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Tapajyoti Bose
Tapajyoti Bose

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Freelance Journey: Starting Off to Top Rated in 4 Months

Upwork Badges

If you are into Freelance, you must have come across UpWork, one of the largest Freelance Marketplace on the planet. UpWork provides Freelancers with badges to signify the following:

  • Rising Talent: Success early on in the Freelance Game
  • Top Rated: Top 12% of the Freelancers on the Platform
  • Top Rated Plus: Top 3% of the Freelancers on the Platform
  • Expert Vetted: Top 1% of the Freelancers on the Platform and verified by UpWork

I am a Freelancer who went from Starting Off to Top Rated in just 4 months (on average takes 1 to 2 years). In this article, I will be sharing how I managed to pull off this feat in such a small timespan. Let's Get Started!!!

Get Started

WARNING: This article will NOT provide you with any shortcut to becoming Top Rated, but share how I became Top Rated

How it Began

If you go through my profile, you will find I started Freelancing on 11th May 2021


And I became Top Rated on 19th September 2021, in only 4 Months and 8 days.

Top Rated

On paper, I might have become Top Rated in 4 months on paper, but the things that led me to become Top Rated started 4 YEARS ago!

How things Snowballs


Every gig I landed on Upwork was a direct (yet completely unexpected) consequence of something I did a long time back.

The first gig was writing technical articles (landing the gig result of posting new articles every week), the second was developing a SaaS product with Material UI (the result of being one of the contributors of Material UI), and the final one was due to the client found my blogs and contacted me.

All other gigs were me working with the previous clients or through referrals from them.

As you can see, everything you do has a direct impact on your future. Make sure you use this knowledge to your advantage and work on things that have the potential to rocket your future. Of course, while working on the stuff, you will not know how it affects you in the future, but improving your skills will always have a positive impact.

Tips to level-up fast at Freelancing

level up

Even though I am still quite new to Freelancing, through my journey I learned quite a few lessons, which you can apply to avoid some of the unnecessary pain I went through:

  1. Before you start, make sure you have practical skills. I have seen a lot of my friends watching some tutorials and thinking they have the necessary skills. When they land a gig, they sadly get slaughtered by the client as they can't deliver. Theoretical skills are completely useless. You learn something by DOING not STUDYING.

    There is another caveat to this. You will never think that you are ready to start Freelancing. But if you have demonstrated your skills (at least one decent project), don't shy away from starting your freelance journey.

  2. When you are starting, keep your rates low, but not too low. My first client (before my Upwork days) offered me $50 for a gig that should have paid $500 considering a rate of $10/hour. Needless to say, the experience wasn't great for either of us.

  3. Put the client first. It might be tempting to charge the client higher or cut corners, but I can absolutely assure you that it will come back and bite you in the long run.

    The client is hiring you to solve their problem, when you over-deliver, the client will endorse you to their friends and will also come back to you in the future, leading to more business.

  4. Be smart about the gigs you apply to. In gigs where there are already 20+ applications, it is highly unlikely that you apply and the client would select you. Apply only on the gigs which are recent, doesn't have much activity, and are a strong match for your skills to maximize the likelihood of being selected.

  5. Keep improving your skills. You don't have to learn a new framework every month, but just a few minor new tweaks to your skillset now and then would work wonders. Just improving 1% every day would incredibly improve your skills in just 1 year (1.01³⁶⁵ = 37.8, but 1³⁶⁵ = 1)


Sum up

You might be wondering "Everything mentioned in this article is so simple. It won't work for me". This is the most common excuse encountered in the world of Self Development.

Everyone is looking for some mind-blowing trick, which when used would make them successful overnight. Sorry to break your dream, such a trick doesn't exist. It takes hard work to become good at anything, and every pro you know once started off as a noob (in gamer's terms).

It takes half a decade of hard work to become an overnight success

Every overnight success story you hear, has thousands of hours preceding it which you know nothing about.

Ok. Enough with the Self Development stuff. Let's get back to the Freelance world.

The starting are the hardest, as long as you keep developing your skills and keep delivering your best consistently, you will definitely become one of the best freelancers in the world. Hope that you become a great freelancer soon. Best of luck on your journey!!!

Good Luck

Finding personal finance too intimidating? Checkout my Instagram to become a Dollar Ninja

Thanks for reading

Want to work together? Contact me on Upwork

Want to see what I am working on? Check out my GitHub

I am a freelancer who will start off as a Digital Nomad in mid-2022. Want to catch the journey? Follow me on Instagram

Follow my blogs for weekly new tidbits on Dev


These are a few commonly asked questions I get. So, I hope this FAQ section solves your issues.

  1. I am a beginner, how should I learn Front-End Web Dev?
    Look into the following articles:

    1. Front End Development Roadmap
    2. Front End Project Ideas
  2. Would you mentor me?

    Sorry, I am already under a lot of workload and would not have the time to mentor anyone.

  3. Would you like to collaborate on our site?

    As mentioned in the previous question, I am in a time crunch, so I would have to pass on such opportunities.

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Top comments (2)

cenacr007_harsh profile image

I am looking to start my freelancing journey as well, can you tell me which one is better to start, Fiverr or Upwork.

ruppysuppy profile image
Tapajyoti Bose

Try out both, then continue with the one that works best for you. Best of luck!