The foundation is important, not just with relationships but as well as starting a freelance career. In my previous post, I shared how I got started and my foundation in pursuing freelance life. After two years of being a link builder, in 2013, I decided to start exploring Upwork.
If you are really taking the online job seriously, getting started on Upwork means you need to re-evaluate your skills, choose the right category of job you want to pursue, read job postings, and try to figure out what would be your starting rate.
And that’s what I did!
The whole process was challenging. It took months and nth bidding to job postings before I got my first contract. And as a newbie, it was hard to get a job, especially on an hourly basis.
How did I get it through?
Getting started on Upwork needs perseverance, enthusiasm, and focus.
I first landed a Data Entry job. It was a copy-and-paste task at a rate of $0.04. Yes, you read it right—that rate. As desperate as it may look, I was a newbie and trying to get 5-star feedback.
Everyone has a starting point. I took mine. Getting started on Upwork needs enthusiasm.
I got my second contract for a Data Entry and Data Mining job. I remember I was tasked to collect or copy & paste data from Lead411.com. The price was reasonable. My fifth client was paying a good price and even hired me 22 times for data entry and research tasks. They’re in real estate – internet industry.
Those completed contracts were my turning point and I decided to pursue freelancing with intention. I was able to support my school finances and my daily allowance. I quit my SEO job in the same year to have more time in my last year in college, thesis and internship coming. But what I didn’t know I’d still be able to find some free time during 1st sem, so I spent it job hunting.
Ups and downs in a career are always there especially if you are just getting started on Upwork. Was there a time when I almost gave up before hitting the turning point? Definitely, YES!
It was even before I got my 2nd contract. I was still trying and trying to bid and win a project. So one time, I applied for a job posting where basic SEO knowledge, Google extensive search knowledge, Skype with cam, reliable internet connection, and preferred newcomer with a cheap rate were the requirements for the job.
I was confident, of course, that I got all the requirements there, and I was even one of the first 5-10 people to send an application letter/bidding. I got lucky to be chosen to proceed to the next process, a Skype interview with a cam. But it turned out to be unpleasant. And by undesirable, I think you know what I meant. The moment I knew that it was something unrelated to any work interview, I didn’t hesitate to end the conversation and withdraw my application for the reason of “Applied by Mistake.”
Yes, it happened.
However, I didn’t generalize everyone. I guess that’s just too unfair, and besides, that was my first and last encounter with a potential client someone like him. Any communication platform will do as long as both parties can thoroughly discuss the project, but Upwork advises using their message platform. And who would have thought that someone with an excellent rating and feedback from his past contracts would be like that?!
But of course, because of my perseverance, I set foot in the freelancing world. You really need that attitude in getting started on Upwork.
After gaining 5-star feedback from my 1st to 5th clients, I successfully got my first hourly contract with the 6th client I had. It was a Data Entry job at a rate of $0.67, including the Upwork fee. It sounds simple, but every data you input must be gone thoroughly. EdTech industry so accuracy is a must indeed!
From then on, I was able to find well-paid data entry and internet research contracts. Competition among freelancers before was getting higher. So from time to time, I was really looking for another project to work on.
Freelancing may not work for everyone. It might be a long way for you to go, but once you’re into it, no doubt, it will suit you. Just get started.
Keep in mind that communication, quality of work, and quick turnaround are the factors to maintain good feedback on ended contracts
Update article on Sep 8, 2023