Make Money as a Freelancer – The Best Freelance Platforms

Freelancer make money

As a freelancer, customer acquisition usually makes up a significant portion of your work time. Especially if you’re just starting out and you’re still building reputation and a loyal customer base. To reduce this time-consuming and nerve-racking work to a minimum and to focus on making money, there are so-called freelancer platforms.

These platforms bring companies or private individuals together with qualified freelancers by bundling many freelancers offering a wide variety of services on one platform. In the end, this saves time for both sides. The client can choose the most suitable freelancer from a large number of freelancers and the freelancers have a greater visibility, because the clients are already there.

Below is a listing of the best freelance platforms to make money as a freelancer. Including description and advantages and disadvantages of the platforms.

But first, what is a freelancer and how is it different from a contractor?

What is a Freelancer and how is it different from a Contractor?

A freelancer is a self-employed person who works on assignments, usually on a project basis. As a freelancer, you are a “Gewerbetreibender” (entrepreneur), which means that you have to pay trade tax on a certain turnover and fill in Annex G in your german tax return.

This is a crucial difference to the contractor (=Freiberufler): As a contractor, you are not subject to trade tax and have to fill out Annex S of the tax return in Germany.. In order to be classified as a “Freiberufler” by the tax office, you must perform certain so-called “free professions”. This includes, for example, doctors or architects.

The best Freelance Platforms

Fiverr*

Fiverr Freelancer

Founded in 2010, Fiverr is an online marketplace for digital services with more than 3.5 million active users. This makes it one of the largest marketplaces of all. Originally founded to perform microjobs (for $5), nowadays you can find a wide range of services – from graphics, to text, to programming activities.

To get a fresh start as a freelancer and earn money, Fiverr is one of the first and best places to go.

Sign up now and start your freelance career!*

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Advantages

  • Beginner friendly operation
  • Large marketplace and thus many potential customers
  • App available (iOS and Android)
  • Free registration
  • Relatively fast advancement through level system
  • Free certificate courses

Disadvantages

  • High competition
  • Great price pressure from freelancers from comparatively lower-income countries
  • Relatively high sales fees (20% commission per sale goes to Fiverr)
  • Relatively long payout time (7-14 days)

Upwork

Upwork

Upwork is one of the world’s largest freelancer marketplaces, with more than three million new jobs per year. Upwork is also suitable as an entry-level platform for freelancers to earn their first money.

Advantages

  • Very large selection of freelance activities
  • Basic functions free of charge
  • long-term cooperations possible
  • Mobile app
  • Payment protection

Disadvantages

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  • Relatively high sales fees (10% commission per sale goes to Upwork)
  • Tool “Connects”: limited number of credits (80 after account creation); credits are needed to make suggestions for job offers. If the credits are used up, they must be bought again
  • High competition

Toptal

Toptal

Toptal is an online marketplace that matches clients with the world’s best freelancers. Toptal says it employs the top 3% of freelancers, the elite, so to speak. It is very difficult to be accepted as an inexperienced freelancer at Toptal. On the other hand, the salaries are decent.

Advantages

  • If you are accepted, you can earn a lot of money as a freelancer
  • No selling fees
  • Very good for experts
  • Cooperation with top brands

Disadvantages

  • Sehr hohe Zugangshürden als Freelancer
  • Unsuitable for beginners to “just try”.

PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is a UK-based freelancing platform that has matched over 1 million freelancers with clients.

Advantages

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  • Project and hour-based work
  • Collaborations possible
  • Automatic invoicing
  • User friendly website

Disadvantages

  • Relatively high sales fee (up to 20%)
  • Customer support poor

Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing is a website or job portal that lists freelance jobs in blogging, copywriting, etc. It is therefore not an online marketplace like Fiverr*.

Advantages

  • No registration necessary
  • Free of charge

Disadvantages

  • It is not a marketplace, only a job portal
  • You must negotiate and coordinate payment/invoicing yourself.

Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is a large online marketplace for freelancers

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Advantages

  • Contests to get extra money and ratings
  • Moderate fees (10%)
  • One gets support to get first jobs
  • 24/7 support

Disadvantages

  • Partly fake/spam jobs
  • Relatively complex user interface

FreeUp

FreeUp

FreeUp is a comparatively small online marketplace offering over 85 different freelancer categories.

Advantages

  • Fast 24/7 customer support
  • Accelerated processes (clients have to make a decision within 10-15 min whether to hire freelancers)
  • No selling fees

Disadvantages

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  • Three-part approval process to gain access
  • Low freelancer rates without minimum amounts

Guru

Guru

Guru is another online marketplace for freelancing services with currently about 800,00 customers.

Advantages

  • Wide range of services
  • Collaborations with other freelancers possible
  • User friendly interface
  • Moderate sales charge (9%)
  • Free version (but very limited)
  • 24/7 support

Disadvantages

  • Paid full version (from $11.95/month)
  • High competitive pressure

99designs

99designs

99designs is a platform offering mainly freelance jobs in the field of graphic design.

Advantages

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  • Promoting long-term cooperation between freelancers and clients
  • Fast payout

Disadvantages

  • Relatively high fees (about 15%, depending on designer level; as well as $100 newbie fee).
  • No live chat support
  • Aimed mainly at designers

ServiceScape

ServiceScape

On ServiceScape freelancers offer mainly writing work (writing, translating, correcting…) and design work. If you want to offer services in this area, ServiceScape can be a good place to start.

Advantages

  • Relatively little competition
  • Customers mainly small and medium enterprises
  • Fair payment

Disadvantages

  • Unsuitable outside text and design

WriterAccess

WriterAccess

WriterAccess is a platform that mainly offers writing services.

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Advantages

  • Aimed especially at authors

Disadvantages

  • 30% commission

Contena

Contena

Contena is a platform that offers all kinds of writing jobs for freelancers.

Advantages

  • Fast and time saving
  • Well paid jobs
  • User friendly website
  • Courses and tools

Disadvantages

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  • Premium service with costs

FlexJobs

FlexJobs

FlexJobs is a site offering remote jobs and in particular freelance jobs. There are currently more than 30,000 job listings in over 50 different categories.

Advantages

  • High trust level (job offers are manually checked by FlexJobs; high security for freelancers)
  • Relatively little competition
  • Career Coaching Offers
  • Sophisticated search tool (time-saving for job search)

Disadvantages

  • Paid registration required ($6.95/week or $14.95/month)

Junico

Junico (formerly: Freelance Junior) is a large job network in German-speaking countries. As a freelancer you will find jobs in different categories such as programming, marketing or text and translation.

Advantages

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  • Close support and advice from the platform
  • German side

Disadvantages

  • Relatively high service fee for newcomers (15%, but decreases to as low as 10% with experience)

Bloggerjobs

Bloggerjobs

Bloggerjobs primarily offers freelance jobs for bloggers. In addition, blogs can be sold, article spaces offered or cooperation partners sought.

Advantages

  • German language
  • Free of charge

Disadvantages

  • Unclear website

Remote.com

Remote.com

Remote.com offers both freelance and permanent jobs.

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Advantages

  • Processing of payment via platform

Disadvantages

  • No marketplace

Conclusion: Best Freelance Platforms

If you want to make money as a freelancer, there is a whole range of online marketplaces and freelancer job portals where you can put your skills to the test. Fiverr* is particularly suitable for beginners, as there are no ongoing costs such as subscription fees or similar. Only if you actually sell, Fiverr keeps a commission of 20%. In addition, Fiverr is one of the largest marketplaces for online services worldwide. On Fiverr you can offer all possible services so that you can really try yourself out in the beginning. In addition, Fiverr takes care of the bureaucratic part, such as payment processing, etc., which is better, especially in the beginning, than creating contracts and offers independently on a freelancer job portal. Thus Fiverr offers a good and easy entry into the world of free and location-independent working.

A step by step guide for freelancers to earn money on Fiverr, pros and cons of the platform and much more, you can find here.

To become successful on Fiverr, your gig must be perfect. Gig means the offer in which you provide your service. You can read how to create a successful gig on Fiverr here.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy. These are my generally published opinions and experiences as a private investor. I assume no liability for your investment decisions.


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