, you can hide your earnings, view competitor bids for any job and you can customize your profile URL. I pay $14.99 each month.
What is connects?
Most of the jobs posted on Upwork require connects. This means that for you to bid on that specific job or project you will have to pay anything from 2 – 8 connects, depending on the job, budget and if it`s a Plus client or not. This will also give you a guarantee that the client will see your proposal and will help in your application process.
Submitting Proposals on Upwork
When you have created the Upwork profile and have been accepted, you can start submitting proposals to jobs which you will find under the “find work” section. Depending on what it is you can do for clients on the platform it is important to write a compelling, honest and informative proposal.
Remember to ALWAYS read the job description before submitting a proposal. Because sometimes they will tell you specific instruction to get hired.
When you submit a proposal you can choose how you would like to get paid, there are two options available: a milestone or project.
If you choose to be paid by milestone you can decide the rate per milestone, for example, “Milestone 1, $50/article finished by 10/01/2021”. If the client accepts these terms that’s what you will get paid (this will also cover Upwork fees).
If you choose to be paid by the project you will receive the “budget” or the “fixed amount” you and the client have agreed. I recommend negotiating a budget that gives you the payment you deserve which also covers the extra fees. Don`t ever underestimate yourself when negotiating with clients.
What to include in your Upwork proposal
When you are submitting your proposals it is important to include your name, what you can offer the client, previous jobs you have had in the past, if you can meet the client’s requirements and deadlines, and the most important thing, why you think you are the right “freelancer” for the job.
Clients won`t consider your application if it doesn`t look professional, therefore you should make sure you don’t have any typos or grammar mistakes in the proposal. I recommend using “Grammarly” which is an add-on you can attach to your browser and that will check the text for you automatically. This is especially a good tool to use if you are not sure about the grammar in the text.
To make your application or Upwork proposal stand out more, I recommend always attach either your CV, Diplomas, or recommendation letters from the previous school, course leader, or any documents that prove the skills and job history that might be suitable for that specific job. This is the best way to become an attractive candidate for the job and it will make them remember you.
Focus on delivering Quality Work
When you get hired, the first thing you should do is focusing on delivering quality. Clients will always appreciate high-quality content and by delivering good quality work you might be considered for a long-term position. Always make sure you follow the deadline and remember that your clients are like your customers if you don’t deliver the finished product they won’t be satisfied and you will receive a poor rating.
The same goes for your Upwork profile, as long as you make sure you can deliver the work on time and that your finished project matches your client`s goals and standards you will get a long way. Only accepts projects and jobs you know you can do and deliver on time!
The Payment Process
The payment process depends on what is in the initial agreement between you and the client. According to the Upwork system you can either get paid hourly or per project (ref. fixed amount). After you have delivered the finished product/project/service you will receive your payment if the client is satisfied and releases the payment. ‘
With a fixed-term project, you will receive the agreed amount (inc. fees) five days after the payment gets accepted by the client. It will then be available in your balance.
Hourly projects will pay you according to the schedule you have set up together. For example, if the client pays you $20/hour and the weekly limit is 20 hours, you will receive the payment 2 weeks after the Sunday your weekly schedule was hended in automatically. So if you work from 1-7th April the 1st week you will receive your payment Wednesday in week 3.
The Upwork Timer (does only work with Hourly contracts)
One of the main reasons I prefer to work on Upwork is because they have a very reliable Upwork timer that takes screenshots while you work and count the hours you have worked on different projects. This gives you as a freelancer, payment protection and you can be sure that you get payment from the client.
How to get paid
When you have a specific balance available in your account you can decide if you want to send it to your PayPal account, via bank transfers or other payment methods! NOTE: Remember that with PayPal it`s instant and with Bank Transfers it takes an extra 4-5 days to receive your funds.
How much can you earn?
Because you work as an independent contractor through Upwork there is no limit of how much you can earn monthly, as it depends on what type of projects and work you get. Some months I can earn more than others and it can also be more work available under certain Seasons, like for example Summer Holidays or Christmas. There is often more work to do during the winter months, but this also depends on what type of contract you have with your clients.
When working on Upwork you can work with many different clients and you are your own manager. That is why I love Upwork and the tools that come with it.
I hope this guide is helping some of you and that it has made it easier to understand how Upwork works.