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Fiverr vs Upwork: Which Freelancer Platform is Best for You?

Choosing between Fiverr and Upwork can be a game-changer. Explore our detailed analysis to pinpoint where your freelance journey should begin!
by Chris Allmer | Oct 23 2023

So, you’re thinking about dipping your toes into the freelancing world. Exciting, right? We understand the thrill of charting your own course, the freedom to choose projects that resonate with you, and the promise of connecting with clients globally  – it’s all part of the freelance adventure. And at the heart of this journey are platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, both ready to be your launchpad.

Whether you’re drawn to Fiverr’s fast-paced gigs or Upwork’s extensive professional network, there’s an exciting world of opportunity awaiting. But which platform aligns best with your needs? Let’s take a look at our comparison of Fiverr vs. Upwork.
 

Fiverr vs. Upwork: The Facts

Fiverr is an online marketplace where freelancers, often called “sellers,” offer a wide arrangement of services termed “Gigs.” From graphic design, video editing, and writing to more niche services like voiceovers or even astrology readings.

It’s especially popular among businesses and individuals looking for task-specific work without the need to hire someone long-term. The platform’s name comes from its original model, where every gig started at just 5 USD.

Upwork is tailored more towards professional freelancers and businesses looking for more extensive collaborations. It allows freelancers to create detailed profiles showcasing their skills, previous work, and client reviews. 

Clients can post jobs, and freelancers submit proposals outlining how they’d tackle the project and at what cost. It’s a favorite for businesses, from startups to large corporations, aiming to find the right talent for more substantial projects or even ongoing contracts.

 

Fiverr vs. Upwork: An Overview

Fiverr Upwork
Freelancers 830,000 18 million
Annual Revenue 338 million USD 620 million USD
Projects Single tasks Single tasks and long-term projects
Categories 11 main categories: Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Music & Audio, Fiverr Logo Maker, Programming & Tech, Data, Business, Lifestyle, Photography 12 main categories: Accounting and Consulting, Admin Support, Customer Service, Data Science and Analysis, Design and Creative, Engineering and Architecture, IT & Networking, Legal, Sales and Marketing, Translation, Web, Mobile, & Software Development, Writing
Signing to Start Instead of a general profile, you craft a “Gig.” You register, create a profile, and apply for projects
Hiring Process Clients can directly order a Gig or request a custom offer Clients post a job, and you can apply with your ‘Connects’
Payment When a client orders a Gig, they pay Fiverr upfront. Fiverr holds onto the payment until the order is completed. Clients deposit the agreed-upon amount for that milestone into an escrow account. Once the project is completed and approved by the client, the funds are released to the freelancer.
Speed of Payment 1–2 business days after the payment is released 1–2 business days, after the payment is released
Premium Features
  1. Fiverr Pro: A selection of top-tier professionals on Fiverr who have undergone a screening process to ensure premium-quality services.
  2. Fiverr Learning: An online platform offering courses to help freelancers enhance their skills and expertise.
  3. Logo Maker: Fiverr’s AI-powered tool that allows users to create custom logos based on their preferences and industry.
  4. Fiverr Enterprise: Fiverr‘s SaaS solution gives clients full visibility and control over their entire freelance workforce by allowing to hire, manage, and pay their freelancers while ensuring compliance.
  1. Subscription plan for clients that offers increased features like faster hiring, premium support, and better visibility of job posts
  2. Upwork Enterprise: A tailored solution for larger businesses, providing advanced collaboration tools, premium talent matching, and a dedicated account manager
  3. Work Diary: A feature on Upwork that tracks and logs a freelancer’s hourly work, capturing periodic screenshots as proof of activity.
Rating on TrustRadius 7.3/10 7.4/10
Mobile App iOS and Android iOS and Android
Rating and Reviews 4.9/5 (476,6k Ratings) 4.6/5 (42,8k Ratings)

 

 

How to Get Clients on Freelancer Platforms

On Fiverr, employers are “buyers,” and freelancers are “sellers.” Freelancers craft “Gigs,” or service packages, to offer their expertise. Employers can post specific needs in the “Buyer Requests” section, prompting sellers to bid. It’s crucial on Fiver to craft standout Gigs to attract work. While Gigs are generally one-time services, they can be extended or repurchased.

Upwork, in contrast to Fiverr, caters more to clients. They post jobs, and freelancers bid, highlighting their skills. Freelancers can also list services in the Project Catalog. To bid on or invite specific freelancers, the platform uses a virtual currency called “Connects”. Upwork emphasizes long-term and hourly contracts. Like Fiverr, Upwork ranks freelancers with levels and badges based on experience and diversity.
 

Fiverr vs. Upwork: The Project Types

Fiverr: Quick, Fixed-Price Gigs

Each Gig is a fixed-price service offering. It’s similar to shopping off-the-shelf – the clients see a service they like and purchase it for the stated price. This model is particularly suitable for straightforward tasks or projects with a clear scope.

Examples:

  1. Need a striking logo for your startup? Browse through various “Gigs,” find a style you resonate with, and purchase.
  2. Want a catchy jingle for your brand’s next commercial? Numerous talented musicians are offering just that.
  3. Looking for someone to edit your YouTube video? It’s just a few clicks away.

The fixed-price model ensures you know exactly how much you’ll earn, and it’s also transparent for your clients how much they have to spend.

Upwork: Flexibility of Engagement

Upwork, on the other hand, operates on a more flexible model. While you can undoubtedly find fixed-price jobs, it’s the platform’s versatility that stands out. Upwork allows clients to post detailed job descriptions, and freelancers then bid on these jobs, offering their rates and terms.

  1. Hourly Projects: On Upwork, you can get hired on an hourly basis. This is especially useful for roles like virtual assistants, ongoing content creation, or software development, where tasks might evolve over time.
  2. Fixed-Price Projects: The client can set a fixed price for projects with a well-defined range, like designing a brochure or writing an article. Freelancers will understand the requirements and bid accordingly.
  3. Long-Term Engagements: Upwork’s structure is conducive to establishing long-term relationships. If you find a client who you appreciate, you can engage with them for extended periods, benefiting from consistent projects and income.
 

How Does the Pricing at Upwork and Fiverr Work?

Navigating through platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can be a maze, especially when it comes to pricing. Let’s break down the dollars and cents of both and see what’s up.

The Pricing on Upwork

Connects for Applications: 

Freelancers use Connects to bid on jobs. They get 10 Connects for free every month. Additional Connects can be purchased or earned through first-time registration, skill certification, or by upgrading to the Freelancer Plus account.

Freelancer Plus:

At $14.99/month, this offers 80 Connects, enhanced visibility, an account manager, and insights into competitors’ bids.

Commission Structure:

As a freelancer, you’ll pay a 10% freelancer service fee on the earnings you make on Upwork. This fee is charged on all your contracts with a client — whether hourly, fixed-price, or a Project Catalog project.

How to get paid:

Direct to bank accounts or third-party vendors like PayPal and Payoneer.

  • Notable Feature: When you work long-term with the same client, the commission decreases over time.

The Pricing on Fiverr

Listing Services: 

Free for freelancers. The platform charges a flat 20% commission on all “Gigs,” irrespective of earnings or client relationship duration.

Fiverr Pro

A free membership program for vetted freelancers based on education, professional experience, and portfolio.

How to get paid:

PayPal, Payoneer, Fiverr revenue card, Bank transfer, Direct deposit

The Fiverr and Upwork Fees

Fiverr Upwork
Freelancer Fees 20% 10%
Client Fee 5.5% 5%

Let’s take a look at an example. Imagine selling a $100 service to your clients. This is what you’ll make:

Fiverr

Fee: 20% of the total amount earned.

For 100 USD: 20% of 100 USD = -20 USD.

Freelancer Receives: 80 USD 

Upwork

Fee: 10% of the total amount earned.

For 100 USD: 10% of 100 USD = -10 USD.

Freelancer Receives: 90 USD

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Blinkist-magazine-Fiverr-Vs.-Upwork-This-is-Freelance-To-Founder-Collection-Banner
 

Fiverr vs Upwork: Pros and Cons

Let’s now have a final overview of all the facts about Fiverr and Upwork:

The Pros

Fiverr Upwork
Simple structures Bigger projects with higher pay
Easy to get started Easy to search for jobs
No biding war Trustworthy payment tools

The Cons

Fiverr Upwork
A higher commission (20%) Fee structure can be complicated
Can be hectic for new starters More competition
Can be difficult to keep clients Can be difficult to find high quality clients

Now let’s take a look at some real-life examples and see which platform could be the better option:
 

Freelancing Platforms for Content Writer

Fiverr

Pros:

  1. Great for those who have specialized writing niches or specific services like blog posts, product descriptions, or SEO articles.
  2. Easy to set a fixed price for writing services and define the scope (e.g., 500 words for $50).
  3. Potential for quick gigs if your “Gigs” stand out.

Recommendation: Fiverr could be beneficial for writers who have a clear idea of their niche and are looking for task-oriented, short-term projects.

Upwork

Pros:

  1. Ideal for writers looking for diverse projects ranging from blog posts and articles to whitepapers and ebooks.
  2. Allows writers to bid on projects, which means there’s flexibility in pricing and negotiation.
  3. Better suited for those seeking long-term client relationships or larger projects.

Recommendation: Upwork tends to be more versatile for writers who are open to a variety of tasks and are looking to establish long-term relationships with clients.
 

Freelancing Platform for Designer

Fiverr

Pros:

  1. Perfect for designers with specific services like logo design, business card creation, or social media graphics.
  2. Clients can easily browse through portfolios and select a design style they resonate with.
  3. The fixed-price model ensures transparency in earnings and client expectations.

Recommendation: For designers who specialize in quick-turnaround projects and have a distinct style or offering, Fiverr can be a lucrative platform.

Upwork

Pros:

  1. Beneficial for designers looking to work on comprehensive projects like brand identity packages, website designs, or long-term collaborations.
  2. Designers can negotiate project terms, timelines, and prices.
  3. Opportunity to collaborate with larger businesses or startups seeking holistic design solutions.

Recommendation: Upwork might be better suited for designers who are keen on taking on in-depth projects and want to work closely with clients on larger design projects.

 

Fiverr vs. Upwork: Our Final Recommendations

Both Fiverr and Upwork are great platforms and a good start in the freelancing world. Which platform aligns best with your needs depends on your freelancing goals and the nature of your services. Here’s a final breakdown:

Fiverr is best suited for freelancers offering niche or task-specific services. If you’re new and looking for an easy launch into freelancing, start your freelance journey on Fiverr.

Upwork is a platform for more experienced professionals wanting bigger projects and long-term collaborations. If detailed scopes, hourly contracts, and professional connections appeal to you, start your career with Upwork.

Remember, choosing between Fiverr vs. Upwork is all about aligning with your strengths, services, and career aspirations. Explore both platforms, experiment, and then double down on the one that elevates your freelance game.

“Begin your journey with the end in mind, but don’t neglect the steps along the way. Each one provides vital lessons and experiences that form the fabric of your ultimate vision.”
Tony Robbins

And now, it seems, it is time to kick off your freelance journey. Whether you’re penning down articles, voicing animated characters, or being someone’s virtual right hand, don’t forget to start your freelancer journey with some solid know-how. Blinkist has got your back. We’ve rounded up articles to boost your confidence and prep you for success. Check out, for example, this gem on career development! And, for a dash of inspiration, peek into what the world’s successful people are reading. Spoiler: books are their goldmine. Dive into their reading list.

Do you want more insights from the crème de la crème of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and leaders? Check out our book summaries at Blinkist. Fun fact: Some of them might’ve started on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, just where you’re standing now. You’ve got this!

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