Are you striking out on your own as a work-from-home freelancer?
Or, are you looking to do freelancing to supplement your side income?
Either way, great!
Here are the recommended online marketplaces to find freelancing gigs.
Fiverr started as a low-cost marketplace for freelancers and clients. As the name suggests, the lowest a Fiverr seller can offer their service starts from $5.
As a Fiverr seller, you can create a pricing tier system to your offering. Some freelancers even charge up to several hundred dollars for their service, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged that you can only charge $5 per gig (although there are plenty of freelancers making a decent income at that price point).
Sellers post their service offerings, and clients purchase one of them.
What’s great about Fiverr for freelancers is that you get to decide what kind of gig you want to offer, and at what price point. Although you have more control over your work that way, you’ll be held accountable too. For example, if you state that your delivery will be within 24 hours, you better stick to your words!
Customers who are ready to buy from you come to you. You are not applying or bidding for a client’s project.
When a client pays you, Fiverr takes a 20% fee. So if a client pays $5, Fiverr takes $1, and you keep $4.
How to make more money on Fiverr
- Fiverr has a level system for its sellers. The higher your level, the more visibility your gig gets. There are three seller levels: 1, 2, and top sellers.
- Your level is determined by a few factors, such as:
- Days remained as an active seller
- Number of orders completed
- Gross earned income
- Star rating maintained
- Average response time
- On-time delivery %
- Order completion %
- Having a higher level allows you to have more active gigs to offer and promote on Fiverr, and the eligibility to be featured on Fiverr’s promotional listings.
- You can have Fiverr promote your gig to the top of their front page by having 5, 10, or 15% fee deducted from a gig you successfully got in addition to the regular 20% fee.
- Fiverr Pro is a status that puts you as a premium seller. You have to apply for it and be approved by Fiverr. As a Fiverr Pro, you’ll be featured in the Pro section and you’ll be able to command even a higher rate.
Upwork is probably known for having one of the largest pools of freelancers and clients. There are so many kinds of projects ranging from low to high budgeted projects, and some freelancers and agencies solely make the living off of Upwork.
- Chances to apply for a higher-rate job or project
- Likelihood to find clients with deep pockets
- Choose from hourly or fixed-price payments
- You have to apply to get a gig, which means you’ll be competing with other freelancers so your profile message and pitch have to be on point.
- 20% fee for the first $500 you make with a new client
- 10% for $500-$10,000 for the lifetime billings with the same client
- 5% for $100,000+.
As you can tell from the fee structure, Upwork values freelancers who have a long-term relationship with a client. With every new client you get, Upwork will deduct a 20% fee from your gig until it reaches the $500 threshold.
Because Freelancer.com has a lower service fee than Upwork.com, a starting freelancer or freelancer with a low price point offering might be tempted to sign up with Freelancer.com.
The general sentiment is that Upwork.com clients tend to pay more but also have higher expectations, and Freelancer.com seems to have more lower-paying jobs. There are both good and bad clients on all platforms, so it is up to the freelancer’s discretion to work with the right clients for him or her.
- 10% fee or $5, whichever is greater for the hourly or fixed-price project
- Requires maintenance of $10 fee if your account is inactive
For designers, 99designs.com and designcrowd.com seem good options. 99designs.com runs on a contest-based model, where designers offer their design, and the client picks the best design. Even if you do not get picked, you might get tipped, and also it might offer you a great learning opportunity. On designcrowd.com, the process is similar, except a 15% commission fee will be deducted when you get matched with a client.
For translators, ProZ.com is a listing site for translation jobs. Free members have limited access to their database, while paid membership of USD 144 will get you access to all their job listings, which you still have to bid for.
Do you have any recommendations?
In summary, my top recommendation is to get started with Fiverr so that you get a “feel” for it, even if it’s just for a change. Once you get some experience and want to take it to the next level and earn serious money freelancing, go with Upwork.
I cannot cover freelance gig listing sites or marketplaces for all industries, but these are some of the popular ones out there.
Did I miss any marketplaces? Share in the comment section below.