Home » What is Upwork? How to work and make money on Upwork

What is Upwork? How to work and make money on Upwork

by Hồng Yến

Explore the world of freelancing with Upwork, a platform that connects professionals with clients across the globe. Learn how to navigate this vast marketplace, build a compelling profile, and start earning money by offering your skills and services. Discover the secrets of successful freelancing with our guide on ‘What is Upwork? How to work and make money on Upwork’

What is Upwork?

Upwork is a platform where freelancers from various fields such as writing, graphic design, web development, marketing, and many others can find work. It assists professionals in finding projects, interacting with clients, and receiving payments.

Is Upwork a legit way to make money?

If you’re a new freelancer or just starting an online side job, you can gain valuable experience on Upwork without always having to pitch to clients directly. This makes Upwork a legitimate platform. However, the site is filled with new workers who are willing to work for lower rates, which can affect your potential earnings. Like any online business or side job, it will likely take time, dedication, and skill to earn a substantial income.

In summary, Upwork simplifies the job search and earning process, but you should carefully consider which gigs you want to apply for.

How to get Upwork jobs

Joining Upwork is easy, but you need to market yourself effectively once you’re in.

  1. Set Up a Strong Profile Your profile is like a resume for potential clients. You can’t get work without one, so that’s where you start when you sign up. Essential elements of your profile include:
  2. In a large marketplace of freelancers, standing out is crucial. Spend time on your profile title and overview to give potential clients a good sense of what you can offer. Enhance your profile with work examples in the portfolio section. Upwork typically approves your profile within 48 hours if the information is accurate and verifiable.
  3. Contact Potential Clients with ‘Connects’ Upwork offers two membership plans for freelancers: Basic and Plus. The Basic plan is the default free plan and comes with 10 free ‘Connects’ each month. ‘Connects’ are tokens used to contact clients. You can also buy additional Connects for $0.15 each.
    Search for jobs on the site and use your Connects to submit proposals. Proposals include an introductory letter, your desired fee, and answers to any questions the client included in the job posting. You can also send examples of relevant work.
    The Plus plan costs $14.99 a month and gives you 80 Connects per month, along with other benefits that may appeal to more dedicated freelancers.
    If a client contacts you, you don’t need to use any Connects. The more comprehensive your profile, the more likely you are to receive job offers from potential clients.
  4. Secure a Job and Start Working To hire you, clients will send you a contract to start the project. You’ll work with your client, keeping them updated through the platform as you complete the work. Once the client approves the delivered work, you’ll be paid by direct deposit, PayPal, or another available payment method.
  5. A title that highlights your skills.
  6. Your photo.
  7. A write-up about yourself.
  8. Your hourly rate.
  9. Relevant skills.
  10. Service categories.

How much of your fee goes to Upwork?

Here’s a simpler explanation in English:

Upwork deducts a 10% fee from your earnings, so remember to consider this when setting your prices. This 10% service fee applies to both hourly and fixed-price jobs.

If you set an hourly rate of $100, you’ll earn $90 per hour after the Upwork fee.

If you charge $500 for a fixed-price project, you’ll earn $450 after the fee.

Upwork Jobs: What Sort of Gigs are Available?

1. Graphic Design

$5 to $150 hourly

$5 to $4,500 fixed price

Graphic design is one of the booming areas on Upwork, and it’s where I make a lot of my income through the platform.

Clients look for graphic design work in almost every specialization and medium; from printed layouts and poster design to simple projects like social media graphics and YouTube thumbnails.

There are always more than 3,000 jobs listed in this category alone, so if you know anything about graphic design, you can surely make a decent amount of money on Upwork. See Also: How to Make Money as a Graphic Designer and Must-Have Graphic Design Tools and Software.

2. Virtual Assistant

$5 to $60 hourly

$50 to $700 fixed price (usually on retainer)

More and more small business owners realize that they need a virtual assistant to help them keep everything running smoothly. Virtual assistants help with tasks, including email management, client follow-up phone calls, social media marketing, and project planning.

Virtual assistant jobs are perfect for people who love to stay organized and don’t mind doing a whole bunch of different tiny tasks throughout the workday.

3. Social Media Marketing

$5 to $250 hourly

$5 to $6,000 fixed price

There are just under 3,000 different jobs on Upwork for social media marketing alone! It’s also one of the most lucrative positions on the platform. 

If you know anything about social media marketing, you can make quite a bit of money through the platform by playing your cards right and applying to positions that you meet the qualifications for.

4. Blog Writing or Copywriting

$5 to $60 hourly

$5 to $750 fixed price

Though I grouped these, copywriting makes typically a bit more than blog writing, and both of these are generally for fixed-price positions. For example, most clients will offer to pay you a certain amount per article, while others might pay you by the word or per 100 words; it truly varies.

Learn to start a blog on laptop from home desktop work surface

To better your chances of getting hired, make sure to have a freelance writing course under your belt. This will give you a better understanding of how to research, structure, and write engaging blog posts and articles. Plus, you’ll learn how to source your own clients and launch a profitable freelance writing business.

The freelance writing course from Knowadays is currently discounted by 25% for Goats On The Road readers. Use promo code GOATS25 at checkout. Click here for details.

5. Website Design

$5 to $175 hourly

$5 to $7,000 fixed price

Web design is a skill that just under 3,000 clients are currently looking to hire someone for, and they’re willing to pay big money for it if you know it well!

The great thing about web design is that there are so many sub-divisions: for example, if you know Elementor, you can find positions for that, and if you know Squarespace, you can also find positions for that platform.

6. Video Editing

$5 to $60 hourly

$5 to $12,000 fixed price

Video editors are also in high demand, especially if you can get to a place and even help out with shooting, which is what the high-ticket clients are willing to pay for.

Whether you’re an expert at documentaries or simple YouTube videos, there is an abundance of postings for you on Upwork.

7. Proofreading and Editing

Proofreaders are in high demand. Whether it’s to proof copywriting, social media posts, ebooks, or more professional academic and business papers, there’s money to be made.

Taking a proofreading and editing course will up your odds of getting hired on Upwork as a beginner. Having some training under your belt will make your resume stand out and potential clients will be more inclined to hire you.

Knowadays offers a free trial, lots of tutor support throughout the course, and guaranteed work with its partner, Proofed. You could work for both Proofed and Upwork. Right now, Knowadays is offering 15% off their proofreading and editing courses. Click here for details.

Hourly Projects 

All hourly projects are recorded in your Work Diary, which is part of Upwork’s desktop app. When this feature is enabled, the app tracks your time in 10-minute billing cycles and records keystrokes, scrolling, and clicks. It also periodically takes screenshots. You can turn the Work Diary’s time tracker on and off at any time, and manually add work time if the client allows it.

Upwork bills your client for hours worked on a weekly billing cycle.

Fixed-Price Projects 

Payment for fixed-price projects is simpler. The client must set aside a certain amount of money when you agree to the project. The client must also set milestones, which are specific deliverables along the way to completing the job. You’re paid part or all of the deposit once you reach these milestones, and the remainder is paid once everything is complete.

How to do well on Upwork

In any client-service business, it’s important to communicate well, deliver work on time, and meet or exceed client expectations. Upwork evaluates your performance using a Job Success Score, a percentage from 0-100% shown on your profile. This score considers various factors like public and private feedback, contract fulfillment, and client relationships. In short: Do excellent work, deliver it punctually, and be enjoyable to work with.

Is Upwork the right freelance marketplace for you?

If you’re a freelancer seeking a broad range of clients, it might be beneficial to explore Upwork. It could also be worthwhile to check out other freelance platforms like Freelancer and Fiverr.

However, the intense competition and sheer size of a platform like Upwork might be daunting for some. It’s an intriguing option, but not the only method for finding freelance work. If you’re driven and resourceful enough to locate and reach out to potential clients independently of Upwork, you might be able to find stable opportunities without having to pay a 10% fee.

In conclusion, Upwork offers a world of opportunities for freelancers looking to showcase their skills and earn money. With the right approach, a compelling profile, and a commitment to delivering quality work, you can thrive on this platform. Remember, success on Upwork is a journey, not a destination. Keep learning, keep improving, and keep reaching for your freelance goals. Happy freelancing on Upwork!

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