Freelance platforms allow anyone to turn their talent, skills or hobby into money. Whether you’re looking for extra work to up your income or want to add exciting new projects to your freelance portfolio, joining a freelance platform could be an easy way to do just that and start generating revenue!
What is a freelance platform?
Freelance platforms are online marketplaces that connect businesses with freelance professionals.
As a freelancer, you are given the opportunity to set up your profile, outlining your skills mix, work experience and other attributes that might be important to the employer (such as your location or native language). Most freelance platforms encourage freelancers to upload examples of their work, creating a version of their freelance portfolio that’s easily accessible to whoever is viewing the profile.
What makes freelance websites such a lucrative source of income for freelancers is the integrated feedback and rating systems. The more work you win on these platforms, the more (hopefully positive) feedback and ratings you generate. The highest-ranking freelancers tend to benefit from premium positioning on the listings page, raking in the most profile views and eventually, winning the highest number of projects.
Every platform will have its own workflows, ranking algorithm and payment system. You need to look at all the options available to you and choose a freelance platform that meets your key criteria.
Fiverr is one of the most popular freelance platforms in the world. Unlike many of its competitors, Fiverr stands out with their gigs offering. Freelancers are able to package their skills or services into “gigs” and market them to potential employers, rather than bidding on projects. What counts as a “gig,” you might ask? It can be anything from an offer to create a content plan for a blog to a logo design or a t-shirt design. The great thing about gigs is that both the freelancer and the business know exactly how much money is on the table before the work even begins.
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With over 5 million business accounts and 3 million freelance jobs posted each year, Upwork is undoubtedly one of the most popular freelance platforms today. The downside of Upwork is their tiered pricing system—the platform will take a 20% cut on your earnings until you reach a certain billed amount with a client. If you’re prepared to work for a lower fee at the start of your Upwork journey to build up a reputation and learn the ropes of bidding, the platform can turn out to be your go-to hub for freelance work.
As a leading freelance marketplace in Europe, PeoplePerHour combines Fiverr’s concept of “gigs” with Upwork’s project bidding to offer freelancers a full range of options. Freelancers get a fixed number of proposals they can submit every month free of charge when they’re bidding on a project. Once that number is exceeded, they’re required to buy credits to continue bidding. When it comes to gigs, which are called Hourlies on PeoplePerHour, freelancers have full freedom to define their fixed-price offer and delivery terms.
Another major player in the freelancing market, Freelancer.com is known for its rather low commission fees and a huge variety of freelance jobs. Some projects are priced per hour, some as contests and some as fixed-budget tasks. The process of setting up a profile on Freelancer is identical to all the other freelancing platforms—so it’s just a matter of picking one platform and sticking to it.
Take your time when researching the best freelance platform for your needs. There’s a plethora of more specialised, niche websites for skill-specific freelance jobs, such as Dribbble for designers or Writer Access for writers. The key factors to look at when assessing these marketplaces are their fee structure, the average project budget and the most common types of freelance jobs. Remember that building your profile and reputation on freelance platforms takes time and effort, so whichever route you decide to take, don’t spread yourself too thinly.
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