There’s still plenty of work on offer. My advice would be to choose jobs with care and promote yourself without too much waffle. The most attractive jobs get a lot of attention, so I find that a short, well-written bid works better than a page full of selling oneself. Yes, I’ve experimented with both.
I agree with all the points Drew mentions too. And whatever you do, don’t have spelling or grammatical errors on your profile page or in your bids. That might be okay for some professions, but not as a writer
Hi, Drew, thanks so much for your feedback.
What to Charge
It’s an interesting perspective, and I did wonder about adding fee suggestions in the guide. I do have other copies circulating outside of Upwork, too. I decided to add some recommendations based on the feedback I got from those.
This particular file is Upwork-focused, so I wrote it with that in mind. Work at these prices tends to dominate job feeds and many others below my suggestions, as you know. I may neutralize the ‘what to charge’ tips, but I’ll wait for a couple of weeks to see what other feedback I get.
Petra and Drew
I do agree with your warnings about starting too low. The raw novice, though, is not usually qualified to bid for challenging jobs for a while or ask too much as an entry-level writer. These tasks should be short-term and only taken on to build some feedback and get a few ratings. The writer can then go on to bid for higher-paying work with renewed confidence and displayed experience.
I did think about saying, “What you charge is entirely up to you,” and leave it at that. But then it doesn’t answer the question most wannabe writers want an answer to. Maybe that approach is better suited for this Upwork-focussed guide.
It’s an interesting one, and you may be right, so I’ll keep my eye on other feedback over the next couple of weeks.
Thanks once again for your response, Drew and Petra, I appreciate it 😉
Hello, Andy, I hope you're well.
I finished reading your guide 5 minutes ago (it's a 30-minute read) and found it very helpful. It is my fourth week as a freelance content writer, so there is a lot to learn. Thank you for sharing your experience with newbies like me. I will consider your suggestions the next time I apply for a job.
Hello, Rachel, thanks so much for your feedback.
As a "newbie," please let me know if anything in the guide is unclear or missing. My focus was to add all the stuff I didn't know—but wished I had—when I started out.
This is the first draft, so I might update it if necessary. If it proves popular, I may also follow it up with a series of guides that are more targeted than general.
Thank you for your response, Andy, here are my suggestions for you:
Many clients ask freelancers to have discussions over Skype or Whatsapp. I don't apply for those jobs because I don't want to risk my account. It would be great if you address this topic.
Moreover, I often fail to negotiate the payment terms with prospective clients, so I would highly appreciate if you could share some useful insights about successful negotiations. By the way, I followed your guide and managed to convince a client to change an hourly job to a fixed-price milestone, so thank you very much!
Best wishes and regards,
Hi Rachel, thank you for your feedback.
Unfortunately, I can't write about the issues you raise with any authority. I always use Upwork Chat for communicating with new and existing clients. I don't see why it would be necessary to communicate in any other way. The question to the client would be, what can we discuss outside of Upwork that we can't discuss within it? It's a bit of a red flag if you ask me.
I also have clients outside of Upwork, and my preferred method of communication with them is email. I only ever had one conversation by phone and two on Skype in 10 years. Moreover, it's impossible to forget or overlook something that's set down in writing. The same can't be said for a voice or video conversation unless you take notes. But then it's up to the client to provide written descriptions for their job.
Negotiating for jobs that ask for rates per X number of words is easy. All you do is put in your bid and move on if they don't accept it. Or, come back with a reduced proposal if you have room for a little flexibility. Don't waste time negotiating further if the client doesn't accept your minimum offer, though.
Sorry, I can't be of more help. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge of these things can contribute.
Thank you for sharing. As a new member, I found it helpful. I have to work on my profile, I find writing about myself difficult. I have unpublished works and wonder if I should post some to my profile. Would a personal essay/political opinion peice be inappropriate as an example of my writing?
I'm so sorry for the late response. I checked the notifications box but didn't get any email updates, hence the delay.
The best advice for your profile on Upwork is from Upwork resources. I'm sure it's okay to promote work to highlight your talent not done for clients through this platform. Don't forget, you can go in and tweak and retweak your profile, so it doesn't matter if it's not perfect right off the bat.
Here's a link to a recent article on this very topic
Good luck, Adrianne.