If you are looking for a hack or a shortcut or a magical recipe to write a winning proposal & you can learn it in a week or so then you are at wrong blog This blog is for freelancers who are sending 50+ proposals every month and not getting any good response from clients –

Proposal writing is a journey not a destination.

About my journey as proposal writer –

I am a freelancer since 7 years I have worked on elance.com , odesk.com which is Upwork these days, freelancer.com peopleperhour.com and so far I have written around 7000 proposals on these platforms – Currently I am a Top Rated Freelancer with earnings over $100k +
What I am going to share today is my experience & what always worked for me in these years . But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to work for everyone else as every freelancer has a different story to tell to his clients. I will give the best guidance so you craft your story and tell it your way, If you pay attention, make notes, do a lot of practice then I am quite optimistic it will work for majority of you guys – if you happen to get more and more projects from these series of articles then do share this with the people in your network & don’t forget to say me hi on rehan@sheikhchilli.com

Let’s start….


What is the ideal length / word count of the typical bid?

There is none, there is no ideal length of any project , you can win a project by writing 3 lines Or you can lose a project by writing 100 lines, it all depends on what you write and how you write it, but there is a rule of thumb make it to the point & concise –

Should I use complex English in proposal writing?

No never, always write in simple and understandable english, just make sure you don’t do any grammatical error in it. This is important

What areas should I consider before writing a proposal ?

Client history – his feedbacks to other freelancer, look out for his / her names. Read how he is praising the freelancers he has hired & check for this pain point where the freelancers haven’t met his requirements – you will slightly get an idea about his/her liking and dislikes.

Which projects should I bid first?

Try to bid on fresh project i,e the ones which are posted in last 2 to 3 hours –

Can I use a standard template for bidding on every single project?

Big no, every project & client is different so every bid has to be unique, & that doesn’t mean that it has to be 100% unique 


Remember the relationship between a project and its proposal is much like a relationship between a doctor and patient. A client is in pain and he / she is looking for a doctor who runs a successful diagnosis on his / her disease and suggest good medication & above all satisfy patient with his counselling by saying ” you’ll be just okay”.

As a proposal writer you need to have that doctor’s attitude, you need to know how to run successful scans/diagnosis by the reading the project and how to suggest medication by giving client a solution he is looking for. their can’t be a standard medicine for every disease –

Every project requirements are different so every proposal has to be different from each other –

now that i have discussed the perquisites of a proposal lets jump onto composition of a proposal. ( read writing a winning proposal v1.0)

Structure / Format

Bid doesn’t only has to read good – but it must also looks good . try to use ample spacing, proper paragraphing and make sure its breathable & client is able to read it with ease – 

Avoid writing everything in one paragraph, make sure there is no grammar or spelling mistakes in your proposal. 

Call to actions

Call to action (CTA)is a marketing terminology it means “a piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive “

Every single word in your proposal must induce the client to reply back to you & should make him restless to talk to you. Remember no client will award you the job right away after reading your proposal he / she will talk to you first & to start the communication you need to use strong CTA’s in your proposal. But how? keep reading this series

Ideal time for a bid?

As per upwork’s statistics an average client awards a job in 3 working days, but I have learned that as a freelancer we should try to bid as soon as the project is posted . Remember while bidding quantity doesn’t matter what matters is the quality of a proposal & upwork’s algorithm is taking care of your ratings in the background. so make sure your every bid counts