I started my freelance writing career with zero experience. Obviously, I had to work really hard to land on my first job. Despite the low rate, my contract with my first client went over for two years. I wasn’t ready to quit working for her because that was my FIRST contract (call me an emotional idiot for all I care!)
I realized that I had the potential to do better, and I’ve been working for peas. So, I finally decided to end the contract in a good way. That was when I started looking for other platforms. I found a few platforms and did my best to boost the recognition of my writing profiles.
Now, I have profiles on 4 platforms, and I’m very active on Upwork, Truelancer, Freelancer, and moderately active on WorknHire. So, I’ll share my experience with all those platforms and how I’m performing now, so that it might help you.
I’ve listed Upwork on top because I give it a 5-star rating based on my experience. Of course, Upwork charges higher than other platforms that I’ve listed below. But I love Upwork for its user-friendly feature. Even a newbie will understand how to apply for a job or withdraw payment. But this is not the case with other platforms.
It has a simple system to accept or reject a job offer. For example, when you accept a contract, you will not be deducted a percentage of the total amount as mediation fees. Instead, the fee is deducted ONLY when the client releases the payment/payments. But, it is not the case with Freelancer.com, it charges a fee right after you accept the proposal. So even if the client closes the contract without a particular reason, you will still be charged from your wallet.
Upwork is safe. As someone who has experience working on Upwork, I can vouch for that. But you must make sure to go through their rules and regulations and Upwork policy before you get started.
But there’s something about Upwork that I don’t appreciate, although I wouldn’t say that it’s a negative factor. Recently, Upwork has decided to charge for connects (you need connects to apply for jobs). They didn’t have this policy until recently, so every beginner was able to apply for jobs. But now, you have to purchase connects if you want to apply for jobs. They will offer around 20 free connects if you have just opened a profile, but if not, you have to purchase them.
So overall, I like Upwork and the way it works. But one shouldn’t stick to Upwork as it will veil all the other good opportunities.
This is the second platform that I worked on but not anymore. I stopped working on Truelancer after experiencing something offensive. I lost a lot of hard-earned money because of one of their crazy policies; however, I don’t prefer to disclose it.
Initially, the platform was awesome, and they even appointed a relationship manager. The relationship manager was an amazing lady, and she did her best to help me throughout. I found some amazing clients and learned a lot of things through their projects.
Their payment was made via Payoneer, and I had to remind them to release the payment almost every time. But their charges weren’t high, and so I was able to secure most of the money I earned, unlike Upwork.
Apart from all these, one can easily open an account on Truelancer. If you are not planning on full-time freelancing or if you want to test the waters, this is a good place to give it a try. Also, you can apply for jobs without a paid membership.
Working on Freelancer.com was a bit tedious. I couldn’t find the right client or understand the ways to apply for a job. However, I managed to find a few cool clients and gather some different experiences.
The most annoying thing about Freelancer is that it charges a percentage of the total amount of the project the moment you accept it. So if the client decides to close the project, disappears, or even dies, you will still be charged.
Let’s not even get started on how their payment system works. I struggled a lot to get paid, and it was complicated.
Next issue is with the feedback section. But then, the fault was partly mine. I shouldn’t have contacted the client outside the Freelancer site. As I contacted him outside the site, the client took advantage. He didn’t pay a penny even though he left an awful feedback on my profile WHEN I asked him for the payment (feedback is still there, although the client’s profile has been deleted). The Freelancer agent warned me for contacting the client outside Freelancer but let it go as I was new to their site 🙂
However, I understood how this platform works, and so I’m able to pass on my knowledge to others.
Also, I haven’t closed the account yet, but I’m not active there.
This is an Indian site, so I had to get paid via my Indian friend’s account. This isn’t a fantastic site, but it is less complicated than other sites. One can easily get started on WorknHire and find jobs.
I earned some money on this site as well because luckily, I found some good clients and great projects. The payment was prompt, and their payment system was cool. Their charges were reasonable too. But the problem is that you can’t find profitable projects or good clients on this site that easily.
This is not a user-friendly site, and the messaging section is pretty confusing, and sometimes, your messages might duplicate.
So, if I’m to rate this site, I’d give a 3.5-star rating.
Anyway, currently, I’m active ONLY on Upwork because I have widened my client-base. I found some great clients on LinkedIn and through many other local sources as well. So what I can say is that you don’t have to stick to these sites. You can focus on your own blog, LinkedIn profile, other social media platforms, or even Medium to prove your skill. Maybe you’ll find some great clients there.
But if you are planning to work on any of these platforms, I hope my two cents advice would help you make the right decision.
Remember, great clients are all over. They are not only on the platforms I mentioned. Do not limit your search.
Signing off with a quote,
“Change how you’re paid, change your life.”― Richie Norton