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Remote work is increasingly taking off as technological developments continue to change and shape how we live and, more importantly, how we earn. Freelance job sites have become a new lifeline to both old and new professionals who need a new start, a new client, or simply a new challenge.
Two of the most popular sites for freelance work include Upwork and Fiverr. These are both popular sites within the digital and virtual employment realm, but which one is better for freelance services?
Here ZDNet takes a deep dive into the differences between Upwork and Fiverr.
Upwork is home to big-name clients, including Microsoft, Airbnb, Bissell, and GoDaddy, giving instant credibility for curious freelancers. There are three ways to find work on the platform: the Talent Marketplace, where you can post jobs and get hired, the Project Catalog to post and sell projects, and Talent Scout for recruiter services that pairs talent with employers. Job opportunities are expansive and include areas like development & IT, design & creative, sales & marketing, writing & translation, admin & customer support, finance & accounting, and more.
To get started, create a free profile and filter between domestic and international jobs. Upwork uses its own virtual currency called Connects, which allow you to apply to jobs. You get ten Connects with the basic free plan, but if you upgrade your plan, you get 80 each month. Connects can be used to apply to jobs directly, or you can simply post projects that are available for hire and wait for employers to come to you. Or, if you can benefit from professional help, recruiters will do the heavy lifting with a skills-based approach to your job search. You can also add Badges that quickly and easily showcase your qualifications to employers visiting your profile.
Payment works a few different ways: traditional hourly pay or fixed-price protection that uses project milestones to release payments in full or over time. You can choose how you get paid, with options that include traditional direct deposit and wire transfer, in addition to PayPal and Payoneer. There is an invoicing feature available to simplify things and keep your records organized in one place.
Upwork is free to join. The free plan gives you the ability to create your own profile, add a video introduction, perform job searches, and create your own projects. You have ten Connects to use to apply to jobs on the platform. If you want to purchase additional Connects, they are $0.15 each and are sold in the following bundles:
You also have the option to upgrade your plan to Freelancer Plus for $14.99 per month. This gives a total of 80 Connects each month instead of the standard ten that come with the free plan. Freelancer Plus also provides increased visibility to employers and exclusive insights regarding competitor's bids so you can price your bid accordingly.
Upwork uses a commission-based fee structure based on a sliding scale for your jobs and projects. The more you earn, the smaller the fee.
Total Client Billing
Upwork Commission Fee
Up to first $500
$500.01 - $10,000
$10,000 or more
If you participate in the Upwork Payroll service, service fees are waived. Additionally, if Upwork awards you with Top Rated or Rising Talent status, reduced fees may apply if you are hired for a Featured Job.
On its website, Fiverr proudly boasts that a gig is purchased every four seconds. It is a service largely known for its logo design, with over 50 million transactions sold on its platform to date. There is also major name recognition with clients that include Facebook, Google, Netflix, and PayPal.
Jobs are available for freelancers in several areas like graphic design, digital marketing, writing & translation, music & audio, programming & tech, lifestyle, data, video & animation, and business. Website design, copywriting, SEO, and illustration are all popular services that you will see listed on the platform. However, there are tons of categories to choose from. Clients can use a comprehensive search tool to find the right freelancer for their needs, or you can be proactive and simply add your own products or services for sale. It is free to sign up, and after creating your seller profile, you can begin to create gigs or packages that show off your skills and attract employers.
There are four seller levels for every freelancer using Fiverr:
Once you post your profile and your jobs or services, you are ready to go. When a client purchases a project, you get a notification to begin work. New to the service is Fiverr business, which is created for teams and allows businesses to work with experienced freelancers. If you're a brand-new freelancer, there is no need to worry, either. Fiverr has excellent resources to help you grow, like the on-demand tutorial Learn from Fiverr. For simpler bookkeeping, it integrates with the AND CO app, which allows for proposals and task management, in addition to invoicing. Fiverr skips the hourly rates, instead opting for flat-rate gigs and projects.
The platform offers the capability for projects that range in price from $5 to $10 000.
Fiverr keeps it simple with no fees. There is no subscription to sign up for, and you do not have to pay anything to list services. When you complete a job, Fiverr simply takes 20% off each transaction.
At a Glance: Fiverr vs. Upwork
5% - 20%
Both have many similarities so it is important to consider several important factors that can help you find the right freelance job site for you.
Although very similar, Fiverr and Upwork conduct business in separate ways. While Fiverr creates a welcome environment for gig work, Upwork tends to possess a more singular focus toward hourly and flat-rate projects.
Fiverr takes a flat 20% commission off all projects, but Upwork uses a sliding scale. Depending on your plan, Upwork takes between 5% and 20% off each service.
A freelance job website is a way to collect, apply, and sell services to clients using a third-party platform. It is a popular type of virtual work for freelancers.
The best freelance sites for jobs are a great place to start when considering which job sites to use. In addition to Upwork and Fiverr, these services also offer attractive features for freelancers looking for virtual and remote jobs:
See more: The best freelance websites: Find jobs and remote work