What are Freelancing platforms and why should beginner freelancers consider them?
Freelance platform sites enable you as a freelancer to search for a wide variety of jobs and earn money for yourself. In this article Home Money World looks at the best freelance websites for beginners with a detailed review of the top three platforms to help you understand the pros and cons of each and whether as a beginner freelancer, which one could be right for you.
If you are just starting out and are looking at ways to earn extra money from home or even a way of making a full time income for yourself then Freelancing is one of the best ways you can do this. A freelance worker is someone who is self employed and not committed to one specific employer. Essentially you work for yourself carrying out tasks or jobs for whichever companies you choose in whatever type of work you see fit.
Where you are based or how much time you have and what sort of budget the purchaser has are no longer barriers to doing business.
Rather than having to carry out an exhaustive search for work yourself, Freelance websites make it much much easier and bring thousands of available jobs right to you on their platform. There are many different freelance sites out there so it can be a bit of a mine field if you don’t know where to start.
If you have thought about Freelancing and don’t know which platform is right for you then this article will really help you to get started on your freelance journey.
The following is a handpicked selection of the best freelancing sites that are great for novice freelancers.
Our Top Rated Freelance Site For Beginners – Fiverr
Fiverr is a freelance market site that we believe is top of the best freelance websites for beginners as it was designed to help freelancers get started with freelance work.
It’s good for novices as you do not require extensive expert skills in order to obtain work on the site.
You don’t need to be amazingly tech savvy as the platform is easy to use and anyone can sign up and sell their services.
Fiverr is probably the largest freelance market place for services, which start at $5 again making it one of the best freelance websites for beginners. This was the original concept of enabling services to be obtained for a fiverr or $5 hence the name. The site has moved on from those beginnings and you are able to charge more for enhanced services or fast delivery.
It’s free to sign up so as a new freelancer it’s easy to get up and running. You can easily browse the site and take a look at all the other sellers on the platform and see what service you can offer according to your skills.
A Fiverr “gig” is their name for a service offered and there is no end of choice for the types of services that you can proffer with over 3 million gigs. The types of work you can do includes:
- Digital marketing
- Search engine optimisation
- article writing
- blog writing
- Website creation
- wordpress customisation
- mobile app developing
- social media marketing
- Data entry
- book cover designs
- video making and animations
- voice overs
- song writing
- logo making
- music composition
The list goes on and on, so with 116 different service categories there will be pretty much a niche for any type of service you can think of.
One of the downsides to using Fiverr is that it could be seen as a platform for cheap services. Therefore if you want to charge higher rates for what you do then there may be a limited market of purchasers on Fiverr. As a beginner though and trying to establish yourself you probably will have to charge lower amounts until you build your reputation.
Once you sign up you need to set up a profile ideally with samples of your work then set the fees you want to charge for specific services and then potential buyers come to you. This is good for the newcomer as you don’t have to go searching for customers yourself.
Payments can be made for the work you do by PayPal, Credit Card or Electronic Bank Transfer again making it nice and easy to set things up and ensure you get paid via secure payment gateways.
Fiverr do not share your details thus making it extremely secure to use and your communications are kept private also.
They also have a dedicated customer support, which is handy when you are just starting out so you can get help with any issue you may be having in setting up your profile or payment methods or just general queries.
Fiverr takes funds upfront from the employer so when you complete your gig or service job they pay you. Again great for a start up novice as you want to ensure you get paid for the work that you do.
With regards to Fiverr’s fees they take a 20% split of any revenue that you earn. That means fiverr gets £10 for every £50 that you charge and you get the remaining £40. This may seem like a substantial cut but Fiverr does give you access to the plethora of customers and facilitates the transaction.
One downside is that you don’t own the client or customer. So if you try to contact them outside Fiverr they could potentially close your account and then you would lose access to all those other potential customers and you would be forced to move to a different t platform and start all over again. Therefore you are at the mercy of Fiverr and you must adhere to their rules.
They are a very well known site and so can generate vast amounts of traffic, which again as a freelance newby this is really helpful as you just wouldn’t be able to achieve that sort of traffic volume with your own site for example. Plus you are guaranteed to have people interested in or seeking the service you want to offer.
The Fiverr platform as you would expect has a mobile app making it really convenient to access your account whilst you are on the go and not able to get to your pc. This means you can easily create and manage your gigs from your mobile phone or tablet.
Due to the large amount of people offering services on Fiverr it could make it more difficult to become established. However Fiverr also has free courses so that you can develop your skills and learn how to pitch to potential clients more effectively. If you are still learning then this is very useful to help you improve as a Freelance service provider.
In summary, Fiverr is top of the best freelance websites for beginners as it is just about the easiest platform to jump on and start making money compared to others which makes it ideal for those just starting out. It’s the fastest way to get your feet wet and work out how the freelancing platforms work.
There are some downsides to using the platform but the positives far outweigh these making it our number one choice for freelance platforms ideal for beginners.
Start without extensive skills
Massive choice of skills and services
Huge volumes of traffic
Handy Mobile app
Don’t own the customer
Reputation for cheap services
Lots of competition
Related Article – How kids can make money freelancing on Fivver.
The Next Best Freelance Platform For Beginners – Upwork
Upwork is a global freelance jobs platform and proposes to be the best place for freelancers to find quality work from. It was developed for freelancers to start and grow their own business and we feel this is the next best of the freelance websites for beginners
You can sign up for free and test things out which is ideal for a starter to get familiar with the process and how freelancing works on the platform.
There are millions of jobs posted and they have a global reach so Upwork is good for novices to reach out to a wider audience. Freelancers can earn money by providing companies with over 5,000 skills across more than 70 categories of work including:
- Web development
- Mobile development
- Admin support
- Customer service
- Computer programming
- Top skills include
- Android Developer
- Content writer
- Copy writer
- Customer service representative
- Database administrator
- Front end developer
- Game developer
Upwork among the best freelance websites for beginners as they help you to find jobs based on your profile information if you require, or you can search for jobs yourself if you prefer. Anything that can be done online or on a computer can be done on Upwork making it a good option for somebody looking to work from home.
Once you have found a job you would like to do then you submit a bid on the work and employers can compare bids and review the profiles of each freelancer. The employer is able to interview before hiring so it may not be as easy for those starting out with no sample work but you do get the chance to prove yourself in the interview.
If yours is the winning bid then scope and a price is agreed in order to get started. Pay can be a fixed price or hourly thus giving you flexibility for those projects that may not be so easy to price up especially when you are first starting out.
One downside is you may need to prove you are skilled at your service before being able to obtain work. On the other hand this means you can out compete those that are maybe less professional or skilled than you.
You can use Upwork to collaborate, communicate and share documents throughout the project. The fact you can communicate by text or video with the employer makes it quicker and easier to communicate with them.
Once completed the Upwork payment protection enables you to get paid on time with either PayPal or bank deposit. Upwork retain money in escrow and verifies the payment methods thereby alleviating any worries about getting paid for the work you do. As a new freelancer this can really help as you would ordinarily have to wait at least 30 days with a normal business to business transaction and saves you time not having to chase debtors.
The number of payment options for the employers is also good for the beginner who may not otherwise be able to accept certain payment methods.
One of Upworks major pluses and why it is one of the best freelance websites for beginners is that it has a nifty work diary allowing you to clearly show the client the work you have done. It allows you to track your billable time and take screenshots of your computer screen for verification. As a beginner freelancer still trying to prove yourself this can come in really handy as the evidence of your work can not be disputed.
Upwork charges a service fee, which is taken as a percentage of your earnings. It is a sliding scale percentage based on your lifetime billings with each client:
- 20% for the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts with them
- 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000
- 5% for total billings with your client that exceed $10,000
For example, if you agree to a $1,000 price for a job with a new client, you will be billed 20% on the first $500 and 10% on the remaining $500. This slightly more complex than other sites but the more work you do for one particular client then the better as the payway reduces and your earnings increase.
Email phone and live support is provided giving a good support system for those getting started and new to the system.
Upwork has a slick and easy to read website that’s simple to navigate and find what you want to know about the site, jobs, categories and help. This is good for the newby as it makes it easy to become familiar with the site as you find your feet. They also have a mobile app so that you can access the platform whilst on the go.
One thing against Upwork compared to other best freelance websites for beginners is that there are established businesses on their that can compete for work so it may be more difficult to secure certain types of jobs for a beginner.
With the option to be paid for hourly work this platform could be more suitable for longer time consuming projects rather than smaller jobs. However there are jobs of different levels and provided you make your profile credible and authentic then you have a really good chance of making it on Upwork. Hence Upwork is our second in our list of best freelance websites for beginners.
Lots of choice
Safe and secure payment
Easy to navigate platform
Commission reduces with more work
Trackable work diary
Need to prove skills
Competing against established businesses
Final Top 3 Rated Website for Beginner Freelancing – Freelancer.com
Our final top platform in our shortlist of the best freelance websites for beginners is Freelancer.com
Freelancer has a huge base of freelancers and clients. With more than 12.6 million jobs posted it’s one of the biggest marketplaces for freelancers.
You can apply for new freelance jobs (known as projects) or submit your entries for contests. A project is more for specific tasks where the employer may only want to work with one skilled freelancer based on previous works and reviews.
Contests are a good way to prove your worth and build a reputation especially for designers. This is like a competition that multiple freelancers can join and they are marked and reviewed by the employer. The Employer can then choose a winning bid but even if you are unsuccessful as a new freelancer you can gain immediate feedback and pointers on how to improve and win future bids.
Apart from projects and contests, you can also earn on the website by being a service provider.
Example services include:
- migrate a website
- illustrate a character
- compose a 30 second sound track
- transcribe 10 minutes of audio
Another great way for the new starter to quickly get work and start earning an income.
Freelancer.com has a dedicated team of advisors that can help you to get hired more quickly.
They have 32 million registered users. To match that number, there are thousands of jobs that you can opt for as a freelance worker.
For the freelancer or service provider, Freelancer.com offers a constant source of part-time to full-time work opportunities, without the trouble and expenses of advertising and self-promotion.
The Freelance.com website states that they have over 1,350 categories of jobs, which is great for the novice freelancer not quite sure where to start as you can try different types of jobs or at least see what is on there and get ideas of what you can do. Categories include:
- Article Writing
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Data Entry
Complete your profile and Freelancer will match your skill sets to the right jobs, or you can manually search jobs yourself.
The Freelancer.com site has a huge variety of projects available for all skills so beneficial for those starting out with freelancing to gain valuable experience. Some jobs are arranged as hourly jobs and others as fixed price. The amount of jobs available means you can bid for many projects and increase your chances of securing work as a beginner freelancer.
There is a downside though in that they only give you 8 free applications before you have to pay a membership fee.
The membership fees start as low as £0.99 allowing you to bid on 15 jobs per month and have up to 30 skills so is affordable if you are starting out. A discount is available if you pay annually rather than monthly.
There is also a 1 month free trial for the Plus Membership which could be well worth it when you are starting out as it gives you 100 bids per month and up to 80 skills. It could be worth signing up for this free trial when you first join and are looking to enhance your experience with no up front costs to worry about.
The project and contest fee is also a little different to other sites as you pay 10% or $5.00 USD, whichever is greater, for fixed price projects and 10% for hourly projects. This is one of the cheaper commission rates for Freelance platforms so again worth considering if you are a beginner and have little funds in the bank.
Services are different in that a 20% fee of the total service price is charged. This is taken when the service is ordered by way of a deduction from the payment you receive.
Freelancer.com provide safe and secure payments using a system that offers protection to all users of the site. It guarantees freelancers that the payment for their work is available and ready for release.
You can work out Milestone Payments and get paid in increments as the work is completed especially for larger projects. Again great when you are first setting out with little or no funds behind you.Easy Progress Monitoring.
The platform allows you to maintain work transparency with your employer by monitoring the time spent on tasks, sharing data, and letting them check on project status. The platform also comes with live chat allowing you to connect to your clients easily and update them on your project progress.
Freelancer.com has a good slick, easily navigable website making it easy to find what you need.
Includes time tracker and mobile app. If you save relevant job searches the site will alert you whenever any relevant jobs are posted that fit, which can save you time searching constantly yourself.
They provide tips and advice on the website on how to become successful and win projects. There is a really great tips section with advice specifically for new freelancers.
You need to write a brief for each job and bid for it so it does mean some effort is needed to secure a job and recommended a new brief written bespoke to each job to give yourself the best chance and let the potential employer know you understand what they require.
Large choice of job categories
Live 24/7 support
Build reputation with Contests
Limited to 8 applications without membership
Potentially confusing fee structure
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Best Freelancing Websites For Beginners Conclusion
In our opinion Fiverr is the easiest and best platform to get started as a freelancer. Its simple to use and you can get going without needing lots of experience or skill to start with.
Upwork and Freelance.comn are in our top 3 picks but there are many more Freelance websites platforms out there that you can try. Some are for specific niches others are for general jobs both online and offline.
Here is a list of a small sample of alternatives you may want to try if these top 3 aren’t for you or if you want to broaden your options.
Now that you have seen the best freelancing websites for beginners that we recommend,
will you jump straight to Fiverr.com and check out what sort of gig is right for you?
Or maybe you’ll prefer Upwork and go for their reduced commissions.
Let us know by leaving a comment below.