Which Freelance Platform Should You Choose?

Jul 09, 2020 · 6 mins read
Which Freelance Platform Should You Choose?
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Getting customers on a regular basis is an important part of freelancing. But just creating an account on one of the many platforms on the market is not enough: the best paying jobs go to freelancers who have better portfolios, skills, and customer service. But that’s not enough when we use platforms to get freelance work.

The freelancer world is highly competitive.

While you should never depend on just one platform, I think they are an ideal place to get those first customers who will allow you to quit your traditional job.

But don’t be fooled! It’s not free to work through any of these sites. Read the rules carefully before deciding which one is best for you.

These are the best freelance platforms to get freelance work.

1. Upwork

It is currently the largest freelance platform on the market. With over 4 million customers, it offers a wide variety of jobs, prices, and experiences.

The freelancer has the possibility to apply for short and long term jobs, work on an hourly basis or for a complete project.

Upwork as such has been around for a short time. It is the result of the union of two great platforms: Elance and oDesk.


The client posts the project, and freelancers are free to apply with a proposal and a budget. There is no contest mode, and it is expressly forbidden to ask for free work.

Upwork uses a profile suggestion system for clients, but this does not prevent other freelancers from applying.

Every month, freelancers get 60 ‘connects’ for free, necessary to apply for the different jobs.


Upwork charges commissions to freelancers on a sliding scale, depending on the amount earned (not total):

  • 20% of the first U$D500
  • 10% in the range of U$D500.1 to U$D10000
  • 5% after U$D10000.1

They also offer memberships with benefits such as more monthly connects, or the possibility of working as an agency through the platform.

2. Freelancer

This is one of the oldest and best known platforms on the market. It has been connecting companies with freelancers for several years.

There are all kinds of jobs for freelancers: web development and design, marketing and SEO, article writing, data entry, and various tasks related to the online world and digital environment professionals.


Freelancer has two modes of operation. On the one hand, clients post a project to which freelancers respond with a proposal. The client evaluates the profile, and decides which freelancer to work with.

The freelancer has the possibility to apply (bid) for 8 jobs for free every month.

Their other option is the so-called ‘contests’. The client asks the freelancer to do the job, and chooses a ‘winner’ to pay. This is actually called SPEC work, or speculative work, and is one of the most harmful forms of freelancing.


Creating an account is free for both the freelancer and the customer.

Employers are charged 3% of the project value, either fixed price or per hour.

Freelancers are charged 10% of the total value of the project (or contest!), either fixed or hourly.

There is also the possibility to buy a membership that gives certain advantages over the free account.

For more information about the fees and commissions, you can visit the Freelancer website.

3. Toptal

This platform, unlike the previous ones, is aimed at freelancers and experienced professionals.

It has a strict evaluation system, but passing the admission process gives access to projects with clients such as JPMorgan, Zendesk, Airbnb, etc., and compensations accordingly. There are no badly paid jobs on this platform.

You will also be part of the Toptal community, which offers access to meetups and events.

This platform is mostly aimed at programmers, developers, web designers, and software engineers.


Toptal takes care of connecting the customer and the freelancer directly. No need to apply to projects.

The freelancer is free to define his or her own hourly, weekly or monthly rate and becomes part of the customer’s team once the contract details are decided.


Although freelancers are not charged any commission, clients who want to contract through the platform need to make an initial deposit of $500


4. People Per Hour

This platform aims to be the place where clients can get everything they need for their business, so it presents a wide range of projects aimed at marketers, SEO specialists, software engineers, designers, content creators, and more.

Its system is designed to simplify the whole process: from hiring to payment.


In addition to the possibility of applying to projects such as Freelancer and Upwork, People Per Hour offers the modality of Hourlies: the freelancer offers a specific service at a fixed price, which the client can contract directly.

The freelancer can apply for free to 15 jobs per month, with the possibility of buying more credits if needed.


Posting Hourlies is free, as well as applying for jobs 15 times a month. If you want to apply for more, you have to buy credits.

It also charges commissions to freelancers depending on the month, not the total amount of each job: 15% up to the first U$D280 of the month, and then down to 3.5%. Be careful that every beginning of the month, it goes back up to 15%.

5. Guru

This platform is one of the oldest, but not one of the biggest. That doesn’t mean there isn’t competition!

Similar to Upwork and Freelancer, this platform is very simple to use. The downside is that the jobs tend to be of lower quality and pay.


It also has a bids system where the freelancer applies to the different jobs posted by the clients. At the same time, customers have the opportunity to explore freelancer profiles, and hire them directly.


Creating an account as a freelancer or client is free. As a customer, you are charged 2.5% to 3.5% for each payment made. In contrast, freelancers are charged from 4.95% to 8.95% of the total project depending on the type of membership (free or paid). This makes it one of the platforms with the best commissions in the market.

Unlike Upwork, you have to pay to take skills certification tests. Its price also depends on the membership.

These platforms are very useful to take the first steps as a freelancer. Anyway, I recommend you to get familiar with them, as the rules are constantly changing (as well as the commissions!). I also leave you 10 Secrets to get customers on freelance platforms.

Which platform are you going to try?


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