Cover Image - My first 100 dollars

My first 100 dollars


Talking about the $100 I earned freelancing on Upwork. What started as a once-in-a-while thing, soon became a hobby, a hobby making money for me.

I started off writing product reviews on a consumer website; giving words to my experience with the products. This was some 4 or 5 years ago (I may update the exact date someday). Although my reviews were helpful and few of them also featured in the “Review of the Day” section, it was more of a pastime than social service. And I got bored soon.

I got busy with my daily life, spending my free time reading books but wanted to write. And soon, I was posting reviews of hotels and restaurants on a travel website. I never thought of freelancing until then.


Why Upwork?

I don’t know; maybe because it’s popular or I saw it in search results. But I didn’t join it as a writer. I was getting quite some free time every day and decided to invest it in freelancing, but what would I do in the world out there. I have a post-graduate degree in Computer Applications and thus decided to become a freelance programmer. But the problem is I don’t have much hands-on experience with programming, nor do I like it.

So, I left my profile incomplete, and it didn’t go “live”. Few more months passed before I realised that I could become a writer. It was a lazy day in summer, and I was writing up another personal experience of the recent tour. And before laziness started working its magic, I started setting up my unfinished profile. Made multiple edits and also checked the profiles of other freelance writers there, to get a near-perfect version. ;)

And soon I was ready to accept jobs. All I needed was patience… which I have in abundance. :P

The first job

Well, I started looking for the jobs posted in different categories – Data entry, Word-PDF conversion, translation and alike. I submitted proposals to few, but why would a newbie get chance when there are fifty other competent ones in the race, right? And those were the hard times.

But lucky enough, I got my first job within a week. None of my proposals was selected, but I got an invitation to interview. Yes, I was coming up in search results. :D

Just a few questions and I was hired. It was a quick, sort-of-paragraph writing job describing things. I provided the client with what he required, some 4-5 100-word paragraphs. It took me a few hours (it was my first professional job after all), and he made the payment, $5. Yeah, my drive on Upwork started, and with a 5-star rating by the client. 😎

The journey that followed

I got my $4 after five days of the payment approval, that’s the standard period on Upwork, five days. And why did I get $4 when the client paid me 5? It’s the Upwork’s fees, 20% of your contract. There are different slabs of charges but more on that later, concentrate on me!

It wasn’t a deal-maker for me, and I wasn’t showered with loads of jobs. What followed was another draught. I kept sending proposals but I was still a newbie, right? My Connects were depleting, and none of the clients hired me. Connects? These are the tokens you need to apply for a job.

Upwork gives you 60 Connects every month and most of the jobs I applied to, required 2 Connects. So, I could apply only to 30 projects every month. And for someone with no experience, 30 is a small number. That’s what I thought until the time changed.

What happened next?

It was almost a month until I got my next assignment. One of the clients accepted my proposal and sent me an offer of $9 to write three articles. I completed it in two days, i.e. 48 hours as I promised him and it was that day when the time changed. Six months have passed since then, and I still write for him.

writer at work

It took me two months to reach the $100 milestone, and there was no turning back. I am (almost) always on-duty. I get invitations from others to work for them, not a lot but at regular intervals. I still send proposals to clients when I am free, but yes, most of the Connects now expire.

Worked for ten clients until now and currently work simultaneously for three of them. Aaand I am satisfied with the flow.

P.S. I have earned more than $1000 and is one of the Top Rated freelancers at Upwork now. Check my Upwork profile or scan the QR code to hire. ;)

Abhijeet Kumar's upwork profile code