Why Freelance Job Sites Like Upwork Are Great for Beginners
If you’re new to freelancing, whether it’s writing, design, transcription, data entry, or even programming, you might want to try sites like Upwork or Fiverr. You either post your services (Fiverr) or bid on services (Upwork, Freelancer, etc.) and can feel secure in getting paid for your work.
Freelance Job Sites Like Upwork for Finding Gigs, Clients, and Having Payment Protection
Using sites like Upwork is a great way to break into freelancing because the clients often come to you. And, you have certain protections with getting paid if you work through these services. I have listed the most popular freelance marketplaces below with their pros and cons. Which one you choose is up to you.
The freelance marketplaces I have listed below are all fairly similar in how they operate, and most of them are open worldwide. Methods of pay vary, and some do require a monthly fee in order to see and bid on all available work.
I have personal experience with Upwork, and it is mostly positive. There is a lot of available work in many different areas of expertise with both hourly and fixed price jobs. There are different methods of pay available, and jobs are open worldwide. They did just implement a way to search for jobs that are only available to people in the United States. This is helpful to U.S. residents because you’re not competing with international freelancers who often charge a lot less per hour than people in the U.S.
There is a free membership available where you get a few credits to send proposals, but if you don’t get work after a certain amount of time, they make your account private and not available for searches. The next level up is $10 per month, which increases the number of credits available and keeps your profile active. When setting your fee, keep in mind the 20% overhead they charge (there’s a calculator to help you figure out what your hourly rate is after their fees). The nice thing is that now they have a U.S.-only category, people are often willing to pay what you ask for.
On Freelancer, there are different levels of membership available. The free plan allows you to bid on 10 projects per month. The Intro plan costs $0.99 per month and allows 15 bids per month, and the Basic plan is $4.99 per month allowing up to 50 bids. You can also complete objectives to increase your reward level, which can help offset the cost of your membership. Open to just about any industry, and there are many different payment options available.
Another one of the sites like Upwork, where you bid on work, is Guru. This company uses an escrow method called SafePay to protect you from employers who don’t pay. You can join as a Basic member for free, but you only have access to 10 bids per month. Some jobs aren’t visible to Basic members. You can upgrade to Basic+ for $8.95 per month (billed annually), which grants you access to 50 bids per month. There are more expensive membership options available. There is a commission fee they charge, so keep that in mind when bidding.
On People Per Hour, you can either submit bids for freelance jobs, or you can create “hourlies” for freelance work you can complete in one hour. You are paid in either a bank transfer or PayPal. Focus is on US/UK, but jobs are open worldwide. Note that there is a free 3-month trial period. If you manage to get work through this website, you can maintain the free plan. But if you don’t get any work, your profile will be deactivated unless you pay a $13.95 per month fee for 3 months.
If you’re a graphic designer, 99Designs is a great place to get hired, display samples of your work such as logos, websites, banners, business cards etc. on the site and attract clients. You can also compete in design contests and if you win the contest, you get the project money. This is a great way for new freelance designers to get started.
Fiverr differs in that you post your services, and the clients come to you. While it started out as a platform for people to find services that only cost $5, it has expanded and allows its freelancers to set their own fees. It’s best for tasks you can do quickly, like write a short blog post, creating a simple logo, doing a voiceover, etc. While it’s free to join, Fiverr does charge you 20% of each transaction you make. Keep that in mind when setting your prices! You can withdraw your fees 14 days after your client has paid you via PayPal, Fiverr Revenue Card, bank transfer, and direct deposit.
Have you worked on any of these freelance marketplaces? If so, please leave a comment to let me know about your experiences with them.
Looking for more freelance work? Here is a company directory of companies that hire freelancers and other work-at-home jobs.