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What Upwork Has Taught Me so Far


Jeff Zod is a freelance writer on Upwork and a tutor on Brainly. He has been freelancing for the last 8 years.

Upwork logo

Upwork logo


Upwork was formerly Elance-oDesk. It is a freelancing platform where businesses and independent professional freelancers connect and collaborate remotely on projects across the globe. Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork in 2015.


Since February of this year, I have been writing on Upwork as a freelancer. Upwork is a great platform for finding freelance, part-time or full-time gigs. Along the way, I learned some valuable lessons.

Power of Portfolios

Your portfolio on Upwork will attract clients and make them want to hire you. If you are new on Upwork, strive to create a portfolio. If you are a hubber, you can use your HP profile as your portfolio.

Clients want to work with people who can produce high-quality work. Do not be afraid to showcase your work. You can use photos, articles or videos to showcase your work to prospective clients.


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.”

— – Calvin Coolidge

Power of Perseverance

While starting out on Upwork, you will encounter setbacks and hurdles. You must learn to persevere.

I can honestly say that starting out at Upwork was tough for me. I experienced a lot of difficulties initially but through perseverance, I managed to sail through.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

— John Quincy Adams

Man using smartphone

Man using smartphone

Communication is Key

Communication is important in every facet of our lives. When communicating with clients on Upwork, use a professional tone. Make sure that you also keep your emotions in check.

When sending the cover letter to the client, communicate clearly why you are the best person for the job. Avoid ambiguous statements that might lead to confusion.

People shaking hands

People shaking hands

Collaboration and Cooperation

Upwork has instilled in me the spirit of collaboration and co-operation for mutual benefit. As an independent contractor/freelancer, I get to work with different clients on different projects.

I gain skills, insights, and knowledge along the way as well. Collaborating on a project with my clients is fun and fulfilling.

Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man.

— William Penn

Girl reading a book

Girl reading a book

Power of Knowledge

Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power.” On Upwork knowledge on a subject is critical. Clients often want to hire freelancers with a specific set of skills or knowledge.

If you have skills, you have to keep refining them. You can apply the knowledge acquired in one field to another field. Some clients can also offer to train you while you work. This is awesome because you can earn while you learn!


Patience is a virtue. You have to learn to be patient on Upwork. Rome was not built in a day. Many freelancers join Upwork in the hope of achieving overnight success. I can assure that you will not become rich in a day on Upwork.

Success on Upwork takes time, dedication, hard work, perseverance, and patience. Clients might take from a week to a month to respond to your cover letters if you are new. After building your portfolio and credibility, you will get invites to interviews.

Becoming a Top Rated freelancer on Upwork is no walk in the park. You will have to earn at least $1000, have a track record of long-term clients and be an effective communicator.

If you are thinking about joining Upwork, first build your portfolio and ensure that your profile is complete.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you check out How to Submit a winning proposal on Upwork.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jeff Zod


Jeff Zod (author) from Nairobi on March 13, 2020:

Hi Denise,

Thank you so much. I can encourage you to try freelancing on Upwork.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 12, 2020:

You make me want to persevere and try again. I had about given up on Upwork as a waste of time. I do freelance art and photoshop work.



Carolyn Fields from South Dakota, USA on September 24, 2019:

Hi Jeff,

I am also on Upwork. I found them about three years ago, after I had started out freelancing and was finding it difficult to locate clients. I do both writing and instructional design work. At first, I took anything that sounded like I could do it. Now I'm more selective. Yes, I do use my hubs as a portfolio. Since HubPages barely pays anything, it's the only way I can justify writing here. I do enjoy reading Hubs, too. Such as yours.

Thank you for the overview. Nicely done.

Jeff Zod (author) from Nairobi on September 20, 2019:

Hey Liz,

Thank you for your interest in Upwork. I will create a few tutorials on how to get started on Upwork.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 19, 2019:

This is a whole new concept to me. It sounds interesting. What kind of projects have you been involved in?

Jeff Zod (author) from Nairobi on September 18, 2019:

Hi Marilyn,

Thank you for reading. Upwork is an amazing freelancing platform. I have been using it and I really enjoy the experience of having the freedom to choose my clients and projects.

Jeff Zod (author) from Nairobi on September 17, 2019:

Hi Pamela,

Thank you so much for stopping by.I really appreciate it.

I can write an article on how to get started on Upwork. Some hubbers do not know that they can use their writing skills to earn a decent income on Upwork.

I agree with you that freelancing can be a headache too but in the long run the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

MarilynMetafizikal on September 17, 2019:

I had heard of Upwork prior to reading this brief article. It gives good guidelines helpful in any endeavor.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 17, 2019:

This is an interesting article about freelancing for Upwork. I am not familiar with them, so this article was informative to me. I have done some freelance writing, but it can be a headache not matter who you write for I think. Thanks for this information.

Jeff Zod (author) from Nairobi on September 17, 2019:

Hi Louise,

Upwork is one of the largest freelancing websites in the world. It pays its freelancers upto $1trillion dollars per month. You can check it out.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 17, 2019:

I've never heard of this website before, sounds interesting.

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