How To Be Successful In Upwork

If you happen to have come across my personal story article. Then you would know that I have been working in Upwork for over 9 years.

And I got thousands of hours logged and counting.

Upwork Homepage

You could say that I have been highly successful in my line of work.

I am going to share to you some tips and discipline I apply in order to be successful in Upwork.

Here are some tips on how to be successful in Upwork.

1. Work On Your Profile

This is the very first thing you should do after you signed up in Upwork. Complete your profile, verify your account, add a picture, include your work history, add a portfolio and in the overview section highlight all the skills you have.

Now you will not be able to do all this in one sitting but every time you remembered something useful for you to include. Immediately go back to your profile and add it. If you are away from your computer, add a note in your phone so you can do it easily later.

2. Choose Jobs You Want To Apply To Wisely

Never ever submit an application aimlessly. Aside from reading the title, you should also carefully read the body of the job opening.

First reason is because in the body of the job opening some employers will ask you to include a secret word or secret phrase which you should include in your application.

Second reason is some employers has a preferred region for the applicant to come from. For instance if you are in Asia then you should not apply for a job which has a preferred applicant set to Europe.

Third reason is the Connects limit. Basically every time you apply for a job you use a Connect, if your account is a Freelancer Basic, you only get 60 free Connects per month.

After you zero out your available Connects you will have to wait for your current billing cycle to finish in order to receive your new 60 Connects.

You can check your billing cycle by going to Settings > Membership & Connect under the Current Billing Cycle.

Fourth reason is you may not be fully qualified for it. For sure you read the title, you know the job and it looks like you are qualified. But when you read the body you will sometimes see that the employer requires the applicant to have used a specific platform to do the job. Instead of the one you are used to.

3. Choose Your Employer Wisely

Yes this is very sad but very true. There are employers out there who do not know how to treat their employees correctly and with mutual respect. This happens in the real world as well as in the online world.

So before applying, always look at the employer’s rating history, a one to three 1 star rating would be fine but three upwards is a warning sign for what kind of employer he is.

I checked this all the time whenever I get a invitation for job interview. I browse the employers history and sometimes I would see multiple 1 star rating saying the employer didn’t pay them or the employer just never reply to them anymore. This is a big turn off for me.

Always do this especially if you are applying for a fixed price job. I mentioned this in my personal story where I worked for a fixed price job. And my employer keeps adding stuff for me to do. Which we did not discussed when we entered the contract agreement.

4. Keep Communication With Your Client Flowing

Once you get accepted to a job it is an absolute must that you keep your communication with your client open at all times. Be it Email, WhatsApp, Skype, Project Management Software etc.

In my case my clients prefer that we go to a Skype meeting before I start working and right after so I can report what I had done for the day.

5. Always Have 2 Jobs At The Same Time

This is merely a suggestion, if you can do it I would always suggest having 2 jobs at the same time. I came up with this because I can’t count how many times I saw people around me panicked whenever they lose their one and only job.

My setup is one part-time and one full-time. Then I accept small hour jobs on weekends.

I also do Forex Trading and have my MT4 platform open at all times so when I see a high probability trade I just order a trade and let it run its course in the background.

6. Never Be Afraid To Walk Away

This is something that should not be done in haste. This should only be a result of the negotiation process failing to accommodate your needs.

In the instance that you find yourself undervalued, or your employer is not treating you with mutual respect. Or you think you are getting underpaid as your skill set has already matured but you are still stuck on your old rate. Then I would suggest that you go and talk to your employer about them first.

If the employer didn’t agree with you then that is the time that you start to look for another job. This is also one of the advantages of having 2 jobs which I previously suggested.

I have done this 2 times, one resulted to me walking away and another resulted to having a raise.

Remember to only walk away after you find the replacement already. Do not resign immediately. Only after you are stable on the replacement job already.

7. Keep On Studying

I am not saying I still do this a lot. But there was a time in the past that I just keep on studying and trying out new things. I got my XAMPP server open at all times and I am always working on new ideas on my test servers.

It keeps me happy as I was excited to try out what I am learning to a live website. Now I still open my test servers from time to time whenever I get a new idea I wanted to try out.

If you really want to be good at something, go read some eBooks, watch guide videos about it and most importantly practice it in action even only in a test environment.


Upwork is one of my primary source of income and I think that it will continue to do so.

The thing about Upwork is if you perform well and if you are smart in choosing which job to take then you will remain successful.

What I really like about Upwork is if your profile’s success rate is really high then you can expect jobs to land on your doorstep on their own.

This is because clients in Upwork has the ability to invite high performing freelancers directly.

Find out how I started my online journey by reading this article.

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