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, worked over 11,000 hours, across 216 different client projects that specialize in Design and Data entry related jobs.

As a freelancer, you’re charge 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 catalogue 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 behalf of me. Once I first began my journey on Upwork as a freelancer, and 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, 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

The first obvious thing to start freelancing on upwork, you simply need is a high-quality headshot of yourself, and that I do emphasize headshot. You do not need a photo with people in it, things that are distracting.

Your profile photo is one of the primary things that employers are getting to be seen once you bid on their jobs. You would like it to offer them a way of yourself.

Friendly, professional, something that’s getting to be attractive for them.

If you do not have a headshot of yourself, I like to recommend having one taken and, as I said, it’s getting to be one among the foremost important things on your profile because it is the very first thing that employers see, not only with once they come to your profile but also once they get the preview of your proposal among all the other proposals, your photo goes to be one among the most important things there, so you would like it to be professional and high quality.


How to start freelancing with no experience on upwork

Second, use an excellent and concise title that explains what you are doing.

For mine, I exploit Expert in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Data entry. So this describes all three different sort of areas that I work in myself.

So whatever field you’re in, whatever jobs that you simply plan on applying for, gear your title around it, but make it concise in order that your title isn’t too long or confusing.


The very most important area of your profile is the overview section.

This is often your chance to sell yourself and your skills to your clients on Upwork to make money online. And you would like to gear your overview therein regard. Be sure to describe your skills, your experience, and why you would be an honest asset to them as a freelancer.

Taking a glance at my overview you’ll see that first I describe how I’m a top-rated consultant. And this may come after you complete some jobs successfully, get some under your belt, you get some good reviews. Top-rated will come if you stay focused on getting good reviews. We’re going to cover that for a bit.

But anyway, the primary thing I described is that I’m top-rated. Which are some things that when you hit that mark you’ll want to place in your profile, as well.

It’s already getting to be there. But this is often just kind of a little add-in addition that I put into my job overview. I describe that I’m top-rated. I’m going through and describing my experience working with MS Office and data entry.

I go through and describe first, a part of my title, it kind of ties into it. I’m going through and describing my design skills during this first little paragraph here.

Next off, I move down and start describing business intelligence. This goes in the second part of my title for the jobs. That I’m applying for based on my experience in freelancing.

And then, lastly, sell yourself to your clients. You can see what I use. I’m eager to work for you to provide reliable, consistent, high-level solutions to your design and development challenges.

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

In this last part, you would like to sell yourself to your clients. Put something in there that’s getting to attract them to you. That’s getting to make them feel like you are going to over-deliver. That’s getting to make them confident to invest their money in your service on Upwork. And provide them with worth to finish their projects and jobs.


How your availability on upwork affects your freelancing career

Set your availability and make it clear to employers when you’re available.

So if you’re taking a glance at mine, I’m currently set to more than 30 hrs/week, open offers, and more than 24 hours of response time.

So, if I click to modify it, you can see the different options that exist. You can either be available or not available, that’s going to depend on your workload. If you have a lot of projects, you need to be unavailable for a while, you can change it.

Also, list your hours. You can either be available more than 30 hours a week, less than 30 hours a week or as needed. Mine’s as needed, so I’m willing to look at offers. See what the client needs. And I can check my schedule to schedule that and let them know the hours I’m going to be available.

But if you have more of a concrete amount of hours that you’re aware of. You can either go with the above 30 or more or you can do less than 30.

Introduction video

You can also add an introduction video to make your profile stand out. And increase your chances of getting noticed by employers, as well.

It gives them a sense of my overall skills and yourself. What you can do is you can just do a brief introduction of yourself, you can discuss your skills. Maybe do kind of like an overview of some maybe past projects. And things that you’ve completed related to the type of jobs you’re bidding on.

I would highly recommend creating an introduction video to start with freelancing on Upwork, as it can give you another way to position yourself above other freelancers bidding on the same projects as you.

Hourly rate

What is Perfect hourly rate to make money on upwork

One of the biggest mistakes you can make initially on Upwork is setting an hourly rate that’s too high.

In freelancing platforms, when you first start out, you don’t have the client reviews and the reputation built up. And you don’t have a way to justify a high rate no matter what type of value that you’re bringing.

If you feel like you’re bringing a high value to a customer. And you want your hourly rate to meet that you can’t use that initially. Or, I mean, you can use it initially, but you’re going to get fewer jobs because of that.

Once you have the reputation and reviews built up. Then you need to build your reputation up first, and then you can make your rate justify your value.

On my profile, you can see that my hourly rate is set to $25 an hour. I know that I’m providing my clients with added value.

They know it, and that’s why they’re willing to pay me $25 an hour to work on their projects. Initially, I didn’t start out at $25 an hour.

I started out, I believe, at around $1 an hour. Completing projects, getting some under my belt, and building up the five-star high reviews.

After I was able to get some of those, I was able to increase my rate to what I’m actually worth. So first, as I said, if you don’t have the reputation built up, you have to start out lower. That’s one of the competitive advantages that you can use to get projects is the price.

To make money price yourself lower on Upwork than most other freelancers are pricing themselves on the projects that you’re bidding on.

That’s going to help you get some projects initially, and get some good reviews under your belt. And build up your reputation to work your way up to getting paid what you’re worth. My profile shows my hourly rate, which I can update at any time by clicking on this button right here.

Again, start out lower, get some initial jobs under your belt and get the reviews. You need to build your way up to whatever rate that you’re worth. You can update that at any time. It also shows how much you’ve earned in total. So mine right now is updating every hundred thousand dollars, so when I hit $100,000 earned, it’ll update.

Initially, it changes at different increments, but right now that’s when mine will update next. It will depict that on your profile. It will also show your number of jobs, which is a combination of in-progress and completed 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

In the portfolio section, you can highlight and showcase previous examples of jobs you’ve completed directly related to the new ones you’re going to be bidding on.

I have listed some different jobs in my profile and what I did to complete those. Same for replications specifically related to the type of job that I’ve completed and what I went through to complete it.

Also listed, is my personal website, so if I click on it, you can see it. I’ll list out what I did to develop my website. I’ll list out links to it within it. So that a client can come to this, they can click on my website and can see the work I did to complete.

This would be great for someone in web development. They could use the portfolio section to showcase different websites they developed and showcase different parts of the websites they developed.

They could create different portfolio items for those to showcase to Upwork employers who come to their profile. And then, you can also showcase your YouTube channel so an employer can click on that YouTube channel portfolio item, they can see the description of the channel, and the type of content that provide on the channel. Then there’s also a link where they can go directly to the YouTube channel, as well.

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.


In the skills section, you can list a minimum of five skills and a maximum of 10 skills. And these skills need to be directly related to the types of jobs you’re going to be applying for because they’re going to show up in recommended jobs for you. And they need to be directly related to the type of jobs you’re going to be applying for.


Next, on Upwork, the test section can help us get more projects and start making more money out of them. While freelancing with no experience.

In the test section, there are thousands of different skill-based tests on Upwork. That you can take related to the type of jobs you’re applying for so that when you apply for them. Upwork employers can come to your profile, and see that you’ve completed these type of tests. That’ll give them a sense of verification that you can complete their project and deliver.

Employment History

In the employment history section, list and describe your employment history. List the dates that you have worked within those. And then give a brief description, as well, regarding those different jobs.

So just like a resume, employers need to see your work history. Be sure to list out all your related work history, describe it well. And make sure it’s clear and concise for employers.

Certifications & Other Experiences

Lastly, when creating an attractive profile in Upwork you have the other experiences section. In this section, you can list any other experiences that you have. List out different certifications that you hold that weren’t available in the certification section.

I skipped over that section, which is why you haven’t heard of it. Skipped it because Upwork has preapproved certifications within the certifications section that you can search for. I searched for mine.

They didn’t exist in the certifications section. You can request them to be added. So as an alternative, you can list those in the other experiences section to get them on your profile.

You can use this section for any other work-related experiences that you’ve had or if there are certifications that you hold. That wasn’t available in the certifications section, I recommend adding those into this.

2. Create attractive job proposals

Whenever you bid on a job, the way that you orchestrate your proposal is immensely important, specifically, the cover letter.

The cover letter is where you’re going to sell your skills and yourself to the client to persuade them to hire you. And select you over a lot of other freelancers who are also bidding on the project.

If you want to know what has worked great for me in getting a lot of new clients and having my proposals selected above other freelancers who also bid on the same projects at the start of my freelancing journey, I’m going to cover that now.

To create great proposals and be able to apply to a lot of different types of jobs quickly, and efficiently, and make sure that they stand out and they’re great, what I’ve done is I’ve created different templates and saved those in .txt files. These cover letter templates are specifically geared toward certain jobs that I apply to.

I insert this into the cover letter, and then I modify it to gear it specifically to the client’s job to make it more attractive.

It’s great to have something specific that you’ve done before to give the idea of the work that you’ve completed, and then if they ask about it, you can even point them to that specific project on your profile so they will be able to see if you have other jobs in progress related to the one you’re applying for or if you’ve completed one of those previously and have a review for it that they can take a look at.

Once you start completing jobs, and building up those great reviews, what you can do is include that in your template, as well.

I’ll list the number of hours that I’ve worked on Upwork as well as the amount of money that i did make across my different client projects.

Next, I inform the client to take a look at my profile to see all the different five-star reviews that I’ve received, as well as my 100% job success score to give them a sense of affirmation that I can complete their job successfully.

I then explain to the client that if they choose me, they’re going to be getting high-quality work and someone that’s going to complete their project successfully the first time and not have to go back in to fix things.

Then last, and most importantly, I give the client a call to action. I request that they give me a time when they would be available for a 15 to 30-minute call, free of charge so that we can discuss their project in more detail and identify how my skill set will benefit them in completing their job.

As a newbie in the freelancing field, this will not only allow you to create great orchestrated cover letters at the start, but it will also save you time, allowing you to quickly bidon new projects by copying and pasting your templates and then modifying them when you would normally have to retype a lot of the same stuff for each different cover letter.

This is something that I did not start doing initially because I didn’t think of it, but once I started to apply for a bunch of different jobs I came up with the idea of just creating templates so that I can modify those around to save myself time from having to type some of the same stuff over and over.

3. Build your reputation

tips to start freelancing with no experience


In my opinion, your job success score and your client reviews are the two most important aspects of your Upwork presence and your profile. Upwork always keep the mindset that reviews and job success score are more important than the money that I’m making.

At the start of your freelancing career that may be a difficult transition for you to make, and I completely understand that.

Trust me, I am really focused on the amount of money that I’m making on Upwork, however, I fully 100% believe that my reviews and job success score matter way more than the money that I make.

I fully believe, and I have the job history to back it up, as well, that having a lot of five-star reviews and keeping your job success score between 90 and 100% lead to making more money 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. Your job success score is calculated based on successful contract outcomes minus negative contract outcomes divided by total contract outcomes.


How feedback is important to make money on upwork

This is essentially your positive feedback minus your negative feedback divided by all of your feedback.

If you have some clients that you completed a job for them, they’re not giving you feedback, that’s going to factor into your total job success score and no of incoming project invitations, so on Upwork, it’s really important to get your clients to leave your feedback to make more money online.

Trust me, from experience, there are clients, no matter how good of a job that you do, who’re not going to give you feedback when the job’s completed.

What I recommend doing is simply just message that client, explain to them how it factors into your job success score and makes your profile stand out, and a lot of them have been willing to leave me feedback after I’ve done that.

If a client comes to my profile and they see that I have a lot of five-star reviews, and really good feedback, they know that I’m going to deliver. They can trust me to complete their project successfully.

Getting a lot of great feedback is going to take time, and you just need to be resilient in how you approach it because when someone comes to your profile, you want them to see this.

You want them to see a lot of five-star reviews and great feedback, which is going to lead to them trusting you and hiring you over other freelancers who are also bidding on the same jobs.

So again, be resilient and make sure that you are over-delivering on your client’s expectations to earn that five-star review.

4. Communication is key

Necessary communication skills to start freelancing on upwork

Maintaining great communication with your clients from Start to End is vitally important to your success and reputation in freelancing. You need to reply to messages from your clients as soon as possible, and when you get invited to bid on a client’s jobs you need to reply to that invitation as soon as possible, as well.

My goal is to have communication all the way over on always to 100%. Similar to job success scores and feedback, I view my communication like this.

If I were an Upwork employer and I created a project and then I hired a freelancer to do a specific job for me if days went by, I didn’t hear any type of update from the freelancer, I probably would be pretty dissatisfied with their service.

If I were an Upwork employer and I was investing my time and my money into a freelancer to complete a job for me and they weren’t keeping communication open and consistent, then I would definitely be dissatisfied with their service. So strive to keep communication open, and consistent.

Keep your clients up-to-date on your status for their projects, and do that by using the messaging feature within Upwork, as well as giving your phone number out to your clients.

I always do that. I use the messaging feature probably 90% of the time with my clients, but I also give them my phone number. If they need to reach me immediately, I give them my phone number to do that, and you need to be open to doing that.

It will give them a sense of comfort that they can rely on you and they can effectively contact you if they need to in urgent times. So to start making more money on Upwork, keep communication clear, open, and consistent, and earn your client’s trust, and respect, and build your reputation while freelancing.


How long does it take to start making money on Upwork

As I said, you’re going to start out lower on any freelancing platforms. You going to start out with your price being your competitive advantage over other freelancers. Start out slow, keep building your way up. You have to be resilient, but also be patient.

Being one of the top freelancers on Upwork does not happen overnight and it’s going to take a lot of time. To make money on Upwork, you have to be willing to outwork everyone else. So when you’re applying to a ton of jobs initially, you’re not getting responses from any of them, and that will happen, it happened to me.

Stay resilient. You’re going to end up getting those types of jobs. You going to think of different ways to get your client’s attention, whether it be with a price, whether it be with how you construct yourself and display yourself within your cover letter, keep thinking of ways to grab their attention, but don’t give up, because your mindset has to be that other freelancers are going to give up before you.

You’re going to outwork them. You’re going to bid on more jobs than them. Also, going to go above and beyond what they’re doing. So, when other freelancers are watching every episode of Lost or some other type of TV show, you’re going to be putting in the time, putting yourself ahead of them and getting the jobs that they’re not going to get because you’re outworking them.

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 Upwork as a freelancer.

So, when you are going to start your freelancing career on Upwork?


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