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How I made $60k in less than 9 months in Upwork

Alireza Bashiri


I had a lot of hesitance on writing this article as I didn’t want to make it sound like flexing or showing off but after I read “Show of Your Work” book I decided I have to do it.

I intentionally made a click-bait title to reach out to everyone who have the same fair or unfair advantages but too afraid to try something new and see how much money they can make in freelancing.

Unfair Advantages

First thing first, I had unfair advantages that others might not have as I started freelancing last year leaving my enterprise job which I had been doing for the past 7 to 8 years.

This gives me an edge compared to other freelancers as I’ve worked with a a lot of start-ups to medium and large-sized companies and I face a lot of problems during the years which helped to understand what clients want or how to address their problems in a agile way.

So if you don’t have prior experience don’t worry, you get there, it will take some time as long as you write targeted proposals and keep up your consistency.

Don’t be jack of all trades…define your niche

Before starting to write your proposals make sure you already polished your profile and defined your “niche”, Let me tell you why I insist on defining your “niche” first.

Put yourself in client shoes, would you hire someone who’s jack of all trades, or someone who’s a freelancer superhero? Clients tend to hire freelancers that specialize in what they’re doing and get fast results.

Having a unique/personal vision for your business will separate you from competition & give you an edge.

You might want to check out the article below to read more on how to gain competitive edge on your freelancing business.

Here you can see I put myself as a “Ruby on Rails” developer even though I’ve done a hell a lot of other things but that’s what I specialize in.

Targeted proposals

You need to be very careful when you use clients and you need to be even more careful when you send the proposals. Here’s a few factors that I always follow before submitting a proposal:

  1. Read the job description carefully before
  2. Check if the job has “Less than 5” or “5–10” proposals otherwise your proposal might not even get noticed.
  3. Write a “killing” headline, as only first 1–2 lines of the proposal will show up in the client dashboard among when listing proposals.

3. Avoid writing irrelevant experiences and only mention about the skills or that client mentioned in the job description

4. Repeat

Remember that! You’ll get better and better if you try to improve your writing and headlines. Here’s an example that I landed my first job:

When viewing your job details, it really jumped out at me. I have extensive experience in ETL development utilizing MongoDB, Redis, Kafka for data normalization and providing real-time API using WebSocket, as well as implementing open banking platform API proposal to biggest bank in Thailand KBank using Chrome DevTools Protocol… more
What is the difference between a "root" and "branch" browse nodes on Amazon? Please don't copy-paste from the web, just give me a 1-sentence explanation.
Web Development > Ruby on Rails in which "Web Development" would be a root node and "Ruby on Rails" a subcategory/item
Which of these areas do you have experience in?
• Ruby on Rails
• Sidekiq or Faktory for background jobs
• Docker • Good SQL skills
• Go / golang (or a willingness to learn some basic Go)
✅ I have a lot of experience writing Ruby on Rails applications for large clients using both Sidekiq and Faktory
✅ I'm pretty comfortable writing raw SQL for Go sql/sqlx/orm or Ruby on Rails ActiveRecord
✅ I've used Go in cloud infrastructure, web scraping, micro-services as well as monolith applications
Which of these optional skills do you have experience in? + AWS (EC2, RDS, Elasticache, S3, Kinesis, others?) + Web scraping/parsingI've used following services AWS in a daily bases:
✅ AWS Lambda
✅ AWS S3
✅ AWS Route
I have worked with a lot of web scraping applications and parsing data using using XPATH, Go (Colly, html/template, etc), Ruby (Nokogiri, etc), Node.js (Puppeter), Python (BeautifulSoap, etc)Did you read the job description? Can you commit to the days and hours required, including overlapping my time zone by 4 hours each day?I've read the job description and I understand that I need to commit 3–4 hours in MT timezone everyday.

Do you see? I went crazy with details about my skills and experiences and I landed my first job around Jan and since then I’ve been freelancing on Upwork.

Check out Josh Burns videos on Youtube on how to improve your proposals, ’cause I learned from this man a lot.

Last words

Most freelancers do not write good proposals (I’ve seen them), so if you write good enough proposals getting a job is almost guaranteed with patience.

Next thing you should do is to get as many honest and good reviews as possible and this will happen by carefully picking your clients, Yes! You need to choose your clients wisely, otherwise oh boy! you’re in big trouble.

After you’ve done all this, you can slowly increase your rate and since you already build up your credit with good reviews you don’t have to work on finding client anymore, as they’ll come to you like a “magnet”.

Remember! The harder you work, the luckier you get! I hope this article helps people who doubt themselves to make a fortune.



Alireza Bashiri

∞ Travel | Coding | Lifestyle ⦿ Bangkok | ✧ #freelancer ▷ Got a project? ⭣