Online marketplaces are a popular place for freelancers of all types to start and grow their business. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at Fiverr vs Upwork – which is better for freelance copywriters and content creators.
Freelance copywriters enjoy working remotely and setting their own hours, but they need a way to connect with clients in order to make a living doing what they love. That’s where freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork come in handy.
Fiverr and Upwork are two popular freelancer marketplaces that provide a convenient space for freelancers to connect with potential clients, complete assignments, and get paid for their work. Although they have similar missions, Fiverr and Upwork offer two different types of experiences for both buyers and sellers.
In this post, I’ll give freelance copywriters all they need to know about the two sites so they can understand what to expect before jumping into the exciting world of digital freelancing as a copywriter.
Connecting with clients on Fiverr and Upwork
The first step toward building a successful freelance writing career is connecting with the right people.
Luckily, each site is equipped with straightforward messaging platforms to discuss work with clients either via text or video chat. Both sites also have mobile applications that buyers and sellers can download on their phones to keep up with work while they’re on the go, but copywriters will likely want to work mostly from their computers.
Typical workflow for freelance copywriters
Part of the appeal of using a site such as Fiverr or Upwork is that much of the bookkeeping associated with running your own business is taken care of. The sites process payments, record work history, share your name with new clients, and offer fraud protection – meaning a lot of a freelancer’s day-to-day busywork can get streamlined.
That said, freelance copywriters still need to be able to manage their workflows and complete their assignments to maintain their performance ratings on each site.
Upwork jobs begin when a business owner posts a job they need completed. Upwork analyzes the requirements that are needed to complete the work and shows the buyer the best possible freelancers it has available for the job. Buyers can extend an invitation to freelancers to apply for their job, or writers can browse through job listings and submit a bid on the project.
On Fiverr, writers create “gigs” where they offer different services and set their rates for those services. Buyers can place an order with a seller immediately, or message the freelancer to get more information. Sellers need to complete assignments as they come in, and any cancellations or late orders may impact their performance metrics on the site.
Fiverr also allows buyers to post short work requests that sellers can browse and bid on, though the majority of work usually comes directly through a seller’s gigs.
Getting paid and service fees
Both Fiverr freelancers and Upwork freelancers can set their own rates and negotiate terms directly with the buyer.
Freelancers on Upwork can be paid either per project or per hour, depending on what makes the most sense for the assignment. Upwork service fees are based on earnings with each client. For the first $500 billed to a client, Upwork keeps 20%; for total billings between $500.01 and $10,000, Upwork keeps 10%; and for billings more than $10,000, Upwork keeps 5%.
In order to apply for a job, a freelancer needs to have enough Connects, which are Upwork’s virtual currency. Freelancers automatically get new Connects each month, or they can purchase more if they need to.
Fiverr sellers are paid per gig, and Fiverr keeps 20% of each sale as a commission. If a client wants a special type of project completed, the seller can create a custom offer and set a special rate for that work, which is also subject to the 20% service fee.
Fiverr sellers don’t need to pay to apply for work, but they can pay to have their gigs promoted higher up on the website for better visibility.
How success is measured on Fiverr and Upwork
Each site tracks sellers’ performance, which can affect how they show up in search results. Buyers can also leave feedback on their experience, and other potential buyers can read their reviews.
Fiverr uses a ranking system for sellers based on performance metrics including: Response rates to messages, on-time deliveries, cancelled orders, days of experience on the site, overall money made. Successful sellers are promoted to higher levels that makes it easier for them to attract higher-paying clients and appear more credible.
Upwork also has a ranking system based on seller success and their reputation on the platform. Upwork also factors in the 12-month earnings, how long a seller has been on Upwork, and pre-screening for experts.
Unique opportunities for freelance copywriters
Full-time freelance copywriters need to keep up with an ever-changing digital landscape.
Fiverr offers free and paid video courses targeted toward digital entrepreneurs who want to improve their skills. Once a writer completes a course, they receive a badge on their profile showing they have mastered a particular skill. Fiverr also requires some sellers to pass a skills test to offer a gig. For writers, that means scoring at least a 90% on a short grammar test.
Upwork also gives freelancers access to free articles, research, webinars and guides. Although they’re helpful, they’re not as in-depth as Fiverr’s courses.
Quick Fiverr and Upwork pros and cons
- Writers do not have to go through a lengthy application process for each gig
- Writers can set their own rates, or create custom offers for special projects
- Freelancers can boost their profiles by paying to promote them prominently on the site, or Fiverr sometimes selects high-ranking sellers as “Fiverr’s Choice,” which gives them a temporary badge that looks more appealing to buyers
- Writers can also be vetted for Fiverr Pro, which lets buyers select from the top talent on the platform.
- Upwork’s algorithm matches writers with jobs that they’re most qualified for
- Writers have the freedom to choose to apply to the jobs that they’re interested in
- Upwork charges less in service fees
- Fiverr takes 20% of each seller’s order as a service fee
- Gigs can be unpredictable and it’s difficult to pick and choose which clients to work with
- Writers need to bid and apply for each job they’re interested in, which can become time consuming
- To apply for more jobs, freelancers need to pay for Connects through Upwork
Which platform should freelance copywriters choose?
Upwork tends to attract larger names looking for long term working relationships, while Fiverr is geared slightly more toward entrepreneurs who need occasional work done quickly. When you’re looking at Fiverr vs Upwork and which is better for freelance copywriters, I
It’s possible for freelance copywriters to be successful on either platform – it just depends on their personal preferences and professional goals.
Rachael is a full-time digital nomad and freelance copywriter for B2B and SaaS companies. She’s worked with brands like Unbounce, Biteable, Datacom, Viddyoze, and Owler.
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