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If you are looking for sites like Upwork you are reading the right article. First, let’s go over some reasons why you should try some Upwork alternatives.
Upwork is the biggest freelancing platform and for most freelancers and clients it is the only platform to use. As a freelancer, you get access to thousands and thousands of job postings and as a client, you always have many freelancers to choose from.
Despite Upwork being the most popular freelancing platform, it has its downsides. If you are a freelancer, you should read this list of Upwork alternatives carefully.
Freelancing on Upwork
If you are new to Upwork, you will have a hard time getting started. Upwork favours freelancers with references a lot and it is much harder to get the first couple of gigs without any references than it is on other platforms. Not to mention that it is not, nowadays, that easy to even create an Upwork account as many new accounts don’t get past Upwork’s approval process.
Many freelancers also complain about their accounts being shut down due to submitting too many proposals. If you send too many proposals and rarely get hired, then it sends Upwork signals that people are not interested in your services and that you don’t benefit Upwork in any way so there is no reason to keep you on their platform. This can be a serious problem, especially for new freelancers with no references.
Even if you are an established freelancer on Upwork, your account can get shut down due to inactivity. Upwork is just like any other freelancing platform: worried that freelancers will start communicating with their clients outside of the Upwork platform to escape Upwork service fees. As a security measure, Upwork shuts down accounts that have been inactive for a long period of time.
Imagine having many references on Upwork and making a full-time income from their platform and then coming home from a longer vacation and discovering that you have lost everything and that you have to start over.
Therefore, even if you use Upwork and don’t have any problems now, it’s good to know about sites like Upwork so you can create an account with them as well and limit your risk if anything goes wrong with your Upwork account.
Alternative Sites to Upwork
If you are looking for sites like Upwork, Freelancer is the most similar platform you can find. Freelancer is not as big as Upwork and has less available jobs, but it is still a huge platform.
Freelancer is a great Upwork alternative if you could not create an account on Upwork – you did not get approved. On Freelancer, there is no approval process so you don’t have to worry that you will be rejected.
However, since there is no vetting process on Freelancer the competition can be stiff for some jobs.
Freelancer’s algorithms work in favour of freelancers with references, but not as much as on Upwork so in general it is easier for new freelancers to get their first references and build a portfolio.
Freelancer has only a 10% service fee, unlike Upwork’s 20%. But if you prefer working on short-term and low-priced hourly projects, you will get better rates on Freelancer.
However, unlike Upwork, Freelancer does not lower the fees if you repeatedly work with the same client. On Upwork, after the freelancer’s earnings for a client’s project exceed $500 and $10,000, the service fee decreases to 10% and 5% respectively.
PeoplePerHour is another popular freelancing platform similar to Upwork. Contrary to the name, PPH offers both hourly and fixed price job postings.
Just like at Upwork, your new account on PPH has to be approved by their moderation team. Once you create an account and log in to your new account for the first time, you will be requested to submit a ‘Freelancer Application’.
In this application, you will tell them a little about yourself, your skills, references etc. PPH will inform you whether they have accepted you or not within three business days.
When your account is approved, you can start sending proposals and also post offers (formerly hourlies).
Offers are very similar to Fiverr gigs. Freelancers can create custom offers for a fixed price and get hired directly from buyers.
The service fee on PPH ranges from 3.5% to 20%. The fee depends on the lifetime billing per buyer:
- Less than $700 – 20% fee.
- Between $700 and $7000 – 7.5%.
- More than $7000 – 3.5%.
PPH, just like Upwork, rewards long-term cooperations with lower service fees.
Guru is one of the oldest freelancing platforms. Even though it is smaller than the above-mentioned platforms, it has a lot of job postings.
Guru does not have a screening process for new freelancers, so you don’t have to submit an application like you do when joining PPH.
Guru is just like the other platforms, free to join, but free members are limited to apply for only 10 jobs a month, which is not a lot if you don’t offer high-priced services.
If you want to apply for more jobs, you can purchase more bids:
- 20 bids - $10
- 40 bids - $20
- 60 bids - $30
- 125 bids - $50
- 250 bids - $100
Your purchased bids don’t expire so you can use them whenever you want.
What freelancers like about Guru are their relatively low service fees which range from 5% to 9%. The service fee on Guru depends on the membership plan you are on. If you are on Guru’s free plan, you will pay a 9% service fee.
It’s also worth mentioning that Guru has quite a lot of bad reviews on the Internet from buyers and that’s mainly due to their rating system. Freelancers who are on a premium plan can request Guru to remove their negative reviews which makes the platform less trustworthy for buyers.
Fiverr is an online marketplace that works differently to most of the other freelancing platforms. Freelancers don’t bid on jobs like on Upwork, but they wait for buyers to buy their gigs.
Everyone can join the platform and offer gigs. How many gigs you can offer on the platform depends on what level you are on.
- New Seller: 7 gigs
- Level One Seller: 10 gigs
- Level Two Seller: 20 gigs
The Fiverr fee is quite high: 20% on all your gigs no matter their price.
Even though Fiverr is best known for $5 gigs (hence the name Five-rr), sellers can charge thousands for their gigs.
Hubstaff Talent is a fairly new platform founded in 2016. Unlike other platforms, Hubstaff is a zero-fee marketplace.
Since they don’t make any money from the platform, their marketing efforts are not that great which means you can find a very limited number of job postings. At the time of writing this article, there were only around 700 active jobs.
But at the same time, the platform has only around 70,000 registered freelancers so there is a lot less competition compared to Upwork.
Hubstaff Talent also differs from the other platforms in that it has many job postings that offer full-time remote jobs.
Outsourcely is quite similar to Hubstaff Talent. Freelancers on Outsourcely also don’t have to pay any service fees from their earnings.
Outsourcely is a much bigger platform than Hubstaff Talent and you will find many more jobs here.
People looking to hire freelancers on Outsourcely primarily look for long-term engagements (you can find some part-time jobs as well but not that many). If you prefer short, one-time gigs then Outsourcely is not the right platform for you.
Textbroker focuses purely on freelance writing services. You can register for free, but you need to have US citizenship to join the platform.
Upon joining the platform, you have to submit a sample of your work. The Textbroker team of editors first evaluates your sample and rates your content from 2 to 5 stars. The more stars you get the more cents per word you will get paid.
If you manage to get 5 stars for your content, you will earn around $50 for 1000 words.
Toptal is a more exclusive freelancing platform. Their name stands for ‘top talent ‘ and the company claims to accept only the top 3% of all applicants.
Their vetting process includes a screening call, knowledge assessments, and a project test.
If you manage to pass this vigorous process, you will get hired by more prospective clients and work for higher rates.
Truelancer is freelancing platform popular mostly in India. It is another Upwork alternative with lower service fees.
Truelancer’s service fees range from 8%-10%. If you are on a free membership plan, you will be subject to an 8% service fee. If you upgrade to their Pro plan, which costs $10 a month, then you will pay the platform just 8% of your earnings.
There is no screening process on Truelancer, and, after registration, you can start sending proposals right away.
Codeable is a freelancing site for WordPress developers. You will only find WordPress-related jobs on Codeable and nothing else.
Codeable claims to accept only 2% of all applicants. In order to join Codeable, you have to submit an application. Besides other things, you need to link to your previous work. If you don’t have a portfolio, your application will most likely be rejected.
Codeable freelancer rates range from $70 - $120 per hour and its fee is 17.5%.
FreeeUp is a relatively new marketplace founded in 2015. It is another platform that takes the application process seriously and allegedly only 1% of all applicants are allowed to join.
Rates range from $5 to $75+ per hour but fixed prices per project are possible too. The FreeeUp service fee is 15%.
FreeeUp is very popular in the Philippines.
TaskRabbit is a very different alternative to Upwork than the previously mentioned platforms. TaskRabbit is a marketplace that matches freelance labour with local demand in the USA.
Freelancers offer help with everyday tasks like cleaning, moving, furniture assembly, etc.
TaskRabbit notifies you of potential jobs nearby for which you can apply. You get paid at rates you choose either by the hour or by task.
The TaskRabbit service fee is 15%.
99designs is an online marketplace providing everything related to design. If you are a freelancer with creative skills, this marketplace is perfect for you.
As a freelancer you can either join design contests or you can wait until someone directly contacts you and offers you a job.
New freelancers can participate in 10 contests a month.
Service fees on 99designs range from 5% to 15% depending on what designer level you are on. New designers are subjected to a 15% service fee.
DesignCrowd is another marketplace solely for graphic design work. DesignCrowd is half the size of 99designs, but it has its benefits.
Unlike 99design, DesignCrowd allows buyers to offer 2nd/3rd place prizes. So even if your design doesn’t win the contest, you can still earn some money.
In general, the designs on DesignCrowd are less expensive than on 99designs and so freelancers earn less. But at the same time, there is less competition in DesignCrowd’s contents than there is on 99designs.
All designers on DesignCrowd are subjected to a 15% service fee.