Resources and Guides

Upwork is the world’s largest online freelance marketplace. I’ve personally made over $600k on the platform and for many years, it represented about half of my total freelance income. In the guides below, I share some of the no-BS tips and tricks I used to achieve that massive milestone.

I also strongly suggest checking out my online shop where I share a variety of personalized coaching options including a 40-Minute Upwork Proposal Writing Bootcamp course, 1:1 consults, and information on how to become a Patron. And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for my free 28-Day Upwork Jumpstart Kit.

They said “Upwork is just a race to the bottom” in 2017 when I joined the platform. And $600,000 later, they’re still saying it. Don’t listen to those who have failed. Listen to those who have succeeded.

Morgan Overholt

Upwork Resources & Guides

woman sends an accept offer message to a client on upwork

Upwork 101: A Starter’s Guide to the Freelance Platform

Curious about making money on Upwork? Discover how I leveraged the platform’s opportunities, crafted compelling proposals, and turned freelancing into a lucrative income stream …

Morgan holds the upwork logo sign

Upwork Rates: This Is What Freelancers Are Charging in 15 Popular Niches

I recently studied 15 popular niches on Upwork to uncover exactly what freelancers are charging on the Upwork platform today. These were my findings …

11 Tested Strategies to Get Clients to Respond to Your Proposals

Ever wondered how to craft winning proposals on Upwork? Let me share my secrets! Dive into the art of proposal writing as I unveil strategies that helped me secure lucrative projects on the platform.

Morgan Overholt Upwork

How To Get Your First Job on Upwork: Advice From a $600K Freelancer

in this article, I will walk you through the exact strategies that I used in the early days of my own Upwork career to land my first few jobs on the platform …

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Upwork work?

Upwork is an online freelance marketplace that connects clients and freelancers through gig-type work. Clients post projects to which freelancers apply with proposals. Clients then select one or more freelancers to complete the job in exchange for monetary compensation. Upwork provides tools like time logging, chat, payment protection and mediation along the way.

How do I get my first job on Upwork?

There’s a certain strategy to securing your first job on the Upwork platform. You’ll want to start by optimizing your profile to highlight your expertise and showcase your skills. You’ll also want to learn how to write proposals that prospective clients won’t be able to resist. I always advise platform newbies to be patient and send proposals every day. Learning how to be successful on Upwork is a bit like going to the gym. You need to be patient and persistent. If you show up every day and put in the effort you will undoubtedly be rewarded. PS: I wrote about how I secured my first job here.

Is Upwork free to use? Are there fees involved?

It is free to sign up for the Upwork platform but there are fees involved. There are three ways that Upwork makes money off of its freelancers:

  1. Upwork Connects: Upwork asks their freelancers to use something called “Connects” (a form of digital currency) to bid on jobs and buy boosts. Connects cost $0.15 each. The average job will require about 8 Connects to apply.
  2. Upwork Service Fees: Upwork charges freelancers a flat 10% service fee on all on-platform earnings and invoices. This includes hourly contracts, fixed-price contracts, project catalog listings, and contracts with Enterprise clients.
  3. Premium Subscriptions: Freelancers may choose to upgrade to a premium Freelancer Plus subscription, for $20/month.

How do I set my rates on Upwork?

Rates are subjective and unique to each freelancer. But if you don’t know how to set your rates, I suggest you start by calculating your baseline expenses (how much money you need to live and run your business) and researching industry standards for your skillset and experience level. For additional reference, I also recently examined what freelancers are charging in 15 popular niches on Upwork, which you can read about here.

What types of skills are in demand on Upwork?

According to a 2023 study, Upwork lists the following skills as being some of the most in-demand on the platform, in no particular order:

  1. Full Stack Development
  2. Front End Development
  3. Back End Development
  4. Mobile App Development
  5. Web Design
  6. E-commerce Website Development
  7. UX/UI Design
  8. CMS Development
  9. Manual Testing
  10. Scripting & Automation
  11. SEO
  12. Social Media Marketing
  13. Digital Marketing
  14. Lead Generation
  15. Sales and Business Development
  16. Telemarketing
  17. Search Engine Marketing
  18. Email Marketing
  19. Marketing Strategy
  20. Marketing Automation
  21. Email, Phone & Chat Support
  22. General Virtual Assistance
  23. Data Entry
  24. Digital Project Management
  25. General Research Services
  26. Tech Support
  27. Dropshipping & Order Processing
  28. Community Management
  29. Market Research
  30. Transcription
  31. Accounting
  32. Recruiting & Talent Sourcing
  33. Bookkeeping
  34. Financial Analysis & Modeling
  35. Management Consulting
  36. Instructional Design
  37. HR Administration
  38. Business Analysis & Strategy
  39. Tax Preparation
  40. Financial Management/CFO
  41. Graphic Design
  42. Video Editing
  43. Illustration
  44. 3D Animation
  45. Presentation Design
  46. Image Editing
  47. Cartoons & Comics
  48. Product & Industrial Design
  49. 2D Animation
  50. Video Production