Upwork = Fucking Awesome

upwork-is-fa

First off, there are no affiliate links in this post.  I’m just super stoked about this amazing platform.

Second, Upwork is fucking  awesome!  Let me repeat, UPWORK IS FUCKING AWESOME!!!

If you have sensitive ears, err eyes, you probably want to stop reading now, if you haven’t done so already.  I used to be fairly loose with my language around here, but lately I’ve been keeping it professional.  Not today.  This post warrants the emphasis.

Why am I so excited?  I’ll get there, but let me back up first.

Somehow, I had never heard of Upwork until a few weeks ago when I was going through SEO Audit Guide’s free SEO as a side hustle introductory course.  Then, on Saturday I was lounging around reading Money Nomad’s series on How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad in 90 Days when he mentioned it as well.

That was enough coaxing to get me to saunter over to the site and check it out for myself.  If you’re not sure what Upwork is, put simply it’s a nifty online platform connecting freelancers and clients.  After perusing for a few minutes, I said what the hell and decided to make a profile.

Luckily, I had a snazzy picture from a recent wedding we attended over the summer.  I filled in my work experience and education, jotted down a few things about how awesome I am, and was ready to look for some work.

Over the last few weeks, Mrs. DTG has been taking some cracks at my lack of income-making skills so I needed to show her what’s up.

Like the grown ass man I am, I clicked on Find Work.  I started in the writing section.  Here’s my ensuing thought process.

Damn, there are a lot of jobs.  I don’t want any low pay, pain in the ass type shit.  Lots of competition with people submitting proposals, too.  This might not be as easy as I’d hoped.

Well, let me try engineering.  After all, I did go to school for electrical engineering back in the day.

Shit, they’re looking for really smart people who know how to design and analyze stuff using fancy software I don’t know anything about.  I’m fucked.

That’s two strikes.  I was a crappy engineer anyway.  Who needs those nerds?

There must be something I’m good at that people will pay me to do.  I guess I’m an okay writer, let me go back there.

Damn, same results came back. Wtf?

Okay, let’s think.  What am I good at?  Well, nothing really… but I have been in the military for a long time.  Let me try that.

Jackpot.

At the time I added this keyword to my search, I was still in the writing section.  And finally, the results that came back were right up my alley.

“Hey,” I thought to myself.  “I’d actually be pretty good at some of these jobs.”

Over the weekend, I ended up submitting four proposals and by Monday I was in discussions with two potential clients.  One hired me.  A test job turned into five more jobs and an agreement to become a regular contributor at a new website.

Not only that, subsequent interactions with other clients showed great potential for future medium to long term work partnerships.

And, just like that, my freelance business is off and running.

It’s only been a matter of days, but I learned something important: find your niche, dammit! 

Although my new freelance career is in its infancy, it seems to be off to a promising start.  I’m still doing the technical editing I wrote about a couple weeks ago, but that seems to be hit or miss.

If you’re thinking about starting a freelance career of your own, what are you waiting for?  Maybe you’d like a side hustle to make a little extra money.  Or maybe you’re thinking about ditching the daily grind completely and becoming a digital nomad.

Either way, just go for it.  And if you don’t know where to start, head over to Upwork.  It’s fucking awesome.

20 thoughts on “Upwork = Fucking Awesome

  1. Mr. SSC says:

    Congrats on finding a niche and some side work. Pretty awesome!

    I’ll have to look into that, at least to see what sort of niche I could fill – writer/home brewer, writer/cooking, writer/geologist (they’d probably want something really technical, who needs those nerds?, lol) who knows? 🙂

    Like

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks! You’d be surprised what’s out there. If you can’t find anything in one of your preferred niches, you could always become a ghostwriter for romance novels! That seems to be in high demand.

      But seriously, people are looking for writers for just about any topic you can imagine. You probably won’t make close to the amount of your day job, but it’s still a good way to pass the time and make a few extra bucks.

      Like

  2. Graham @ Reverse The Crush says:

    This is a fucking awesome post! Congrats on landing the client and getting your freelance business going!
    I’ve heard of Upwork before through applying for different freelance writing jobs on problogger.com. This is great advice based on my experience with that. Just by looking at the freelance work out there I started feeling like I didn’t have any skills. The focusing on your niche part is so important!
    I’m definitely going to check Upwork out. Great read man 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks. Sometimes I can’t help myself from dropping a few F bombs!

      It’s true that the amount of freelance work out there can be overwhelming. The job I got hired on for has been interesting, but the actual work is taking a bit longer than I anticipated. Regardless, it has been a good experience.

      The only downside is that Upwork skims 20% off the top so you need to take that into account when submitting your proposal. Still, it’s a good platform for connecting freelancers with clients.

      Like

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      I’m sure you’ll be able to find something interesting post ER. If anything, it’s good to know what type of options are out there.

      This whole process the last few months has been a crazy learning experience, to say the least. Like I told Maggie above, I feel like my life is one huge experiment right now!

      Like

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Hi, Kalie! It has been an interesting experience. So far, I have been hired on by two different clients. The pay can vary wildly from project to project. I’m not making anywhere near what I did in the corporate world, but I’m sure it’ll increase as I get more experience.

      The most exciting part is that every day can be completely different. I feel like I’m learning and growing so much more than I was before, even in such a short time.

      Like

  3. TYPEWRITE CONTENT says:

    Wonderful post! 🙂 I can’t agree more…Upwork is really a platform like no other. There are many options out there, but if you’re entering freelance writing – Upwork is the right place to start. Keep UP the good WORK 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Freedom35 says:

    Hey. Great work. I heard mixed things about upwork but what I mainly took away was your bit about finding your nice. Do you have the link to your approach and experience with technical editing? I’d be curious to read more.

    Like

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Like any freelancing platform, it has pros and cons.

      Cons – they take 20% of your first $500 with a client, gradually decreasing with increased earnings. You are competing against freelancers around the world, many from countries with a much lower cost of living than the US. These people will propose crazy low terms. You probably don’t want to work with clients looking for the lowest bidder anyway.

      Pros – It allows you to build a portfolio when you’re just starting out. I’ve gotten several interesting jobs and that’ll help me build a solid portfolio.

      The technical editing has been through a separate company named Cactus Communications. I’ve been editing academic papers in various engineering disciplines written by non-native English speakers. I’m offered jobs almost every day that I can accept or reject as I please. I usually accept a couple a week. Today, I was offered seven jobs, but didn’t accept any since we’re on vacation. The pay isn’t the greatest, but the skills should come in handy down the road.

      Hopefully I can keep building on this early momentum and start making some decent money. I’m loving the flexibility though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      You’re welcome! Glad you liked it.

      I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been on Upwork too much lately. Once things calm down a bit in a couple months, I’ll probably start looking for more work there.

      Like

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