Ways to earn money through Upwork

by | Development, Freelance, Interesting

Does a simple glance into your postbox sometime around 10th or 15th of the month and all those baby blue envelopes give you a major headache? With a current median income in Serbia, this is not a situation to look forward to. However, I may have a solution for you.

Having had some previous experience in IT field, I’ve started researching the additional ways to earn money on the Internet. Before I knew it I was spending hours reading motivational stories of people who had earned thousands and thousands of dollars by modernizing various contents relying on a range of techniques, so I figured this may just as well be my way in. I first started working in PPD marketing; meaning, I was the guy who launches certain fake/inexistent content (click-bait trickery) that people would for some reason find appealing; the moment they download that particular content on their PCs they would realize it was all a scam to being with. This wasn’t a particularly fruitful endeavor so in no time I was back at the beginning. This is when I accidentally stumbled upon Upwork.

Upwork is a leading world internet platform focused on earning money on the internet and working with over a million freelancers. More importantly for us, there are a lot of our people engaged with Upwork. You’ll find it interesting to learn that just last year Serbia held the fifth position in Europe when it comes to earning money through Upwork-ing. After learning these facts I felt like I have finally found something to keep me in one place. This was the start of my career as a freelancer.

[1] Scam – a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle. (dictionary.com)

Signing up and profile editing

With all that I’ve experienced I may confidently say you’ll start earning money after a month. Yes, a month. The first thing to do is of course register:

Insert all valid data as Upwork does a thorough background check since there are a lot of frauds trying to join Upwork.

upwork profile

Just as any other registration, Upwork too needs you to insert all valid data in order to quickly become a part of the system and get permission to edit and update your profile. After your e-mail is confirmed you’ll have to leave you Skype account with them for Upwork to use their “Aristotle Integrity” (verification and correctness), in order to verify the validity of all of your data. You will be scheduled a meeting with them. All you are expected to do is answer the call, look at the camera for a few seconds and that’s that. After you have verified the account, your profile will get a green Checkmark.

The key thing in getting engagement via Upwork is to make your profile as appealing as possible for potential clients. It is up to you to write a good offer in order to lead the client to take a look at your profile and opt for you out of everyone else.

Keep in mind that setting up and editing your profile may take some time. Don’t rush into things and think all it takes is to register and the money will start flowing in. Pay attention to the “skill” section. This is the field used as a virtual presentation of your work and skills. If you catch your potential client’s eye, you’ll have to go through the series of tests and only in case you pass them with high grades you officially get the job.

Portfolio section is for some of your earlier works, offline works preferably. If you haven’t had any Upwork engagement so far you literally have nothing to display. When putting content up on the website you are naturally allowed to describe what kind of, when and the way you have done all the work so far.
All this aside – what actually matters is job offers and bidding.

First job?

A starting point of any job applying is choosing the field you are good at. Actually, even when first registering, you’ll be given the option to check and specify which field you’ll be working in. I’d advise you started as an Admin Support freelancer – this is a relatively easy way to get a job as clients don’t demand much nor are the tasks too difficult.

Ways to earn money through Elance

After you’ve found a job you believe is just the task for you, you’ll begin by writing an offer. The important thing to remember here is – under no circumstances write an offer for a client with no experience, that is – without at least THREE green circles on his profile. Two circles may fly too but make sure you check the “award ratio” section and that it’s over 50%.

This too is a space for sending offers. Getting your first engagement is the difficult part; everything after comes easy.

Ways to earn money through Elance

Your target collaborators should be clients from the West. Avoid working with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh…
Before you start any work, the money will be paid into ESCROW (Upwork uses it as a link between you and the client).

Take a look at the right corner – you have the option to write/set an offer. The important thing is to be polite and pleasant and then start with the offer you have for them. Convince them you are the right person for the job and that you’ve got qualities no one else does. If you are in a rush to earn money, the best way in is through video messages.

I’ve acquired many clients this way and have built a fantastic relationship with them. This type of approach will single you out from everyone else.

The best way to make a good video message is to:

  • Turn on your camera
  • Look at the camera
  • Smile politely
  • Talk about work
  • Keep the talk light, insert a few puns/jokes
  • Be relaxed

I can guarantee you that out of ten video messages you send applying for jobs, you’ll get at least three responses. Clients are into visual rather than written offers; this is the starting point for creating a relationship with your potential clients.


After you’ve got your first Upwork money, you’ll without a doubt want it in your pocket straight away. In order for the money to find its way from Upwork to your wallet, there are a few options to cover. For anyone working in our region, I’d recommend Skrill. It takes little time to register, ATMs take small commissions and on top of that you’ll be delivered a card and a PIN code to your home address.

You’ll need 10 Euros as a steady card balance. Skrill manages this requirement by instantly debiting the required sum from your credit once the money is paid into the account. You can also pay the amount into the account yourself. There is the option of receiving money directly into your credit card or by check. The two latter options aren’t recommended since fees are too high.


Bid realistically and don’t expect to get paid 30 dollars for a job that’s worth 20. In time, when you gain credibility, you’ll be in a position to negotiate a deal – a few dollars over the initial price sure means a lot. Look for the „hourly“ engagements as they’ve proved to be the most profitable. Since the minimal income on Upwork is 3$, you’ll be able to earn a nice sum on weekly basis. This of course is closely related to your client’s willingness to assign you more tasks.

You’ll find yourself in a position to work for 8$ per hour just like I do. Currently, I have 25 authorized working hours from my clients. This adds up to 200$ a week, times 4. You’ve got to admit this is more than a nice income for a fresh graduate who would normally rely on Human Resources for a job. Learn a little bit of English, go through Upwork thoroughly and expect to earn a nice sum within a month or two. Patience and hard work will pay off.


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