how to make money on upwork

Guide on How to Make Money on Upwork

Among many platforms to find a freelance job, Upwork is undeniably the most popular. If you are a freelancer seeking for your first client, the platform can assure you the safe and secure applications and transactions with potential clients. If you want to find out more about making money on Upwork, here’s a guide curated just for you.

What is Upwork?

Upwork is an online marketplace for freelance gigs in writing, graphic design, and web development. However, the niches are not limited to the creatives. The platform expanded its reach with a more variety of industries that allow remote work.

It is a platform that allows both freelancers and employers to meet to find and offer projects, respectively. The site is pretty much straightforward for applicants. You need to sign up for an account, create your online portfolio, and wait for the site acceptance before sending out applications.

Now, here’s the deal with Upwork. Many get rejected on their first attempt to sign up for an account. Due to the platform’s strict demands for professional qualifications, you need to up your game in listing down your skills. But you don’t have to worry about it, as we’ll get down to the secrets in acing it the first time.

Why choose Upwork?

Upwork is by far the biggest online freelancing platform there is. Its popularity is even more expected to grow in the next coming years due to most workers’ transition into the work from home setup. Many choose to source jobs on Upwork due to its promising benefits, which include the following:

  • Variety of niche

While Upwork was initially known for writing, web development, and graphic design gigs, it has since started to grow its niche categories. You can get a job of all sorts as long as it is a remote opportunity.

  • Payment protection

It isn’t easy to get scammed in Upwork as a freelancer when all payments are made within the platform. Upwork handles these payments and ensures that freelancers get paid on time and heftily. You don’t have to worry about a client running away once you complete tasks since the platform watches out for you.

  • Incentives with long term contractors

Upwork takes a 20% cut on your payment for the first $500 made for a contractor. When you reach $501 – $9,999, they take a 10% commission. And once you hit the $10,000 mark with a contractor, only 5% will be taken.

Some may see this as a downside since no one wants a deduction from their payments received. However, this is the fee incurred for using Upwork and its secure service.


Steps on how to make money on Upwork

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how you can start making money through Upwork.

1. Get your account ready.

Upon creating an account, you will need to enlist your personal details, credentials, and experiences. You need to ensure that you fill out all the necessary information before hitting the submit button for a profile review.

As mentioned, Upwork has a strict approval review that takes up to 24 hours. You need to be accurate and detailed on your qualifications. A good rule of thumb to live by is avoiding generic skills. Be as specific as possible, and insert as many skills that relate to your niche. 

2. Create 1-2 work profiles.

When you receive your approval email, you can now start positioning your profile on the platform. Upwork allows you to create multiple types of profiles that can cater to various industries. 

Now, this is where Upwork will work wonders in marketing your profile. The platform asks you to create a general profile and specialized profiles. The presence of these two makes it easier to segregate any specialty you have.

In cases that you just want to be out there, a general profile will be enough. But if you want to expand your chance of getting noticed by employers, a specialized profile is highly recommended. A specialized profile allows you to be as detailed as ever in one particular work that you do. Having one leaves your profile an impressive credential since your qualifications are extensively highlighted here. 

3. State your rate.

Upwork lets you place how much you want to earn on an hourly basis. You just have to provide an exact amount, and you will see how much Upwork will deduct from it. Seeing the deduction, you need to increase your rate beyond expected.

However, if it’s your first time to get clients, it’s advisable to have your first rate at a lower side to get a contractor quickly. And when you complete contracts and receive 5-star reviews, you can start raising your rates. Getting contracts becomes easier once you have earned your stars, so work for them, and they will work for you as you go on.

working on upwork

4. Pick a membership plan.

Upwork isn’t exactly free to use for everyone. It has the Basic and Plus plans that users can choose from. The Basic is free, but you will need to purchase “connects” to apply for contractors. Each connect amount for $0.15. These are primary tokens used in submitting a proposal, and the number of connects needed varies per job posting.

On the other hand, the Freelancer Plus plan costs $14.99 a month and includes features of the Basic and some added perks, like:

  • 70 connects every month
  • Customize profile URL
  • Hide total earnings
  • View competitors’ bid for projects
  • Keep profile up even when inactive

5. Submit proposals to contractors and start working.

You need to write a compelling cover letter to leave a good impression for every submission you do. It doesn’t have to be tediously long, but it needs to be relevant and substantial. You don’t want to waste any of your connections by submitting a botched cover letter.

Some pointers to live by include:

  • Avoid templated cover letters.
  • Personalize your statements according to projects.
  • State why you are the right person to hire.
  • Add links to portfolios for them to view.
  • Ask genuine questions about job responsibilities.
  • Offer what you can do to them.
  • Relate past projects to this one.

Once a client accepts your proposal, you will undergo an interview until you make it.

6. Get paid and earn your stars.

When you complete projects, you will start earning payments via PayPal, bank deposit, or wire transfer. Hourly projects are billed weekly, and you will be paid after reviewing the work or ten days after the billing period ends. On the other hand, fixed-price projects get paid upon completion of the required milestones.

If projects get dropped before completion or an employer fails to pay you, you can file a dispute on Upwork. The platform will help you throughout the process to ensure just compensation.

As you earn milestones and complete projects, you subsequently receive reviews from former clients. These then will dictate how your profile comes off to future contractors since ratings are a basis of good employment history.

And that’s how you make money on Upwork. It only takes six steps from earning thousands of earnings as a freelancer working from home.

Need more secrets in successfully acing your job on Upwork? Here are some highly recommended courses to take with you:

Ready to kick-start your freelancing career on Upwork? Click here to get started.

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