how to make money on upwork

How to Make Money on Upwork | Ultimate Freelancing Guide

Are you curious about How to start freelancing and make money on Upwork? Be ready to be a freelancer on the schedule that you simply want from wherever you would like on challenging projects around the work that you love.

Well, if so, then stick around. During this article, I’m going to explain to you five tips for freelancing on Upwork that have personally helped me become a top-rated freelancer on the platform.

If you are not familiar with Upwork, they are the largest global freelancing websites where freelancers earn money by providing companies with over 5,000 skills across various different categories of work.

How do I Make Money Online on Upwork?

I began my journey on Upwork as a freelancer around Jan of 2011, and since then, I’ve made close to $100,000 total, and worked over 12,000 hours, across 216 different client projects that specialize in Design and Data entry-related jobs.

As a freelancer, you’re charged a service fee based on your billings with each client. This includes all contracts you’ve ever had with that client. This applies to hourly, fixed-price, and project catalog jobs.

0-$500: 20% service fee

$500.01-$10,000: 10% service fee

$10,000.01 or more: 5% service fee

Upwork has given me the opportunity to work with some amazing clients across numerous different industries. The four tips I’m close to covering are tips that might be really valuable on my behalf of me. Once I first began my journey on Upwork as a freelancer, they are definitely tips that will benefit you, as well.

How to make money on upwork

Upwork makes it fast, simple, and cost effective to find, hire, work with. And pay the best professionals anywhere at any time. 

how to make money on upwork infographics


4 Tips to Make Money on Upwork with no Experience

1. Create An Attractive Profile

How to start freelancing

To start freelancing on Upwork or how to make money on Upwork, there are millions of registered users, which makes it immensely important to not only have a complete profile but to have one that’s attractive and makes you stand out among other users that also are getting to be applying to the same jobs.

How do you create an attractive profile that stands out to clients?

how to start freelancing on upwork infographics

For this first tip, we’re getting to undergo my profile, which has helped me obtain jobs from numerous clients. Where I rarely need to actually bid on jobs because I’m getting invites from Upwork employers for me to bid on their jobs. They’re finding my profile through searches, through suggested freelancers for them. And it’s to the point now where I actually rarely have to bid on jobs. Because I am getting tons of offers.

Thereupon being said, Let’s start browsing my profile.


How to create a profile to make money online

When starting to freelance or making money on Upwork, having a high-quality headshot is crucial. Here are some reasons why:

  • Your profile photo is one of the first things potential employers will see when you bid on their jobs.
  • You want your photo to give them a good sense of who you are – friendly, professional, and attractive.
  • Avoid using photos with distracting elements, such as other people or objects in the background.
  • If you don’t have a headshot, it’s worth investing in one as it’s one of the most important aspects of your profile.
  • Your photo will not only be visible on your profile but also on your proposal preview, making it a vital component of your overall application.

Remember, a high-quality and professional headshot is a great way to make a positive first impression and stand out from other freelancers.


How to start freelancing with no experience on upwork

Crafting an effective and concise title is important when setting up your Upwork profile. Here are some tips:

  • Your title should be descriptive and clearly convey what you do.
  • Choose a title that highlights your strengths and skills, such as “Expert in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Data Entry” if that’s what you specialize in.
  • Keep it short and simple. Avoid using long and confusing titles that might not clearly communicate what you do.
  • Consider tailoring your title to the type of jobs you plan to apply for, but ensure it still reflects your expertise and abilities.

Remember, your title is one of the first things potential clients will see when they come across your profile. So, it’s important to make it clear, concise, and relevant to your skills and experience.


The overview section of your Upwork profile is the most important part as it’s your opportunity to market yourself to potential clients. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Describe your skills and experience in a way that showcases your expertise and explains why you would be a valuable asset to clients.
  • Highlight any notable achievements such as being a top-rated freelancer or receiving excellent reviews.
  • Use the first paragraph of your overview to provide a brief introduction to yourself and your skills. You can tie this in with your job title and highlight your key strengths.
  • In the following paragraphs, provide more detail about your experience and skills. Focus on areas that are most relevant to the type of work you’re seeking.
  • Use the final paragraph to sell yourself to potential clients. Be enthusiastic, and confident, and let them know that you’re ready to provide top-quality solutions to their needs.
  • Encourage clients to contact you to discuss their requirements further and show that you’re approachable and open to collaboration.

Remember, your overview is your chance to make a great first impression and stand out from other freelancers. So, take the time to craft a compelling and persuasive message that truly showcases your expertise and value.

Please contact me so we will discuss how we will work together to completely meet your business needs.


How your availability on upwork affects your freelancing career

In addition to setting your availability, it’s important to make it clear to employers when you’re available. This includes being responsive to messages and setting expectations for when you’ll be available to work on their projects. Make sure to communicate any planned vacations or time off in advance to avoid any miscommunications.

You can also use Upwork’s availability feature to set your schedule in advance. This allows you to block off certain times when you’re not available, so clients know not to expect work during those times.

By being clear and consistent with your availability, you can build trust with your clients and establish a reputation as a reliable freelancer.

Introduction Video

Adding an introduction video to your profile can make it stand out and increase your chances of getting noticed by employers for making money on Upwork.

  • In the video, you can introduce yourself, discuss your skills and experience, and showcase past projects related to the type of jobs you’re bidding on.
  • Creating an introduction video can help you position yourself above other freelancers bidding on the same projects.

Hourly Rate

What is Perfect hourly rate to make money on upwork

Setting an hourly rate that’s too high is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting Upwork. As a new freelancer on the platform, you don’t have the client reviews and reputation to justify a high rate.

  • To initially attract clients, it’s advisable to price yourself lower than most other freelancers.
  • Completing projects and getting good reviews will help you build up your reputation and work your way up to getting paid what you’re worth.
  • Once you have a good reputation and reviews, you can increase your rate to match the value you provide to clients.
  • It’s important to update your hourly rate as you gain more experience and skills.
  • Your Upwork profile will display your hourly rate, total earnings, and a number of completed and in-progress jobs.

Work History

Importance of work history to start freelancing career

It shows how many hours you’ve worked across all of your different jobs. Now we’re going to the work history and feedback section to get to the portfolio.


How to create a portfolio to make money on upwork

The portfolio section on Upwork allows you to showcase previous examples of jobs related to the ones you’re bidding on.

  • Listing previous job examples and how you completed them can help clients understand your skillset and experience.
  • You can also showcase personal websites, YouTube channels, or other relevant work to highlight your abilities and projects you’ve completed.
  • For web developers, creating different portfolio items can be helpful to showcase various websites they developed and their different parts.

So again, on Upwork, the portfolio section gives you another way to showcase yourself to clients and position yourself above other freelancers to start your freelancing career, as well. Now we’re going to move down past the portfolio section to the skills section.


The skills section on Upwork allows you to list between 5 to 10 skills.

  • The skills you choose should be directly related to the types of jobs you plan to apply for.
  • The skills will appear in recommended jobs for you, so choose them carefully to increase the chances of finding jobs that match your abilities.
  • Be specific when listing your skills to ensure that clients understand your expertise in the given area.
  • Make sure to update your skills section as your skillset expands and evolves to increase your chances of finding jobs that align with your current abilities.


Taking skill-based tests on Upwork can help demonstrate your proficiency in various fields such as web development, graphic design, and writing.

  • Passing a test earns a badge on your profile, showcasing your skills and making you stand out from other freelancers.
  • Completing tests can also improve your knowledge and skills, helping you provide better services to clients.
  • Some clients may require freelancers to have passed specific tests, so taking them can increase your chances of getting hired for more projects.

In summary, skill-based tests on Upwork are an excellent way to showcase your expertise, improve your skills, and increase your chances of getting hired.


Read More: Unleashing the Writing Magic: My Journey as a Freelance Writer


Employment History

The employment history section on Upwork is like a resume, and it’s important to list and describe your relevant work history.

  • Make sure to list the dates you worked for each job and provide a brief description of your role and responsibilities.
  • This information helps employers understand your work experience and can make you a more attractive candidate for their projects.
  • Be clear and concise when describing your work history, and focus on jobs that are directly related to the types of projects you want to work on through Upwork.
  • If you don’t have much work experience, focus on transferable skills and any relevant volunteer or freelance work you’ve done.

Certifications & Other Experiences

To sum up, the “Other experiences” section on Upwork allows you to showcase any work-related experiences or certifications that were not covered in other sections of your profile. This can include any additional certifications or achievements that can help demonstrate your expertise and skills to potential clients. Be sure to list them out clearly and concisely, and make sure they are relevant to the type of projects you are interested in. By doing so, you can further enhance your profile and increase your chances of getting hired.

2. Create Attractive Job Proposals

The cover letter is a crucial part of the proposal that can help you sell your skills and convince the client to hire you over other freelancers.

  • To create great proposals quickly and efficiently, it’s helpful to create different cover letter templates that are geared toward specific types of jobs.
  • Save these templates as .txt files and modify them to fit each specific job to make them more attractive to the client.
  • Include specific work examples and direct the client to your profile for more information and five-star reviews.
  • List the number of hours and amount of money you’ve made across different client projects.
  • Conclude the cover letter with a call to action, requesting a free 15-30 minute call to discuss the project in more detail and showcase your skills.

Creating templates can save time by allowing you to quickly bid on new projects by copying and pasting and only making necessary modifications.

3. Build Your Reputation

tips to start freelancing with no experience


In my experience, your job success score and client reviews are crucial for your success making money on Upwork. Although it may be hard to shift your focus from money, I believe that your reputation and feedback are more important.

Having a high number of five-star reviews and keeping your job success score between 90 and 100% can lead to greater success and earning potential on the platform. As a freelancer, your clients’ satisfaction should be a top priority, as this will help to build your credibility and attract more clients in the future.

While making money is important, it’s important to remember that quality work and satisfied clients will ultimately lead to greater financial success in the long run. So, focus on providing high-quality work and excellent customer service to build your reputation and secure more jobs on Upwork.

Job Success Score

Let’s first take a look at the job success score. If you take a look at the image you can see that mine is at 100%. From the start I’ve maintained it at 100% in my freelancing journey, and I do my best to keep it there. This is calculated in a certain way by Upwork, which we’re going to go over real quick.

  1. Your job success score is calculated based on successful contract outcomes minus negative contract outcomes divided by total contract outcomes.
  2. To maintain a high job success score, it’s important to ensure that you’re delivering high-quality work, meeting deadlines, communicating well with clients, and resolving any issues that may arise during a project.
  3. In addition to maintaining a high job success score, it’s important to actively seek out positive client reviews. You can do this by delivering high-quality work, communicating well with clients, and asking them to leave a review at the end of the project.
  4. Positive client reviews not only help to boost your job success score, but they also provide potential clients with social proof that you’re a reliable and skilled freelancer.

In summary, maintaining a high job success score and positive client reviews are crucial for success on Upwork. By delivering high-quality work, meeting deadlines, and communicating well with clients, you can ensure that you’re on track to achieving a high job success score and earning more on the platform.


How feedback is important to make money on upwork

Getting clients to leave feedback is crucial to maintaining a good job success score and receiving project invitations. Even if you’ve completed a job for a client and they haven’t left feedback, it can affect your job success score.

  • It’s important to message clients and explain how feedback factors into your job success score and can help your profile stand out.
  • Having a lot of five-star reviews and good feedback on your profile helps to establish trust with clients and increase your chances of being hired.
  • Over-delivering on your client’s expectations is key to earning a five-star review and maintaining a good job success score.

4. Communication is Key

Necessary communication skills to start freelancing on upwork

Maintaining good communication with clients is crucial for success and reputation as a freelancer on Upwork.

  • Respond to messages and invitations from clients as soon as possible.
  • Keep clients updated on the status of their projects using the messaging feature within Upwork, and consider providing your phone number for urgent communication.
  • Lack of communication can lead to dissatisfaction and loss of clients.
  • Strive to keep communication open, consistent, and clear to earn clients’ trust and build a positive reputation.

How Long Does It Take To Start Making Money on Upwork

Starting out on freelancing platforms can be tough, and it’s common to have lower prices as your competitive advantage over other freelancers. However, you should aim to gradually increase your rates as you gain more experience and establish a good reputation on the platform.

It’s important to be resilient and patient when starting out. You may not get responses to all the jobs you apply for, but don’t give up. Instead, think of ways to grab the client’s attention, such as offering a competitive price or crafting a compelling cover letter that highlights your skills and experience.

To succeed on the platform, you must be willing to outwork your competition. This means bidding on more jobs, going above and beyond what other freelancers are doing, and being focused on your work rather than getting distracted by other things like TV shows or social media. Remember, the mindset should be that other freelancers may give up before you, and by consistently putting in the effort and going the extra mile, you can set yourself apart and get more jobs on the platform.

Can You Make a Living on Upwork?

Why not, incorporating the mindset, along with the other tips to earn money online that I have given you, is going to lead to getting long-term clients like some of these.

Some of these that I’ve been working with consistently for a very long time, they’re some of my longest-term clients, they’re great people to work with, and they continually use me to work on their jobs.

I hope that these tips provided value for you and will benefit your career immensely on how to make money on Upwork as a freelancer. So, when you are going to start your freelancing career on Upwork?


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