Ultimate Beginner Guide To Mastering Upwork |  70+ FAQs

As a beginner in freelancing, you must know this is a tough time to get started, as you have to be careful in choosing freelance sites, legal matters and many other ways, so I have here 50+ frequently asked questions that help you solve the problems in Upwork.

Table of Contents

Can I Choose My Own Clients?

Yes! We believe that it’s important for you to have a choice in who you work with, so you can feel empowered and confident in your work.

How Do I Get Started?

Each category of job on Upwork has a little blue arrow next to it. If you click on it, you can see the jobs in that category. You can also go directly to the search page and browse from there. You can also use filters like budget or location to find jobs that are right for you.

What Is A Client?

In short, a Client is someone who posts a job on Upwork. We refer to Clients as “jobs” because we want to keep things simple. We’ll refer to them as both throughout the site, but they mean the same thing.

Is Upwork Free?

Yes! It’s free for freelancers to register and create their profile. Once you’re gone through the process of creating your profile, we think you’ll be ready to start applying for jobs!

How Do I Get Started?

To start working on Upwork as a freelancer, create an account here. Once you’ve completed sign up and our quick assessment, we’ll review your information within 24 hours and send you an email when you’ve been approved to start applying to jobs!

What Are The Best Ways To Find Jobs On Upwork?

There’s no magic way to find jobs, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. Do your research—check out job postings in your categories, and see what clients are looking for.

Look at the requirements they’re asking for, or read the job descriptions they’re posting. Then make sure you’re including those things in your profile—what keywords are they using? Are they asking for something you have experience in? Update your profile with those things!

How Long Does It Take To Get Paid After I Complete A Contract?

As soon as your client approves the work, you’ll receive payment – usually in a matter of minutes.

What Should I Do If My Client And I Have Different Expectations On What Was Delivered?

If you and your client have a disagreement over the terms of the contract, please let us know. Uwpork will review any relevant information and help ensure both parties are clear on what’s expected.

Do I Need To Register A Business Before Signing Up For Upwork?

Registration depends on where you live and what type of work you plan to do. Please check with your country’s tax office to learn more.

How Do I Get More Clients?

Tell everyone you know about your services. Get on social media and start talking about what you do. Start a blog, too, to make sure people can find you when they search for the skills you have.

When Do I Need To Pay Taxes?

You’re self-employed now! You need to pay quarterly estimated taxes in addition to the taxes withheld from your regular job (if you have one). Check out this article for a little bit more information

What If A Client Is Being Difficult, But I Really Need The Money?

You may be tempted to accept every job offer that comes your way, especially when you’re just starting out or if cash is tight, but here’s the thing: not every client is going to be able to pay you what you want or give you all of the information necessary to do your job well. If this happens and it’s a repeat pattern—or the client seems like they don’t care about working with you.

What Is A Legal Notice?

A legal notice is a document that you create to notify someone they are in violation of your copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property. It’s an official way of making someone aware of their infringing activity and giving them the opportunity to stop it.

Do I Need To Be An Expert In Something?

No! You don’t have to be an expert in anything. You should be able to show that you’re willing to learn, and you should have a solid foundation of general knowledge.

How Do I Use The Work Diary?

The Work Diary is a great tool that allows you to track your hours and take screenshots throughout each workday. It’s easy to set up and it gives your client peace of mind that they’re getting what they pay for.

What Is Upwork’s Fee?

Upwork charges a service fee of 20%. This fee applies to all hourly and fixed-price contracts.

How Do You Find Clients?

There are many different ways to find clients, including Upwork and other freelancing platforms, social media, blogs, and referrals.

What Kinds Of Things Do You Have To Take Care Of When You Go Freelance?

Many things! Financial planning and management, taxes, marketing yourself and your business, creating a portfolio and finding clients.

I’m A New Freelancer On Upwork. How Do I Find Clients?

Check out the Upwork blog for tips on how to market yourself and your skills, how to create a great profile, and how to stand out from the crowd.

What Is An Hourly Contract?

Hourly contracts are for jobs where the work is ongoing or you’re not sure exactly how long it will take to complete. They have a weekly limit of 40 hours, which means once you reach 40 hours for the current week, you will automatically be paused from working more until the next week starts.

You can also choose to pause yourself from working manually at any time by going into Work Diary. It’s important to note that your hours worked will only be approved once the client approves them in their Upwork account.

How Do The Jss And Top Rated Program Work?

What is the JSS? The JSS is a percentage that indicates how well you’re doing compared to other freelancers on Upwork. It’s based on three factors: feedback score, job success score, and earnings. A higher score means that you’re more likely to be hired for jobs. The JSS influences eligibility weeks

How Does Jss Work?

Every week, we look at your profile during the last 90 days and calculate your JSS. Then we compare it to all other freelancers on Upwork (who have been active in the last 90 days). Your JSS will be a number between 0-100%, so if you have a 60% JSS, it means that you are better than 60% of freelancers on Upwork.

Will My Rating Ever Change?

Yes, it can change every week as long as eligible work history exists. We’ll only update your rating if your data has changed or if there has been enough activity since the last time we calculated it.

How Do I Increase My Rating?

To receive a higher JSS and become more competitive, focus on increasing your feedback score by getting positive feedback from clients, improving your job success score by completing jobs successfully and working with great.

Should I Include My Photo In My Profile?

Yes! While it is a good idea to have a professional headshot, if you don’t have one yet, that’s okay—a simple selfie will suffice. Remember to smile!

What Kind Of Payment Method Should I Use For My Freelance Work?

We recommend using Upwork Payment Protection, which allows you to get paid when the work is completed and verified by both you and your client. Just click “Get Paid” after each milestone or task is successfully completed, and Upwork’s payment protection escrow service will pay you automatically within three business days.

What Sort Of Jobs Should I Look For When First Starting Out?

Clients who are looking for new freelancers to hire usually post jobs with the word “newbie” in their title—you can search for these jobs by entering those keywords in the job board search engine (note: be sure to select “anywhere” as the location)

What’s The Easiest Way To Find Work On Upwork?

Great question. The easiest way to find work is to search for jobs that you’re qualified for and apply to them! When you do this, you can search for jobs with keywords, by category, and even by other criteria like location or budget. You ca learn more here!

How Do I Get Paid?

There are two options when it comes to getting paid on Upwork: you can get paid through PayPal or through direct deposit. To change your payment method, go to Settings>Payments>Manage Payment Methods.

How Do I Make My Time Tracking More Accurate?

You can turn on Time Zone Detection so that your tracked time will automatically adjust for Daylight Saving Time (DST). When DST ends, we’ll automatically update your time zone, so your timesheets will be accurate. Learn more about how to enable Time Zone Detection here.

Can I Learn English On Upwork?

Yes! If you don’t speak English well, you might have a hard time finding work on Upwork. But our community is full of freelancers who are happy to help you improve your English skills. They can answer your questions and give you feedback.

What Is Upwork?

Upwork is a platform where freelancers can connect with businesses. It’s designed to help clients hire and work with freelancers from all around the world.

How Do I Make Money On Upwork?

When clients post jobs, they can choose to pay you an hourly rate or a fixed price for the project. You can see what you’ve earned on your Earnings tab. You’ll get paid every week via PayPal or bank transfer, depending on the country you live in.

How Does Upwork Work?

Upwork works by connecting clients with freelancers for short-term projects (like writing a blog post) or long-term projects (like developing a mobile app). If a client chooses you to complete their project, you’ll receive an email notification inviting you to accept the contract.

If you accept the contract, you can start working! All communication and payment are done through Upwork’s platform. When your work is approved by the client, we send money directly to your account.

When Will I Get Paid?

It all depends on how you’ve arranged payment with your client. You can set up automatic weekly invoicing or hourly billing, or manually invoice your client when you want to be paid or after you’ve completed milestones.

How Much Do I Charge?

It’s personal preference, but most freelancers suggest charging around $25/hour at first. If you have more experience and feel like you can charge more, you can try that—but it’s important to keep in mind that a client who is paying higher rates might expect a higher level of service.

What If I Don’t Know How To Do Something Or Need Help With An Issue?

Upwork has a great community of freelancers who are always ready to answer questions and help each other out. If you can’t find the answers in your own research, try posting on the community forums to see if someone else has had the same problem or can point you in the right direction. You could also look for another Upwork freelancer who handles jobs like yours and ask them for advice (you can make this a paid job).

Do I Need To Give My Clients An Invoice?

Not necessarily. Some clients will prefer invoices, but others won’t ask for one. It’s up to you whether or not you provide one. If you do decide to send an invoice, make sure it includes all relevant information—including what work was done, when it was done, how much it cost, and any other details.

What Should I Do If My Client Asks Me To Do Something Off-Brief?

If a client asks you to do something off-brief, you should ask them to add that request as a new task on the job post. If they don’t want to pay more for the task, you can politely decline and remind them of what’s in the brief. If they want to pay for it, great! Add the task and get working.

How Can I Tell If A Job Post Is Going To Be Worth My Time?

One way is by looking at the client’s reviews from other freelancers. You should also look at how much money they’re offering for the work and see if it matches up with the amount of work you’d have to put in to complete the tasks. You should also talk directly with clients before accepting a job—ask them questions about their expectations and see if there’s any wiggle room on price or timeline so that you can both come out feeling good about it.

How Are My Earnings Calculated?

Your earnings are calculated as the requested hourly rate multiplied by the total hours worked. Applies to freelancers with a fixed-rate contract or paid hourly. For example, if your contract is $100/hr and you worked 40 hours, you’ll be paid $4,000 in total.

What’s The Best Way To Make Sure I’m Protecting Myself During A Paid Collaboration?

A: Make sure you have a clearly written contract that outlines both parties’ obligations in great detail. If you’re writing content for a client, for example, it should specify exactly what will be delivered, when it will be delivered, what formats it will be delivered in, and how payment will work (including payment schedule).

Make sure the contract also states who owns the rights to the content. While this may seem like an obvious thing to include, you’d be amazed at how many disagreements arise because one party thought the other owned something that really belonged to them!

When Writing Contracts With Clients, Is It Ever Okay To Include My Own Terms?

Absolutely! That’s what a contract is—just make sure your terms are fair and mutually beneficial. You want to build trust with your client over time so that they feel comfortable working with you again and again.

How Do I Set Up A Payment Account?

Upwork has partnered with PayPal and Payoneer to make getting paid as easy as possible. To set up your account, go to the Payments tab in Settings and click Get Started. For more information, see this regularly updated article on how to get paid on Upwork.

How Does Upwork Protect Me Against Fraud?

UpWork is committed to protecting both clients and freelancers against fraud through our Guarantee program. See more information about payments policies and the Trust & Safety team’s monitoring of the site. For additional protection, Upwork encourages you to take advantage of the Work Diary tool.

Are There Any Time Limits For Sending Proposals? “

No, there aren’t any time limits for proposals—you can send them whenever you want! Just remember that clients can only receive 60 proposals each week, so if they reach their limit, they won’t be able to see yours.

How Do I Get More Clients?

Make sure you’re a top-rated freelancer. This means having won some jobs, getting good reviews, and earning at least $3000 in the past year. Top-rated freelancers have access to exclusive job opportunities, which can help you attract more and better clients.

What Is An “Upwork Fee”?

The Upwork fee is the percentage of your total earnings that they keep as their payment for providing the platform, managing payments, and providing support. They take 20% from the first $500 you earn with each client, 10% from total earnings between $500.01 and $10,000, and 5% on anything over $10,000.

Can Anyone Post A Job On Upwork?

In order to post a job, you must have an Upwork account. If you do not have an account yet, please create one. You’ll need to enter your credit card information in order to create an account.

Upwork requires this information so that we can verify your identity when you send payment or charge fees through our site, as well as so that we can pay you if you choose to use our payment protection services. If you’ve already created an account and would like to post a job, please sign in and visit our Post a Job section.

Why Should I Join?

As an Upworker, you have the opportunity to connect with other freelancers from all over the world who are tackling their own challenges and sharing their expertise. In addition, you can get answers to your questions about Upwork policies, suggestions for work-life balance, tips for using the platform, and much more!

What’s The Best Way To Work?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for working as a freelancer. It all depends on what your goals are and what works best for you. Some people prefer to do short bursts of work at different times throughout the day, while others like to work in long chunks at once. Some people prefer working in the morning while others prefer to work later in the day. Whatever works best for you is what you should do.

How Many Hours Should I Work?

Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. You should work no more than you need to reach your goals and stay happy while doing so. Working too much can hurt your productivity, stress you out, and prevent you from living a balanced life with time for yourself, your family, and your friends. Don’t be afraid to take time off when you need it!

I Am New To Upwork, How Do I Build My Profile?

The first step is to take a look at our Getting Started Guide which will walk you through creating an engaging profile and connecting with clients who need your services.

What Should I Put In My Profile Title?

One of the most important parts of your profile is your title, not only because it is one of the first things clients see, but because it will help you get found in search results. Your title should include a strong sense of your identity (are you a writer, designer, developer?) and your experience level. If there is any particular area that you specialize in, be sure to mention it here as well!

How Do I Write A Proposal?

When you’re ready to apply for a job, click the green “Submit a Proposal” button. You’ll be prompted to answer the questions the client has asked in their job post and provide a price quote. The more thorough and thoughtful your proposal, the better the chance you have of being hired by that client!

How Do I Get Paid?

Clients can pay you using one of two methods:

* Hourly – Clients can hire you hourly and then track time logged through Upwork’s time tracking tool (which is required when working hourly).

* Fixed Price – If you’re doing a one-time project, clients may pay you a fixed price for your work.

How Do I Message My Client?

You can send messages to your client from within Upwork’s platform. The platform is designed to store all communications between freelancers and clients in one place so it’s easy to keep track of everything.

Can I Get Paid Outside Of Upwork?

No. Upwork is designed to facilitate payments between clients and freelancers securely. Upwork doesn’t allow clients or freelancers to exchange contact information in order to conduct business outside of our platform for this reason.

What Are Tests? How Do They Work?

Tests are one of the ways that employers assess prospective freelancers’ skills, so they can find the best person for the job. When you take tests that match your skillset, it increases your chances of getting hired by clients who are looking for freelancers just like you!

How To Get A Job?

Create a profile that showcases your experience, skills and tells your story. Talk about your achievements and work in a way that highlights you as an expert in your field. The purpose here is to invite clients to hire you! Add videos and portfolio samples if applicable to make your profile more interesting and authentic.

How Do I Know My Upwork Profile Is Complete?

Your profile will be marked 100% complete when you’ve added a photo, fill in all work history, education, title and skills sections, and provided a payment method. You can view your completion level by clicking “Profile” from the main menu bar at the top of any Upwork page.

How Do I Pay My Taxes?

If you’re a freelancer, it’s your responsibility to pay your own taxes. You can calculate what you owe on your federal and state taxes using our handy tax calculator.

Do I Have To Pay Taxes On The Money I Make Through Upwork?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, if you live in the US and are making more than $400/year through Upwork, you need to file a 1099-MISC form. You’re responsible for any applicable state and local income tax.

What Kind Of Writing Gigs Are There?

There are many kinds of freelance writing gigs: copywriting, technical writing, ghostwriting, blogging, travel writing, food writing, and more. If you’re interested in learning more about these types of jobs, check out our resource library.

What Is The Difference Between A Freelancer And A Contractor?

As a freelancer, you’re running your own business. You’re not working as an employee for someone else, which means you have to take care of all your own taxes. Where that comes into play on Upwork is with invoicing: you’ll need to charge your clients an hourly rate that factors in the taxes you’ll need to pay.

What’s The Best Way For A New Freelancer To Get Traction?

Having a good profile is key. Make sure your title and description are clear and enticing and stand out from the crowd. Next, it’s really important to have relevant skills in your profile—make sure they match what you’re offering in your title and description. And finally, don’t forget to add a photo! People want to work with real people, so adding a photo helps build trust.

How Do I Get More Jobs?

You can get more jobs by checking in every day to apply for new openings, and by making sure you have a complete profile. You should also try applying for more entry-level jobs to build up your experience and ratings.

What Does It Mean If A Client Views My Profile?

A client who views your profile may be interested in hiring you. If the client has contacted you shortly after viewing your profile, it may be because they were considering hiring you.

Why Am I Not Getting Any Clients?

If you’re not getting any clients, it might be because your profile is incomplete or needs to be updated. It also helps to have photos of yourself on your profile and make sure your rate range is posted.

How Do I Apply For Jobs?

On the left side of your screen, go to “Find Jobs”, and scroll down to “Search Jobs”. You can either browse jobs by category or search for a specific type of job.

How Do I Make My Profile Stand Out?

Have a clear, easy-to-read profile. Make sure your experience and skills are listed on your profile, as well as any certifications you might have. Including your work history can help clients get a sense of who you are and what you bring to the table. And don’t forget to fill out your bio! Be authentic, and let potential clients know who you are, why you love freelancing, and what kinds of things motivate you.

What Is The Best Way To Find Freelance Jobs?

Look for any jobs that might be a good fit for your skillset. Don’t be afraid to apply even if you don’t have every skill on their list—they wouldn’t have posted the job if they didn’t need someone like you! There are so many different types of jobs; don’t limit yourself to just one category. If you think a job might be a good fit for you, go for it! You can always look for more later.

I Have A Client Who Is The Worst. What Can I Do?

Oh no! We’re sorry you’re dealing with this. First, try to find out what the client’s pain points are and how you can help them. If you really can’t make it work with this client, we recommend you be honest and direct about your concerns, rather than ghosting them. This may not be what you want to hear, but we feel that it’s the most ethical and professional way to handle the situation.

What Do I Charge?

A good way to determine your rate is to research rates for similar projects in similar industries. You can also use our guide on rate here to help you figure out what rate is reasonable for your skillset and experience level. Don’t forget that you can always lower your rate if you’re not getting enough work–but never go too low or else clients will assume there’s something wrong with your skillset!

Can My Client Cancel The Contract?

Yes, a client can choose to cancel at any time during the hiring process, or even after you sign an agreement and start the project. But if the client cancels after starting the project with you (i.e., they deposit funds into escrow and mark the work as started), they must pay you.

What If The Client Doesn’t Respond To My Proposal?

No response to your proposal is not a rejection—it’s just a lack of response. The client may not have logged in yet, or they may be on vacation. They may just not be familiar with Upwork’s system yet!

And remember, you can always reach out to them directly to see if they received your proposal and let them know you’re available for questions. We recommend doing this at least 24 hours after submitting your proposal, but only if the job posting has been up for more than 2 days.

Is This Site Worth It?

Many freelancers have earned over $1 billion on Upwork, so we think the answer is yes! You can find new clients who value your skills and give you important experience for future gigs. It’s also a great way to start turning what you love into a career. 

And the platform makes it easy to track payments and work with clients all over the world. Plus, there are literally thousands of jobs posted every day, so you have access to an incredible range of opportunities!

Should I Take A Job If It Pays Less Than $15/Hour?

Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re wanting long-term assignments that are going to be consistent and reliable, then maybe not—but if you want to dip your toe in the water and see how things work here at Upwork, then there’s no harm in giving it a go! (And who knows—maybe you’ll find something that turns into your dream gig!)

Can You Recommend Any Other Freelance Sites In Addition To Upwork?

You totally can! There are a lot of different websites that help you find work as a freelancer, such as Freelancer.com and Guru.com (just to name a few). One thing to keep in mind is that each site has different rules, notifications, payment methods, and fees. You’ll have to decide for yourself which sites will be the best fit for you based on what you’re looking for.

How Do I Know I’ll Be Paid?

You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your client will pay you the money they owe you. That’s why Upwork has a payment protection system that keeps all payments safe until the work is done and approved by the client (or until an agreed-upon milestone is reached). As soon as the client submits payment, we hold it in escrow until the job is done, then release it automatically when it’s time for payment. 

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