Upwork vs. Fiverr: The Battle of the Platforms

Though many people have never even heard of Upwork or Fiverr, and might wonder if they are animal, vegetable, or mineral, for freelancers across the country, these words are gold mines.

According to a 2019 study, over one-third of Americans (35%) are freelancing. This number is now 57 million people, where it was a mere 4 million in 2014. 

Why is our country turning to freelancing? Well, suppose you have a talent like graphic design or writing or editing. In that case, you can work in your pajamas, eat your powdered sugar donuts, and make your own schedule.

Seems like a great idea to me! Although both offer similar products for clients, the platforms of Upwork and Fiverr are very different. Let’s take a look so you can decide which is best for your skillset!

Clients/Revenue5 million clients, 1 billion yearly revenue1 million transactions a month, 5 million yearly revenue
Pre-screening processYes!Only for “Fiverr Pros”
Dispute resolutionYes! A great dispute resolution system!!Not as good, but you can ask for an update on order and get a little help working things out
Who is it good for?Writers, mobile and web app developersLogo designers/illustrators, writers, voice over actors
Mobile appYes!Yes!
Payment process10 days14 days
Upwork Vs. Fiverr Comparison Chart

How Do I Get Hired On Upwork?

To get hired on Upwork, writers use connects to bid on jobs that are posted by the clients. (Connects cost twenty cents each, and jobs usually require between 2-6 connects to bid on). Prospective writers place a bid and write a cover letter for each job. Clients have to peruse each application individually to find the best writer for the job.

Upwork does have an algorithm to help you hire the right person based on your needs. This will save you time and money. If a freelancer wants to do the job requested after the terms are revealed, they accept the client’s proposal and get to work.

What are the Upwork fees?

Upwork writers will often bid on the high side because Upwork takes 5-20% of their fee, depending on how much business they have done with the client. But then again, underbidding would give a freelancer a better chance to actually get the job. Additionally, the clients themselves get charged 3-10%, depending on the project. Still, they are also eligible for a monthly subscription if they do a lot of business. In other words, Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis, the friends who founded Upwork in 2003, are really raking in the dough! Every freelancer and client pays them a fee for each transaction!

Ease of Use / Safety Net

One significant element of Upwork is that everything can be done within the Upwork platform. Messaging clients and freelancers is comfortable, and you can even video conference together to plan out a project. The resolution system in Upwork is stellar. Money is put into escrow to start with, and any disputes are handled carefully until a resolution is worked out. Upwork also helps you build long term relationships with clients. This is an excellent idea because the more work you do for a single client, the lower your fees will be. Any hourly work done is also protected by an app that keeps your time.

Why Should Someone Freelance On Upwork?

Choose this platform if you like to build relationships and want to invest in clients and their success. Upwork is also suitable for finding higher-paying jobs, which always add up a lot faster! I know I would rather write a 100 dollar article than a 20 dollar article! Often, clients might have you do one test job and then give you more jobs if they are satisfied with your work.

How Do I Get Hired On Fiverr?

Freelancers who want to get hired on Fiverr post a gig. Usually, all work starts at just five dollars, though you can add pieces to increase the fee. After a freelancer posts a gig, perhaps saying they will write a bio for five dollars, the client comes to the gig wall and finds what he is looking for. There are so many types of jobs listed on Fiverr, from dog walking to posting Amazon reviews! Thus, it can get tiring for clients to look through the dizzying number of gigs and people.

Fiverr has an impressive, detailed amount of information on each client and package so that comparisons can be made very easily. This is definitely a benefit for the clients!

What Are The Fiverr Fees?

The work clients hire for generally starts at five or ten dollars, and Fiverr is known for its quick, cheap projects. But clients can get in trouble when the writers or artists begin to nickel and dime them by adding on to the projects. Clients pay a 2 dollar fee for gigs up to $40, and for anything above that, the cost is 5%. Freelancers only pocket 80% of their income, based on Fiverr’s 20% commission. Fiverr is also making money on each and every transaction!

Ease of Use / Safety Net

Fiverr does its part of making the transactions safe and legitimate. First of all, the clients are checked so freelancers can feel safe. There is relatively low risk because you are usually doing smaller jobs, so even if it doesn’t work out, you can move on quickly. If your project does work out, ask the client to leave a review so you can get more work. Another excellent idea is that clients are encouraged to give tips. Fiverr offers a safe process, and the money stays in escrow until all candidates are satisfied.

Why Should Someone Freelance On Fiverr?

Choose this platform if you are great at drawing or want to try your hand at voice-overs. If you like the idea of quick gigs that are done quickly, allowing you to move on to more, then Fiverr is for you. Once you create your gig, you don’t have to do anything to draw the clients to you, such as writing a letter or attaching previous work. Clients just see your post and hire you if interested. This is a definite plus of Fiverr!


When choosing between Upwork vs. Fiverr for your freelancing business, it’s important to remember that neither platform is a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Several differences between these two platforms have led to both companies’ success. They have proven that they both have their advantages.

Also, no two freelance sites are the same. They all have strengths and weaknesses, so you can’t blindly choose a platform and assume it will magically solve all your problems. Unique business models, payment and dispute systems, and customer-service operations mean you’ll have to spend some time researching each one before signing up.