In September of 2015, when I was researching Upwork as a possible source of freelance writing income, I loved reading about how people found jobs there. I didn't see many articles written by WRITERS who found work there, though. Now that I've been making great connections there for over a year, am a Top Rated editor (you can see my Upwork profile here), and earned over $10K in 2016 by working only about 8 hours per week, I can speak with some authority about finding a writing job on Upwork.
So let's cut to the chase: How does one win that first writing job at Upwork? The springboard that will give you a great review and make you instantly more appealing to potential clients?
I can sum it up in one sentence: Prove that you're real and can speak and write English, charge a low rate, and respond to job posts quickly and carefully.
Read on for more details on how exactly to do this . . .
NOTE: This info is based on my personal experience, but also on the advice I've received in Upwork Top Rated seminars (you have access to them once you reach Top Rated status).
STEP ONE: MAKE YOUR PROFILE STAND OUT
Go to the new freelancer page and set up your profile, following the suggestions and requirements from Upwork that appear on your screen.
You don't have any reviews yet, but you can do these things to make your profile stand out from the crowd:
STEP TWO: TAKE THE QUICK SKILLS TESTS
Your success on skills tests is another way that potential clients can verify that you're capable of doing their job. Problem is, some of them take over 30 minutes, and you could be searching for an applying for jobs during that time.
It's best to take one or two quick ones, and really try to do well on them.
Here are some good ones to consider as a writer:
I saw a question on a board once about whether it's okay to look up the answers as you take the skills tests. My answer to that is ABSOLUTELY YES! All of the tests are timed, so you'll for the most part have to rely on your own knowledge, however, if you have time to look up a word or grammar rule quickly to help you decide on an answer, go for it! But to be honest, only do it if that's what you'd do for a real job. If you don't plan to look up spellings for words you're unsure of, etc., for real jobs, then don't do it for the tests. That would be unfair to your clients.
A last word about skills tests: You have a choice of whether or not to reveal your skills test scores on your profile. If you do poorly on a test, hide it. I'd only show tests that are above average, and preferably only ones in the top 20 percent.
STEP THREE: APPLY FOR GOOD JOBS WITH GREAT CLIENTS
I go over this in much more detail in my book, but here's some of my best advice in this area:
STEP FOUR: WRITE A TIMELY, KILLER PROPOSAL
Again, I go into much more detail about this in my book, and explain my reasoning, but here are some of my top tips for writing a great proposal:
If you found this information helpful, you might like my book. Check it out at Amazon by clicking the image: