How to Make Money Online with UpWork

Do you want to learn how to make money online with UpWork?

Then visiting this blog today will solve that problem for you as The Total Entrepreneur is set to give you the most comprehensive information on what Upwork (Formerly oDesk)is, how to make money online with Upwork, how to apply for work online with Upwork, how to write a complete profile that will attract employers, how to find jobs at Upwork, how to prepare for an interview online at Upwork, how to write an excellent cover letter, how to receive payments with Upwork, and generally how to succeed with Upwork.

How to Make Money Online with UpWork

Before I begin these step-by-step How-TOs of Upwork, I will like you to understand what Upwork is and how it works.

What Is Upwork?

Upwork is the world’s largest online job marketplace where employers (over 1 million companies) find and hire freelancers (Contractors as called in Upwork) online. Upwork is based in Redwood City, CA, and was founded by Odysseas Tsatabs and Stratis Karamanlakis; both are Greek entrepreneurs.

Upwork created a platform that made it very easy for freelancers to promote their skills online thereby giving them access to a global employment market.

Upwork is so advanced in the online workplace; they have tools created to access, hire, manage and pay their contractors (ie you and I and any other entrepreneur that choose to work with Upwork from home). Another good thing about Upwork is that you can choose when to work and how you want to be paid, either hourly or to work at a fixed price.

Upwork has a proprietary tool that enables employers to manage their teams online. The Upwork proprietary software called Upwork Team enables employers to manage contractors individually or in a team while also enabling the contractors online to easily document and prove performance.

The Upwork software is provided by the company at no cost and should be installed on the computer of all members. It is easy to install. Contractors are expected to always turn the Upwork Team on while working online as only the work tracked by the software will be qualified for payment except if otherwise agreed by the two parties.

Upwork Team works online but has an offline mode that works up to 2 hours in case of internet failure. You must always put on the software while working.

Starting Up With Upwork (SUMMARY)

  1. Create an Upwork account (As a freelancer)
  2. Complete your profile
  3. Read the Upwork readiness guidelines
  4. Answer an 11-item Upwork readiness test
  5. Take the spelling test and vocabulary test
  6. Find a good work on Upwork

Have a Crisp, Clear Profile

  1. Upload a professional picture of your smiling face
  2. Introduce yourself and what you have to offer
  3. Set your rate (I advise you set a competitive rate as a beginner and build your Upwork profile)
  4. Take and pass a few Upwork skill tests
  5. Post your portfolio
  6. Check for errors

Find the Right Job

Before you choose a job in Upwork, ask yourself these questions;

  • Do I have the right skill?
  • Can I prove that I have the right skill?
  • Do I have time for the scope of the projects?
  • Is the offered rate acceptable?
  • Will I work well with the client?

Working Fixed vs Hourly


  • Generally smaller jobs paid upon completeion
  • Terms agreed on before work begins


  • Often preferred by most customers
  • All time logged through the Team App (Upwork Team)
  • Covered by Upwork guarantee

How To Plan Ahead to Create a Fixed Price Offer

  • Break the job into phases
  • Break each phase into steps involved
  • For each phase, calculate your charge
  • Add up the estimated cost of all phases, plus a little extra for unexpected issues

7 Steps to an Excellent Cover Letter

  1. Make a professional impression
  2. Be specific
  3. Relate back to the job post
  4. Ask clarifying questions
  5. Follow directions
  6. Close the deal
  7. Re-read, edit, and consider.

Preparing For An Interview

  1. Be flexible with time zones and communication preferences
  2. Make sure you completely understand the job
  3. Be prepared – Mentally and Emotionally
  4. Be professional and honest – Do not mislead clients.
  5. Ask for details about the job
  6. Ask if there is a deadline for hiring and thank them for the interview

Making it Work

  • Create a workspace with minimal distractions
  • Set regular work hours so it’s easier to get work done and your clients know you’re available
  • Disengage your gadgets like TV and your smartphone to avoid distractions
  • Set up a kick-off meeting or write a message to your client
  • Keep the oDesk Team App on.

How To Receive Payments in Upwork

After you have successfully completed a job/task, Upwork pays you the agreed amount through any of the under-listed payment solutions;

  1. Direct Deposit
  2. Payoneer Debit MasterCard
  3. Skrill
  4. PayPal
  5. Local Fund Transfer
  6. Wire Transfer

Please Note: Some withdrawals may not work for your country. In any case, only withdrawal methods that are allowed in your country will be supported by your account and will be made available during registration.

How Upwork Makes Money

Registration with Upwork for both employers and contractors is free. Nevertheless, Upwork charges 20% service fee from clients earning $0-$500, 10% service fee from clients earning $500.01-$10,000 and 5% service fee from clients earning $10,000.01 or more.

Using Upwork Team App and Working Dairy

  • Download the Team App to enter hours and get paid for your time.
  • The work diary tracks your time
  • It takes work-in-progress snapshots at random times
  • These snapshots guarantee you’ll be paid even if there’s is a dispute
  • You can also track offline time when pre-approved by your client

Keys To Succeed With Upwork

Be Prepared for Work

  • Be your own boss and take responsibility for delivering excellent work on time
  • Set expectations and give your client regular progress updates
  • Resolve issues quickly
  • Use a project management tool

Communicate early, Communicate often

  • Agree on work hours, deadlines, and delivery mode
  • Establish regular check-in meetings
  • Plan for your off-time
  • Use sharing tools: Work diary, Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox, etc

REMEMBER: Write your client’s information down, back-up data, and have a secondary way of working.


  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • If you don’t know it, don’t click on it
  • Avoid any client who requests free work and never pay for the chance to work
  • Report a job post that looks suspicious to customer support


  • Send an email to thank your client and let them know you’re available for more work
  • Get approval to display your finished product in your portfolio
  • Adjust your hourly rate if necessary
  • Add any new skills you’ve acquired to your profile


  1. Communicate early, communicate often
  2. When in doubt, ASK!
  3. Set clear expectations
  4. Respond quickly
  5. Hit deadlines
  6. Be a pleasure to work with
  7. Under-promise and over-deliver


  1. An internet connection
  2. A work-only email and Skype account
  3. A quiet workspace
  4. A basic understanding of the English Language
  5. A ready-to-work attitude
  6. Strong skills

In conclusion, the Upwork developers have done their part by setting up this online job platform and ready for exploring, it is now left for you as an entrepreneur to tap from the opportunity. Goodluck.

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Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

4 Responses

  1. Ibrahim Sani says:

    Please help me

  2. Valentine says:

    Wooooow. I need to check this company out. Thanks for sharing this goodly information.

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