The Best Freelance Platforms in 2022

freelance platforms 2022 ft

Whether you’re brand new to freelancing or a seasoned pro, making use of freelance platforms is one of the easiest ways to find new clients and maintain a steady stream of work.

The best freelance platforms can help you narrow down your search criteria for gigs and showcase your skills to potential clients, but which platform is best suited to you?

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the best freelance platforms and their pros & cons.

What Are the Best Freelance Platforms in 2022

While many of us are happy to have escaped the 9-5 rigidity of traditional employment, being a freelancer can mean that your work ebbs and flows throughout the year. If you’re not one for overt self-promo across social media to help net new clients, these freelance platforms are the perfect way to promote your skills and land your next gig. 

fiverr freelance platforms 2022

Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the most popular freelancing sites and is where many people start off when getting into gig work. It’s the best site for ‘entry-level’ opportunities and a great place to help start building your portfolio of work. 

When it was initially launched in 2010, Fiverr was a place where you could buy and sell digital-based services for just $5 (which is how Fiverr came up with the business name). 

In 2013 Fiverr lifted the $5 rate after criticism that it devalued a lot of work across a multitude of categories, and the platform allowed you to charge whatever rate you deemed suitable.

While this meant that a lot more people were able to use the platform to offer services that we’re of a higher level and skill set for a price that better suits the value of the work, it still has a lot of people using the site to offer work for incredibly low rates.

Fiverr At a Glance

Best suited for – New freelancers who are looking to build their portfolio and client base

Pros 

  • Free to join/List gigs
  • Extensive catalog of free online courses to help build your skills

Cons 

  • Hefty commission charge (you keep 80% from each transaction)
  • Long payment process
  • Can be a victim of ‘race to the bottom’ pricing

Upwork

Upwork is often known, among veteran freelancers, as the professional version of Fiverr.

To get started, all you need to do is create an account and complete a profile that details a bit about yourself, what experience you have and any previous workplaces that relate to the skills you are offering. Once your profile is completed, you can start browsing and pitching for jobs.

Upwork can be a busy platform with good opportunities to get a lot of pitches in a short amount of time, but don’t let that put you off. It’s easy for the clients who are hiring to weed out irrelevant applications; as with every platform, there are people or even bots who are applying for gigs without the relevant experience. 

They also have the option to join a membership plan to access more credits (called ‘Connects’) which you use to apply to certain jobs.

When you first join Upwork, you will be on the Basic tier of the plan, which gives you 80 connects to get started with and an additional 10 connects a month. If you upgrade to their Plus plan for $14.99 a month, you get everything in the basic tier plus another 80 connects per month.

Upwork At a Glance

Best suited for – Freelancers who have a good-sized portfolio behind them and a slightly more focused niche/specialized area of work. 

Pros 

  • Credible clients – Upwork is used by an extensive range of businesses in all sectors to find talented freelancers, most of which pay a fee to list jobs there, so you won’t run the risk of encountering timewasters that you might on other platforms.  
  • Budget-based projects
  • Good filtering options on the job boards (you can filter by fixed rates, hourly rates, contract length, etc.)

Cons 

  • Potentially high service fee – it depends on how much work you do via the platform as the fees are based on a sliding scale. For example, if you complete $0 – $500 of work, you pay a 20% fee, $500.01 – $10,000 would be a 10% fee, and anything over $10,000.01 incurs a 5% fee.
  • The selection process after applying for a gig can be long.

People Per Hour

PeoplePerHour, also known as PPH, is a large site with an international community of users offering a wide variety of services. Creating a profile on PPH isn’t as straightforward as on other platforms. They require a lot more information and will also ask for links to portfolios and any references you might have. 

Once that info has been provided, your profile then has to be evaluated to see if it meets their standard for approval. Although this can be frustrating, it does mean that the platform has a higher standard for the jobs advertised and the results they expect, meaning that the rates you charge are more in line with industry standards. 

The site uses a bespoke AI system to help match you to potential projects based on the experience and skills you list on your profile.

PeoplePerHour At a Glance

Best suited for – Freelancers who can provide proof of previous work/qualifications/portfolios

Pros 

  • Account/Profile approval process means that the standard of work or subsequent rates you can charge can be more in line with ‘off platform’ prices.
  • You can post adverts to attract clients.
  • Low fees overall – They are based on a sliding scale like Upwork but with a better ratio. If you earn $0-$350 on the platform you pay a 20% fee. $350.01 – $5000, the fee reduces to 7.5%, and anything over $5000 has a 3.5% fee.

Cons 

  • Creating your profile and waiting for approval takes a lot longer than other platforms.
  • Can be more location focused than other platforms

Guru

Guru is another one of the top competing freelance platforms boasting a vast user base of more than two million freelancers and 800,000 clients listing work. Don’t let the large number of freelancers on the site scare you off; these are people in all kinds of fields – the site covers programming and development to engineering, education, and everything in between. 

It could be considered more of a traditional job site, given the range of fields and industries that it covers, but the bottom line is that all their clients are looking for freelancers as they know they are often the experts in their niche.

Guru is free to join but also offers a paid membership where you can receive more bids for work, pay a lower rate of fees, send highlighted quotes to prospective clients and boost your rankings in your field.

Guru At a Glance

Best suited for – Freelancers who can provide proof of previous work/qualifications/portfolios

Pros 

  • Guru uses a verification system to ensure users (both freelancers and clients) are legit.
  • Wide range of payment options 
  • Lower fees than most platforms (even lower if you opt for a membership plan)
  • Upgrade options can really help your profile stand out to potential hirers

Cons

  • If you only use the Free plan, you can’t contact clients before bidding to discuss jobs.

Start Creating Those Freelance Platform Profiles!

Now that you’ve got a good overview of the best freelancer platforms, you’re all set to set up your profiles and start pitching for work. 

It’s worthwhile setting up profiles on as many platforms as you think you can reasonably manage in order to test the waters when first starting out. 

Once you’ve got a better feel for things, it’s OK to be picky and drop a platform if you find it’s not best suited to finding gigs for your skillset or if the average price pitched is lower than you’d typically charge. 

Similarly, it’s fine to pick a favorite platform – if you can hone your profile to fit your ideal client, you’ll be winning pitches left, right, and center!


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent. Freelance Theory is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned entities.

Charlotte Millington
Charlotte is a freelancer based just outside of London, UK. She is a one woman agency for all things content and community, helping clients to boost their online presence with SEO optimized content and strategy while also building their audiences with targeted community building and management. Charlotte also writes for TheLondonLocal.com and SimplyMoneySavvy.co.uk

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Charlotte Millington

Charlotte is a freelancer based just outside of London, UK. She is a one woman agency for all things content and community, helping clients to boost their online presence with SEO optimized content and strategy while also building their audiences with targeted community building and management. Charlotte also writes for TheLondonLocal.com and SimplyMoneySavvy.co.uk

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