How to freelance and make money on Upwork

Do you want to learn how to make money online particularly at this challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic? Do you want to know how to freelance and make money on Upwork? Then, this is a must-read.

First, what is freelancing?

Freelancing is making or earning money selling your skills or work to several different organizations and/or individuals, rather than being employed by one particular organization.

How Can I Freelance?

There are quite a number of platforms through which you can freelance. Some of the platforms are upwork.com, fiverr.com, freelancers.com, guru, et cetera. However, our focus here is walking you step by step on how to freelance on UPWORK.com.

Upwork formerly called Elance or oDesk is a highly reputable international freelancing platform where businesses or individuals connect on a business purpose. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Santa Clara and San Francisco, California. There are varied job gigs for almost anyone across the world who has the skill to offer; and the best is that you can easily cash out your earnings into your local bank account.

How to freelance and make money on UPWORK

Now, let’s get started!

  • Log on to upwork.com
  • Click on ‘sign up’
  • Fill in your mail address. (If you do not have a Gmail account, you can quickly and easily sign up for one on Google)

After filling out your mail address, it’ll bring a page that reads something like:


  • Click on the ‘work’ option.
  • Agree to the Upwork terms of service by clicking in the box, and then click on “Create My Account”
  • It will ask you a couple of questions to know your level of expertise. We suggest you fill as many skills as possible for you to get approved. If you do not, you may not get approved. That implies you should not just stay complacent with the skills you have at the moment. You should improve your skills as well as learn new ones. In fact, there are certain skills that are not common but are in high demand and which one can easily make a lot of money from if one is good at such skills. Another reason why we suggested filling out as many skills as possible is that you can get to collaborate with people of the Upwork platform who have certain skills you require when given certain jobs to do.
  • You will be asked, “What is your level of experience in this field?” There are three levels: ENTRY LEVEL, INTERMEDIATE, and EXPERT. Choose the level you feel you are. Interestingly, there are jobs whose hirers want only ENTRY LEVEL freelancers to do.
  • Next, fill your educational details.
  • Then, your employment details.
  • Next, choose the languages you speak. More than one language is required, and those languages aren’t an exhaustive list.
  • Choose your ‘Hourly Rate’. For starters, it’s advisable to set low amounts and as you get jobs done successfully, you can increase your hourly rate. The least hourly rate is $3, the maximum is $999. The hourly rate is what your potential clients will see on your profile.
  • Note that UPWORK charges a 20% service fee for jobs from $499.99 and below for a particular client. But if you have a continuous working relationship with a client and he gets to give you more jobs and their value reaches between $500 — $10,000, then the service fee is 10%. But from $10,000 and above service fee is 5%. So, the service fee is charged on jobs you do for a particular client and not on the totality of the jobs done for all the clients put together. Did you get that?
  • Next, enter “Title” and “Professional Overview”. This is what the clients will see when searching for someone with a particular skill they need. For example, if your area of expertise is writing, your title can be: “Quality writing, Ghostwriting, Editing and Proofreading…” Your overview can be something like: “With over five years of writing, you can relax and get your writing jobs done! Connect with me now!”
  • Upload your profile photo. Make sure your photo is as professional as possible, and make sure it’s yours, for it will be verified.
  • Fill in your correct location.
  • Enter your phone number.
  • Preview your profile to see if there are adjustments you need to make before submitting it. Once you’re done, hit “Submit Profile”. You can now start submitting proposals!

How to freelance and make money on Upwork

Image of How to freelance and make money on Upwork (Photo Credit: Upwork.com)

Rules for winning jobs

  1. More often than not, it’s preferable to submit proposals to jobs with less than 10 proposals. In other words, it’s fine to submit proposals for jobs as soon as they’re posted. The reason is, competition is very high and strong, and once many people have submitted proposals, it’s likely the clients begin viewing those who submitted early and possibly start interviewing them. Chances will be somewhat slim for freelancers submitting their own proposals late. They can only get a chance if the client isn’t yet satisfied with those who have earlier submitted. The truth is if you keep submitting proposals on time and you are good at what you offer, it won’t be long before you start getting offers. It is not a lie that you can make more than ₦100,000 per month even as a newbie if you are committed and professional in your approach. I earned like 80k in my first 3 weeks on the platform.
  2. Write convincing points in your cover letter as to why you think you are the best fit for a job you’re applying to.
  3. Create a Google Word document on your phone or PC where all your documents will be. This will serve as a ‘store’ from where you can select relevant documents that you can use as attachments in any job you submit a proposal to.
  4. Once you land any job, make sure you do it very well and adhere to deadlines. Also, be very professional and formal in your conversations with clients. Don’t use vulgar language or type shorthand (abbreviations). Don’t play funny at all, it might be very dangerous to your freelancing career.
  5. Be careful to do everything on the platform. Don’t go outside the platform to get paid because that will soon lead to your disqualification from the freelancing platform no matter how smart you may want to prove.

Above are the major things you need to know on how to freelance and make money on Upwork. If you have any other question, kindly email us at info@nigeriannewsnow.com

Please, drop your comments below.

One thought on “How to freelance and make money on Upwork

  1. Hello, I’ve done all the above but I still dont get jobs on upwork. I’ve submitted over 30 proposals and only heard back from 3 clients since I joined in June. What could possibly be wrong?

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