Fed up with Fiverr? – Here Are the Best Alternatives to Level up Your Freelancing Career in 2021
Fiverr remains one of the leading digital work platforms to earn money as a freelancer in 2021. In fact, the platform continues to go from strength to strength, with many professionals now utilizing the site as their sole source of income, and earning thousands of dollars per month in the process.
If you’re offering a great service and you’re prepared to work hard, Fiverr can be extremely lucrative.
With all that being said, Fiverr definitely does have some drawbacks: The platform’s software has several infuriating bugs, and the customer support could be described (very charitably) as “a little robotic”.
So if you’re looking to start a freelance career from scratch, or you’re already established in your niche but growing tired of Fiverr, you might want to have a look at some of the alternative professional online services available.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular digital work platforms for the aspiring freelancer in 2021 –
Upwork is probably the biggest Fiverr competitor at present.
It’s the best known and longest established of the digital work platforms listed here, as well as the largest, both in terms of potential clients, and freelancer competition.
The biggest difference between Upwork and Fiverr is the way jobs are handled –
On Fiverr, freelancers post a “gig” describing a service they’re offering, and then wait for potential clients to see that listing, and hopefully place an order.
On Upwork, the process almost works in reverse – Businesses post a brief for a job they’d like to commission, and the interested freelancers send in their proposals to entice the buyer to partner with them.
For those reluctant newcomers unwilling to pitch their services, Upwork also allows buyers to browse freelancer profiles, after matching them to a service they’re on the hunt for, much like Fiverr.
Advantages of UpWork over Fiverr
Upwork has several advantages over Fiverr.
The first is scale. It’s simply a bigger platform, and because of that, there’s more opportunity.
The second advantage is the type of buyer on the Upwork platform: You’re more likely to encounter higher paying clients that will use you for repeat orders if they like your services.
Upwork’s fee structure reflects this, and gives yet another advantage over Fiverr…
You get charged less in service fees on WpWork, the more you work with a repeat client –
- The first $0-$500 a client spends with you: Upwork takes 20% of your profits
- The next $500.01-$10,000: Upwork takes 10%
- Anything above $10,000.01 or more: Upwork takes just 5%
Those are lifetime figures too, so it doesn’t matter how long a client waits before re-hiring.
In comparison – Fiverr tends to apply a standard fee of 20%. So with UpWork, the emphasis is on retaining clients and getting more business out of them – to then benefit from the lower seller fees. But that can be easier said than done of course, and for sellers who typically transact below $500 per gig, you may never reach these lower fee brackets, so the benefit may never be realised.
As you can see, this definitely gives Upwork the advantage over Fiverr if you make lots of repeat sales with a few trusted partners. It also rewards you for landing higher paying clients.
Combine those features with the ability to get a full-time contract if your client is satisfied with your job, and Upwork seems like a clear winner.
If there is any disadvantage of UpWork compared with Fiverr, it’s probably the size of the platform and the amount of competition. The sheer volume of talent and competition on UpWork can make it hard for a new Freelancer to stand out, rise to the top and secure the best projects.
However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, being on Upwork could pay dividends.
The Newer Contenders and Alternatives to Fiverr
The first pick of the “other” contenders to sites like Fiverr and Upwork is SolidGigs. It’s a relatively new startup, and it differs quite a bit from the other providers.
SolidGigs isn’t really a “platform” or a “marketplace” like the other big players.
Instead, for $19 per month, you get sent daily job listings that have been compiled and curated from around the web. That means you spend less time hunting for clients and more time pitching for gigs.
The obvious downside is that SolidGigs doesn’t offer you any way of managing clients or accepting payments. You’re going to have to do that manually, like a regular freelancer.
At its core, SolidGigs is a glorified mailing list. With all the advantages and disadvantages that holds.
SolidGigs does sweeten the deal though, by offering over 127 courses, videos and other resources to help you improve your skills.
Overall, SolidGigs is a great Fiverr alternative that’s aimed squarely at the traditional freelancer used to managing their own accounts, contracts and invoicing.
Freelancer is a lot like Fiverr.
There are nearly 30 million users on the platform, so it’s a very stable and mature marketplace. There are the usual categories, such as blog and article writing, digital marketing and web design, however the platform is a more professional than Fiverr and it’s much easier to plan and organize your gigs.
If there was one negative to using Freelancer instead of Fiverr, it would be that it’s initially a little daunting to get started. Many businesses use the platform to hire experienced freelancers, making it tough to get a foothold on the platform if you’re a beginner.
People per hour is another great option for already established Freelancers looking to add to their skillset.
Everyone on the site must pass an initial quality check, meaning you’re more likely to be trusted (and therefore hired!) faster than on a site like Fiverr.
On the downside, that can work against you if you’re new to freelancing. Fiverr might be a bit of a grind in the beginning, but it does allow you to level up relatively quickly with next to no experience.
One other potential downside: As the name implies, PeoplePerHour lists all jobs on a “paid-by-the-hour” basis.
If you’re more used to working “price-per-project”, you might want to do some calculations before jumping ship.
FreeeUp is another site where Freelancers are pre-vetted before being allowed to join.
The site appeals more to agencies looking to hire stable workers for longterm projects, and its users get paid weekly on autopilot once they’re hired.
If you’re more comfortable being a “remote worker” than a true freelancer, FreeUp might work well for you.
The site has some excellent reviews. It’s much more user friendly than Fiverr, and the support is unparalleled.
Definitely recommended for mid-tier and upwards skill levels. FreeeUp is a site aimed squarely at those looking for longterm, stable partnerships.
This is a great option for the new freelancers wanting to dip a toe into the world of online business, but scared of competing with the professionals.
Gigbucks markets itself as a place to find “micro gigs” and small, low paying jobs. Indeed, the site has a cap of $50 per job, so it’s best suited to younger freelancers, and perhaps part-time college students looking to supplement their income.
It has a similar level system to Fiverr, and whilst a quick tour of the front page makes for a less than stellar experience, make no mistake, the customer support and user interface is much slicker than at Fiverr.
This is a perfect platform for part-timers and weekend warriors.
Conclusion – which is the best alternative to Fiverr?
So there you have it. There really isn’t any good reason to put all of your eggs in the Fiverr basket.
Even if the platform is treating you well, it’s always safer to diversify your income streams.
If you haven’t joined any of the freelancing platforms yet, then any of the above options makes a great place to base your online business. Just make sure you take all of them for a road test and pick the right one for your particular field of expertise and skill level.
If we had to pick one of two great alternatives to make sure you’re signed up to – it’d have to be UpWork and Freelancer.