Fiverr or Upwork? A Comprehensive Guide to Beginners

Fiverr or Upwork A Comprehensive Guide to Beginners

After preparing your hands to earn online, insight into competitive earning platforms is mandatory. To hop aboard the freelance bandwagon, you definitely need to take a start from somewhere. People get confused in Fiverr vs Upwork. Both of the freelance marketplaces are mostly talked about, with their own merit and demerits.


In this blogpost, I am providing ultimate guidance to both marketplaces with their pros and cons to kickstart a sustainable freelancing career. If you are making a start in a freelancing journey, it can help you make the right decision on time. If you already are in this field, this blog can give you a more insightful direction in your freelancing career.

Fiverr vs Upwork:

While selling services online, it is wise to understand the reliability and trustworthiness of top-notch online earning platforms. Freelance marketplaces can be evaluated by their payment methods, withdrawal options, customer support and terms and conditions.

Let’s skim into complete workflow of both websites:



Upwork is the most heard platform with almost 12millions people registered themselves as freelancers. From 3 million home based jobs, these sellers earn about $1 billion collectively.

How Does Upwork Work?

  • Upwork works as the traditional marketplace. You have to reach the client with a proper bid.
  • First step on Upwork is profile creation. It involves the information from skills and portfolio to the experience and expertise (beginner, mediocre or expert) in a specific niche.
  • Location, education background, preferred hourly rate and estimated working hours per week is also mentioned in very start.
  • Next step is to wait for profile approval, usually they respond within 24 hours.
  • Hiring can be done from project catalog or job posting. Project catalog is predefined services with estimated costs and durations.
  • For the other method, the client will post the job and you can access the buyer by sending a bid using connects (you will receive 40 free connects in the start). If the buyer considers your bid valid and calls the interview you will get 10 bonus connects with a chance of making a final deal with the client.
  • After the interview, if you and the buyer get on the same page, you will be hired for that job. You have to start working. Pay Rate can be hourly or project based.
  • You can share files and keep conversation with the client while working on Upwork.
  • When work is complete, you will get the payment and rating with a review from the client (0 to 5 star).

Upwork Cut:

Upwork takes a fee of 20% for every service sale either hourly or project based. This cut will decrease to 10% after you have charged the buyer with more than 500$. Upwork cut will get even lower to 5% with the buyer exceeding 10,000$.

Other than that, 10 connects will be provided for free every month. You need to purchase to send an invite to multiple potential clients. It can be done by basic or plus plan.

Payment Method:

Payment on Upwork can be processed using PayPal, direct bank transfer, M-pesa, Payoneer or wire transfer. Processing fee varies from one to another.

  • If there is any confusion between freelancer and client, 24/7 customer support can be accessed using a dispute process.


  • High paying and credible clients
  • Flexible budget hiring after mutual discussion from both parties
  • Massive platform with payment protection
  • Time tracker to make sure accurate billing


  • Long selection procedure
  • Relatively difficult to land first job in competitive niches
  • Costly for beginners
  • More chances of scamming from unverified payment method profiles



Fiverr is another freelance marketplace with a wide variety of projects in different domains and easy to use interface. Fiverr facilitates job opportunities with always changing algorithms to beginners.

How does Fiverr work?

  • Freelancers have to create a profile by giving personal as well as professional information.
  • Gigs will serve as digital shops in the marketplace. You can share your skills with three packages in one gig (standard to premium). It involves tasks to be done in the designed time frame for a specific amount.
  • Other than gig packages, Fiverr also supports custom offers. These offers can be of a one-time project or milestone based.
  • Clients can search for the service and place direct orders by selecting the desired gig package and making the payment.
  • Payment will be sent to escrow and order countdown will start after submitting buyer requirements.
  • After making delivery on the right time, the client can review the order by sharing words and giving 1 to 5-star rating.

Fiverr Cut:

Fiverr charges 20% of every completed order from the seller. This amount gets transferred to the seller account after the buyer has accepted the delivery and funds get available for withdrawal after 14 days. Fiverr service fee remains same for no level to top rated sellers.

Payment Methods:

Fiverr supports direct bank, Fiverr revenue card, Payoneer and Paypal fund transfer options.


  • If something gets messed up between seller and buyer, customer support can be called from the resolution center for neutral and immediate action.


  • Smart filters help to find the right skillset with ideal rates and seller level with online availability.
  • Extensive feedback system
  • Comprehensive customer support
  • Free and fast registration with choice to send free 10 buyer request daily


  • High commission cut with long withdrawal availability process
  • Strict policies
  • Scamming

Conclusion in a nutshell:

  • Fiverr offers clients to directly approach sellers by already given gig packages and custom offers. Upwork demands a long procedure of bidding on a specific job posting, interview and then job hiring.
  • Upwork requires a strict profile approval policy. On the other hand, the Fiverr profile gets approved easily. The seller bears strict check and balance for not having multiple accounts and taking conversations outside the Fiverr.
  • Fiverr allows new sellers to send 10 buyer requests daily for free. Upwork connects are limited and money needs to be invested if luck did not work to get jobs in the first few bids.
  • Fiverr attracts most of the buyers by “5$” jobs, but the perception of having every task done in 5$ is wrong. When a gig is complete, the contract will also be marked as complete, on the contrary, an Upwork contract can go long for years on hourly basis.

Either Fiverr or Upwork, You Need to Understand Some Thumb Rules and Set Goals in Mind to Have a Sustainable Freelance Career

  • Be a quality freelancer. Sell your skills with professionalism and working ethics.
  • One freelancer represents the country he belongs to; a good or bad experience can leave a permanent mark on an international client. Be conscious of the reputation.
  • Freelancing is more relevant to a business instead of a job. You need to market your services, negotiate and sell. There is no fixed income stream. As a business, you need investments to make it fruitful afterwards. In freelancing, investment is your time and skills; always work on updating.
  • Try to convert short term clients into long term clients. Offer them quality services and build a relation of reliability.
  • Don’t be too cheap to hire! Offering services at very cheap rates is not the solution to get more work. You need to understand your potential and set an hourly rate and charge worth of your time.
  • Balance work and personal life. Plan your tasks and have more control over time.



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