Upwork and Fiverr are two leading freelance service marketplaces. But if you’re a freelancer, which platform is better to find clients and get jobs? Here is an in-depth comparison of Upwork vs. Fiverr for freelancers.

Overview of Upwork and Fiverr


  • Freelancers create detailed profiles showcasing experience and expertise
  • Clients post jobs for freelancers to apply to
  • Large variety of skilled service categories
  • Jobs range from small one-off tasks to multi-month projects
  • Freelancers are paid hourly or per project milestone


  • Freelancers offer specific services through preset “gig” packages
  • Buyers purchase and provide details for a service they need
  • Popular for creative, digital, and marketing services
  • Gigs are primarily one-off services rather than ongoing contracts
  • Sellers are paid fixed price per gig purchased

Now let’s compare the two platforms across some key factors:

Earning Potential


  • Hourly billing allows charging higher rates
  • Larger and longer-term contracts provide more income
  • Income depends heavily on skill level


  • Income relies on gig volume and quick turnaround
  • Lengthy projects are less common
  • Potential to charge more for add-ons and upgrades
  • Capped at fixed gig pricing

Winner: Upwork provides more potential to earn higher amounts long-term.

Getting Started


  • More intensive signup process
  • Must pass an skills assessment exam
  • Building robust profile and portfolio takes time


  • Extremely quick and easy signup process
  • Can list services as gigs instantly
  • No skill verification needed upfront

Winner: Fiverr lets you start providing services almost instantly.

Landing First Clients


  • Must compete with all freelancers globally per project
  • Takes time and effort to bid for contracts
  • Beginners have high competition against seasoned pros


  • Buyers come to you making purchases easier
  • Can be offering first services within hours
  • Rating system eases buyer concerns over new sellers

Winner: Fiverr makes getting those critical first clients and reviews easier to build momentum.

Opportunity for Recurring Work


  • Clients often rehire for additional projects
  • Established relationships lead to recurring work
  • Higher pay ceiling leads to higher lifetime value clients


  • Gig work tends to be one-off services
  • Less opportunity for guaranteed recurring work
  • Must continually seek out new buyers

Winner: Upwork provides more opportunity for steady, recurring contracts.

Service Category Availability


  • Extensive categories from technical to creative fields
  • Opportunities in nearly any professional niche
  • Wide array allows diversifying offerings


  • More limited niche selection focused on creative and digital
  • Light on highly technical skills
  • Requires sticking to preset gigs

Winner: Upwork provides more freelance categories making it easy to expand your services.

So in summary, while Fiverr makes starting out easier, Upwork unlocks more income potential long-term for established professionals. Evaluate both to see which platform best aligns with your skills and goals.

FAQs About Upwork vs Fiverr

Which has lower service fees?

Fiverr’s base service fee is 20% of the total order amount. Upwork charges freelancers either 5-20% of the project total or a flat 10% fee.

Can I use both Upwork and Fiverr?

Absolutely. Many freelancers find success offering their services across multiple freelance platforms simultaneously.

Which is better for beginner freelancers?

Fiverr tends to be better for beginners given the ease of setup and building initial ratings and reviews. Upwork has a steeper learning curve.

Is one platform more prestigious than the other?

Upwork tends to attract more mid-upper level professionals while Fiverr skews entry level. But both have elite top-tier freelancers.

Which has the larger job market?

Upwork boasts around 12 million clients posting jobs vs. Fiverr’s comparatively smaller pool of buyers.

The ideal solution may be building your freelance business across both Fiverr and Upwork over time to maximize your client and income opportunities.


  • Gio Watts

    Gio Watts brings over 10 years of digital marketing experience to his role as marketing manager at Walletminded. In his current position, Gio oversees brand marketing, campaign management, and audience growth initiatives. Prior to joining Walletminded, Gio held marketing roles at several ecommerce and SaaS startups, most recently serving as senior marketing manager at CloudTable Inc. There, he specialized in paid social advertising and content marketing. Gio holds a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the University of Oregon. He is a certified content marketing specialist and frequently guest lectures at his alma mater. When he's not devising omni-channel marketing campaigns, you can find Gio coaching youth basketball and indulging his passion for live music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *