The Ultimate Guide To Freelancing Websites
With many of us choosing to work for ourselves there are endless things we don’t know how to do or possibly can’t fit it all in the time frame so we need to look for help elsewhere. This is where freelancing platforms come in handy, we can find someone who does it better for a small price.
This is also great when we need a little extra cash and can offer up our services to someone for a price. The flexibility means we can outsource and do as much as we want and get things done.
Here is my ultimate guide to freelancing websites…
- People Per Hour
Fiverr launched in February 2010, and catapulted itself to the top of the freelance food chain. In this Fiverr review I’m going to be highlighting both the benefits you have when selling your services on Fiverr, as well as the benefits you have when hiring a freelancer through Fiverr.
Services offered on Fiverr are more commonly known as ‘gigs’. Other freelancing companies get the employer to pitch what they need and the freelancer applies for the job. Fiverr however, is the opposite. The freelancer says what jobs they’ll do, and the employer browses the website like they would an online store and buys a person’s gig. Here’s some examples…
Fiverr Review: For Clients
With such a wide range of affordable services available to purchase on Fiverr I’m not surprised by its rapid growth. However, if you’re purchasing a service for $5 then surely you have a right to be sceptical?
I’ve been using Fiverr for a number of years now. No more so than for help with this very blog, and I have to say… So far so good. The services I’ve received have all been above my expectations. They’ve been delivered on time and in many cases I’ve gone on to hire that person again for future work.
I personally feel as though my success as a client on Fiverr has come down to a number of different things;
My Expectations Are Realistic
If I’m hiring someone for $5 I certainly don’t expect the work that I’d usually pay $50 or even $500 for. With that in mind, I only purchase services or ‘gigs’ that I feel are to the value of $5. However, Fiverr has recently introduced ‘gig extras’.
These are of great benefit to both the freelancer and the client. That’s because they allow the client to find a particularly great freelancer, who has a proven track record and hire them to conduct higher level work.
I Only Hire People With A Large Number of Positive Reviews
Fiverr makes it simple and straightforward to filter the good from the bad. This means there is no excuse not to hire the very best that Fiverr has to offer within your particular service category.
I Communicate My Request Clearly
Once I’ve decided on a particular freelancer I make it simple and straightforward for them to follow the task. I’ll always invite them to contact me should they have any questions or concerns. As a bonus, I look to hire freelancers who offer revisions, just in case I’m unhappy with the result.
In conclusion, I believe that Fiverr can be the perfect resource for many clients needs. The ‘instantaneous’ purchase of a service limits the amount of time you’re required to wait to communicate with a potential freelancer.
However, Fiverr’s flexibility not only means you can hire a particular freelancer that you’ve worked with previously to do a higher level of work for you. You can also submit a request to the Fiverr community, much like on the typical freelancer platforms, if you are unable to find someone offering the particular service you require.
Fiverr Review: For Freelancers
With Fiverr being a hit with the clients. I’m sure you’re eager to find out what is it like offering your services on this platform as a freelancer?
Fiverr really does have no limits when it comes to the different types of service offerings. There are over 100 different service categories, which means that regardless of your skill you’re bound to find something you can offer…
As I spoke about in the review for clients. Freelancers are able to offer three different service packages. Basic, Standard and Premium. They can range in price from $5 right up to $995.
You can also offer express delivery of a service for an additional fee. As well as ‘gig extra’s, all of this can contribute to you earning hundreds of dollars from one service offering.
Getting Paid Is Easy
Fiverr take a 20% cut of everything you earn which can seem like a lot. On the flip-side there is a benefit of them doing so. They provide you with the ability to get paid quickly and easily (no more chasing clients) and provide you with a platform in which to advertise as many service offerings as you’d like.
In conclusion, I believe that Fiverr is one of the most flexible and best performing freelance platforms available from both the perspective of the client and the freelancer. I also think the platform has come a long way by listening to both the perspective of freelancers and clients by introducing the different service offerings in which one freelancer can offer through one gig.
Freelancer.com launched in January 2009. In just eight months it achieved one million users. Five years post-launch the website hit the 10,000,000 user milestone and just two and a half years later that number had doubled to 20,000,000 users!
If all that’s not enough to make you think twice about the more traditional freelancer network Freelancer.com then let’s talk about the positives and negatives for both freelancers and clients in this Freelancer.com review;
Freelancer.com Review: For Clients
Let’s start with what in my opinion is the negative of Freelancer.com for clients. They charge you 3% or £2.00 (whichever is greater) for every project. As we know from my review of UpWork, that’s not a business structure I believe in.
If you can get over that then maybe your on to a winner here. Especially considering how simple and straightforward Freelancer.com want to make it, for you to find the right person for the job using their website;
The process of signing up for an account couldn’t be easier. Neither could finding the right freelancer for the job based on the applications you receive. Thanks to the sheer volume of freelancers on Freelancer.com you can expect to receive a vast number of applications quickly. I’d always recommend being as clear as you can as to your requirements. Also don’t forget to set a realistic budget for the work. If you pay peanuts you’re going to get monkeys.
In conclusion, I personally wouldn’t use Freelancer.com for any of the work I could get done for $5 or less. For that I would use Fiverr. It’s free for clients, and is quick, simple and straight forward thanks to their ‘shop for your service’ format.
However, if you are looking for long-term, highly qualified freelancers then Freelancer.com is set to be the website for you.
Freelancer.com Review: For Freelancers
On average there are 100 new jobs available on Freelancer.com every hour. However, don’t let that somewhat impressive statistic fool you. That’s because each of those jobs receives an average of 20 applications in that first hour.
It’s safe to say competition is fierce.
However, so are many of the other major freelancing platforms. In fact, I’d say if you’re going to stand out on any as a new freelancer then you need to learn how to go the extra mile for your potential clients. Speaking of similarities between other freelancing platforms. The fee’s for freelancers on Freelancer.com are not on a tiered platform like Upwork. Instead you’re charged a flat fee of 10% or £3.50 (which ever is greater)
There’s been 43 applications for this job, and the average price of these applications for this work is $137. I always say that you shouldn’t race to the bottom. An I almost believe seeing this average price helps. It allows you to price slightly higher than the average whilst also increasing that service offering.
A good potential client will understand the value of quality work and is likely to pay around 20% more than the average.
In conclusion. I think Freelancer.com is one of the best Freelancing platforms if you’re looking for a long-term relationship with clients and have major services to offer. However, if you’re looking for a one time service, or small job then I still believe Fiverr is best both for freelancers and clients.
People Per Hour
People Per Hour was the very first ‘freelance portal’ I used both as a client and a freelancer. In a very short space of time I earned more than £2,000 for my services part-time whilst at University. As I set out on my journey of a self-employed entrepreneur I also started to hire freelancers to complete work. This work was either outside of my skill set or taking up too much of my time.
People Per Hour currently operates in 89 countries. With more than 1.5 million registered users and a total of 1.1 million jobs which have been posted. Earning freelancers a slice of more than $100 million.
People Per Hour Review: For Clients
People Per Hour is a traditional ‘freelance portal’ connecting the likes of small businesses to an attire of potential freelances. It was the first website I ever used both as a freelancer and a client… it’s come a long way since then.
There are now two ways in which you can hire a freelancer;
Post a job on the People Per Hour job board. Tailor your request and requirements and explain exactly what the job entails. Off the back of this potential freelancers will ‘bid’ for the job. Explaining how they can meet (and perhaps even exceed) your requirements.
Purchase An Hourly
The second way in which you can hire a potential freelancer is through the ‘hourly’ feature. Think of this like Fiverr. Freelancers pitch work they can complete and you’ll purchase the service directly from them. This is great for standard work as you’re not having to rely on freelancers contacting you. Instead the purchase can be much more instantaneous.
To give you an idea of exactly how much work I’ve given to the freelancers of People Per Hour check out my dashboard. Here you’ll see I’ve posted 24 jobs, but only managed to hire 7 people to complete the work. This means just 1 in every 3.5 job posted being awarded. So it’s safe to say I’ve wasted A LOT of time posting jobs that no freelancer has been good enough to work with me on.
I’ve also dished out more than £1,000 which means I can speak from experience when I say the freelancers on People Per Hour are some of the WORST I’ve worked with. My prime example has to be a web designer I hired for a project back in 2014. The work totalled to more than £2,400 however it was going to be paid in stages.
This project was a huge deal, and I was strict with every aspect of the design right through to the timeline in which the work needed to be completed in. I’d paid a premium to get ‘the best of the best’ to do the work, and they simply failed to deliver. They missed the first deadline, so I decided to contact them by email, and after a couple of days I had no response. Weeks went by and I had nothing to show for my first installment, People Per Hour customer service was ‘useless’ with no contact number, no live chat assistance and slow to respond emails. In the end I ended up taking them to the small claims court to get my money back.
Believe it or not I’m a pretty easy going person to work for. I understand what it’s like on the other side of the fence and only wish I’d have received some communication. Even if it was bad news. This wasn’t just a solo freelancer, it was an accompaniment of freelancers who had come together to form a digital company.
– and I know what you’re thinking… This is just one of thousands of freelancers on People Per Hour. To that I say your right. Unfortunatly, my assistance with accounting when I was first new to the world of Xero didn’t go too well either. In fact I ended up sacking the particular freelancer and hiring another.
Unfortunatly, the other was just as bad and ended up distorting my accounts to the point in which I nearly overpaid on tax by 200% – Always check the work of your freelancer.
Luckily, in these instances the ‘fear’ of getting negative feedback on People Per Hour meant the customer service had very little to intervene with. However, if that’s the case then how is anyone honestly going to know these people simply can’t do the job you’re hiring them for?
People Per Hour Review: For Freelancers
People Per Hour is a little better when it comes to it’s service offerings for freelancers. You’re able to tailor your applications to a specific persons request – using this opportunity wisely you can easily improve your job prospects.
Unfortunatly, I’d say the benefits for freelancers using People Per Hour end there.
People Per Hour take a cut of 15% for the first $280 earned every month, and 3.5% after that.
So if you earn $500 one month then People Per Hour will take a $49.70 cut.
However, the fee’s don’t end there. Every month you recieve 15 ‘free credits’ they can be used to bid on jobs. Once you run out you’ll be required to purchase additional credits in order to bid on additional work.
This is a great way to increase your job prospects as many will stop bidding on jobs once they’ve used their 15 and move onto another site. So, if you’re willing to spend a little to make a lot especially in the beginning when you’re looking to establish yourself then this could work.
The upselling doesn’t end there… People Per Hour also have ‘featured profiles’. According to People Per Hour statistics this increases your job prospects by 300%. Unfortunatly, such a promotion is going to cost you circa £8 per day! (It’s based on a bidding system so actual amounts will vary)
In conclusion, I’d personally only use People Per Hour if you’re already one of it’s established freelancers. As for hiring a freelancer, I’d look to Fiverr for the generic hourly services or UpWork for more tailored job specific freelancers.
It seems that People Per Hour only care about one thing and that’s money…
Upwork is the baby of Elance and o-Desk since they merged in 2015. It currently has a whopping 12 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients. There’s also approximately 3 million jobs posted annually worth a total of $1 billion. It’s no surprise then that it’s the largest freelancer network on the market.
Let me start by saying Upwork has recently changed it’s fee’s. They now charge both the client and the freelancer. Client fees are set at 2.75% per payment. Unfortunatly the fee’s don’t end there as they also take between a 20% and 5% cut from the freelancer too.
Upwork has been designed for all job sizes. However, I’d choose Fiverr over Upwork for smaller jobs – it’s just easier. Assume I’m wanting help from a web designer, I’m looking at about $300. Well Upwork are going to ask for an additional $8.25 it doesn’t sound a lot, I know. However, it just seems wrong when they take a further $60 in this instance from the freelancer too.
In fact that cuts the $300 you’re putting up by almost one third, down to $231.75. It starts to make you question whether you might save money, or in fact get more for your money by going to an independent freelancer outside of a freelancing platform such as Upwork.
Fees aside, Upwork is the largest of all the freelancer networks. It’s therefore no surprise that it has some of the most established and experience freelancers with a vast array of skills. This means if you want a job doing, and you want it doing right, you’re going to find the right person for the job on this platform.
As for finding the right person for the job. Well Upwork’s website functionality and ease of use has been well developed over time making it simple and straight forward.
Upwork Review: For Freelancers
If anything the merger of Elance and O-Desk two years ago has actually had a negative impact on freelancers. I now see more complaints from freelancers than I do positive comments. Why is this?
It once again comes down to fee’s. By charging the client fee’s the clients are going elsewhere. Which equates to the freelancers getting less work. The fee’s don’t end there… Upwork has allowed for multi-currencies – sounds great right? Except it charges a markup to the freelancer when converting currencies… – not so great.
Remember, this is per client relationship. It’s not based on your lifetime earnings on Upwork.
Unfortunately the negative changes of Upwork don’t end there. Upwork have also reduced their service offerings. Worse still they’ve done it quietly providing zero information before, during or after to the freelancers. With this, I’m talking about client invoices now being sent in the name of the freelancer rather than Upwork.
This, in turn, creates additional tax burdens for the freelancer. These burdens take time, and time equals money. Taking away a service like this should equate to a reduction in fees. Unfortunately it’s the opposite.
Personally, I believe Upwork’s redeeming feature is in it’s thriving customer support. This is backed up by a vast forum section complete with FAQ and members helping members. This means that common, basic customer queries can be resolved in a matter of minutes.
In conclusion, I honestly believe Upwork seems to be the only freelancer platform that’s struggling. It’s at a crossroads, it’s got too big for its boots and it’s starting to fail. That’s not to say it’s not a great place to find a freelancer or become a freelancer. If anything it’s the best time to become a freelancer as many of the top freelancers will be leaving due to rising fee’s – however it’s also highly likely they’ll be taking their long-term clients with them.
There you have it, there are the top platforms to use for freelance work. If you use another service or have any tips or experiences you would like to share let me know in the comments or find me on social media.