How I earned my first $5.00 on freelancer


Most people think about working from home behind their lap tops and go like: wow that’s so cool. I’m basically gonna earn some cash just by sitting behind my laptop working in the comfort of my home. But the moment they start the real deal, they see all the challenges that come with it.

I’ll use this website as a case study because that’s the one I’ve used. There are other sites besides freelancer such as upwork and others but let’s focus on freelancer for now.

These sites let you work for clients and get payed through mediums such as paypal, skrill, bank accounts. It may sound pretty straightforward at first till you start, then you realize it’s not so easy to get employed. There are tons of people there too trying to get the same job you are trying to get. So how did I get my first job and my first 5 star rating?


I kept bidding and bidding but for weeks nothing… I paid for a java test which I failed the first time and lost $5.00, then I tried the second time and I passed. That didn’t even get me projects. For months I got nothing.

Then I got a project, I started working on it so hard, but I had to work on my own school projects and stuff so it was hard. And I didn’t have the speed and skills to complete it. Fortunately, unfortunately, the employer stopped contacting me and I forgot about it because I was struggling.

Later I got another offer but I didn’t have the skill required so I declined. Then after months of failure, I got a simple project from a student. It was a c++ project, very simple. I over estimated the project and did something complex until later when he explained better (language barriers… his English wasn’t so good) that I simplified it. That was when I got my first $4.50, oops! it wasn’t even up to $5.00 haha.

Getting your first $…

  • We started from the bottom now we’re here
    • Start from the bottom. Yes. Maybe you are the best logo designer or the best website designer but no one knows that yet. No one will employ you because you do not have the ratings to proof. Forget about your pride and ego for now.
    • Filter out all projects that are above $30.00. Focus on finding trivial projects; mostly from students in college.
  • Stand out
    • When you see a project you can do, don’t just rush to bid on it. Think about what the user wants by reading the project description carefully. If you see anything that shows they care more about their money than quality, then make sure you bid the lowest you can. Remember you just want to get reviews at this point.
    • Make sure the message you send them is unique. Tell them you’re willing to help genuinely (and be sincere about that), tell them the price is negotiable, tell them you are the best at what they’re asking for and give a few facts about why that’s true.
  • Stay online, bid often, bid wisely
    • You want to catch every project that comes through your notification till you get something doing so stay online. You don’t necessarily have to keep staring at your freelancer page, just keep it open and glance at it once in a while.
    • You have to bid as often as you can. That’s obvious right? yeah, but bid wisely too. Don’t just waste your bids, bid on projects you know you are likely going to get based on the price, your abilities, what they want, the number of people that have already bid on it, the level of the the freelancers bidding (do they have lots of reviews than you do?), how old the project is. Consider all that. It’s generally wiser to bid on newer projects.
  • Know the project
    • Read the description carefully. If it says you have to download attached files before bidding, please do so. They may contain information that tells you how to bid in order to be selected. Some employers are smart.
    • Optionally, if you think you have some bids to spare, quickly read through the project description, bid, then download any additional files and read while you wait for response from the employer.

So these are a few keys for you on how to get your first job on freelancer. It may apply to other freelancing websites. Stay persistent, once you get a good profile, you wouldn’t have to struggle too much to get more jobs. If you have any contribution or concern, please comment or contact me.


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