Upwork Secrets You Need To Know!

You’ve probably heard of Upwork, but you may not know much about it. Upwork is a website where you can find freelance jobs and freelancers to complete them. It’s the online version of an agency or temp agency, except that instead of going to work today at the same time and doing the same tasks, as a freelancer on Upwork, you work from home and do different tasks every day!

If this sounds like something that’s up to your alley (pun intended), then read on for some helpful tips and tricks for using Upwork as a successful freelancer.

UpWork Secret Tips For Getting First Clients
Upwork has its share of secrets and lesser-known tips that can help freelancers succeed on the platform.
Building a strong Upwork profile is crucial for attracting clients and standing out from the competition.
Crafting compelling proposals tailored to clients’ needs increases the chances of getting hired on Upwork.
Determining fair rates based on experience, expertise, and market demand is essential for freelancers on Upwork.
Standing out from the competition requires showcasing unique skills, delivering quality work, and maintaining excellent communication.

Secret #1: You Can [and should] Take the Service Offering Test

One of the first things you’ll see when you sign up for Upwork is a Service Offering Test. The test consists of 47 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete, so it’s not difficult at all. However, passing the test is not mandatory; freelancers can choose to take it or leave it.

The purpose of taking this test is to give potential clients an idea about your skills by showcasing them through a series of yes/no answers and multiple-choice questions.

If you decide to skip the Service Offering Test, then the first thing potential clients will see on your profile page is that “no information has been provided yet.” This isn’t exactly confidence-inspiring!

Many freelancers find the experience on Upwork and Freelancer to be challenging and frustrating. If you’re curious about why freelancing on these platforms can be terrible, our article on Why Is Freelancing on Upwork and Freelancer So Terrible? explores the common issues faced by freelancers and provides valuable insights.

Secret #2: Make Your Profile As Detailed As Possible

When you are creating your Upwork profile, you want to make sure that it is as detailed as possible. This means providing information about yourself and your skills in an organized manner so that clients can find exactly what they’re looking for. Here are some tips on how to do this:

Include a summary of who you are and what makes you stand out. As a freelancer, potential clients need to know why they should choose you over someone else. Make sure this summary includes details like your experience level, any awards or accolades that other businesses have given to you in the past, and maybe even any certifications or college degrees related to the work that you do.

Highlight any languages that are relevant for specific projects but not listed on Upwork (like if someone has asked for German translations).

List all relevant keywords under “skills” so that clients who type those words into their search bar will be able to find them easily without having to click through each individual item on their list (which could take up quite a bit of time depending on how many skills there are). 

For example: If someone was searching for an SEO content writer who can create original articles based on keyword research results from Google Analytics, then “SEO” would be considered one of those keywords; listing it under “skills” would allow them easy access via search rather than flipping through pages upon pages until they found everything related specifically under SEO topics.”

Secret #3: Save Money With Connects

Upwork will charge you $.15 for each Connect that you use to apply for a job. The good news is that there are several ways to earn free connects on Upwork, so you’ll never be out of options!

Your first 60 Connects per month are free. After those 60 are used up, the cost is $0.20 per connection. So if you’re looking for a job on Upwork and hoping it will turn into something long-term, this should help keep your costs down to a minimum.

You can buy additional Connects directly from the site at a rate of $0.15 each (or $150 for 100). If you’ve got a tight budget but still want access to more opportunities than what’s available via promotions and referrals alone, this may be the way forward! Just remember: while they’re only an extra dollar or two each time around…there’s no such thing as “too much money.” Use those dollars wisely!

Creating a killer profile is essential for success on Upwork. If you want to stand out from the competition and attract clients, check out our comprehensive guide on Upwork Profile: How to Create a Killer Profile. Discover effective strategies and tips to optimize your profile and showcase your skills to potential clients.

Secret #4: Upwork Is Not A Game. Be Serious About It

Don’t Take Upwork As A Game:

If you’re still thinking about Upwork as a game, stop. 

It’s not. You can’t just try out the site and then give up when it doesn’t immediately work for you. Upwork is serious business, so don’t treat it like a joke! Just because some jobs aren’t right for you doesn’t mean that they won’t be right for someone else and if they are right for someone else then maybe they would have been better than some of the jobs that did work out well for you later on down the line.

Don’t Be Too Picky About Jobs:

It’s easy to get picky about jobs when there are so many options available on Upwork; however, this can lead to missed opportunities and fewer completed projects overall (this includes both failed assignments and successful ones!). 

If something seems too good to be true or like it could potentially harm your reputation as an independent worker (such as working on adult content), make sure that any concerns are addressed in advance before accepting any offers from clients who request those types of gigs.

Secret #5: Consider Using The Time Tracker

As you go through your day and work on different projects, you may find yourself wondering, “How much time did I spend on this task? And how much time do I have left?” Time tracking can help with that.

Time tracking is a tool that lets you measure the amount of time spent working on specific tasks. It’s an easy way to keep track of what you’re doing so that if a project goes over budget or doesn’t get done in the agreed-upon timeframe, there are no surprises for your client or employer.

Time tracking can also be useful for keeping track of multiple projects at once and measuring how long it takes for one job to finish compared with another (especially if both jobs use the same skillset).

Secret #6: Use The “Work Diary” Function On The Upwork Desktop Application

If you are the type of freelancer who likes to track your time and bill clients for it, then the Work Diary function is for you. With this feature, Upwork tracks how much time you spend working on a job or project and allows you to charge accordingly.

Even though many clients enable Work Diary for their projects, some don’t but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it anyway! Just log into your desktop application (it’s available as an extension on Chrome), go to the My Clients tab, and select the client’s profile. 

Then click “View Status” to see whether or not they have enabled this function for their project(s). If they haven’t enabled it yet but want to start tracking how long tasks take so they can improve efficiency or get more accurate estimates in future projects, just let them know about this feature!

Suspension from Upwork can significantly impact a freelancer’s income and reputation. To ensure you avoid common pitfalls and maintain a good standing on the platform, our article on How to Avoid Getting Suspended from Upwork offers practical advice and best practices to safeguard your account and maintain a successful freelancing career.

Secret #7: Use The Contracts Feature

We’ve all heard the horror stories of clients who are not satisfied with their freelancer’s work and refuse to pay up. Many times, this happens because the contract was not properly drafted or signed.

In Upwork, you can avoid this scenario by using the contracts feature. This is an integral part of how Upwork helps both parties in a freelance project stay protected and secure. The best part? It’s free to use!

The contracts feature allows you to draft a legally binding agreement between yourself as a client and your freelancer. 

Included in these agreements are terms like payment method, deliverables, deadlines, and any other important details that will enable both sides of the deal to get what they want from one another without any stress or worry about getting scammed out of money or having projects fall through before completion due to no fault on anyone’s part.

Secret #8: Always Carefully Read The Client’s Project Description Before Applying To Their Job Posting

When you apply to a job posting on Upwork, you have the task of carefully reading and understanding what the client is asking for. It can be tempting to simply send an application without reading all of their requirements, but doing so could mean that you miss out on opportunities to meet some of your needs.

It takes a little bit of extra time, but it’s worth reading through each client’s job description before applying. Your chances will increase if they’re not just looking for someone who has done similar work in the past but also someone who can meet their needs now or in the future which brings us to secret #9!

Secret #9: If You Already Have A Job, Don’t Tell Everyone “I’m Online 24/7!”

If you already have a job, don’t tell everyone “I’m online 24/7!” It may be true that you’re available to respond to messages pretty much all the time, but there’s no point in lying about it. 

If a client is worried that they’ll have trouble reaching you because of your work schedule, be honest with them and let them know when they can expect to hear back from you. 

You’d be surprised by how many people will appreciate your honesty and even give more weight to what you say because of it!

Secret #10: Don’t Apply For Every Job That Fits Your Requirements! Be Picky!

The more jobs you apply for, the less likely it is that you’ll get any. You may be tempted to think, “Hey! This job looks good I should apply!” But think about it: if there are dozens of other people applying for this job, then the employer will be flooded with applications. 

They might not even read all of them before deciding which ones to go through. So don’t waste your time by submitting applications that aren’t worth reading! If a job doesn’t sound like something you’d enjoy doing or if it doesn’t pay enough money, then don’t bother trying to get it you won’t succeed!

Secret #11: Write A Good Cover Letter! But Don’t Make It Too Long.

A cover letter is an additional document that lets a hiring manager know why you’re the right fit for the job. In it, you can explain how your skills and experience are relevant to the position they’re hiring for. You might also use this opportunity to highlight relevant projects you worked on in the past or demonstrate how your personality will fit their company culture.

Once you’ve written your cover letter draft, make sure it follows these guidelines:

Keep it brief and concise no more than half a page long (that’s one full side of standard letter-sized paper).

Use bullet points instead of paragraphs where possible; they’re easier to read!

Outsourcing work on Upwork can be a valuable strategy for freelancers looking to scale their business. To optimize your outsourcing efforts and achieve the best results, our guide on Top 10 Best Practices for Outsourcing Your Work on Upwork provides actionable tips and insights to help you navigate the process and effectively delegate tasks.

Secret #12: Get Verified on Upwork to Earn More Money or Get More Clients (Optional)

Another benefit to being verified on Upwork is that you’ll be able to charge more for your services.

To become verified on Upwork, you must send several documents proving your identities, such as a government-issued ID card and proof of address. You must also have at least three years of experience in the field you work in or have previously worked for at least three years. The process can take up to 30 days so it’s best to start early!

Verification will also allow potential clients who are searching for freelancers like yourself f to know that they’re hiring someone reputable with proven skillsets so they don’t have any doubts about working with them in the future!

Secret #13. Keep Your Profile Updated And Relevant (Especially Your Skills)

Upwork will only show your Pro and Expert profiles if you have over 500 reviews, which means that to get the most out of Upwork, you’ll need to be at least a Pro. If you’re not a Pro yet, it’s time to get reviewing!

Once you’ve done that, keep your profile updated (and relevant) by refreshing and updating it every few months. Update it when your skills change or gain new ones; make sure any information on your profile is accurate as well as up-to-date.

Secret #14. Respond To Client Messages Within 24-48 Hours

A lot of freelancers on Upwork get confused about how often they should reply to client messages. In the end, there’s no exact answer for this it depends on each situation and individual client.

However, you can use our tips below as a guide for when it’s appropriate to respond:

If your client messaged you yesterday and hasn’t heard back from you, that’s not good enough! You need to reply ASAP. Let them know that you received their message and are currently working through their project details.

If your client messaged you a week ago and still hasn’t heard back from you yet, then something is wrong with both of us! This isn’t acceptable because it shows unprofessionalism on both ends of the spectrum (not replying at all versus not replying quickly enough). 

Don’t let this happen again by making sure that next time they contact me I’ll have a detailed response within 24-48 hours on weekdays, or 72-96 hours over weekends.*

Understanding Upwork’s pricing model is crucial for freelancers who want to make informed decisions about their rates and earnings. If you’re curious about the different aspects of Upwork’s pricing and how it affects your freelancing journey, our article on What You Need to Know About Upwork’s Pricing Model breaks down the key elements and provides valuable information for freelancers.


The takeaway for many different types of freelancers using this article is that many different types of freelancers use Upwork. There are many ways to get work as a freelancer and it’s important to know what your options are.

The main point of the article is that you should diversify your portfolio to get the most work possible on Upwork.

The author is trying to tell us that it’s not enough to just be good at one type of job you have to be able to do multiple things well!

The most important thing we should do after reading this article? Start working on some new skills so we can start getting more jobs through Upwork!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on Upwork and freelancing:

Upwork Secrets No One Will Tell You: Gain valuable insights and lesser-known tips about Upwork in this informative article.

How to Get Your First Job on Upwork: If you’re just starting on Upwork, this guide provides practical advice on landing your first job and building a successful freelancing career.

Upwork Proposal Secrets: Learn effective strategies and secrets to craft compelling proposals that stand out to clients on Upwork.


Here are some frequently asked questions about freelancing on Upwork:

How do I create a strong Upwork profile?

Creating a strong Upwork profile is crucial for attracting clients. Ensure your profile highlights your skills, experience, and expertise. Use a professional photo, write a compelling overview, and showcase your portfolio.

How can I increase my chances of getting hired on Upwork?

To increase your chances of getting hired on Upwork, optimize your profile, tailor your proposals to clients’ needs, showcase your relevant skills, provide quality work samples, and maintain a good track record with positive client reviews.

How do I determine my rates as a freelancer on Upwork?

When determining your rates on Upwork, consider factors such as your experience, expertise, market demand, and competition. Research prevailing rates for similar services and strike a balance between fair compensation and attracting clients.

What should I include in my Upwork proposals?

Your Upwork proposals should be tailored to each client’s requirements. Include a personalized introduction, demonstrate understanding of the project, highlight relevant experience and skills, propose a timeline, and communicate your value proposition to the client.

How can I stand out from the competition on Upwork?

To stand out from the competition on Upwork, focus on showcasing your unique skills and value proposition. Provide quality work samples, maintain excellent communication, deliver projects on time, and continuously improve your skills to stay ahead.

How Much Does Upwork Cost?

Upwork charges a fee per project. It varies depending on the type of job, but it’s usually between 5% and 20%. You can see exactly how much you’ll pay before you accept a project or bid on one. This means that if your client has trouble paying, you won’t lose any money.

Do I Need To Use Upwork To Get Clients?

No! There are plenty of ways to find clients without using Upwork: finding them yourself (via referrals), cold emailing, advertising on social media sites like Facebook groups and forums, etc. However, we think that using Upwork is an easy way for freelancers who don’t have time or budget for other methods to get a start in ed and gain experience quickly with minimal investment (and risk!).

How Much Can You Earn On Upwork?

It depends on many factors, including the work you’re doing and your skillset. But there are plenty of opportunities to make good money. Upwork’s top-earning talent has made six figures (USD) in a single year through their work with clients.

How Much Does Upwork Cost?

There are no fees to register or apply for jobs on Upwork, but there are costs associated with connecting with clients and completing projects which we’ll cover next!

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