Using Freelance Sites to Get Jobs

Have any of you tried getting jobs on any of the freelancing sites for experience? I know they tend to be a race to the bottom in terms of pay, but I would just like to get some professional experience for now. If anyone has had any success on these, do you have any tips for getting a first client? Thanks!


For the last 3 months i’m trying, unsuccessfully, to land my first job in UpWork.
I had better luck selling a few gigs in Fiverr doing SVG animations.

Thanks! This is great!

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Useful and tested tips. @adamgibs go for them!

I would add:

  1. Some clients use additional questions. Make sure you answer additional questions first before writing a cover letter. These answers are the first what clients see. They serve like a filter for candidates. Make sure these answers convince them to read your cover letter and give you the job.
  2. Make sure your Linkedin profile looks good and provides clear information about facts that make you look reliable for the jobs you apply.
  3. Go social, share your expertise on blogs, forums, groups. If somebody gets interested in your candidacy they will be sure you really are the passionate guy with experience.
  4. Be responsive. Respond the same day. If somebody gets interested with your offer or finds you on Upwork but you do not answer, your chance might be over the next day. Even if it’s a short info and promise of next contact because you can’t write much more, the fast response means you care. Be proactive.
  5. Makes sure you add portfolio items to Upwork account. Comment on them, write what your role was, what technologies you used, provide a link to live version.
  6. You can bid higher than the client’s stated budget. Often clients don’t know what the budget should be. Don’t be afraid of 5 dollar budget because it’s the lowest default possible for clients when they post a job and often do not know how much it should cost.
  7. Pricing yourself low often doesn’t attract clients but you may also want to start with some smaller and shorter projects focusing on earning great references. With small projects it does not hurt so much that the price is average if you care about building your Upwork references first. It will be easier to get bigger jobs then, since you already have some great references in the service history.
  8. Each job is unique so people expect individual response, you may have preprepared layouts of answers but using them needs good taste and sometimes does not save you time at all. Keeping the pre-prepared layouts can be helpful for analyzing and mastering your offers.

Thanks for the tips!

Thanks for this. Exactly what I needed.

I hear the advice fairly often to niche down when doing freelance work like this. Do you think this is a good idea?

This is gold! Best tips about winning on freelance sites

This is awesome. Thanks!

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Today I took part in a nice webinar with the author of this blog
He has a lot of experience working on Upwork and worked out a nice way to earn well as a freelancer on remote work portals. Have a look @adamgibs if you are still interested in this topic.


This looks like it could be a super handy website. Thanks!

@adamgibs, programming is not a race to the bottom kind of skill. On the contrary, it actually raises the value of a freelancer. In general, you will always find good-paying clients, regardless of niche, as long as you have the skills needed to complete their jobs.

Was wondering if this was a viable avenue myself… thanks for asking

Hello, I have been using fiverr, upwork, Elance, Freelancer micro jobs sites. If you want to compare this sites then check below link:

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I hope we are not hijacking an older thread, but I thought this was a great article: Why Freelancers Should RUN From Upwork - And Where You Should Go!

I have been doing a free site for my mother-in-law, and her business has greatly improved because of it. I have also been able to score a few paid gigs as a result. Good luck!