When selecting your primary platform for freelance writing, you'll want to make an informed decision. Both Upwork and Fiverr have their benefits and downsides, but counting the cost of both is vital to making the right decision for you and your growing freelance business.
I started off by offering freelance writing and editing services on both platforms, and have identified a few pros and cons in the great Upwork vs. Fiverr debate. Let's dive into the ups and downs of the key elements every freelancer should consider: platform features, cost, and conflict resolution.
Upwork Vs. Fiverr: Platform Features
Though both platforms are designed to connect freelance writers with clients, the two sites vary in how they operate.
Fiverr is designed to be for freelancers looking to work on one-off projects. You'll find the most random one-off projects on Fiverr, and for writers, creating more than a couple of listings allows you to earn quick cash. You can set up listings (called "gigs") for services like blog post writing, press release writing, speech writing, and more. Each listing can have custom price, time, and revision parameters, which is helpful for setting buyer expectations upfront.
Upwork, on the other hand, is geared toward longer-term projects with consistent clients. The platform is specifically designed to pair buyers with the right sellers, whereas Fiverr's algorithm is less defined. While customers come to you on Fiverr, freelancers essentially apply for a project on Upwork, where they pitch themselves as the best candidate as they bid on work. Though it may take longer to get a gig on Upwork, the payoff is that you can find reliable clients for a steadier income flow over time.
The bottom line: Fiverr is good for attracting one-time clients who know and agree to your rates upfront, and Upwork is best for long-term work that freelancers apply for at a rate usually set by the client.
Upwork Vs. Fiverr: Cost and Cuts
It's important not to sell yourself short when freelancing. So, consider how the pricing works for Fiverr and Upwork before figuring what's best for you. Fiverr takes a 20% cut of each payment a freelancer receives through the platform. If you're making bank, that might not feel like much, but if you're just starting off, it might be worth factoring that percentage into the rates you set on your gig.
Upwork's payment system is set up in a slightly different way. Writers have an option to bid on a potential gig or set their own type of payment (i.e., flat fees or hourly rates). Upwork takes a percentage of the cost like Fiverr, but that percentage varies, and charges a 2.75 percent processing fee for each transaction.
The bottom line: Fiverr's 20% cut of your profits is consistent, but could be damning for new freelancers. Upwork's cut is harder to budget for, but is typically less than 20%, making it the better choice from a cost perspective.
Upwork Vs. Fiverr: Conflict Resolution
There are bound to be disputes between sellers and their clients from time to time. Whether it's a minor dispute about a deadline extension or a considerable miscalculation of payment, both Upwork and Fiverr have systems in place to handle conflicts.
Fiverr has a relatively helpful support team, but sometimes their strict standardization of how they operate can cause delays in receiving responses. For instance, you could type up an email asking for help, and instead of answering the question, Fiverr's support team may merely refer you to their policy guidelines. That said, they are flexible should you need to dispute an order cancelation or review.
Upwork also has standard policy guidelines, but their conflict resolution operation goes a bit deeper than Fiverr. Upwork will select a personal mediator for settling disputes between clients and writers. This may be significantly better for those who know what it's like to get burned by a client.
The bottom line: Upwork has a leg up in resolving conflict with the assigned mediators, but Fiverr still does a pretty good job handling minor to intermediate problems.
If you want my opinion (and yes, I know you didn't ask), there are benefits to both platforms. The convenience of clients coming to your listings on Fiverr is amazing, but steady long-term work through Upwork can help pay the bills. My advice: choose a combination of one-time projects for quick cash while sustaining a few reliable clients over time.