Upwork places a great focus on quality. This is great for clients because it ensures that their work will get delivered—without compromising quality.
For freelancers just starting out, Upwork poses a significant barrier of entry—oftentimes, new profiles will get rejected by the Upwork team. They want to ensure that only clients who take their freelancing jobs seriously will start out on their platform.
However, the relatively high barrier of entry also protects established freelancers on the Upwork platform from too much competition. There is no price dumping because of low-quality offers which ultimately benefits all market participants.
Fiverr initially started out as a platform where you could buy and sell small gigs worth five bucks. However, in the meantime it grew to a full-fledged freelancing platform where people earn six-figure incomes.
Many jobs earn hundreds of Dollars per hour and many freelancers make a killing—especially in attractive industries such as programming, machine learning, and data science.
If you want to start earning money as a freelance developer with the hot Python programming language, check out my free webinar:
Toptal has a strong market proposition: it’s the platform with the top 3% of freelancers. Hence, it connects high-quality freelancers with high-quality clients.
It’s extremely hard to become a freelancer at Toptal: 97% of the applicants will not enter the platform. However, if you manage to join Toptal, you can greatly benefit with the best-in-class hourly rates. You can easily earn $100 per hour and beyond.
Also, the high barrier of entry ensures that the freelancer stays the valuable resource—he or she doesn’t become a commodity like on other freelancer platforms.
If you are an upcoming freelancer, you should aim for joining Toptal one day. Here’s a great freelancer course that shows you a crystal-clear path towards becoming a highly-paid freelancer.
Freelancer.com is the go-to resource for beginners with very low barrier of entry and opportunities for everyone. This is the recommended starting point to gain experience and finish your first projects. Also, it can help you gain your first testimonials—while getting paid for learning and polishing your skills.
It’s a great site with countless freelancing projects. A great resource is the archived freelancing projects which help you get some real-world projects for training purposes.
For freelance programmers, I have compiled a list of ten practical freelancing projects to help you get started on this article. These projects are real projects which were completed by real freelancers for real money. So they are as practical as they can get.
Of course, there are a lot more general freelancing websites. I will list a few of them in the following:
Also, if you are looking for specialized freelancing platforms, you should look a bit further. For example, an excellent way of offering your writing services is:
The best site for finding designers (and offering your design services) is:
The best site for offering your programming services is:
However, the general freelancing sites such as Upwork, Toptal, and Fiverr are good enough for most cases.
In any case, you should focus on one platform and master it rather than hopping back and forth — all of those platforms have a strong “winner-takes-it-all” bias. So it’s much better to have many good ratings on one platform than to have a few good ratings on many platforms.
If you want to master the ins and outs of being a successful coder on these platforms, check out my professional Python freelancing course!