Due to their accessibility to many individuals and their convenience, freelancing sites have also become a very competitive arena.

It's easy to get intimidated by Upwork and other freelancing platforms. There are many fundamentals to learn before you even start applying for jobs and getting the feel of it. 

What is Upwork and how does it work? Upwork is a freelance marketplace for writers, graphic designers, and web developers. Professionals can use the site to find work, contact with clients, and be paid.

Upwork will collect your money only when you receive your pay.


When it comes to accepting new freelancer applications, however, Upwork is far more selective than other freelancing platforms.

This article should assist you in getting started on the site as a freelancer.


1. Go Above and Beyond in Your Application

Upwork doesn't allow just anyone to pollute its website. Not all applications will be accepted. Your profile is likely to be rejected if there isn't enough demand for your set of talents.

As a result, I recommend including anything you can think of in your profile application, whether or not it appears relevant to you at the time, because you will create your general and specialized profiles later.

These public profiles are where you market yourself as an expert in a subject where you wish to work, and they don't have to encompass all of the abilities you specified in your application.


2. Self-Education

Before applying for jobs, I strongly advise you to educate yourself. This entails reading as much as possible on Upwork or enrolling in some (online) freelancing courses.

Because freelancers must use Connects when applying for jobs, becoming familiar with Upwork and its clients is critical. When you first join the site, you are given 20 Connects, and proposing a job needs 1 to 6 Connects.

When you run out of Connects, you must buy more at $0.15 apiece. You don't want to squander your connections on jobs that are unlikely to get chosen. Don't waste them on low-quality proposals or on a profile that isn't complete.


3. Collect Everything You Need to Get Started

  • If you are outside of the United States, you must give your W-8BEN tax information before withdrawing funds, whereas U.S. citizens must complete a Form W-9.
  • If you live in a nation where Upwork accepts VAT, you'll also need to supply your VAT number. Only businesses (at least in my country, Croatia) are allowed to have VAT numbers, while individuals must figure out how to pay their taxes.
  • Another item is to gather references from previous employers who are relevant to your future career if that is possible. This is a good suggestion if you still don't have any concerns about your Upwork profile (which you can't have if you're new). You can then add these references to your Upwork portfolio or on online portfolio platforms like Jimdo.

Of course, you should collect your most excellent work to include in your portfolio; however, more on that in the following section.


4. Develop a strong portfolio

The most important thing is to create a portfolio that showcases your work. Kudos to you if you've worked on many important projects, but try to be critical of your work and consider whether you genuinely want to include everything you've done.

Not all projects accurately reflect our abilities, and those that don't will work against you. Don't be concerned if you've never worked on a client's project before. Develop your projects to include them in your portfolio.

To keep in mind is to make sure that you have great visuals in your portfolio. Most clients will scroll through your portfolio without even looking at the descriptions of the projects; they will decide to read them only if the visuals are inviting.


5. Write Relevant and Personalized Proposals

I stumbled upon one piece of advice very frequently to get personal with your job proposals.

  • Try to include your client's name in the opening sentence of your proposal, and avoid sending out generic ideas that you've already sent out a hundred times.
  • Please pay close attention to your client's needs and modify your proposal to meet their needs.
  • Please address any issues raised by your client in their job description and make it clear what your strategy is. Mention, for example, that if they want to hire you, you will call them and go through all the details with them.
  • Try to include a relevant work sample as well. You can submit one if it meets the needs of your clients. Take the time to make one for them if you don't already have one. Your work sample will be enough to convince them that you know what you're doing, even if your portfolio or proposal isn't up to par.

Good luck with your freelance work!