Actual serious note: I am not an endorser for Upwork and I am not being paid to speak about them. This is my personal experience with the website and I have no affiliation with them other than being a freelancer.
Everyone loves a side hustle. What's there not to love? You get to make a bit of extra money while (usually) doing something you enjoy. And if you're like me, you love extra money.
My way of side hustling is by freelancing through a site called Upwork. It's a site that connects freelancers with clients and allows them to bid on projects. I was introduced to the site by my boss who heard about it through a colleague of ours. We needed to hire a short-term freelancer to do the job that I was hired to do for an extra set of hands. We posted an ad, interviewed a few folks, and offered a job at the price we were willing to pay. He did the job, got paid, and moved on to search for another project.
I decided to give the website a try when I was looking for ways to make extra money on my own. I signed up as a freelancer, submitted a couple of bids, and eventually I was hired on to a project. It's been about 5 months of me being on Upwork and I have made an extra $780 for a few hours of my time each week on my schedule. That maye not seem like much to many of you, but this is extra money for bills, groceries, and savings that I wouldn't have had otherwise.
Say this with me: Any (legal) extra money is good money.
So how do you make extra money on Upwork? Especially as a new freelancer?
1.) Find your niche
Upwork has many categories that you can choose to focus on. It can be a little overwhelming at first, especially when you realize that everyone is bidding for the same projects. If you really want to stand out, try searching for projects that are part of your niche. For example, I have experience in a couple of software programs that are pretty useful to real estate agents. Not many people have experience with the programs....which means more opportunities for me.
2.) Bid Low...for now
Nobody likes working for little pay. Unfortunately, it's almost necessary when you first start off on Upwork. When you first become a freelancer through Upwork, it is difficult to get hired onto a project because (in Upwork's eyes) you lack experience. It's one of the flaws of Upwork. When a client is interviewing freelancers, they can hire people based on the ratings of the freelancer and the number of hours worked on Upwork. You have to complete jobs to get ratings and hours. Even if you have a completed profile and portfolio, you can still get overlooked all because Upwork says you haven't put in at least 90 hours of work.
So as much as it may hurt many of our egos, it is neccessary to bid low on projects. You still get money, just no where near what you want. But it does give you a chance to gain a good reputation on Upwork. After a few projects, you should be able to increase your pay rate and still get hired onto projects.
3.) Patience is a virtue
This doesn't just apply to Upwork. Any freelancer can tell you it takes a lot of patience to be successful. It's not going to happen overnight. It took me weeks to get hired on to a project. Trust me, when I realized I was going to have to work for less just to get my name out there, I was not thrilled. Once I started completing projects and building my reputation, I started to make money. I have previous clients recommending me to friends to help with their projects. I'm getting offers for projects that I didn't even apply to. If I had given up during the first few weeks, I would not be given these opportunities. If you are serious about Upwork and freelancing in general, you have to be patient!
I'll probably post something in the future that goes a little more in-depth with Upwork. For now, I hope this is good information for any future freelancers out there.
Click here to take a look at my profile page on Upwork. Did you honestly think I wasn't going to promote myself a little bit?
Any questions? Leave a comment below and I will get back to you shortly.
Now go make that money, boo.