Not here to brag, just want to inspire and motivate the little guys who are frustrated.
I hope this will help someone out there.
Okay it was the year 2009, I already had a blog and was making money from selling advertising. I was making barely $50-$60/month.
I saw a website called odesk (now Upwork.com) and saw people there earning $10/hour
I said WOW people making that much!!
If I make that much, then it would be a killing!!
Then I joined; I followed their guidelines and created my profile.
Now in freelancing, you can join free and make a profile..
To make money you have to offer a service.
And since I don't have any work experience in that site, no ratings
it's hard for me to get a job.
I got into my PC and collected everything I ever made. Like little logos, banners, simple pages I made with HTML and put them on my profile.
Now I bid on every job I could.
I knew how to design a logo, banners and setup a blog in blogspot.
I started with that.
I bid for 1 month with no such response.
I finally got an interview for a banner designer for $1/hour job.
I was HAPPY, not cause of the money but because now I will have some track record.
REMEMBER: Your track record and experience like hours, reviews, feedback is your asset.
Then I did 7 hours of work. Designed 5 banners and earned $7.
Depending on that experience in my portfolio I bid for some more work.
The next job I got was $6/hr. I got 2 jobs @ $6/hr each.
I worked and earned around $50 each week and that was great.
My next job I got was for $8/hr, I worked a couple of jobs at that price point.
My job was to customize wordpress and blogger themes, tweak them etc.
Then my next job I charged $10/hr.
I learned that I cannot just put all my energy in odesk.
If someday odesk bans my account, I will lose everything.
So I created a portfolio on my own site for my blog readers.
Soon people kept coming from my blog and google search asking for help with their websites.
I then started to charge what I wanted. I charged $100 per website.
Then $200, 300, 500 per website.
In odesk I made my hourly rate $25 and I got one or two jobs at that price.
But most jobs I got at that price off site from my personal contacts I built over time throughout the years.
To wrap things up:
I went from $1/hr to $33/hr, you take a few things from me,
#1 Start small, and use what you have, even if you get paid just $1
#2 Get experience and build your track record
#3 Keep adding new skills, learn new things everyday.
I did not got $10/hr job by offering $1 skills. I learned and improved my skills.
#4 Don't depend on the job sites, build your own site when you can
#5 Have patience
#6 Value your clients more than the money
#7 Don't be afraid/hesitate to ask for money because,
#8 I earned $10/hr because I asked for it
Now the way I did things few years back, you may not get success in odesk(or upwork) today because now the competition is huge for newbies.
But as long as you have some skills and are willing to learn, you will never run out of work, no matter which platform you work.
I hope this helps and thanks for reading!!
Update: Hi, please check my upwork profile (it was odesk previously) for proof: https://www.upwork.com/users/~01497d49ca4f384680