How To Get Your Upwork Profile Approved In 6 Easy Steps – My Mistakes

Do you have and run your own online business?

If you do, you have learned skills that you can market and get paid for! – Freelancing!

Freelancing is a way to leverage your skills and get multiple sources of income going while you build you long term business.

When I started this make money online journey a year ago, I was scared of starting something new, after having completed my Msc, and working full time, I still wanted to do more with my life and be financially free ( You want that too – don’t you).

Wealthy Affiliate JourneyMy Profile On Wealthy Affiliate when I decided to change my Life.

I went Premium after the 3rd day of my 7-Day Free Trial. I told myself i was going to give this just 3 months, If it didn’t work out then i would quit and just stick to my day job.

Unfortunately the first three months did not earn me money but I knew I was getting value and I was in this for life.

The trainings are easy to follow and I learnt more than just affiliate marketing but also picked up new tips on how to make money online from the WA community. I learned about Dropshipping and bought a course by Tai Lopez.

PS: Before I started my journey, I had never thought it wise “Investing in myself” . If it was not free i wanted none of it, I even Laughed when i heard people paid for courses online, I was always looking for the shortest way to make money and this building an online business was just too long for my liking,

The Benefits of being a premium member of WA and the values i was getting that could change my life was more than I thought possible, I knew now that investing in Myself was the best decision I made and I decided to see where this rabbit hole would take me to.

In my Journey to make money online in the past, I had registered on Upwork and Fiver sometime in 2017, I thought myself a very good writer(even though I wrote only poems and short stories), However my profile never got approved and i did not bother trying again (Why bother Right?)

I have been spending more (Investing in my education online) than i have been earning so the last two months I decided to try what I had been learning from my courses and building my business in the real world, and the freelancing idea came back again.

I went to my up work profile, recovered my password (I had forgotten it at the time) and I decided to get my profile re approved. I also registered to other freelance sites (which i would share with you) but the competition(which is everywhere) made me want to join the super “exclusive list where i can stand out”

I worked on my Profile with enthusiasm and with the skills i have acquired over the year i was fairly confident! SO you can imagine my shock when I got this

Imagine my shock when i got this emailUpwork Profile ApprovalUpwork Rejection Email Oct. 25, 2019

I had retouched my profile and talked about my skill sets, what I can do and what results i could offer..

PS: I had built up a little confidence by cold calling and freelancing locally for a few friends(To build an e commerce store) and for some real estate agents I had helped optimize their Facebook pixel and run ads(skills i learnt this year too :D) and was paid for it. This is in a 3rd world country(Nigeria) where trust is difficult to come by.

After mulling in my failures for a few more days, I decided to just stick to the local Freelancing I was doing where I was reaching out to everyone i thought needed my help.

Serendipity – : the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought foralso : an instance of this

Giving up on Upwork and The Youtube Ad that Gave me Life

I gae up and decided to focus on my busines and bidding on jobs on both Freelancer and Fiverr but I was not getting any jobs.

One day while watching a  YouTube video on personal development, I came across the most honest no hype ads I had seen in a while and it was about a guy(John Morris) talking about getting verified on Upwork ( I don’t know if my YouTube searches had anything to do with it or if I am being spied in my Mark Z. :))

It was a free course on getting verified on Upwork, The course is 13 hours long but it took my 6 days to finish through as i still had WA lessons, My Online Business to run and my full time Job to contend with.

I went in to Learn just on getting verified on Upwork but got more value than i bargained for as John teaches you about how to be a Freelancer with a difference.

John morris Upwork

What’s More… The Course was entirely FREE as Skill share offers you a 2 month free Subscribtion.

You get a two-month free trial from an Invitation link ( If you are interested you can drop your email in the comment section )


After the course, I re arranged my profile and reapplied to Upwork again and this happened


Upwork dissaproved

2nd rejection mail. Nov 16, 2019 

At this point i was sure of a rejection as I had only implemented only half of what I had learned. I was sure I would finally be let in now that I knew how it was done (from following the Upwork Free Tutorials By John on Skillshare)

Next I implemented 80 percent of what I learned from the tutorial, One more thing I wanted to do was change my profile picture which was two years old and does not fit to the standard up work profile approval (from the tutorial standards) But I had restructured my profile, highlighting my skills and also attaching a Portfolio of my past Jobs ( Don’t worry, you can still do this with no past jobs)

and I submitted, This time, i was waiting for a rejection Mail and booom! 🙂

I get This!Upwork approved

Finally Approved! – Dec 3rd 2019

This was amazing! I felt very good, Now I know what works and I cannot wait to start biding on projects and making money on the side.

Upwork Profile Approved

Here is a Link to My up work profile

While I strongly recommend that you take the course (email address in the comment section to get the invite link) , Here is an overview of what the course would teach you on how to get your Upwork Profile Approved.

The 6 Steps that Got my profile Approved and How you can Implement them

STEP 1: Post a Quality Head shot (Optional But Necessary)

When You as a client search for freelancers, this is the first thing You’ll look at. It’s simply human nature.

While a good head shot won’t 100% sell a client on hiring you or in this case get approved by Upwork, it can give you just

enough to get them to click on your profile and give you a look. Here’s how to make sure you leave a good first impression:

  1. Wear a Nice Shirt : Your should wear a nice shirt with solid colors, Avoid bold and distracting colors at all cost and avoid patterned wears. Do not wear anything too shiny, no wrinkles(you want to look as professionally casual as possible) and it is best to avoid all white shirts(I am definitely changing my profile picture because i violate this rule)
  2. Use a Nice Background: The Background Used for your picture should not be of solid colors, It should contrast well with Your Shirt/jacket, If you want to use a natural backdrop, use something that fits with what you do or the service you are offering. You can get wallpapers from backdrop outlet.com
  3. Crack a Nice Smile: Who would you rather hire? Someone smiles and confident or someone frowning and brooding? Yes, You would hire the smiling confident person and so would I. Now you know what you would look for, put on the beautiful charming smile everyone says you have(If you don’t, Keep practicing in front of your mirror till you find the one:) ) and it is best to show your teeth(almost always looks better) as not everyone pulls of a grin/ Also please Don’t be afraid to PhotoShop 😀
  4. Bonus tip: Take as many pictures as possible and show it to your friends and ask them who they would hire 😀

STEP 2: Enter a Targeted Title and Tags

Your title and tags perform two important functions:

1) they are one of the first things clients will read when viewing your profile in a search and

2) they help Upwork determine the kind of searches your profile are relevant for. Here’s how to make sure they accomplish both for you:

  • Make sure your title and tags includes relevant keywords related to the services you provide
  • Speak to your client in your title by using more “You” and “Your” statements and less “I” and “We” (PS: Your clients only care about what you can do for them)
  • Start your title with “I specialize in…” ( This is why i said less “I”, because you need to tell them just a little of you but more of what you can do for THEM)

STEP 3: Write Your 3- Part Overview

Your overview is one of the main elements clients will use to determine whether to hire you, so you want to make sure you’re saying the right things. There’s the framework I followed that works:

a) Tell Proof

Avoid saying things like “I’m experienced” in your overview or proposals. You should look to make statements that are “Proofs”. You can say something like “I’ve been an affiliate marketer for 12 months” or “I’ve built over 100 e-commerce websites in different niches” or ” I’ve worked with big-name clients like…”. You have to show potentials clients why they should hire you… not tell them.

And what If you don’t have any proofs?

Then you should make your own proof, If you say you can build a shopify store, Build one in 7 days(the free trial lasts 14days) have screen grabs and pictures and your intro goes from ” I can build an e commerce store ” to “I’ve built 3 shopify stores in a month”. Do the Work!

b) Specialization

Remember to Always start with “I specialize in…” and move into the kinds of sites you build/have built or services you render. The more you can talk about what you’ve done already, the better. It’s more proof that you’re a true expert in your niche.

c) How to Start ( Call To Action)

Future-pace. Tell them what will happen when they hire you. How the process works. Eliminate their natural fear of the unknown. Finish by telling them exactly who to do in order to start right now. There is a statistics around this i do not have now, but it pays to Always ask for the Sale after you have sold yourself. ALWAYS TELL THEM WHAT NEXT TO DO

STEP 4: Record an Intro Video ( Optional )

This is optional and while i have not done it for my profile, I would because It is a great way to stand out on Upwork since most freelancers don’t do this. Here’s how to do it without re-inventing the wheel:

a) Use the Same Frame as Your Head shot

The same shirt, background, etc. If it was good enough for your head shot, it’s good enough for a video.

b) Use Your iPhone or Android

You don’t need an expensive or Fancy camera. If you have one, great. Otherwise, use your smartphone. The cameras on modern smartphones rival most professional cameras. So, use what you have. (Stop Making excuses and do IT)

c. Audio Is Most Important

With video, most people focus on the visual, but it’s the audio that matters most. Bad audio will get your video stopped quicker than anything else. A good inexpensive microphone can give you great audio on your smartphone or camera.(PS: If you have video editing skills and can add captions to your videos that would go a long way)

d. Get Good Lighting

When it comes to the visual, lighting is the difference between an ugly video and professional-looking one. And, you don’t need an expensive light kit. Work lights from Home Depot and some 40-60 watt bulbs will work just fine.

STEP 5: Build Your Portfolio ( The Most Important Step)

This is one major block my profile was missing and why i think i got my first two rejections after i took the course on up work. Your portfolio is the single biggest element potential clients will evaluate when hiring you. And, they’ll focus almost exclusively on “how it looks”. So, make sure your portfolio contains your most visually-appealing items. It’s better to leave something off that’s not as visually appealing than to include it and have it works against you.

If you don’t have anything for your portfolio, make something.

Again, Your portfolio does NOT have to contain things you did for clients. It’s mean to show off what you CAN do. If you’ve never had any clients, build 3-5 of whatever kind of deliverable you’re making for clients and put those in your portfolio. Then, simply replace them, over time, with projects you did for clients. 😀

STEP 6: Enter Certifications, Tests, Employment History, Education and Other Experiences

These are optional, but the basic rule is… if you have it, use it. If you have a certification that’s even semi-related, post it. A job, a degree, etc… if you have it, use it. Anything to your advantage ( Stack Up Your Pros)

You’ve made it!

PS: If You go through this and you still get rejected, Try and Try again, rework your profile, go through this list and try again.

If i can do it, SO Can YOU!

Bonus Tip – Fiver and Freelancer –  You wont get Jobs If your Proposals Suck!

I registered on Fiver and Upgraded to a paid version of freelancer, but I never could bid smartly on those also as I had another problem I had come to realise – I was missing Jobs not because i was unqualified on both platforms but because i was not writing proposals that could connect

The most important lesson i have learned this year is that knowledge is everywhere(sometimes you might have to pay to get it) But if You want a life of financial freedom from owning and running your own online business, This doesn’t seem like such a steep price to pay.

I decided to look for a freelancer who was on Upwork and earning so i could ask for help and how he was landing clients. Fortunately i found one on a forum(Nairaland) and sent him a message, After two phone calls i knew he was the real deal, i was on his newsletter so i could learn the value he was giving for free(I do the same with my newsletters so subscribe 🙂 )

He gave me enough Value and also had a PDF book for sale($7), I got the book (42 pages) and this is not a review but the book was filled with so many “AHA Moments” of why my proposals on fiver and Freelancer was being ignored. This was all the motivation I needed to get in on Upwork, because I am confident of my skills, I could earn passively, I want My education to start paying for itself(lol)

PS: To Write the best Proposals on Upwork and land clients you should take a look at this from Wicked Fred.

Writing The Perfect proposal

PSSS: You can Hire me for your Dropshipping Jobs, Social Media Marketing and Copyrighting from my Upwork Link.

Till Next Time



20 thoughts on “How To Get Your Upwork Profile Approved In 6 Easy Steps – My Mistakes”

  1. Getting in the competition and being chosen over others to do jobs on these platforms is not easy at all. As a matter of fact, I have tried some of them that never worked.

    Nevertheless, from this post you have shared, Upwork looks promising if and only if one gets the approval and good mentorship. I guess I have found it right here.

    PS: I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate too.

  2. Hi Ifeanyi. Thank you for sharing this post; must confess, it added some more value to my life. I knew about Fiverr, Freelancer and Upwork but I have only registered with Fiverr and Freelancer. I didn’t get a single job from Freelancer but I missed one job from Fiverr. After registering for Fiverr, I got fed up after some weeks because I wasn’t getting any job. I managed to check back and I saw I have missed a typing job (mathematics script) about three days. I felt so much pain and up till now, I haven’t gotten any job.

    I never knew it is going to be difficult to get approval on Upwork so I guess Upwork is the best place to be. Thanks for the tips, I will contact you.

  3. Hello Ifeanyi and congratulations for getting approved on Upwork! This was not an easy achievement, you put efforts and ambition into it, but now you have just got ready to go!

    You also give us good advice about how to be more attractive for clients, in case we try to go for Freelancing. Smiling and showing proofs about what we can do are some must-haves in order to be accepted and have chances to earn as freelancers. Going that way is not an overnight shortcut to success, that’s for sure!

    And you also offer us a model of persistence after being rejected. Yes, this attitude can help us too!

    Have lots of success and fruitful projects on Upwork!


  4. A friend introduced me to upwork sometime ago and I have to say that it is one of the best platforms that one can actually get. It is nice to see that you can teach us here about the mistake you made personally with it by not doing what to get approved. I am thinking of joining in. This is very nice. Thanks, I will use the info here for when I want to join. 

  5. Hello there,Your article is so helpful. Thank you. I created my Upwork account in 2013 and it was approved but I only just started using it last week. I bid a lot of jobs and some clients started a conversation on working with me. Unfortunately, Upwork suspended my account before we could go further citing that I had done a lot of biddings without a success within one week. What would you advise on this? Because I am getting confused and I don’t know what to do.thanks once again I this article would be of great help to the public

    • Hey David

      This is one of the newest ways to get your Upwork account suspended.(sending too many proposals) 

      How many is too many? 

      Upwork support representatives would tell you that there aren’t any number given.

      As Upwork is a for-profit company, they are looking to keep productive freelancers who will earn them money! As such, they keep tabs on the ratio between the number of successful and failed proposals.

      However, If your account is suspended for this reason, you can file an appeal, especially if you have a contract running. Fortunately, with this issue, there is a chance of getting your account reinstated.

      Remember that following up with your clients to get more work, and asking for referrals, is one of the best practices for freelancers. It’s a great way of ensuring that get regular work from your Upwork clients. 

      Hope this helps Dave.

  6. I, like you, joined Wealthy Affiliate hoping to make some extra money to fund my retirement fund. I was blown away by all the great training and how easy they made it to set up your website, but I could only do so much part-time so it took me about a year before I started getting in regular sales.

    Freelancing is also a great opportunity, especially if you have gone through all the training, as you are more qualified, know a lot more about internet marketing and can offer services that few others can. However, I never realised that it was still so difficult to get work and that you had to set up your profile just right. Thanks for the great tips, and I am sure this will save a lot of time when applying to sites like these to do freelance work for others. I will definitely be reading your ‘writing the perfect proposal.’

  7. thanks so much for this post!this is the best I have seen in years While I’ve never had an Upwork application rejected previously (mostly because I’ve been too nervous to even submit it for review), I found your tips extremely helpful! Using them I finally finished a profile I am proud of, one I believe will speak to potential clients, and submitted it for review… fingers crossed!thanks ones again for this awesome article 

    • Youre welcome Dave

      I can relate to how you fill, But now that you have this “cheat sheet” try and utilise them and keep reapplying

  8. Thanks for helping out with these beautiful tips and getting your upwork profile approved. People make some common mistakes when making such moves and its good you realize your and took corrective steps to getting a better result. The first tip is very important because these people are very interested in your personality so its always good to appear good. Best regards.

  9. This is a very good post. It seems like I have Madea mistake like yours because our story is very similar. I have already registered on a platform apart from this one even though I have joined wealthy affiliate for a fee months now. I dumped it because I didn’t think that it was of any use to me since I wasn’t get any clients. I feel I have learnt something fromed on a different platthis but I will open a Fiverr account to use your tips. Hopefully, I will get approved. 

  10. Congratulations, you have a fantastic site. Your layout is easy to navigate with great images and easy to read text. I like your hard work of joining upwork. Great idea. Your articles are well written and very concise with very useful information. even I am a stater member wealthy affiliate in 2weeks ago and thanks for giving valuable information. I have bookmarked your site and will be returning when I feel a little overwhelmed

  11. It’s amazing how Wealthy Affiliate can help you succeed not only with online and affiliate marketing but in a bunch of other jobs. There is so much knowledge here and so much help you can get from fellow WA members that all this can be applied in a lot of different situation. Sky is the limit here and I have seen some member using what they learned here to succeed in other areas that have no direct connection to affiliate marketing. Thinking out of the box is a way to get successful…

    • You’re very right Stratos

      You get so much value from WA and can do so much with the education you get there.

      I had learned how to install facebook pixels and how to read and interpret the data that comes with it. 

      Outside the box thinking(when I am cash strapped) helped me reach out to some websites I know would benefit from my knowledge and offer my services to them. (This is something anyone can do).

      After a couple of rejections(not everyone would want your offer), i got some jobs and they were so happy with my results i am the go to guy when they need an online marketer. This keepes me on my toes learning and updating my skills

      Take what you have learned in building your online business and offer that service to others who dont know about such opportunities or do not have the time. 

  12. Your tips are great, so helpful! I would never think that such things as the background and light could have effect on the approval or rejection of the application. But the best tip for me is if you have nothing to add to your portfolio as to the work you have done for clients, add what you can do for them.
    I’ve been working as a freelancer for years and when I started, it was all only about writing letters / e-mails so I didn’t have to bother about making a video or anything like that. But times changed.
    As to your experience with Upwork and Fiverr, which one do you get more work from? I hope you don’t mind me asking that.

    • Hey Lenka,

      I’m glad you got value from it.

      from my experience so far, I prefer upwork as there’s less competition and the competition even though you would be competing with freelancer who are capable

      It forces you to raise you game which we all want right?

  13. I cannot count the number of times I have been rejected by upwork when it cones to them approving my profile. Thankfully, you have finally given me the hack and I promise to make good use of this. Thumbs up to you and I will try all my possible best to follow all that you have shared. Hopefully, it would be for the better for me too. Thumbs up


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