Thanks to the modern Internet Age, making money from home is easier than it has ever been before. Before the internet, being a freelancer was an all time consuming job, and there really wasn’t much of an industry that surrounded it. If you were a writer you had to go through publishing houses and other places that paid people to write. If you were a programmer you typically were hired in some corporate (or start up) firm and your skills were put on whatever project you were deemed necessary at. If you were a tutor, a coach, or anything else that had skills that could be used remotely you needed to go through someone else who could aggregate your skills.
Now? You don’t need to do anything like that if you don’t want to. While those traditional means are still alive and well and even benefit from the internet itself, there are plenty of tools and platforms that you can sue to work remotely from a distance and through the internet without having to ever really interact with another person face to face. This has been a major boon to people who choose to Freelance and base their careers of off it, or who just want to make side money to supplement their income while working a more secure, traditional job.
Of the various platforms, some of the biggest name that are out there are Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancers, and each of them offer a unique different take on what is known collectively as the gig economy.
So if you’re a Freelancer who wants to get started, where do you go exactly? Of these three, which one should you use?
Personally, you can use them all at the same time. There’s nothing that’s stopping you from working on all three platforms simultaneously, and their ToS says nothing about having to be exclusive to one platform entirely. In fact, a lot of Veteran Freelancers in many different gig niches will even tell you that you should diversify your connections for as much work as possible.
Which is a good idea, but starting out it can seem extremely over whelming since on each of the big three platforms you can go in depth with account creation, and different tiers and such that you have to focus on and everything else.
For those starting out, it’s often better to focus on ONE platform at a time and make the jump only when they establish themselves on one platform. Though the question then becomes; what platform to start out at?
Let’s take a step back and look at each of them a little bit more in depth so as to answer that question and allow you to make a decision.
Fiverr has a reputation for cheapness
Fiverr is relatively new compared to Upwork and Freelancer. Both of the later ones had gone through several restructures and name changes over the last ten years, but Fiverr has consistently had the name that it’s had ever since it first came up. Though, its restructure and revamping had come more internally than compared to the other two which operate more or less the same since their first inception.
Plus, out of the three, Fiverr still has a minor reputation for cheapness that it’s been trying to shake off ever since following its internal revamps. Initially, Fiverr operated that you could create an account and do virtually anything on their platform as long as you delivered on the goods and maintained a high success rate. Naturally, Programmers, Writers, Coaches, Investment Advisors and more flocked to the platform, but with it came people who also did more esoteric things such as Pagan rituals, Writing Names on Birthday Cakes, Minecraft Building, and Video game based projects all for $5 at a time.
Not only that, but without any sort of system in place to prove an identity, people would often create fake accounts to try and scam people either through false credentials, plagiarism or more.
Thankfully, Fiverr has had that fixed in the last two years. You need to verify your identity and credentials, need a Bank Account as well as a PayPal, and they take threats of scamming seriously.
The downside? They take off a flat 20% off of everything you do. Meaning for every dollar you make, they take 20c. a $5 project only earns you $4, so you’re certainly working a lot harder for less potentially. But, out of the three it is considered the most fair of them.
Upwork: the most popular Platforms for Freelancers.
Upwork is perhaps one of the most popular Platforms for Freelancers, and with good reason. It’s got the most active users (though Fiverr is starting to overshadow Upwork), has one of the more robust platforms for personalizing your User Profile to show case what you can do, and has the potential to making the most money off of. Plus, it’s one of the easiest platforms to personalize your projects for AND maintain a list of repeat clients.
When I say it’s one of the longest running Freelance Platforms, I’m not joking either. Upwork originally started in 1998 under the name “Elance”, and then merged later on in 2013 to become Elance-ODesk, before finally just renaming themselves to Upwork in 2015 and has used the name since.
While the website itself has a reputation for quality and customer support, there has to be a downside to it right?
Well, yea. Unlike Fiverr, which just takes a flat fee off of your commissions, Upwork more or less charges you for pretty much everything from filing, to pay out, to taking their operational fee and much more. This means that it’s possible you have the potential to pay for more, or even less, then Fiverrs. So your total earnings can certainly vary.
Freelancer review: solid to use as a starting foundation
Freelancer honestly is just similar enough to Upwork in almost every way, with really the only major difference being that it’s dissimilar enough to be separate. However it is a popular platform that, while having less users overall than the other two, is still solid to use as a starting foundation without as much of the hassle of getting set up as Upwork does.
And that, really, is all the differences between the platforms. Where you choose to go and how you choose to work is entirely up to you.