Turnaround your freelancing income- 4 years of analysis on freelancing

I was doing an annual review on my freelancing and I was trying to find where I stand right now with my 4 years of freelancing.
The graph you see right now is my freelancing income graph over the years.

Here are my takeaways and analysis for each year. I thought this would help other people to raise their income on freelancing :

Number of clients:16
See income in the graph on the right side.

  • I was focusing on getting more clients here. But at the same time, I was building my reputation as well. I was bidding really low to get projects(Big mistake). Remember more clients!= More money.
    Take away:
  • Don't bid on low price projects. Keep your rate high. You will earn more in the end.

Number of clients:13
See income in the graph on the right side- Income increased a bit compared to 2018.
What did I do differently:

  • I increased my hourly rate

What was my mistake:

  • I Increased my rate but I was still looking for lower rate fixed price projects than higher rate hourly projects. My mentality was I should be constantly getting new clients.

Number of clients:3
See income in the graph on the right side- Income increased significantly compared to 2019.

  • I got 2 clients on an hourly project. One of them was very stressful.
  • Both were hourly projects with an hourly rate of around $50.


  • Projects and clients take time to set up. For one of my clients, I have struggled for 2-3 months with the project but eventually, I picked it up.
  • 2 Hourly client with good hourly rate brings more revenue than 7 times more clients ( compare to 2018 income)
  • It is good to have higher budget projects than lower budget projects

Number of clients:4
See income in the graph on the right side- Income has increased even compared to 2020.

  • It will feel like I haven't brought so many projects in 2021 but my total income is way more than what it used to be and 2021 is not over yet.
  • There is one more project that is not included in the list.
  • Even with 4 clients we have generated more money on upwork and this can be increased as well if we follow the hourly model.

What did I do differently:

  • Only focused on hourly/high budget fixed-price projects. Stopped working with smaller budget clients.
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