As the freelancing industry grows exponentially, experienced and new freelancers around the world are becoming concerned with the various challenges it brings.
There is a saturation of freelancers on some of the major platforms which is making it difficult for everyone to win projects and thus make a consistent income.
As the competitive landscape shifts, it is important for freelancers to make sure they are investing their time and energy on the right freelance service marketplaces. In a bid to educate our readers with up-to-date information, we bring a gritty and detailed Fiverr vs Freelancer comparison which will hopefully allow you to make higher revenues than you currently do.
1. What is Fiverr?
Among the giant freelance marketplaces, we have Fiverr. It was founded in 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel and has come far to become a potent force in the freelancing industry. According to estimates in 2012, Fiverr had over three million services posted on its website, a number which has certainly been on the rise since then.
Fiverr is similar to other freelancing sites in so much that it is a digital space, just like others, where freelancers get to sell their services to anyone willing to buy them. So, at first glance, you hardly notice anything that is significantly different to what other platforms are offering.
However, if you just scratch the surface a little, you gain some terrific insights about Fiverr’s business model and UI. Fiverr works differently when compared with other sites like it. It allows freelancers to create services, called Gigs, which start at a minimum of $5 and then can go as high as you desire. In the early days, it only allowed five-dollar gigs, but after realizing the model’s limitations they later allowed gigs to go at a higher price.
2. Fiverr: Pros and Cons
In our comparison of Fiverr vs Freelancer, the next section is very significant as we highlight the good and bad about the first platform, Fiverr.
Fiverr is critically acclaimed for its user experience. It has a friendly UI which is easy to use and makes Fiverr a delight for any freelancer. Hence, it was subsequently awarded the Great User Experience Award for 2018. That is to say, it gives hands-on access to all important features with just a few clicks.
With Fiverr, you do not have to do vetting of clients. Fiverr does it for you and won’t allow shady users into the platform, so you can just focus on delivering great work.
Clients Come Directly to You
If you are doing it from the perspective of making some extra cash then Fiverr certainly is the best platform for you. You hardly have to do anything, no bidding, no nothing. You just have to create gigs and let the customers come to you instead of bidding on every other project.
Fiverr vs Freelancer: The 20% Commission Conundrum
Fiverr is basically known for quick and savvy services and gives the opportunity to many people around the globe to make money in return for their skills. However, it is, in the end, a business which needs to profit and hence, Fiverr charges its freelancers a whopping flat 20% commission on the money that they make on the platform. Whether you earn $5 or $500, Fiverr will charge you its flat commission rate.
Fiverr tends to give buyers too much control at times. For example, sellers do not have the right to refuse a service once purchased, which is unfair to the freelancer, to say the least. As a result, this makes management of your services, as a freelancer, difficult at times and can even hurt your rating if you fail to deliver the required service on time. To top that, a freelancer cannot afford to disgruntle the buyer even if they do not respond for hours because a bad review will surely affect your future earnings.
No External Contact with Clients
When working with Fiverr, you are not allowed to approach or establish contacts with clients outside the platform. Therefore, if you do so, you risk being suspended or even being banned for life from Fiverr.
3. What is Freelancer?
The website, Freelancer.com, was founded back in 2009. It has its headquarters in Australia and also has regional offices in London, Vancouver, and several other cities. It boasts over thirty-one million registered users according to the website’s own statistics and is, thus, one of the most popular freelance service marketplaces on the internet and.
Freelancer.com has a well-established reputation among both freelancers and employers around the globe. Furthermore, it stands tall among the list of freelancing websites and has even acquired some of them in the past. For example, Freelancer currently owns Scriptlance.com, Lime Exchange and vWorker as well.
There is a lot to look forward to when it comes Freelancer.com. It has a strong and fresh supply of jobs on a daily basis and welcomes almost any skill that a person may possess. Whether you are a content writer, graphic designer or programmer; Freelancer.com has enough projects for everyone.
4. Freelancer: Pros and Cons
The “Contest Feature” is something absolutely unique to the Freelancer platform. Unlike other platforms, Freelancer.com allows freelancers to participate in contests posted by employers. Thus, even though, it is tough to win at these competitions, they do provide a great opportunity for newcomers to try and create a name for themselves in quick time. Winning a contest will boost your credentials on the platform and will make it easier for you to win future projects.
You get bids according to your membership. Hence, if you have a free membership, you get up to 8 bids per month. But if you upgrade to a paid membership, you can have anywhere between 50 to 1500 bids per month, depending on your plan. Furthermore, you always have the option of purchasing more bids in lieu of credit points which you earn in your freelancing journey on the website. This is a major bonus as you do not have to spend real money to buy bids.
As a freelancer, you get to set your payment schedule according to the amount of work done in the form of milestone payments. A milestone once made can only be canceled if the freelancer opts to cancel it, for any reason. If the client is not satisfied with work submitted he can dispute the milestone and prove his case to Freelancer.com and get his money back. The client cannot, however, cancel the milestone on his own.
Complex and Expensive Membership Plans
It is difficult to get this right. There is always a trade-off. There are five membership plans with the lowest starting at $0.99 and going up to a maximum of $59.95 per month. Each membership plan has a different number of bids and skills, withdrawal limitations, commission rates and so on. Hence, it gets quite confusing for a freelancer to choose the right one.
Bid Quality Score
This may be good for the employers but for the freelancer, this is more of a nuisance. The bid quality score is a system put in place which evaluates the quality of the bids you place as a freelancer. Long story short, you will have to keep the score as high as possible at least above 76/100. Anything below that will get you penalized.
Big Commission Rate For Small Jobs
Freelancer.com tends to charge freelancers flat 10% commission or $5, whichever is greater. However, the commission rate is slashed if you have a Standard or Premium membership plan. It charges $4 or 5% fee for the former, and $3 or 3% fee for the latter, whichever is greater. In any case, it’s easy to see why this platform is not suited for smalls jobs.
5. Fiverr vs Freelancer: Top Performing Skills
Even though Fiverr has moved on from its strict $5 model, it has to be accepted that the initial $5 policy has played a big role in deciding which skills are best suited to Fiverr even today. Freelancer, on the other hand, maintains an open marketplace without any restrictions on how low a project can go.
In this section of the Fiverr vs Freelancer comparison, we will analyze some of the most common Freelance Jobs and suggest which of both platforms might be better for each case:
Designing Logos and Illustrations
If you are someone who is expertly skilled in designing logos or illustrations, Fiverr and Freelancer are probably the two best places to start selling your services.
When working as a graphic designer, you might have to post multiple gigs or bid on projects (in case of Freelancer) tailored to the needs of your prospective clients. For example, you will have to create separate gigs and bids for social media profiles and cover photos, social media posts, infographics, brochures and flyers, photo editing etc.
If you are more comfortable with minimalist and direct jobs then Fiverr is probably the better platform. Freelancer, on the other hand, is better for more detailed and complex projects.
Content Writing: Fiverr vs Freelancer
Writing is an evergreen skill. Its importance can never be undermined. Hence, we see that writing gigs on Fiverr and Freelancer also take off pretty quickly as well. Since it is a unique skill in its own right, sellers get to charge better prices and hence, make a higher income.
Every business, new or old, cannot do without a writer on their team. There are different reasons why writers are needed and therefore, you will have to curate your gigs and bids according to market needs. For example, you can create gigs for SEO writing, blog writing, for writing research articles and even for ghostwriting entire books!
In regards to the Fiverr vs Freelancer comparison, content writers tend to do better on Freelancer though. This is mainly because of the flexibility that clients have when specifying their need in their projects. On the other hand, Fiverr is restrictive in the sense that it limits clients to the gigs already created by freelancers.
Video Marketing Services
In recent years, the demand for video marketing services has soared on Freelancer and Fiverr. This includes live action as well as animation videos. The demand is so high that freelancers are making between $299 and $17000 on various projects.
Currently, Fiverr is the hotcake of the two platforms although Freelancer isn’t too far behind either. This could be because Fiverr has many well-curated gigs which allow for faster turnaround. If you are someone who are skilled in video marketing then Fiverr should be your first choice.
Website and Mobile App Development
Website and Mobile App development services are pretty popular on all freelancing platforms. Hence, people are making the most of these skills by posting bids and relevant gigs on Freelancer and Fiverr.
Website and Mobile App Development are in great demand on Freelancer, unlike Fiverr, mainly because the platform allows detailed discussions before a project starts. Hence, both parties know what to expect before any money is involved.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Let people say what they want, but the fact of the matter is that SEO is still in high demand and one of the most popular skills on Fiverr as well as on Freelancer. As an SEO expert, you can create gigs or get projects where you can charge clients for doing proper keyword research for them, or you can offer them complete on-page and off-page SEO services. The choice is yours.
Social Media Marketing is another hot skill on both platforms. If you break down this skill into simpler jobs such as Facebook advertising, creating client pages and managing them etc. then it would probably work better on Fiverr.
On the other hand, if you plan to do long-term projects, then Freelancer it’s probably the better option due to the lower commission rates.
6. The Verdict: Fiverr vs Freelancer
It is tough calling one better than the other, in a Fiverr vs Freelancer comparison, and so here are some key summarized points from what we’ve learned today.
- For someone who wants to freelance for some extra income without putting in much effort into contacting clients, then Fiverr is the better platform.
- If you are good at sales pitching and enjoy hunting for new clients, then Freelancer is a better choice.
- For micro-services, then undoubtedly Fiverr has the upper hand due to its fixed flat commission rate (20%).
- If you plan to offer mid-big sized services, then Freelancer has the advantage here due to its variable commissions ($5 or 10%) per project.