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New to UpWork

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James S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
1 of 20

I am new to UpWork and see that many of the clients want Job Satisfaction ratings and/or freelance hours. Would it be a good option to start on smaller jobs that I know I can do easily to get started? I have a Ph.D. and am a retired university lecturer  and want to eventually get into editing and writing, I have been looking at posts for data entry and presentation design, but have not yet submitted any proposals. Any sage advice would be appreciated.

 

Regards,

 

Dr. Jim S.

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Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
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2 of 20

Please stay far away from data entry. There's absolutely no good reason to wade in that pool.

 

You're well-educated and have a good deal of very marketable experience under your belt. Here are a couple of suggestions that you're free to ignore Smiley Happy

 

  • Raise your rate. It's entirely too low and will not position you well for future work
  • Explore the idea of focusing on a single niche area. For instance, curriculum development might be right up your alley
  • Build out a portfolio with 3-4 pieces of content you've written in the past. You have a Ph.D. so I know you've got examples you can share

I think there are two key elements to being successful on Upwork. First, set a strong foundation that will position you for future growth (reasonable hourly rate). Second, find a niche that sets you apart from others.  Data entry isn't a niche.

 

Good luck!

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James S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
3 of 20

Christi,

 

Thanks so much for the input! I was exploring ways to get in the "system" and did not think that I could get the jobs I wanted without any UpWork experience. What about designing presentations. It is not data entry, and I have alot of wxperience in PPT design.

 

Take Care,

 

Jim S.

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James S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
4 of 20

Christi,

 

Thanks so much for the input! I was exploring ways to get in the "system" and did not think that I could get the jobs I wanted without any UpWork experience. What about designing presentations? It is not data entry, and I have alot of experience in PPT design.

 

Take Care,

 

Jim S.

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James S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
5 of 20

Christa, thanks for your advice a few months back. I actually got a job in academia with my first application. I have had 5 contracts (3 of them were for fun, I love to write travel blogs). Two of them have been long-term. I wrote 30 long-content articles on AP test prep and have been invited back next year during AP season. I am in a contract now writing college textbooks and assessments for on on-line education company in Australia, it looks like steady work for a while.

 

Thanks agion for the great advice.

 

Jim

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Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
6 of 20

Be prepared to be hit with "write my paper" when advertising as an Academic Writer.

 

Plus, what KIND of technical writing? Though I'm sure if clients read your profile, they can piece together this information based on your military knowledge/training, there are different areas of tech. writing.

 

Also, what KIND of editing? Copyediting? Developmental editing? Fiction? Non-fiction? Certainly, some can cross over between the two (I do because I've written in both genres extensively). However, fiction editing is different from editing non-fiction. 

 

While your background is impressive, I'd recommend more self-marketing in terms of how YOUR experience/expertise can translate to helping clients with their projects. 

 

Welcome to Upwork...it's a different world.

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James S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
7 of 20

Kat, thanks so much for the insight. I think my problem is that I do not really know what kind of writing jobs are out there. My academic writing has been limited research on post-secondary academic support  as well as authoring courses in African studies. My technical writing can really be classified as academic because I was writing correspondence courses for Air Force accountants. I have written a travel blog, but that was really for friends and family (even though it was rated "Best Travel Blog" by RealTravel.com.

 

As for self-marketing, I find it hard to "blow my horn", but it seems you need to do that to get UpWork jobs.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Jim S.

 

 

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Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
8 of 20

I completely understand.

 

Coming from academia, I had a bit of an adjustment period while determining how to market my writing and editing. 

 

Blogging is definitely an angle here on Upwork. I began to craft my area of expertise after researching successful freelancer profiles and sifting through the job postings.

 

Also, content creation for educational companies (since you've authored content previously) could be a consideration for you. 

 

 

 

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James S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
9 of 20

Kat,

 

Thanks for your advice a few months back. I actually got a job in academia with my first application. I have had 5 contracts (3 of them were for fun, I love to write travel blogs). Two of them have been long-term. I wrote 30 long-content articles on AP test prep and have been invited back next year during AP season. I am in a contract now writing college textbooks and assessments for an on-line education company in Australia, it looks like steady work for a while.

 

Thanks again for your suggestions

 

Jim

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Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
10 of 20

"Blowing our own horns" is what freelancers have to do. Do not set yourself up at the start as a low-rate freelancer ... that comes to no good end.

 

There are many, many freelancers offering presentation work at very low rates - you may want to steer clear because they're hard to compete with. Your profile indicates that you are cut out for bigger and better things, so yes, raise your rate.

 

As Kat said, "it's a different world".

 

And thanks a lot for putting that song in my head, Kat ... I'm sure it will be in there all. day. long.