Working remotely: How to get the best of

Hi people,
Planning to use to get some web development experience as well as freelancing, but I heard it could go very wrong, with salaries of $5,-/hour! What do you advice to use the site so I can get the best of it?



Not in your position, but this thread could be helpful - if you haven’t read it already.

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Very helpful, thanks!

I work about 10 - 20 hours a week on Upwork and I can definitely say that there is plenty of room to find your niche and your price. Things that clients value most are native English speakers, easy timezones, forward thinking, being flexible with designs and having good opinions about those designs, and just a good attitude. It’s great when you can make suggestions about design and development that the client can’t easily see – for example : how a button looks when hovered, what happens to the page when it is on a mobile screen, how an animation works…

Here is my profile if you are interested:

I have heard from a few people that they are now getting denied from Upwork because there are too many people with the same skillset. This could be difficult for newcomers, so I suggest you try to complete the Upwork Skills Tests to boost your status. Having a complete portfolio with correct URLs to your work is very important too. [ Update: Skills tests are no longer available and I’m not sure what they are going to do instead ]

Also, just try to pick up an easy job (something like blog writing or data entry) just so you can get your foot in the door!!

I work for a few different digital agencies and they tend to just throw me bits and pieces each week. I set my rate at $30 per hour and that seems to be a pretty good sweet spot. [ Follow up => these days my rate is $70 per hour ]. Your best clients are going to be those who are in your country, and you have even more advantage when you can call them directly to discuss projects.

Upwork is rad and there is plenty of work out there for all abilities. That is the best thing about it, you can start small, doing a tiny baby project of like $10, just to get some 5 start feedback. Heck, do it for free if you just want to get into the system with a good rating. Get a few good 5 star ratings and then start thinking about boosting your hourly rate.

Then you can work your way up to bigger and better projects. My goal is to work on some big commercial projects in Angular / VueJS and to be part of a proper dev team :slight_smile:



Great tips!! The specific numbers are also helpful, since it’s tough to put a value on your own work.


I saw you have a 25 dollar / hour rate. I just wonder how much of that actually lands in your pocket, if you are comfortable with answering of course.

Here is Upwork’s fee schedule: Fees

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Yeah, just google it. Upwork takes a steep fee of 20% initially, but after time it goes down to 10% for earnings over $500 and down to 5% for earnings over $5000. I prefer longer jobs anyway, so I take home $22.50 - $27.00 per hour.

That’s fine because here in Australia that equates to about $30+ per hour.



Thanks so much for the valuable insight into this process. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, what type of pitch were you using for your first few jobs on there? I’ve made a few already with no bites.


My pitch changes all the time, it depends on the job at hand… Generally I am very casual with saying hello and explaining who I am. I prefer to speak like that because it shows that I am, in fact, a native speaker, and clients really like that fact. Once the initial hello’s are done, you need to be good at quoting your time and providing estimates based on the task at hand. Always ask for development notes, wireframes, mockups, or any additional information so that you can make a more informed decision. Most clients are happy to negotiate based on time and speed.


Hi Jack,

I am having trouble getting my profile accepted on Upwork. I am a nodejs developer with 1.5+ years experience and did some fullstack projects (both in fulltime day job & a freelance project). Everytime I submit my profile, it gets rejected (two times I have tried) with message from the team that they have to many candidates with similar niche. What do I do? Any help appreciated.

Really, I find that extremely hard to understand. How can they deny you? It’s a free marketplace where everyone can compete… Can you show me what they said (do you have a screenshot or email?)

Feel free to DM because this sounds super odd!


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Actually I have heard of this happening to others. You can try adding additional skills. Do you have decent OS skills on whatever platforms hosts the node code? Cent OS, Ubuntu, that sort of thing. Can you add some front end skills? Maybe another language you’ve learned like Ruby, C# etc…

When you get your profile approved you can still target the node postings if that is your focus.

Upwork has people posting about this problem, here is just one example… Upwork Forums