Benek, great article!
I tried Upwork although it seemed ridiculous to me at first — newcomers are paid $5 for an article and they have to like know logarithm tables by heart.
I am a Serbian-English translator, so writing was a logical step. I did 2 jobs — travel writing for $80 and some small translation for $1 to get their badge and improve my rating. I didn’t get the badge, and I only found poorly paid jobs with tight deadlines.
I earn more in my country (southern Europe) where an average monthly salary is $400! I managed to earn $800 in 10 days with kids in the house.
My friends and former business colleagues provided referrals, and now I’m building up a portfolio. I reached the cold emailing phase by pitching an article to a parenting portal. Now I’m doing native ads for them.
Also, a new acquaintance helped me join a local digital marketing group connected to American companies. There are a lot of excellent experts outside the US as well.
So, it is possible to start doing it without Upwork.
Do you have any advice for me as a newbie in freelancing? I would really appreciate it