We review every submission to Project Catalog for professionalism and completeness before sending it to Project Catalog. Wondering how you can boost your chances of having your project accepted and catching a future client’s eye? Here are some pro tips for building your best project.

Avoid common mistakes

To create the best possible user experience for everyone on the platform, we apply set guidelines to every submitted project. If you can avoid some common mistakes, you're already on your way to creating a great project. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Adding a poor-quality image. Your project will display to clients with an image, even if you aren't a graphic designer or an artist. It's important to represent your work clearly, without using images that are low quality or clickbait.
  • Sharing your contact information. It is a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service to share your personal contact information with clients before starting a contract, and that includes projects for Project Catalog.
  • Forgetting to proofread. Bad grammar and typos are among the top mistakes that people make and may cause clients to reject your project at first glance. We may ask you to edit any errors, which could delay your publication on Project Catalog. Be sure to look over your work carefully, use a proofreading tool, or reach out to someone you trust to help.
  • Including logos. If you're sharing a logo, make sure it belongs to you or represents your work. Logos from a platform, like Upwork, don't help clients get to know you!

Add picture-perfect images

Finding just the right image to represent your project can be difficult, and we recommend taking the time to carefully select the ones that make your project look the best. Remember that the first image in your gallery displays on your project tile when a client is browsing. It can play a big role in their first impression of your work.

Consider these best practices for creating a project with picture-perfect images:

  • Choose professional images that speak to the work you offer. This does not need to reflect portfolio images or actual work samples as long as you use photos that you have the right to use.
  • For certain types of work, you may feel the need to include images with text. However, because this affects the user experience, text should be kept to a minimum and the images should be clear. If you need to show clients a text sample, consider adding a PDF work sample. (Note that the PDF cannot be your cover — you’ll still need an image.)
  • If your images include text or watermarks that show direct contact details, you’ll need to remove them. Don’t worry, your clients will be able to communicate with you through Upwork Messages once the project is active.
  • If your images include icons, text, or watermarks referencing other companies or services, you’ll need to remove them. Images should clearly reflect the services you offer through Upwork.

Consider adding a video to your image gallery to help prospective clients learn more about what you offer. For the technical specifications for images and videos, picture-perfect image samples, and more tips, go here. For information about adding a PDF work sample to show samples of your written work, go here.


One of the biggest reasons we can't approve a project is because of issues with the project's images. Please take a minute to carefully review the information here so we can approve your project asap.

Choose the right category

Choosing your project’s category is one of the first and most important steps of building your project. This will help clients find your project and understand what you offer. Your project won’t be accepted if it is in the wrong category.

Learn more about how to choose a category, plus more tips about planning and creating your project here.

Tips to remember

Is your project attractive to clients?

  • DO choose professional images that speak to your work -- and be sure you have the right to publish them!
  • DO consider adding a video to your image gallery.
  • DO make the project easy to browse.
  • DO proofread your work. No typos, please!
  • DO carefully select your category. Your project won’t be accepted in the wrong category.
  • DO NOT use click bait, text-heavy graphics, or the Upwork logo/badge.
  • DO NOT share your contact information or personal information.

We cannot advise on the price, scope, or substance of your project. That’s up to you!

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