Freelancing has become the norm over the last year and a half, so it’s no wonder sites like Fiverr and Upwork are expanding like crazy. When I first started freelancing, it was much less common and you had to look hard to find an opportunity.
Today, sites like Fiverr and Upwork make it easy, but the two platforms serve different purposes. In this guide, I compare Upwork vs. Fiverr to help you decide which platform may be right for you.
Hourly or project-based
10 days after completing hourly work or after completing a project via direct deposit, wire transfer, instant pay, PayPal, or Payoneer.
14 days via direct deposit, Fiverr Revenue Card, or PayPal.
Freelancer Plus costs $14.99 a month, or you can purchase additional Connects at $0.15 each.
ll earnings up to $500, Upwork keeps 20%; $500 to $10,000 they take 10%, and over $10,000 they keep 5%.
20% of earnings
What are Upwork and Fiverr?
Upwork and Fiverr are freelance websites that connect you (the freelancer) with clients. Both platforms rate freelancers and sellers, making the comments public so future freelancers and clients can use the information in their decision.
While both platforms are for freelancers and companies looking for freelancers, they have some vast differences.
Upwork is one of the largest freelance markets today. They attract big-name companies and often have contracts that last many months rather than just one-and-done projects. With Upwork, you can bid by project or by the hour, depending on the project’s scope. As a result, many companies use Upwork for any of their outstanding projects.
Fiverr started as the site that offered tasks for $5. Thankfully that’s not the case today. You can sell gigs in hundreds of categories for the price you want to set. You can set up one package or 3 for each task if you provide your clients with options. Fiverr operates on a gig basis, whereas Upwork is more project-based.
Fiverr freelancers start as a “New Seller,” but you can work your way up the ranks as you complete work:
- Level 1 seller - You must have an account for 60 days, complete at least ten orders, and earn $400 or more
- Level 2 seller - You must have an account for 120 days, complete at least 50 orders, and earn $2,000 or more
- Top-rated seller - You must have an active account for 180 days, complete at least 100 orders, and earn $20,000 or more
You must maintain at least a 4.7-star rating for each of the levels and have a 90% completion rate, on-time delivery rate, and response rate to maintain your status.
Finding work on Upwork vs. Fiverr
Your goal is to find work with each site, but how easy is it to find work on Upwork vs. Fiverr? Here’s what you should know.
How to find work on Upwork
Your profile on Upwork is almost like a resume. You’ll include your past experience, skills, and any special achievements or other notes you want to share. You can also share your portfolio, which is what may attract buyers.
To increase your chances of getting selected, you can also take Upwork quizzes. The scores will show in your portfolio for buyers to see.
To apply for jobs, you’ll need “Connect tokens.” You get a small number of free tokens. If you use them up, you’ll have to either wait until next month or buy more.
Fortunately, you can also be approached by potential employers, and it doesn’t cost you anything.
Once you connect with a buyer, you work out the details, including the pay, timeline, and how you’ll deliver the work and get started.
Depending on how you connect with an employer, you may have to submit a bid to get the work. This is a downside of Upwork, in my opinion. Since you’ll have freelancers who lowball the job just to get the work, you could get priced out even if you’re charging exactly what you’re worth.
How to find work on Fiverr
Fiverr works very differently. You’ll create a profile, which is similar to Upwork, but the similarities end there.
As the seller, you’ll create gigs for buyers to choose from. You can set up a flat rate or offer three tiers to the same offer. Each gig will say, “I will do XXX for $X.” You create the description, requirements and set up the timeline.
You can offer extras to upsell your clients too. The key to finding clients on Fiverr is to use keywords in your gig title and description. Just like buyers could search on Google, they’ll search in Fiverr. If you use the keywords, they’re looking for. You may turn up in their search.
Most work on Fiverr is one-and-done, although repeat buyers are always welcome. There isn’t an hourly pay option, and no one tracks your work. You deliver the designated work within the timeframe stated, and you get paid.
Getting paid Upwork vs. Fiverr
Both Fiverr and Upwork are free to join, but they both charge fees to sellers in exchange for you using the platform. Both Fiverr and Upwork have requirements regarding when you’ll receive payment too.
Upwork has a couple of options for payment depending on how the client is paying.
- Hourly - The week ends every Sunday, and you receive payment for hours worked ten days later, on a Wednesday.
- Fixed-price contracts - Each contract has milestones. Once you complete a milestone and the client approves it, you’ll receive payment in five days.
Upwork pays sellers in any of the following ways:
- Direct deposit
- Wire transfer ($30 charge)
- Instant pay ($2 charge)
To use Upwork, you’ll pay a fee. Each user gets ten free Connects each month. If you want to apply for more jobs, though, you must buy more Connects. They are $0.15 each and sold in packages of 10, 20, 40, 60, or 80.
You can also choose to upgrade your account to Freelancer Plus. You’ll get 80 Connects plus be more visible to employers. Freelancer Plus costs $14.99 a month.
Upwork also takes a piece of the earnings. The fee is based on the amount charged and works on a sliding scale. All earnings up to $500, Upwork keeps 20%; $500 to $10,000 they take 10%, and over $10,000 they keep 5%.
Fiverr payments work differently than Upwork. It takes 14 days to receive payment when you start, but the clock doesn’t start until the client accepts the order. They have three days from the day you turn it in to accept it. If they don’t accept it within that time, Fiverr automatically completes the order, and the 14-day countdown starts.
If you work your way up the Fiverr tier ladder and become a top-rated seller, you only have to wait seven days from the date the client accepts it (or three days after you completed it) to receive payment.
Fiverr pays sellers with these methods:
- Direct deposit/bank transfer
- Fiverr Revenue Card
Fiverr doesn’t charge a fee to use it. So you can post gigs, communicate with clients, and take jobs all for nothing. But when you take an order and complete it, Fiverr keeps 20% of your earnings.
Upwork vs. Fiverr pros and cons
Upwork pros and cons
Fiverr pros and cons
What’s better: Upwork vs. Fiverr?
Looking at Upwork vs. Fivver, it’s easy to wonder which is better, but both serve different purposes. While they are both freelance websites, Upwork is for those looking for longer-term projects and who may want to work on an hourly basis.
Fiverr is more of your own business where you set the terms and clients come to you. Both the Upwork and Fiverr platforms have your back when handling payment, disputes, and administrative work. Both have an incredible audience that gives you access to many more opportunities.