This is my very first blog post and I'm happy to be here. My name is Kendra, and I've been writing my entire life. I first realized I could make a little money doing it just over a year ago.
Let me tell you, being a freelancer isn't easy. When I first signed up for Upwork back in 2015, fresh out of high school, I thought I was signing up for the easiest job in the world. I thought I'd get paid thousands of dollars to write stories and novels. I thought I'd get to sit in my pajamas all day, writing what I loved. I very quickly found out that this wasn't the case.
I could write an entire post about the best websites for freelancing, but for now, I'll talk about Upwork. Upwork is not the place to go if you're looking for a real career as a freelance writer. By no means am I speaking ill of it -- in fact, I'm incredibly grateful for Upwork. It gave me real experience, something crucial to success in this kind of a career. The jobs I've done through Upwork have made me a much stronger writer than I was before. Thanks to Upwork, not only am I good at writing fiction, but I'm good at writing nearly everything, from product and book reviews, to proofreading and editing documents, to even helping people craft business proposals.
But the fact remains, if you're looking for jobs that will actually pay the bills, they won't likely be found on Upwork. I quickly realized this after just the first few hours of using the website. The kind of rates I saw were absolutely ridiculous -- one dollar for every thousand words, five dollars for a 10,000 story, etc. If you're a writer, you know how much work it takes, how much effort and time are involved. Rates like these are unacceptable if you're planning to make a career as a freelancer.
Now, if you're simply looking to gain experience and build a work history, Upwork is a fantastic place to start. You may not make a lot of money, but if you are even remotely talented, you'll find plenty of work, and maybe if you're lucky, you'll land a high-paying job every once and a while. And if you're even luckier, you'll find a client you can establish a permanent relationship with, potentially leading to a real career and networking opportunities.
I didn't get high-paying jobs right away. I didn't establish relationships right away either. It takes time to make progress, but remember, every little job counts. Yes, you may end up feeling like you're basically doing slave labor for clients who will pay you next to nothing, but the more jobs you complete, the more experience you gain, the more likely you'll find success. I expected an effortless job, but there's no such thing as an effortless job. Every career, including freelancing, can be incredibly difficult, but also very rewarding.
Eventually, I did find wonderful jobs through Upwork. I'm at a point where I can say that I'm almost making a living from freelancing, not quite, but almost. And I strongly believe that if I keep trying and keep working, I will someday be able to make freelancing a full-time career. I believe you can too. Don't think success is going to happen over just one night. Don't think you're going to become rich quick. The reality of freelancing is that it's tough. But if you're determined enough, you'll be able to embrace that reality.