Upwork: What it is and How To Get Started
Upwork – A Source for Work at Home and Freelance Jobs
Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing sites in the world, and it’s not just for content writing or social media marketing. Currently, the platform provides companies with more than 5,000 job skills that span over 70 categories of work.
Projects include things like internet and app development, SEO, editing, resume optimization, graphic design, admin work, and even video education for skills like teaching a language or playing a musical instrument.
What is Upwork?
Upwork was started, like most breakthrough businesses, out of a simple need to fix a common problem. The Silicon Valley-based owner of a new tech startup wanted to hire friends of his in Athens for a web project but was worried about the difficulties of working with someone on the other side of the world.
They began brainstorming ideas about how they could use technology to streamline the process and make it easier for remote collaboration to take place.
The brainchild created by that partnership became the basis for Upwork. A web-based platform aimed at connecting talented businesses and individuals in a secure and risk-free manner. They realized that many other businesses and individuals could benefit from such a platform.
Today, companies use Upwork to enjoy a larger, more diverse, and less expensive pool of talent, while workers can enjoy the freedom of being able to work for themselves from anywhere (that has a reliable internet connection.)
How to Get Started on Your Freelancing Career
Upwork offers a simple, risk-free, and straightforward process for beginning your freelancing career.
Step 1: Sign Up. As Upwork’s platform is free for freelancers, trying it outputs you at no risk. That way, if it’s not your jam, you’re not out anything.
Just go to the website and click “sign up.” Enter your name and email address, and select whether you want to hire for a project or work as a freelancer.
You may need to do either, but for our purposes, we’re going to assume you want to freelance. After choosing a username and password and selecting your country, submit your information. Upwork will send you an email to verify your identity so you can begin.
Step 2: Verify and Apply. After clicking into Upwork from your email, you need to set up your account by picking one main service you will provide, such as accounting, writing, translation, legal, IT and networking, or design and creative.
Once you’ve chosen a general category, you’ll be prompted to check 4 main types of service you will perform within the field. For instance, if you select Writing, choices include medical, academic writing and research, editing, grant writing, and more.
After a quick summary of your specific writing skills, check whether you are entry-level, intermediate, or expert.
Step 3: Create Your Profile. This is your opportunity to present yourself in your best light.
There are many ways to write your description, and a simple google search will give you a plethora of ideas, but the major thing here is that it flows well and is grammatically impeccable.
Try to highlight your areas of expertise and knowledge, pick a clear and professional headshot, and upload your ID for verified status. Don’t forget to upload your resume.
Step 4: Begin Submitting Proposals. Some Upwork experts will tell you to take all the recommended tests and certifications first, and certainly, if you have specialized certifications, enter those. I prefer to begin browsing the job feed and submitting proposals.
How to Build Your Clientele
If you start out by low-balling your offers, you should be able to rack up a good amount of work so you can start making money while you work through the Upwork tests and certifications.
You can always up your proposal rates later, once you have a decent amount of work under your belt, your Upwork tests have been completed, and you’ve figured out the learning curve.
Making Good Money Takes Time
Rates will vary heavily per writer. By starting out working on the cheap, you can ensure you have a good chance of winning bids and gaining clients, many of whom are likely to be repeat customers. When they are pleased with your work, they will rate you highly and you will be able to charge more in the future.
Remember not to expect to make a lot of money with this right away. Not only will you likely need to work for very little at first, but Upwork takes a 20% cut of your rate.
If you end up getting repeat work from a client, you may want to ask them if they’d like to pay you directly through PayPal, Venmo, or Google Pay. Most clients tend to prefer this because they are paying Upwork extra fees on their end as well.
Get Started Today
Most work from home warriors in today’s world have at least one Upworkable skill. Check it out and see if there’s a niche in it for you. It only takes about an hour to get to the point where you can bid on jobs, so there’s not much to lose.
Many full-time freelancers have been able to develop their careers with ongoing clients they met through Upwork. Click here to sign up.