make money on upwork

5 Ways to Make Money on Upwork

If you are looking for ways to make money from home, Upwork is by far the easiest place to find work.  There are tons of ways to make money on Upwork that anyone can do.  If you can write, design graphics, or if you are great at social media, you can easily find work on Upwork, even if you don’t have work experience.

I started freelancing on Upwork a couple of years ago. I had just lost my consulting job and was looking for a way to make some extra money. I had an excellent resume but found my skills weren’t transferable to a regular 9-5 job.  However, they were perfect for Upwork.  

When I first started out, I didn’t understand how to make money on Upwork. I took a few writing projects that paid about $15 an article. Even with my writing experience, I found that it took me hours to complete one article. It seemed like way too much work to make only $15.  I got discouraged and quit. 

I came back to Upwork about a year later, and that’s when I got serious. Fast forward to today. I now have a successful digital marketing business, and make around $2,000 a month from clients I have found on Upwork. In fact, most of my freelance work comes from Upwork. 

I have tried other freelancer websites including Fiverr and I have found Upwork the best place for freelancers to find work. If you are serious about making money on Upwork and commit yourself to looking for work every day, you can make really good money on Upwork!

If you are looking for a side hustle to make some extra money, I have some great tips on how to make money on Upwork.  But first, I want to talk about all the jobs you can find on Upwork. There are quite a few ways to make money on Upwork, but these are the most popular jobs you can find on Upwork.

make money on upwork

The 5 Most Popular Jobs on Upwork 

Freelance Writing

Even if you don’t have writing experience you can find content writing jobs on Upwork that you can qualify for. Content writing is one of the easiest ways to make money on Upwork.  There are tons of writing jobs posted on Upwork every day. Some of them don’t pay well, but they are easy and if you write fast, you can start making money from writing fairly quickly.

Web Design

If you can design a website with WIX, WordPress, or Squarespace, you have a great advantage over other freelancers. People are always looking for web designers on Upwork. If you have a web design business, this is a great place to build your portfolio and get experience. However, I will say the web design space is pretty competitive on Upwork and not all the jobs pay well.  If you are persistent and consistent though, you can find steady work on Upwork.

Graphic Design

Businesses are always looking for graphic designers. Logo design is the most popular job listing for graphic designers, but clients also look for people to create brochures, business cards, and social media graphics.  Photo editing jobs are also posted regularly.  If you know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, or Canva, you should have no problem finding work on Upwork.

SEO Services

I am an SEO consultant so naturally, this is the job I apply for most. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is used by websites to rank on search engines. For people just getting into the SEO business, Upwork is a great place to start. It takes time to build your own SEO business, but you can find SEO work on Upwork easily. It’s the go-to freelancer site for many digital marketing companies. Clients are looking for people who can do on-page SEO, link building, keyword research, or help them with their SEO strategy. If you use SEO tools like Semrush, it’s easy to find jobs in this space.

Social Media Services

Social media is a hot job on Upwork. Businesses are always looking for social media experts. Although this job takes experience to find work, if you are great at creating social media content, or managing Facebook ads, this is an in-demand job on Upwork.

These are the most popular jobs on Upwork, but you can also find work as a virtual assistant, doing data entry, bookkeeping, photography, video editing, and more.  

Now that you know some of the jobs you can find on Upwork, let’s talk about how to get them and tips for making serious money on Upwork. 

Ways to Make Money on Upwork 

Like anything in life, making money on Upwork takes time, commitment, and persistence.  If you’re just getting started read through all my tips to help you make the most of your experience on Upwork. 

Create a Great Profile

Your profile is how you sell yourself on Upwork. Having the right experience for a job is incredibly helpful. Before I started working on Upwork I was the editor of a moms’ website that I sold to eHarmony in 2008. I think this is part of why I can find writing work fairly easily. But, if you don’t have actual work experience, you can still make your profile look better.  

Tips:  Fill out your profile completely. Write a description of your skills, the programs you can use, and your work experience. Take some time to carefully craft your introduction. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. If you don’t have a lot of experience, be creative.  Take a look at other profiles on Upwork. If you see a profile that grabs your attention, use it for inspiration when you write yours.

Create a Website

A professional website makes you look like a legit freelancer. Include a mention of your website in your profile. For example, if you’re trying to get content writing jobs, create a website that includes some writing samples so potential clients can see your work. 

Invest in Connects

In order to apply for jobs on Upwork, you have to purchase connects. Each job listing will tell you how many connects you need to apply for it. Some jobs only require 1 connect, but for bigger projects, you might need to use 6 connects. In the beginning, you may spend some money on connects, but they are honestly not that much money. You can purchase 150 connects for $23.94.  Once you start getting jobs Upwork will reward you with free connects. Now that I have been doing this for a while, I never have to buy connects.

Apply for Jobs Several Times A Day

When you first start working on Upwork, you need to build up your profile and job success rate. Completing several jobs and getting 5-star reviews will help you to get more clients.  Jobs fill quickly on Upwork, so plan to check Upwork several times a day and apply for as many jobs as you can.  This is where you might start feeling discouraged. You may apply for tons of jobs in the beginning and not get hired. It takes some persistence to land your first job.  

Take Low Paying Jobs to Build Your Profile

This was one of the toughest lessons for me to learn when I first started on Upwork. Before you can land better-paying jobs, you need some work history on Upwork. There are always newbie jobs posted on Upwork. Take them!  It may feel like they aren’t worth your time, but making money on Upwork is a long game. Build up your work experience, and then work on increasing your rates.

Practice Your Pitch

Pitching yourself to potential clients takes practice. A great pitch can help you land better jobs. Keep it short and concise. Focus on what makes you the best person for the job.  One of my favorite pitches landed me a job as an SEO consultant for a web design company. It started with a little intro about myself and ended with I’m the Upwork Goddess you need to talk to!  Of course, I don’t use this on all my pitches, but this client had a sense of humor in his job listing so I went with it.  Most of my pitches look something like this.

I am an SEO consultant and web designer in Albuquerque. I work with several agencies just like yours. I also have a contract with a leading web design company handling their on-page SEO. Prior to starting my consulting business, I was the co-founder and editor of a major parenting website that was purchased by eHarmony in 2008. I have extensive experience in content marketing, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and local search engine optimization.

Improve Your Turn Around Time

Most of the work I find on Upwork is freelance writing. Clients need you to complete assignments quickly. A fast turn-around time will help you create a great relationship with your clients, but it’s also necessary to make serious money on Upwork. When I first started taking writing work on Upwork, it would take me several hours to complete one blog post. I committed myself to writing every day and improving my writing speed. Now I can write high-quality blog posts in an hour to an hour and a half. There are always writing jobs available, and if you can keep up with the workload, you can make money on Upwork.

Once You Start Finding Work, Get Picky

Once you’ve been working on Upwork for a while, you can be more selective about the projects you take. If you see a job posting that has an incredibly long description or your instincts say this client or project isn’t right for me, skip it. I no longer take writing work unless it pays at least $35-50 per post.  If you can write a blog post fast, you can make $30 an hour easily on Upwork.

These are all of my best tips on ways to make money on Upwork. You can make a full-time living on Upwork if you commit yourself to finding work every day.  If you’re just getting started, understand that you won’t make a steady income on Upwork right away. But, if you are consistent and committed, you can definitely make money on Upwork.

Patty Malowney is a freelance writer and owner of, an Albuquerque SEO company that helps small businesses grow their online presence and increase their sales. She writes an internet marketing blog where she gives advice on how to rank better in search engines and ways to get more traffic to your website.

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