Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Top 9 Upwork Predecessors for Freelancers in (2024)

Are you facing difficulties in securing jobs on Upwork? Are you looking for Upwork predecessors to pursue your freelancing career? You’ve come to the right place!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll present you with nine excellent options to kickstart your freelancing journey.

From discussing their features to weighing their pros and cons, we’ll cover everything in detail to help you determine your next freelancing platform. Let’s get started!

The Best Upwork Predecessors for Freelancers (Overview)

We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.

  1. Fiverr: Our Pick
  2. Freelancer: Runner Up
  3. PeoplePerHour: Also Great
  4. Guru: Multiple Niches
  5. Toptal: Premium Freelancing
  6. Hubstaff Talent: Best for Developers
  7. Outsourcely: Best for Long term work
  8. 99designs: Best for Graphic Designers
  9. Textbroker: Best for Writers

An Overview of Upwork Predecessors

Before we begin, let’s get a general overview of the topic.

What Is an Upwork Predecessor?

An Upwork predecessor refers to a platform or online website that’s an alternative to Upwork, one of the most popular platforms for freelancers.

In essence, these predecessors function like Upwork, providing a platform for clients to connect with freelancers. Some platforms are niche-specific, catering to specific types of freelancers, while others are general, like Upwork.

Why Are Upwork Predecessors Important?

Upwork alternatives are important because they provide a range of options for freelancers looking to find work. Different platforms have varying features, such as pricing and user experience. What may appeal to one freelancer may not appeal to another.

Additionally, having multiple platforms of the same nature creates competition among them, encouraging the innovation of new features and introducing fair pricing models.

Do I Need an Upwork Predecessor?

The answer to this question depends on your requirements as a freelancer. If you find yourself disappointed by Upwork in any way, or their pricing model is not to your liking, you may find alternative platforms more suitable for your needs.

While Upwork caters to all types of freelance work, some alternative platforms may be niche-specific, which can be appealing to certain skilled freelancers.

The Best Upwork Predecessor at a Glance

Below, we’ll take a look at the best overall Upwork predecessor.

What Is the Best Upwork Predecessor?

The best predecessor to Upwork is Fiverr, a prominent online marketplace for freelancers seeking to earn a living. As of 2022, Fiverr boasts over 3.4 million active buyers, which is a testament to the platform’s greatness.

Which Is the Most Accessible Upwork Predecessor?

With services in over 200 countries and accessible to millions of users, PeoplePerHour stands out as the most accessible Upwork predecessor.

Its intuitive user interface is beginner-friendly, and the platform ensures ease of access for users of all types and skills.

Features to Look for in Upwork Predecessors

Not all Upwork alternatives are created equal; some have specific features that set them apart from the other Upwork competitors. Keep these features in mind while searching for your next freelancing platform.

1. Niche

Determine if the platform offers work related to your industry or niche. Some platforms focus on niches, such as development, design work, or writing. Opting for these platforms can improve your chances of finding work in the area that you’re proficient in.

2. User Base

The size of the platform’s user base is a vital factor to consider. Aim for a platform that has a substantial number of active clients who post jobs regularly. Doing so will ensure that there is ample work available.

3. Pay Structure

Compare the payment structures of the alternative options. Choose platforms that offer transparent pricing, competitive rates, and payment methods you prefer. Factor in transaction fees and any other charges.

4. Availability

Ensure your chosen platform has a global reach and a wide client base. Some platforms may be prominent in specific regions, which can impact the availability of work opportunities, potentially reducing income.

5. Ratings and Review System

Look for an alternative with a fair and transparent review and ratings system. This system should only allow clients who have hired freelancers to rate and review their services, ensuring trustworthiness.

6. User Experience

A smooth user experience can make a world of difference when dealing with clients and working on projects. Prioritize platforms that feel intuitive, user-friendly, and optimized across all devices.

7. Customer Support

Look for platforms that offer speedy and prioritized customer support. Customer support should address any issues or concerns you, as a freelancer, might encounter while working on the platform.

8. Communication System

For a smooth and error-free experience, the Upwork alternative should feature a communication system that enables seamless and effective interaction between clients and freelancers. This would make collaborating on projects easier.

9. Quality Control

Look for platforms that vet freelancers before approving their profiles. These platforms maintain high standards for freelancers and their work, which attracts high-profile clients.

Best Upwork Predecessors: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]

Take a look at our top three best Upwork predecessors, along with their features, pros, and cons.

1. Fiverr – Our Pick

screenshot of the fiverr homepage

Fiverr is a freelancing platform that connects clients with talented professionals offering a wide range of services for a fee. Founded in 2010, Fiverr has grown into a leading platform with millions of users worldwide.

Fiverr offers extensive services encompassing creative writing, development, and digital marketing. These services were referred to as “gigs,” initially priced at $5, leading to the name Fiverr.

However, in 2014, the platform removed the $5 limit, allowing for the availability of numerous high-paying gigs today.

Key Features of Fiverr

Listed below are the primary features Fiverr offers.

  1. Gig-based Marketplace: Fiverr works on a gig-based structure where freelancers can showcase their professional services and pricing. The platform organizes everything in an easily readable format, allowing potential clients to browse listings and compare offerings.
  2. Buyer and Seller Protection: Fiverr offers various buyer and seller measures to protect both valued clients and freelancers from fraud and scams. Additionally, the platform ensures secure payment methods, safeguarding your money.
  3. Professional Talent: The platform attracts professional talent from all over the world, which results in competitive pricing.
  4. Private Communication: Fiverr has a private messaging system, offering clients and freelancers a hassle-free method to collaborate on projects.
  5. Customization Options: Freelancers have the freedom to personalize their gigs according to their preferences, including the option to include add-ons such as delivery time.

Pros of Fiverr

While Fiverr has many benefits, here are the three most prominent ones.

  • Extensive Services Catalog: Fiverr offers a wide range of services, providing ample work opportunities for multi-talented freelancers to work on multiple gigs and earn a handsome amount.
  • Transparent Pricing: Freelancers can set their own prices and work on a particular project that interests them, while clients can view those prices before hiring a freelancer.
  • Upgrades: Freelancers can offer additional services for extra money as add-ons, enabling them to upsell and increase their revenue.

Cons of Fiverr

Here are some drawbacks of Fiverr to keep in mind.

  • Transaction Charges: Fiverr applies a 20% fee on the transaction amount, which can impact the freelancer’s earnings.
  • Competition: The platform’s global community means competition can be fierce, making it difficult for freelancers to stand out.
  • Limited Client Interaction: Because Fiverr has a communication system, it encourages freelancers and clients to use it, which limits client interaction and hinders the development of valuable relationships outside the platform.

Fiverr Income

Fiverr gigs range from $5 to $10,000. On average, freelancers earn approximately $53,000 to $87,000 per year. However, this depends on the number of orders you get from prospective clients.

Conclusion: Should You Choose Fiverr?

Fiverr is an excellent platform for freelancers to earn a living. The wide range of orders placed on Fiverr is what puts it at the top of our list. Coupled with its user-friendly interface, accessibility, and high earning rate, Fiverr stands as the best Upwork alternative.

2. Freelancer – Runner-Up

screenshot of the freelancer homepage

With over 13 million projects posted and more than 65 million active users, Freelancer is another noteworthy Upwork alternative. Since its launch in 2009, Freelancer has experienced significant growth and earned a positive reputation among freelancers and employers.

Freelancer functions as a crowdsourcing platform, allowing employers and small businesses to post their projects and hire freelancers to work on them. Signing up on Freelancer is free, after which you can browse potential listings and bid on projects that interest you.

Key Features of Freelancer

Let’s explore some features that set Freelancer apart from other Upwork competitors.

  1. Bid-based System: Freelancer uses a bid-based system, where clients can post projects and freelancers can submit proposals, competing for the projects. This system allows freelancers to showcase their skills and expertise while enabling clients to filter potential candidates.
  2. Milestone Payments: The platform offers a milestone payment feature, allowing freelancers to receive partial payments upon completing certain project milestones set by the client.
  3. Escrow Protection: Freelancer uses an escrow system that holds client payments until the project is approved, ensuring protection for both parties involved.
  4. Contests: Freelancer’s contest feature allows clients to assign projects for which the freelancers then compete. Clients have the freedom to pick the best project and approve its payment.
  5. Time Tracking: The platform includes a time tracking system on their desktop application for freelancers to monitor their working hours. This feature is useful for hourly gigs and provides clients with transparency.

Pros of Freelancer

Here are some advantages of working on Freelancer.

  • Convenient Messaging System: The platform provides collaboration tools that enable effective communication between freelancers and clients.
  • Escrow Protection: Freelancer’s escrow system ensures that freelancers receive fair compensation upon reaching project milestones, reducing the risk of scams.
  • Wide Range of Work: The platform provides diverse work opportunities, making it suitable for freelancers with various skill sets.

Cons of Freelancer

Here are some downsides of Freelancer.

  • Limited Bids: With the free tier of Freelancer, you’re restricted to bidding on only six projects a month, which limits your working capabilities. The platform requires a paid membership upgrade to bid on additional jobs posted.
  • Lack of Quality Control: Freelancer lacks a screening process for freelancers, allowing anyone to start working on the platform without prior evaluation.
  • High Commissions: Freelancer charges significant commissions to both clients and freelancers, reducing their earnings.

Freelancer Income

Depending on your role, your average earnings can range from $13.52 per hour as a Data Entry Clerk to $118 per hour as a Researcher.

Bottom Line: Should You Choose Freelancer?

Freelancer is a suitable choice for freelancers with diverse skill sets looking to bid on projects. Freelancer also has a wide range of freelancer jobs available. However, it’s important to consider the high competition and platform fees beforehand.

Despite certain shortcomings, Freelancer remains a solid option worth considering.

3. PeoplePerHour – Also Great

screenshot of the peopleperhour homepage

Like Upwork, PeoplePerHour is another excellent freelancing platform. It has built a good reputation due to its freelancer vetting process and the pre-approval of all bids, ensuring minimal disparity between the employer and worker.

A glance at PeoplePerHour’s statistics reveals that, since its establishment in 2007, freelancers from over 200 countries have completed over 2 million projects.

Key Features of PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour’s notable features include:

  1. Hourly and Fixed Price Projects: PeoplePerHour supports hourly and fixed-price projects, allowing freelancers and digital marketers to choose their preferred pricing structure.
  2. CERT Scores: The platform’s official freelancer ranking system, CERT, showcases your trustworthiness, experience, and expertise to potential clients. The better the quality of your work, the higher your CERT level will be. This may open additional work opportunities.
  3. On-Site Work: As a freelancer, you have the option to work on-site instead of remotely, provided you reside near the work location. This opens up more job opportunities and allows you to expand your job search.
  4. Escrow Protection: The platform offers money protection to both parties by holding the funds in escrow until the project is delivered and approved.
  5. Freelancer Availability: Freelancers can indicate their availability to chat about new projects, enhancing communication among all parties involved.

Pros of PeoplePerHour

Here are some benefits of being a freelancer on PeoplePerHour.

  • Verified Freelancers: Like Upwork, PeoplePerHour has a screening process to ensure that only verified and certified professionals offer their services. By becoming certified, you can enhance your profile.
  • Freelancer History: Clients can access your past projects and ratings, which means if you’ve completed multiple projects in the past with high ratings, you’re more likely to get hired.
  • Flexible Pricing: Freelancers have the flexibility to set their own pricing, whether it be an hourly rate or fixed prices. This also allows for negotiation opportunities.

Cons of PeoplePerHour

Here are some of the disadvantages of PeoplePerHour.

  • Slow Customer Response: PeoplePerHour’s customer support can be slow and isn’t available round the clock, potentially leaving you stranded in case of any issues.
  • Competitive Environment: With numerous skilled freelancers competing on the platform, it can be challenging to find work, particularly for entry-level freelancers.
  • Decreased Protection: In case of a dispute, PeoplePerHour is more likely to side with the client rather than the freelancer.

PeoplePerHour Income

According to PeoplePerHour, some of the best freelancers working in highly technical fields have the potential to earn an average of $100 per hour. The average pay for freelancers overall is $31 per hour. Keep in mind these earnings depend on your experience, field, and skills.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose PeoplePerHour?

The excellent features and benefits of PeoplePerHour outweigh its negatives. The availability of on-site job opportunities, CERT scores, and freelancer verification are compelling reasons to choose this platform.

Notable Mentions: Other Upwork Predecessors To Check Out

While the top three options may be the best on our list, these alternatives are also worth considering.

4. Guru – Multiple Niches

screenshot of the Guru homepage screenshot

Guru caters to clients who are seeking talented individuals in specific niches. In addition to the usual developers, writers, and designers, Guru also offers niches in the legal, architecture, and secretarial industries.

Why is Guru a Great Option?

Guru offers hourly and milestone-based projects, catering to people with varying project durations, whether short-term or long-term. The platform allows both parties involved to provide feedback and post reviews.

Guru specifically caters to freelancers with niche-specific skills, providing clients access to hiring professionals capable of delivering high-quality work.

Drawbacks to Guru

Guru’s shortcomings overshadow its advantages. One major drawback is the lack of a screening process for freelancers, along with a complicated billing system and service charges imposed by the platform.

The project cost fee of 9% and a transaction fee of 2.9% may not be the highest, but they’re still significant enough to consider.

Additionally, Guru has gained a negative reputation for its unfair resolution of disputes between clients and freelancers. The platform doesn’t offer live chat for customer support, which means you won’t receive quick and personalized responses.

Guru Income

Depending on your experience and skills, you can earn an average annual salary of $142,767.

5. Toptal – Premium Freelancing

screenshot of the toptal homepage

Toptal, short for “top talent,” takes pride in connecting clients with the highest caliber of freelancers available.

Why is Toptal a Great Option?

Toptal has a rigorous screening process, hiring only the top 3% of all individuals who apply for freelancing. As a freelancer, the platform allows you to set premium rates higher than those of other Upwork competitors.

Additionally, Toptal offers excellent customer support to both clients and freelancers, resulting in a high customer satisfaction rate of 96.7%. The platform’s limited number of freelancers also means there is less competition.

Drawbacks to Toptal

Due to its lengthy hiring process, the onboarding time for freelancers on Toptal is longer than other Upwork alternatives. You’ll need to be exceptionally skilled in your field and have a golden track record to get hired, making it a poor option for a new freelancer.

Toptal matches freelancers with clients, eliminating the option of browsing client listings. This, coupled with the limited project availability, can reduce your chances of finding quality work.

Toptal Income

The average salary ranges from $71,000 to $121,000 per year, depending on your role.

6. Hubstaff Talent – Best for Developers

screenshot of the Hubstaff Talent homepage

Hubstaff Talent, similar to Upwork, facilitates connections between freelancers and clients.

The platform provides a diverse range of job options for freelancers, but it’s primarily suitable for developers, given the high number of development job postings. Generally, the projects on Hubstaff Talent tend to be smaller than similar competitors.

Why is Hubstaff Talent a Great Option?

Hubstaff Talent offers both contract and fixed-priced projects. The platform enables freelancers to send personalized messages to clients, increasing their chances of getting hired. The implementation of custom search filters allows you to search job listings based on your preferences, such as pay and skill requirements.

If you’re just starting out and don’t charge premium rates for your service, Hubstaff Talent would be a suitable choice for you.

Drawbacks to Hubstaff Talent

The biggest downside of Hubstaff Talent is the low pay rate and the limited number of job listings available. Most posted jobs pay around $2 per hour, which is significantly lower compared to other Upwork alternatives. Employers often fail to specify job rates, forcing freelancers to apply before the rates are revealed.

The platform also requires freelancers to have at least one year of professional experience listed on their profile before approval.

Hubstaff Talent Income

There is no fixed income specified for Hubstaff Talent. It primarily depends on your experience and the number of jobs you can secure.

7. Outsourcely – Best for Long-Term Work

screenshot of the outsourcely homepage

Outsourcely is an online platform that aims to connect freelancers seeking long-term remote work opportunities with clients.

The platform offers several job categories and industry listings, making it suitable for individuals seeking a reliable and stable revenue stream.

Why is Outsourcely a Great Option?

Outsourcely doesn’t charge any commissions or fees to freelancers, enabling them to save money and keep all their earnings. It is a suitable option for those seeking long-term projects and aiming to establish lasting client relationships.

The platform offers excellent collaborative tools, including real-time video chatting, ensuring smooth communication between freelancers and clients.

Drawbacks to Outsourcely

Outsourcely isn’t a good option for freelancers looking for small-scale or short-term project work. You’ll also need to fulfill client expectations and maintain a good working relationship, to be hired for the long term.

Compared to Upwork and other alternatives, Outsourcely falls short in terms of job volume and pay rates. The platform is plagued with numerous low-paying jobs.

Outsourcely Income

There is no fixed income specified for Outsourcely. It primarily depends on your experience and the number of jobs you can secure.

8. 99designs – Best for Graphic Designers

screenshot of the 99 designs homepage

99designs is an online platform for graphic designers, enabling them to showcase their graphic design work to clients in need.

In addition to individual hiring, 99designs offers a unique contest mode. In this mode, clients can post design contests, and all designers on the platform compete for the project by submitting their designs.

Why is 99designs a Great Option?

99designs allows freelancers to set their rates, which are generally higher than other freelancing platforms. Graphic designers also have the option to negotiate with clients through direct messaging.

They have a broad definition of design work, encompassing tattoos, logos, web design, and more, expanding your range of work opportunities.

Drawbacks to 99designs

While design contests benefit clients by filtering freelancers, they also introduce high competition. Competing with thousands of other freelancers for a single project reduces your chances of securing it. Clients often expect graphic designers to competitively price their services.

The platform is niche specific, so if you’re not a graphic or digital designer, 99designs is not for you.

99designs Income

The average salary is approximately $64,124 per year, ranging from a minimum of $58,836 to a maximum of $77,205.

9. Textbroker – Best for Writers

screenshot of the textbroker homepage

Textbroker is a platform specifically designed for writers, connecting them with clients offering writing jobs.

Although Textbroker exclusively offers writing gigs, there are various types to choose from, such as content writing and optimized blog posts.

Why is Textbroker a Great Option?

With its well-built and intuitive interface, messaging system, and profile functionality, Textbroker meets the fundamental requirements of a freelancing platform. Clients have the option to post multiple order types, increasing opportunities available for writers.

Freelancers can also submit writing samples during the hiring process, giving them a competitive edge and increasing their chances of getting hired.

Drawbacks to Textbroker

Textbroker operates on a tiered pricing system that determines the amount you’re paid per word based on your ranking. Freelancers just starting out may find it troublesome to climb the ranks, regardless of their skill.

Since the platform is exclusive to freelancer writers, it may not be a suitable and appropriate choice for many other types of freelancers.

Textbroker Income

The amount you can earn on Textbroker depends on the order type and the order quality rating. For OpenOrders, the platform pays writers 1.1 cents, 1.6 cents, and 5.5 cents per word for 3, 4, and 5-star order ratings, respectively.

For DirectOrders and TeamOrders, Textbroker offers a minimum payment of 2.2 and 2.15 cents per word, respectively. Your overall earnings depend on the volume of your writing and the quality you deliver.

Other Options Relevant to Upwork Predecessors

Are you looking for other options to earn money? Check out the articles below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers to the questions many freelancers looking for Upwork alternatives ask.

Should You Choose a Niche-Specific Platform or a General Platform?

It depends on your specific skill set and expertise. If you’re experienced in a particular field, and there’s a platform available, feel free to opt for it.

However, niche-specific platforms are not established for every industry, so some freelancers might find working on a general platform more suitable.

Can You Use Multiple Upwork Predecessors Simultaneously?

There’s no law stating that you have to work on only one platform at a time. Expand your job opportunities by utilizing multiple platforms that align with your preferences and skills.

Wrapping Up

There are several notable Upwork alternatives worth considering. Selecting the right one for you can be a tedious task. You have to evaluate each platform’s features, pros, and cons and ensure you can earn a decent income.

Hopefully, this article has helped you decide on your next freelancing platform.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below, and if you found this article helpful, spread the word among your fellow freelancers and professionals so they can also benefit.

Leave a Comment

graphic showing people doing various types of work and jobs
  • Careers
  • Career Resources

7 Types of Work to Explore as a Job or Career

December 4, 2022
5 min read
Internet Truckstop: Viewpoint from driver's seat
  • Career Resources

How to Use Internet Truckstop to Build Your Trucking Career

August 6, 2019
6 min read
Different management styles need to be used for different team members
  • Career Resources

6 Common Management Styles: Find the Most Effective One for You

July 16, 2019
6 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Member’s Area

Unlock access to forums, groups, downloadable content, exclusive courses, and more – just for members.

Create an Account

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.