how to make money on Upwork

How To Make Money On Upwork (Get Your First Job Today)

You will learn how to make money on Upwork even if you are a beginner. I have heard a lot of different opinions about Upwork. Some people say that beginners can’t make money while others say that it’s not possible at all if you have not some reviews. However, many freelancers earn a full time or extra time income from it.

I will share my experience with Upwork and show you how exactly I got my first job a few months ago. Then, you can decide if this is what you are looking for.

Upwork Overview

First of all, let me mention the basics for those who are not familiar with the platform. Upwork is a worldwide platform for freelancers and clients. It works in two different ways:

1. A client post a job and the freelancers who are interested in the specific project applies for the job
2. The client contacts directly with any freelancer he wants for a project

If you worry about the available jobs, you will be excited if you take a look inside. Many projects are posted daily to all the basic niches (writing, SEO, virtual assistants, web development, etc.), and you can find many jobs in less competitive niches as well.

In comparison to other freelance platforms, it’s more professional than gig sites like Fiverr. Many times you will talk with people from big online businesses. It is a huge site in which you can find many different types of jobs. There are long-term and short-term projects, low and high payments, and you will find some opportunities even if you are a beginner.

Of course, it has pros and cons.

On the pros, you will talk with people who know what they are doing and can help to develop your skills if you work with them.

On the cons, they expect a professional attitude, and they will not accept a below-average performance. Also, many times will bid many freelancers for the same project. This is one of the reasons why many people think that Upwork is too hard or competitive.

But you can learn how to be a professional and add value to anything you do. If you have a spammer attitude or you expect to do something “easy” and make money, Upwork will not work for you.

Freelancing Business Model

You decide what type of freelancer you are. Do you want a business or a job? Even if you have only one client, you must keep in mind your goals. If you planned to find an online job, it’s fine.

However, I know that many people start as freelancers because they want to start their own online business. Then, they find a job and stick to it. Or they move up to a level that makes them feel comfortable and stop their progress.

When you get into freelancing, you find clients and no jobs. Then, you can apply for more projects and get even more clients. This is a good way to stay focused on your goals and scale your business. Later, you can raise your price or outsourcing some of your tasks. But you must set up from the beginning your business in a way that will be scalable.

There are many types of online agencies to get some examples (SEO agencies, copywriting agencies, social media marketing agencies, etc.)

I mention the above because there are many ways to use Upwork. It can be a place where you can find a job or a place where you will find clients and traffic for your online business.

While the beginning will be similar in both cases, if you want a business, you must set up your marketing strategy early, for example, by building a site or marketing yourself (or your agency) on social media.

Is Freelancing For You?

You can determine if freelancing is for you by how you feel when you work on that. If you have not worked online yet, check how you feel when you apply for a job.

There is no wrong or right here. When I worked as a freelancer, I did not love it. However, I enjoyed my earnings. After a while, I stopped and focused on my websites but still apply for projects that I like.

Other people enjoy working as freelancers. They are excited when they get a new job, learn useful skills for their expertise, and love all the process. In my opinion, freelancing is a beginner-friendly business, even if you need to start with the lowest fees ($5 per hour or lower). You can increase them later and find more jobs.

If you have developed some skills and you can offer high-quality services, it will be okay to ask for more money from the beginning, but you will need to prove your skills.

Ways To Make Money On Upwork

There are many niches and sub-niches on Upwork. For example, when I joined, I had some experience in SEO and applied to relevant jobs.

But there are many other options, to begin with. Even if you have not any experience or skills in the niche you want to get into, you can learn the basics and apply for some jobs. There are many guides, videos, books, and courses on the internet to get started.

Here are two things to consider:

1. If you have not learned any skills, find a guide, and apply everything new you learn.

Before joining Upwork and get my first job, I had learned about keyword research, on-page SEO, SEO writing, WordPress, copywriting, and improved my writing. Only one of these skills is enough.

2. Mindset

Well, this is a common problem. If you have doubts, boredom, stress, distractions, or for any reason, you cannot focus and work properly. Your focus is one more skill you need to develop if you want to be successful in any business.

After that, let’s see some niches that work well on Upwork:

  • SEO (consultant, keyword research, backlink specialist)
  • Writer (copywriter, blog writer, ghostwriter, SEO writer)
  • Web development and design
  • Virtual assistant
  • Translation
  • Video production
  • Logo creation

The above niches are some ideas to get started. I have not tried all of them, but there are successful freelancers in these categories.

Create A Nice Profile

The profile is important because this is what people see when they want more information about you. When you apply for a job, if your client is interested in your offer, he/she will check your profile.

So, you need a photo, a description, add some information, and complete your profile on 100%. However, don’t spend days or weeks to make it perfect.

It will be fine with a photo and a small description saying how you are going to help your clients. Next, add any relevant information like your language, your previous jobs, your website, etc. Good freelancers get jobs and earn money because they can help their clients and not because they have a perfect profile.

To complete 100% of your profile, you need to take some tests. If you successfully answer their questions, they will be added to your profile, and your score will be higher. You should choose the relevant tests for your niche.

Adding your social media profiles or any other personal details could help, but only if you feel comfortable with that. That’ all about the profile. Keep it simple and write in a few words about how you can help your clients. If you do the above properly, you will be approved fast.

Get Your First Job

When you get approved, you are ready to apply for some jobs. You have an understanding of what you are looking for (job or a business), have chosen a niche, and completed your profile.

Now, on the top of any Upwork page, there is a search box. Type what projects you want to find, and browse some offers. You will see a list of jobs. On the listings, you can read the details of the job, the reviews of the client, the budget, if they have confirmed their payment method, etc.

All this information is important, and you can make some decisions based on that. However, if you want to get your first order, find something you know you can do. In the beginning, you need to find some easy jobs and get some reviews.

Also, you have 60 available connections. You spend them every time you submit a proposal, so use them wisely. My advice here is to apply for jobs with 1-5 proposals or no proposals at all if possible, describe how you can help them, and offer them a free sample.

When I got my first job (a long-term job), I wrote in my proposal that I would like to write a test article. If it’s a short-term job, offer a sample or something like this.

When you do the job, your focus should be on how your client will get the best results from your work. Then, do your best, and hopefully, you will get the job. After the first job is completed, repeat the process, and get more clients.

Build your site

Building a website is optional. You do not need a site to find jobs on Upwork. However, it can help you to develop your freelance business. You can publish some samples to send to your clients when you apply for a job. You will look more professional and increases the trust of your clients.

While I have not created a site for my freelance proposals, every time I add a link to my siteS, and they can check my work and style. You can get even better results if you create a site for your services. I am sure that some clients will try to contact you directly at your site.

Next, a site will be the foundation of your business. You can ask the emails of your visitors with a landing page and send traffic from social media or search engines. Most successful freelancers have a website where their clients find them.


Upwork is a place that you can use to make money online. However, in my opinion, the best option is to start building your own online business and use Upwork to get clients.

Now, you can start with the following:

  • Get your first job
  • Build your site

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or feedback, leave your message below. I would like to hear from you!