Freelancing Platforms: Yea or Nay?

So, you want to be a freelance writer. The good news is there are many ways you can start. Some people say to get your own website up and running right away and market yourself to the world. (Very few) others have had success sending their resume out to everyone they can think of until someone contacts them. Some people advise freelancing platforms as a good place to start.

And I would be in that latter category. Yes, some platforms may be complicated and others might charge hefty fees, but they also give you a good opportunity to learn about freelancing in a low-risk environment. Many platforms have some sort of payment protection in place so there’s no worry about not getting paid. They provide their own messaging systems and profile templates so you can learn how to communicate and market yourself. Some platforms even have their own learning centres now where you can find free lessons all about freelancing.

Long story short, freelancing platforms can be a pain sometimes, but I think it’s beneficial to use them at the start if you have no idea what you’re doing. You can easily branch out later on and accept clients directly once you get your name out there and spend some time working on your website.

Which freelancing website you choose is up to you. Every site has its own unique design and was made with different kinds of freelancers in mind. What works for me, you might hate with a passion – and that’s okay! I invite you to do some research, take a look around, and determine what will work for you. There’s also no problem with creating an account on multiple sites and trying them all out – just make sure not to overbook yourself!

I usually recommend the four platforms below for a few reasons. 1) None of them cost anything to sign up – some may have “premium user” features for freelancers who pay, but they’re pretty much pointless. 2) They list a wide variety of writing jobs. 3) They’re some of the most popular sites, meaning there will be a lot of job postings/opportunities.

Without further ado, let’s check out these freelancing platforms!

1. Upwork

While Upwork does take a hefty fee from your pay (20% at the start of a job – yikes!), it’s very clear from the get-go that they’re one of the most professional and put-together freelancing sites. They have some great protections in place that guarantee you’ll get paid and their messaging system is clean and well-organised. They also vet job postings pretty well, meaning you’ll find few scams.

I’ve also found that Upwork has the largest pool of fiction writing jobs available if that’s the route you’re going. The other sites mostly focus on copywriting.

Pros: user-friendly, well-maintained, lots of jobs for fiction writers 
Cons: large fee whenever you get paid, can’t take projects off Upwork without paying a hefty sum

2. Fiverr

Fiverr is up there with Upwork in its professionalism. The site is managed well and allows you to have multiple gigs active so you do a few different kinds of work at the same time. Fiverr differs from the rest of these sites in that clients come to you, rather than you applying for various jobs. This means that you’re responsible for promoting yourself and making your profile attractive enough to bring in business. Personally, I’ve found the job application method to be easier and more lucrative, but I’ve also known lots of people who have had success on Fiverr. It just depends on what you prefer.

Pros: great site, minimal likelihood of scams, can advertise your skills in multiple areas
Cons: 20% fee again, pressure is all on you to bring in clients

3. Guru

This is pretty much Upwork but without the neat website. The usability of Guru is pretty darn awful, but there are different clients on Guru than Upwork and Fiverr. This site also takes a much smaller fee. Personally, I’d recommend using Guru in conjunction with Upwork and/or Fiverr instead of just on its own.

Pros: smaller fee than bigger sites, different client pool
Cons: bad website, difficult/confusing messaging system, more scam postings


You really only want to check out this website if you’re more into copywriting, data entry, and/or translation. Even then, the site is problematic. There are many scams and the interface is even worse than Guru. However, again, there’s a different client pool than the other sites, so if you have a lull in work, you might want to check this site out.

Pros: different client pool, lots of copywriting/translation/data entry jobs
Cons: lots of scam postings, bad website

There are many other freelancing platforms across the web, so if none of these appeal to you, I invite you to take a look around! Whatever route you take, just make sure it’s one you feel comfortable with as you begin your freelancing journey. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Happy writing!

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Photo by Per Lööv on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


2 thoughts on “Freelancing Platforms: Yea or Nay?

  1. Pingback: Everything You Need to Start Freelance Writing | E.J. Robison

  2. Pingback: How to Spot the Scams | E.J. Robison

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