Websites like Upwork are a fast way to discover new clients and land freelance work.
Initially, I doubted Upwork, believing it was filled with clients who wanted to underpay freelancers.
But, after exploring Upwork more, I realized my assumptions were incorrect.
For a year, I followed my friend Andy’s journey into freelancing through a weekly podcast. Andy left his regular job to freelance and for over 18 months, he only used Upwork. He didn’t just find freelance work there; he also connected with other freelancers, which helped him grow his business.
And he did really well for himself.
He consistently raised his prices until he was earning much more than he ever did working for someone else.
I recognize that some freelancers struggle to find success on sites like Upwork. These platforms can be crowded in certain areas, and standing out takes a lot of effort.
However, if you’re new to freelancing or want to do it part-time, Upwork and similar sites can offer a steady stream of new projects to help you get started.
Upwork is a great option for beginning freelancers, and there are also several other platforms that can give you the start you need in freelancing.
- While Upwork is a popular and well-known freelance marketplace, there are many other options available that may better suit your needs depending on your skills, interests, and experience.
- Each alternative platform has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s worth researching and comparing them to find the best fit for you.
- Regardless of which platform you choose, it’s important to take the time to create a strong profile, tailor your proposals to the specific needs of each client, and build your reputation and portfolio over time through high-quality work and positive feedback.
Not the Perfect Long-Term Strategy
Using Upwork might not be the best plan for your entire freelancing career, but it’s excellent for growing your portfolio and understanding how to work with clients.
After that, you can check out our list of top freelance job websites from all over the internet to find more options that could be useful for you.
Now, let’s take a look at that list.
You should definitely visit Fiverr if you haven’t been there lately. They’ve transformed it significantly. What used to be a place for freelancers to earn $5 for small tasks now lets them charge hundreds or even thousands for their services. Fiverr also has an Extra Fast Delivery option, perfect for making money if you’re good at meeting tight deadlines.
Fiverr’s acquisition of the invoicing tool, Fiverr Workspace, has made them a strong competitor to Upwork. The website is user-friendly, offers a variety of jobs across different budget ranges, and caters to fields like graphic design, content writing, digital marketing, and web design. It’s an excellent platform for freelancers from various backgrounds.
Freelancer is one of the sites most similar to Upwork. It offers a constant flow of new jobs for freelancers from various fields and is easy to get started with. You can even look at most jobs before signing up.
With over 1800 job categories and more than 32 million users in 2022, Freelancer stands as one of the biggest job-seeking platforms in the world. It’s been around for over a decade, and now it’s a popular site for thousands of freelancers and businesses looking to work together on a wide range of projects.
For freelancers, the main advantage of Freelancer is the huge selection of projects available. Businesses, on the other hand, can find freelancers capable of doing almost anything at a reasonable price. The platform also includes helpful tools like private chat, voice call, and video call, making communication with clients easier.
SolidGigs is another option I should mention, even though it’s not exactly a competitor to Upwork. Instead of you searching through various sites like Upwork, SolidGigs does the work for you. They filter through many freelance job boards and pick the best jobs for you each week.
They even assign gig-hunters to freelancers. These hunters go through thousands of job listings and send you personalized job matches that fit your skills and experience level. This can save you a lot of time and helps you find the top 1% of freelance jobs that match your skills and interests. You can find out more about how SolidGigs works in our review.
If you’re fed up with endlessly scrolling through sites like Upwork, you can try SolidGigs for free for 14 days.
Built with the idea of connecting clients with the top 1% of high-quality freelancers, Freeup is a premium marketplace that’s a bar above other sites like Upwork, Fiverr, or some sites that might be lower on the quality scale.
The catch? You have to apply to be accepted as a premium freelancer on Freeup’s site and will be pre-vetted before you are allowed to take on any projects. If you are approved, though, you’ll likely enjoy higher rates paid by clients who don’t try to nickel and dime you.
Another company attempting to raise the bar on sites like Upwork is Toptal. It stands for “Top Talent” and their goal is to only bring on the top 1-2% of freelance talent that applies to them. If you’re highly specialized in your field and are looking for top-tier positions and projects, this freelancing site may be the ideal option for you.
Understandably, it’s very hard to get accepted as a freelancer on Toptal. But if you’re looking for sites like Upwork that are a bit higher-caliber, Toptal could be a good fit for you. This site attracts businesses that are looking for the very best freelancers in their fields and are willing to pay accordingly.
What’s great about Vollna, you might ask? Created by a fellow freelancer, Vollna is a unique app that crawls the best freelance websites (Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, Freelancer, etc) and delivers all the latest jobs to your inbox or mobile phone, anywhere and anytime.
Vollna has a mobile app and sends you real-time notifications via email or the app when job listings matching your skills post. This gives you more time to apply for new jobs and gives you the opportunity to meet your full earning potential!
One site that merits a place on our list of sites like Upwork based on the sheer number of job postings they have is FlexJobs. They’ve got dozens of categories (over 50 and counting) for freelancers of all kinds which means it’s virtually impossible not to find a client or two using FlexJobs.
At the time of writing, FlexJobs has more than 50,000 listed clients searching for freelancers just like you. The platform even offers career coaching services, advice, webinars and events to help you reach your professional goals in 2022 and beyond.
In the vast realm of online freelancing platforms, Crackerjack emerges as a refreshing alternative to the conventional options. With its transparent fee structure, commitment to verified professionals, and exclusive availability to users in the United States, Crackerjack offers a reliable and efficient platform for both clients and freelancers. Here’s why Crackerjack should be on your radar:
Transparent Fee Structure: Unlike many other platforms, Crackerjack lays its fee structure bare for all to see. Clients pay a modest fee of 3% plus $0.33 per transaction, while freelancers are charged 7% plus $2.25 per transaction. This transparent approach fosters trust and ensures that both parties understand the costs involved, making budgeting and financial planning simpler and more straightforward.
Verified Professionals: Crackerjack takes great care in curating its talent pool. All professionals on the platform undergo a rigorous verification process, guaranteeing clients access to skilled and reliable freelancers. This commitment to quality ensures that clients can confidently engage with professionals who possess the necessary expertise to tackle their projects effectively.
Streamlined Transactions: Crackerjack simplifies financial transactions by providing a seamless payment process. The platform facilitates secure and timely transfers, minimizing administrative hassle and promoting a positive experience for both clients and freelancers.
In conclusion, Crackerjack presents a compelling alternative to Upwork, offering transparency, verified professionals, and exclusive availability to users in the United States. Whether you’re a client seeking reliable freelancers or a professional looking for rewarding projects, Crackerjack stands as a reliable platform that can fulfill your needs efficiently and effectively.
Next on the list of sites like Upwork is PeoplePerHour. As you might guess from their name, one thing that sets this Upwork competitor apart is they focus primarily on work you can get paid by the hour to complete. PeoplePerHour is a British freelancing site that focuses primarily on the European market and makes the hiring process easy for all parties involved. It offers a high volume of daily job postings and even boasts Android and iOS apps for freelancers on the go.
While this may not jive with you if you’re more of value-based pricing or charge-by-the-project kind of freelancer, it’s still a decent option for getting your foot in the door with new clients and building your portfolio. You can withdraw your earnings using a variety of trusted payment options too, including Skrill, Payoneer, PayPal and bank deposit.
We Work Remotely
With a reported 3 million active users per month, We Work Remotely is a job website that offers a myriad of job postings, including freelance design-related positions. People or businesses looking for designers will need to spend $299 to list their projects on the website, which ensures that the jobs that are posted are high quality and are far more likely to pay.
We Work Remotely deals with exclusive clients like Amazon, Google and InVision, and freelancers don’t even need to create profiles to view the available listings. Simply click on the job link and you’ll be able to see exactly what’s on offer. We Work Remotely is a great resource for both part-time and full-time freelance gigs, and offers a variety of filter and search tools to help you find jobs that suit your skill set.
Behance provides job listings for freelancers across the professional spectrum, from web designers and app developers to animators, illustrators, digital artists and designers.
By adding quality project samples to your Behance profile, you can ensure that a community of like-minded creatives will see your work, winning you great exposure and more clients. Essentially, Behance is a social media network of sorts, enabling its users to connect with other designers and creators. The site’s job section offers plenty of leads for reliable, high paying freelance work as well.
What I like about GURU is, unlike some of these Upwork competitors, they have what seems like an infinite list of disciplines and niches. So even if you have an obscure favorite kind of work, chances are, they have clients looking for you.
The site’s extensive listing categories highlight why so many people prefer the flexibility of freelancing. It includes programming and development, design, and art, writing and translation, administrative and secretarial, sales and marketing, engineering and architectural, business and finance, education and training, and legal listings. GURU’s clients have paid over $250 million to freelancers so far and boast a collection of over 800,000 employers worldwide.
Designhill helps to connect employers to freelance designers to work on a variety of creative projects. The website enables employers to create project contests to find the best freelancers online while benefiting from unique design entries to boot. They can also find specific freelancers by seeking out targeted services using the Designhill search feature.
Designhill has plenty to offer its graphic designers, web designers, and other freelance design experts too. The site entices creatives by giving them an opportunity to design their own shirts, have them printed, and sell them in their own online stores. This gives freelance designers access to another valuable source of income over and above their freelance design work. All while helping them to build their brands and recognition at the same time. As of 2022, the platform has over 152,000 world-class designers signed up, who have satisfied the needs of 116,000 clients to date.
As of 2022, Hubstaff Talent has over 108,000 active profiles registered in more than 100 countries. It’s available to freelancers across the globe, it integrates with other remote work apps, allows you to send personalized messages to your clients, and even offers customer service tools, including live service chat features.
What’s great about this next site is that it’s similar to Upwork, but it’s free. They don’t take a finder’s fee like many of these Upwork competitors do. Hubstaff Talent is a great way to find new clients and start building your portfolio.
While they do have a lot of full-time positions (which may not be what you’re looking for as a freelancer) they do have a lot of part-time or contract jobs too.
As far as sites like Upwork go, this next one has the most narrow focus I’ve seen. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Credo focuses primarily on SEO, PPC, or digital marketing freelancers. It enables clients to find pre-vetted and trusted digital marketing companies to meet their unique marketing needs.
If you don’t fall into one of those categories, not to worry: there are lots of other Upwork competitors on the list here. But if you are an SEO, PPC, or digital marketing expert, Credo is for you.
Our last recommendation is technically a site similar to Upwork, but we found it’s pretty basic. Outsourcely’s goal is to connect freelancers with startups who are on a tight budget but need extra talent for a short amount of time.
Outsourcely accepts remote workers and freelancers from over 180 countries who specialize in design, web development, mobile applications, writing and content, sales and marketing, customer support, business services and administration. The platform charges no commission fees and has a pool of 400,000 freelancers and counting as of 2022.
If you’re on the hunt for sites like Upwork but not sure where to start, now you’ve got 14+ great new options to review.
Keep in mind, not all Upwork competitors are equal—and you may discover after a while that even Upwork isn’t the best fit for you.
However you choose to proceed, I wish you luck in finding your next freelance clients!
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