Best Upwork Alternatives

Upwork is one of the largest platforms for freelancers and clients in the world, and there’s probably no doubt about that. But there are various Upwork fees for freelancers, and some might not be willing to give the site up to 20% of what they make. 

In today’s article, we’re looking at several sites like Upwork and describing the advantages and disadvantages of using each.

Best Upwork Alternatives

What we’d like to note before moving on to the topic of today’s post is that you should avoid creating an account on all of the sites we are going to mention here. 

The reason for this is that you actually have higher chances of being hired on Upwork, despite the fees that you will inadvertently have to pay. 

On top of that, some of these platforms might not be used by so many clients, and the truth is that that’s why Upwork is the first place that so many employers utilize — because it’s world-known. 

Also, if you make the mistake of not enabling the notifications on each of the platforms you create an account on, you run the risk of being awarded projects or getting messages from potential clients and you not replying at the right time. 

Stick to two to three websites like Upwork instead of spreading yourself thin across several different platforms. 

Freelancer

This is one of the oldest sites similar to Upwork in existence today. Two major advantages that we have to point out here consist of the fees and the approval process. 

On Upwork, there is an incredibly lengthy and difficult approval process that you have to go through, especially if you are in a competitive industry such as content writing. 

On Freelancer, you don’t have to handle any of that hassle. You just create an account, and even if you are a complete beginner, you can start bidding on projects. 

The second reason to consider using this Upwork alternative is that the fees are much lower. You will be charged just 10% of the entire value of every project compared to the 20% that Upwork charges instead. 

Finally, we’d also like to add that in some situations, you really have a chance of standing out a little better on Freelancer than on Upwork. And the reason for this is that it’s not as heavily based on the ratings that people have received from their clients in the past. 

fiverr

Fiverr

We might have mentioned Fiverr in some of our posts before, and while it might not seem as appealing to people that have a long history of working in a specific industry, it’s still one of the best Upwork competitors out there. 

On the downside, the fee is the same as that of the Upwork platform, meaning that they will charge 20% of every project. You also get a limited number of bids depending on what level you are at. If you’re a newbie, you get to bid on 7 projects for free. Once you gather more experience, you’ll be able to bid on several more projects. 

While it might seem like a platform like Upwork, Fiverr is extremely competitive, and it’s also geared toward clients that want tasks completed for as little money as possible — another drawback you have to consider. 

We’d say that this one works best for extra simple tasks such as removing background images in Canva, which will not take you a lot of time. 

PeoplePerHour

This one is quite similar to Upwork in terms of the fees they charge. But the money you have to make with a specific client before the fees drop is different. For example, for the first $700, you’ll be charged a fee of 20% (practically identical to that of Upwork). 

But once you go beyond that threshold, the fee will drop to 7.5% (on Upwork, after $500, it’s 10% until $10,000, where it drops to 5%). On PPH, once you make more than $7,000 with a client, you’ll be billed just 3.5%. 

What we also have to note with regard to PPH is that since so many people use it these days, you have to make at least $100 over a fixed period of time, such as several months. Otherwise, they’ll close your account, and from what we have gathered, there is no way of re-activating it. 

Guru

Guru is another of the freelance sites like Upwork that we have come across while doing our research. It works quite differently. You’ll have to actually pay them some money to be able to bid on projects, but don’t worry about anything — it’s not a fortune. 

For example, for twenty bids, you’ll be charged $10 while for 250 bids, you’ll be charged $100. You also get 10 free bids per month, so if that’s enough for you, you’ll just be charged the fees (ranging from 5% to 9%). 

Another thing we have to add about the platform is that you don’t have to complete any type of approval process whatsoever. This means that you just create your account, get verified, and you can start bidding on projects without any additional issues. 

On the downside, we do have to add that Guru isn’t the most trustworthy platform, at least that’s not how potential clients view it. And the reason for this is that freelancers can actually pay to have their negative reviews removed, which means that their ratings end up being inaccurate. 

Outsourcely

This one is completely free to join and utilize, which is the most significant advantage that we have to note from the beginning. On the other hand, there aren’t as many jobs posted here as they might be on Upwork. 

They also focus on long-term projects, so if you’re looking for a project to complete every now and then just to have some disposable income, it might not be the greatest option for you. 

Textbroker

Textbroker is specifically focused on writing, so if you’re not in this industry, you might as well steer clear of it. The biggest pro for employers is that they specifically hire people from the United States, whether they are based in this country or not. 

You need some proof of US citizenship to apply and work on this platform. They also have a relatively complicated system where they rate writing pieces and depending on the rating you get, you can be paid more or less. 

Toptal

This one is entirely different from what you might be used to. The reason we’re making this statement is that clients are in fact charged more, so you do not have to pay a specific fee for getting hired on a job. 

As for the rates, we’ve noticed that they do have some of the highest ones on the market today. Freelancers can make anything from $60 to $250 per hour, but these are the rates that seasoned workers are likely to be paid. 

Like Upwork and some of the other platforms that we might have mentioned here, this one does have a quite lengthy approval process. In fact, they only accept about three percent of the people that try to create an account on the site. 

Truelancer

Although this one is mostly used by people based in India, if you need to hire virtual assistants or have someone manage your SEO or social media, it should be right up your alley. 

If you are a freelancer, you should also know that Truelancer is a cheaper Upwork alternative in that they usually charge between 8% and 10%. This difference exists because freelancers do have the option of paying for a monthly fee of $10, in which case instead of 10% out of the value of every project, they’ll be charged 8%.

The good thing about Truelancer is that there is no lengthy or complicated approval process, so that’s one less thing to worry about. 

TaskRabbit

If you are based in the United States, and you aren’t that interested in writing, translation, or any other type of work that can be done online, TaskRabbit should be right up your alley. 

It can be used by professionals in a variety of industries, such as cleaning, heavy lifting, installations, and everything else. Everything works through the platform, which is to say that you aren’t going to be able to find the job and then contact the client on your own. 

You’ll be charged a fee of 15% on each project that you complete, so the fee is still lower than that of Upwork. However, these two services are quite different so they can’t be compared that much. 

99designs

This website is the place to go for high-quality designs. Naturally, Upwork is great for that, too, but you have a much higher likelihood of compiling across very talented illustrators on 99designs — and if you want to create a children’s book and sell it, you want the best of the best. 

The platform works a little differently in that clients usually post contests to which you can apply individually. There aren’t long-term projects available, from what we’ve gathered, so unless someone takes the time to contact you or creates a contest, you’ll see lower success than on Upwork. 

On the other hand, the fees are lower than on the previously mentioned freelance site — newbies are charged 15% on projects, but seasoned designers have to pay just 5% out of the value of their projects.  

Hubstaff Talent

The biggest selling point of this website is that it is completely free to use. It doesn’t cost a single thing for freelancers or clients, which means that you’ll have access to a myriad of jobs in a variety of locations. 

There is a monthly fee that you have to pay, though, and it costs $5. We’d say that since this sum gives you access and allows you to bid on anything, it’s quite affordable. 

Workhoppers

This is a quite interesting Upwork alternative. It even works for people who want to complete specific tasks in a geographical area. What appealed to us is that the website actually charges the companies for posting the jobs, which means that you’re not likely to pay anything if you are selected as a candidate. 

From what we noticed, clients can post one job for as little as $29. 

There are heaps of jobs listed here, so you can find anything in fields as varied as design, web development, writing and translation, and design and illustration. It might be something worth looking into if you’re looking for regular or long-term work. 

Credo

Among the many Upwork-like websites that we checked out for this article, this one managed to stand out as it is specifically geared toward clients that want SEO work done. 

For this reason, the marketplace can help freelancers and clients get in touch only if jobs are about paid ads, PPC, general SEO consulting, audits, content and inbound marketing, and things like reputation management. 

WordPress development is another service, but the number of projects is lower compared to that of SEO-based ones. 

Whether this is a pro or not, we thought we’d mention that when you join the platform, you have to go through a length approval process where an agency actually gets in touch and establishes the skills you have and everything else that can make you a perfect match for clients. 

Craigslist

Although this one might not be a popular choice, there are jobs being posted on Craigslist. Of course, they range from actual physical work that you can do in a specific area to tasks like managing a small brand’s social media account across several different networks. 

On the downside, Craigslist isn’t the best platform in that it’s not as trustworthy as some of the others we have noted here. But you aren’t going to be charged anything if you place a call or send out an email, provided that you find a job that seems to fit your skills and expertise. 

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Why look for alternatives to Upwork?

The first and obvious reason is the fee involved for both freelancers and clients. The latter get a limited number of projects they can post before they have to pay, too. 

But the biggest downside is that the approval process can be a hassle, especially if you are in a particularly competitive industry, such as content writing. 

On the other hand, Upwork does have its perks. The money you’ll be paid is protected by Escrow and there’s also a period of at least 5 days that you have to wait for them to be approved by your client and then get into your Upwork account. 

This might seem a disadvantage, but the truth is that this website is by far the most trustworthy freelancing platform in the world. 

Getting your first clients can be challenging, also because of the competition. You probably have to make your bids as low as possible, and considering the 20% fee, you’ll be paid next to nothing. However, many freelancers resort to this technique in order to get their ratings up and end up being top rated on the platform — which by the way, will help them stand out on their future bids. 

Since a lot of people now use Google Drive or other products to complete work, they might directly contact their employers. If Upwork finds out that you’ve been communicating with the client outside of the platform, they can simply close down your account. 

Finally, we also have to note that the customer service on Upwork is virtually non-existent. Despite the hefty fees, the approval process, and the amount of time that it takes for a freelancer to stand out from the crowd and get their ratings as high as possible, they can’t benefit from customer service — and that is definitely a con. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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