Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or already a pro, Upwork can be a helpful tool to find work online and elevate your freelancing career.
But did you know there are several other sites like Upwork too?
I’ll go over each of the top Upwork competitors so you can know your options and set yourself up for success.
What is Upwork?
Upwork is a freelancing marketplace that connects freelancers to clients worldwide.
One of Upwork’s biggest appeals is their near-unlimited supply of opportunities regardless of your niche.
You’ll find multiple different freelance job types in their marketplace, like SEO writing, translation, logo design, and much more.
How does the site work?
Once signed up, freelancers are prompted to fill out a profile where clients can find them directly.
It’s a good idea to optimize your profile to save yourself time by attracting clients passively.
Freelancers can also actively apply to jobs that appeal to them using Upwork’s in-platform credits called Connects, which cost $0.15 each.
If you’re curious to check out all the details about Upwork, you can head over to my Upwork review here.
To summarize for you, here are some of the main pros and cons of Upwork.
- User-friendly service that streamlines finding and completing freelance projects
- Tons of opportunities for beginners and pros
- Freelancers set their own rates
- Payment protection on earnings
- No free work allowed
- Charges one of the highest service fees
- Purchasing Connects is required to send proposals
- Can take time to build your reputation on the platform
- Customer support only available 24/7 to paid members
Now let’s take a look at some of the best other sites like Upwork for you to consider.
26 Upwork alternatives for finding freelance work online
With the claim of connecting over 54 million freelancers and clients globally, Freelancer.com lands itself as one of the largest freelancing marketplaces out there.
However, since there are significantly more freelancers than jobs, it’s one of the more competitive marketplaces. You’ll really have to stand out for your job bid to win out against other freelancers.
Like Upwork’s Connects, the way they attempt to combat high competition is by charging freelancers “Bids” to apply to jobs.
There’s also potential for clients to reach out to you directly based on your profile.
One way Freelancer.com differentiates itself from other websites like Upwork is through contests, which provide freelancers added work opportunities and earnings.
Overall, Upwork and Freelancer.com are pretty similar: both aim to offer a seamless experience for freelancers and clients to connect—from application to job completion and payment.
How does Freelancer.com differ from Upwork?
- Commission fee dependent on job type
- Contests available to freelancers to earn extra income
- 24/7 live support is available to everyone
- You don’t need your account to be approved to join
Fiverr is another one of the biggest freelancing marketplaces and is frequently named as an Upwork alternative.
The key parallel is that both sites provide an efficient way for freelancers and clients to find each other and work together in-platform.
Fee-wise, Fiverr also takes 20% off of freelancers’ earnings, though theirs is a set amount that doesn’t slide down the more you make.
On the platform, freelancers set up service packages to sell to clients.
Their most popular services include graphic design, digital marketing, writing, and voiceovers. But there are several other service types and specializations in demand too.
When a client buys a freelancer’s service, freelancers can easily communicate with them, submit work, and be paid on the site.
They are one of the most competitive marketplaces, but, like Upwork, once you start growing your reputation on the site, more clients will come to you.
How does Fiverr differ from Upwork?
- Focus on packaging tiered services for clients to shop from
- You don’t have to be approved to join
- No hourly projects
- Limited to apply to max. 10 jobs per day
Thumbtack provides freelancers a convenient platform to meet new clients—specifically, with a focus on finding work within local communities.
They offer a robust job directory; Freelancers can find jobs in nearly 1,000 different categories.
It’s also free for freelancers to join and scroll through their extensive listings, but you do have to pay a minimum of $1.50 for each job lead.
Though you have to foot the expense for leads, Thumbtack offers refunds if a lead doesn’t get back to you within 48 hours. Plus, you get $120 worth of lead credits just for signing up.
And another way to avoid paying for leads is to set up your custom job pipeline. This allows you to input your exact job preferences, and clients can reach out with job offers based on that.
The competition is pretty high here, but there’s no shortage of opportunities to go for.
How does Thumbtack differ from Upwork?
- Offers competition and performance insights
- Application fee refund if the client doesn’t respond quick enough
- Focus on finding jobs in local communities
- Essentially a lead generation service for freelancers, as opposed to a platform you can work with clients on
Based in the UK, PeoplePerHour is a global freelancing marketplace that’s connected over one million freelancers to clients since their inception in 2015.
On the search for Upwork alternatives, PeoplePerHour provides a similarly streamlined freelancing experience.
They offer 15 main job categories, including writing, web development, translation, graphic design, and more.
You’ll have to go through their application process and be accepted by their moderators to use the site.
But once you’re approved, you can search and apply to hourly and project-based jobs or be automatically matched to opportunities based on your profile skills.
Their commission fees go from 20% down to 3.5% depending on how high your earnings are— the higher your earnings, the lower their fee.
How does PeoplePerHour differ from Upwork?
- Ability to collaborate with other freelancers
- Automatic invoicing
- Ability to make and customize service packages for clients to shop from
- Focus on the UK and European markets
Guru is a freelancing platform that gives freelancers and employers an easy, organized way to find each other and work together.
They stand out from other Upwork competitors by providing freelancers the ability to search for jobs in a nearly endless number of niches.
Freelancers can browse jobs in categories like legal, marketing, design, and much more, with multiple subcategories and skills to choose from in each.
You can quickly narrow down your choices to find the best fit for you.
Their commission fee is one of the lowest at around 9% for free members, and it slides down depending on freelancers’ paid membership level, which starts at $8.95 per month.
It’s worth noting that paid members can essentially cut the line by having their bids highlighted to clients and their in-site rankings boosted.
As you can imagine, this gives free members a steeper hill to climb.
How does Guru differ from Upwork?
- Provides the ability to collaborate with other freelancers
- Lower fees
- 24/7 customer support
- Progress tracking feature for clear communication with clients and freelancing team
- Free members can’t chat with clients before working with them
If you’re looking for a freelancing “community, marketplace and platform” in one, then CloudPeeps might be a good choice for you.
They cater specifically to freelancers in PR, web design, marketing, and more for hourly, fixed, or one-time projects.
As a freelancer, you have to apply and get approved before you can start looking for work.
And if you want to send proposals to clients, you’ll need to purchase their Standard membership plan at $9 a month.
That said, free and paid users alike can set up a storefront to offer set service packages, like an SEO site audit for $X. Plus, all member types get access to their community and invoicing tool.
Payout fees slide from 15% to 5% depending on your membership level.
How does CloudPeeps differ from Upwork?
- Storefront option to set service packages
- Fewer job categories available
- Lower fees
- Paid membership is required to send proposals
- No conflict resolution support
FreeUp is a premium platform that’s smaller than other freelance sites like Upwork.
They aim to pair the top freelancers to the top clients fast (within 24 hours).
You can find work within categories like eCommerce, translation, Amazon services, copywriting, and more.
One benefit to their small size is their helpful customer support who’s always available.
Like Upwork, you’ll have to be approved to use their platform.
FreeUp’s approval process takes three steps: application, interview, and a final test. Once you’ve been accepted, you can start connecting with high-quality clients right away.
To ensure freelancers get hired quickly, they have an interesting system in place that prevents clients from spending more than 15 minutes with freelancers before deciding to hire them or not.
While this might add some extra pressure to the first interaction with a potential client, it also helps freelancers save time from slow, unresponsive clients.
How does FreeUp differ from Upwork?
- Landing a job solely depends on clients finding and hiring you. There’s no job board for freelancers to scroll through and apply
- Communication with clients via Skype, email, or phone—not in-platform
- No screen recording option available to track time spent working
- 24/7 support
- No service fees for freelancers
They’re a membership-based job site whose aim is to help freelance writers find work quickly and launch their writing careers.
For faster searching, they allow you to set your job preferences and automatically send you email updates when a project matches what you’re looking for.
As far as pricing goes, Contena is a premium service that requires you to pay for their membership to have access.
But more than just paying for curated job listings, members have access to courses and coaching to help them get started and grow their freelance writing businesses.
How does Contena differ from Upwork?
- Writing niche only
- Job board site—not a freelance marketplace
- Membership cost to use their service
- Offers coaching services and courses
- Publishing tool to grow your portfolio
Flexjobs is one of my favorite Upwork alternatives. The company was started in 2007 and boasts being the #1 job site for flexible and remote jobs.
How do they stand apart from the other Upwork competitors?
Mainly, through their curation of job opportunities. They guarantee absolutely no scams or spam on their site, and they achieve this by carefully hand-screening every job opportunity listed.
Flexjobs also provides an incredibly personalized job search tool, allowing freelancers to find the right jobs for them quicker.
However, once you find a job you like, you’ll be taken to a third-party site to go through the application process unique to each client.
They’re essentially an elevated job board, promising freelancers safer and higher-quality jobs.
Their service of hand-curating jobs for you does come at a price; the Flexjobs membership starts at $6.95 a week or $14.95 per month.
For a deeper dive into whether Flexjobs is worth it or not, be sure to check out my Flexjobs review.
How does Flexjobs differ from Upwork?
- More like a job board than an all-inclusive freelancing platform
- Higher quality, curated job opportunities
- Membership fee
- Less competition
- Scam and spam-free
- Offers career coaching and resources
Solidgigs is a membership-based site that manually sources jobs for freelancers and delivers the best 1% to their email each day.
Their key service is to prevent freelancers from wasting time searching for jobs instead of actually making money.
Another perk of using Solidgigs is access to training courses for freelancers to improve their skills and elevate their careers. I’ve created one of those masterclasses myself!
Their membership has a 30-day $2 trial period to see if it’s a good fit for you and, after that, it costs $19 a month.
How does Solidgigs differ from Upwork?
- Highly curated list of qualified freelance jobs
- Offers courses and career coaching
- Membership cost to use site
- No platform to walk you through landing gigs/getting paid
Truelancer is a freelancing marketplace and crowdsourcing platform that provides opportunities to freelancers around the world.
You can apply to jobs, participate in contests, and write a compelling profile that attracts clients. And once you land a job, Truelancer does a great job of managing your workflow.
Keep in mind, the freelancing rates tend to be lower here, so you might have some difficulty finding clients that are worth it for you.
One interesting thing they offer is the ability to set a deposit amount you want from clients before starting a job. This helps to ensure that the client is legit, and you won’t be scammed out of your time.
Their memberships range from free to $50 per month, with a 10% commission fee down to 8% depending on your membership plan.
How does Truelancer differ from Upwork?
- Lower freelancer rates
- Lower fees
- Ability to request a deposit from clients
- User-friendly workflow system to keep track of projects and client communication
Starting in 2012, Codeable is a job site that’s known as the only freelancer platform for WordPress developers.
WordPress developers have to apply and get approved to join, but after that, it’s smooth sailing for them.
Codeable is a pretty appealing option thanks to their dedication to avoiding the race to the bottom effect that plagues several other freelance sites. They guarantee freelancers a minimum hourly rate of $70-120 and provide professional coaching and development.
The drawbacks here are their extensive 45-day vetting process and 10% fees off of freelancer’s earnings.
How does Codeable differ from Upwork?
- Community networking via Slack
- Training and resources for career development
- Long application process and 45-trial period
- Lower fees
13. LinkedIn Marketplaces
As you might’ve guessed, LinkedIn Marketplaces is a marketplace made by LinkedIn for freelancers and businesses to connect.
The service is meant to compete directly with Upwork and Fiverr.
And just like Upwork, Freelancers will be able to actively apply to posts made by businesses or wait for clients to come to them.
LinkedIn Marketplaces will also support payment in-platform using Microsoft’s digital wallet and focus on freelancing jobs like writing, design, and marketing.
Though they’ve rolled out a basic freelancer services function that you can currently use, the LinkedIn Marketplaces platform isn’t available just yet (as of this writing) and is expected to launch in September 2021.
How does LinkedIn Marketplaces differ from Upwork?
- Freelancers may be able to pay for ads to boost chances for success
- Payment option via Microsoft’s digital wallet
The name Toptal comes from “top talent.” The idea is to bring on only the top 3% of freelancers around the world to connect with their leading clients, such as Shopify and Duolingo.
One similarity with Upwork here is that you have to be approved to join and go after for freelancing opportunities.
However, Toptal’s application process is much more rigorous.
Once you’re in, you’ll be paired with high-paying opportunities, and you get to keep all of your earnings. Yep, Toptal charges zero commission fee.
While the upsides of getting approved are big, keep in mind that there are only a limited number of niches you can apply to. On Toptal, you can work as a developer, designer, project manager, product manager, or finance expert.
How does Toptal differ from Upwork?
- No commission fees
- Not beginner-friendly
- Intensive application process
- Acts as a middle-man on your projects and client communication
Credo is an Upwork competitor designed specifically for digital marketing professionals.
Their service uses an algorithm to efficiently match agencies and businesses to freelancers within 48 hours.
The vetting process for freelancers is strict, but getting through means lower competition and hands-on pairing to lucrative jobs with companies like TaxAct and The New York Times.
While their focus is more on consulting than freelancing specifically, they’re still definitely an option worth considering for expert freelancers who specialize in digital marketing.
How does Credo differ from Upwork?
- Not beginner-friendly
- Digital marketing focus
- Multiple-step vetting process
- Check-ins to ensure projects are going smoothly
With a focus on long-term remote work, Outsourcely provides a simple way for freelancers to connect with startups and established businesses.
One thing that’s great about Outsourcely is that they don’t take any fees from freelancers’ earnings.
It’s completely free to sign up, but, similar to Upwork, they offer a paid membership with extra perks, like having your profile featured.
However, it is a much smaller platform than other Upwork competitors, and you have to go through a somewhat convoluted verification process before you can use the site.
They even contact all of your previous employers listed before approving you.
But after going through their verification, Outsourcely does the heavy lifting of helping you find work fast, offering helpful communication tools and support.
How does Outsourcely differ from Upwork?
- Fewer specialties for freelancers
- Zero fees on earnings
- Encourages long-term work
- Complicated verification process
In the search for websites like Upwork, Textbroker is a good option for freelance writers looking to make extra income fast.
It’s completely free to sign up. All they ask for is a writing sample and some identity verification.
New users are screened before they can access Textbroker’s extensive list of writing jobs. The bar isn’t particularly high, so don’t let that put you off if you’re a beginner.
Their jobs range from press releases to blog content—if you’re a freelance writer, you’re sure to find something.
It’s also easy to dive into work, and you can get paid twice weekly once the client approves your writing.
However, you’ll find the rates are lower here, so it’s better for freelancing newbies or those looking to make quick side cash.
How does Textbroker differ from Upwork?
- Writing niche only
- Earnings paid out twice a week
- Lower rates
For freelancers looking for graphic design jobs online, 99designs is worth considering as an Upwork alternative.
Like Upwork, they’re a streamlined platform. Designers can find a ton of opportunities with clients worldwide in over 90 categories.
Freelancers can apply and work directly with clients, or they can make money and connections by participating in contests.
Both options allow a smooth way to continue working with the client on the platform long-term.
As far as fees go, 99designs takes a commission fee that starts at 15% and varies based on your level. Plus, they charge a $100 introduction fee.
How does 99designs differ from Upwork?
- Design platform only
- Ability to collaborate with other freelancers
- Quicker payout
- Introduction fee for freelancers
ServiceScape is a user-friendly freelancing marketplace and outsourcing platform.
The site is more niche than Upwork, offering opportunities only in four main categories: editing, translation, graphic design, and writing.
But like Upwork, Freelancers can fill out and optimize their profiles, attracting potential clients to work with them.
After making a winning profile, freelancers can relax a bit as clients take the reins. Clients will scroll through the freelance directory to directly shop from freelancer’s services by category.
ServiceScape pushes freelancers to maintain great performance and ratings by sorting their directory with “Elite” freelancers at the top and down to one-star freelancers from there.
Once a client decides to buy your services, you can conveniently message them, deliver work, and be paid through their system.
While you can comfortably set your rates as high as you want thanks to their high-end clients, the downside here is that ServiceScape takes a whopping 50% commission fee.
How does ServiceScape differ from Upwork?
- Strict standards that can make or break your ability to get work
- No option to apply to jobs
- Free work allowed for test projects
- Higher fees
20. Hubstaff Talent
Hubstaff Talent conveniently pairs freelancers and clients around the world in a 100% free-to-use marketplace—”no strings attached.”
With them, freelancers don’t have to bid on jobs but can sit back and have high-quality opportunities come to them.
The way this works is that freelancers fill out a profile with their skills, availability, etc., and they’ll get an email whenever a client is interested.
Similar to Upwork, they offer a simple time tracking tool for freelancers, but when it comes to receiving payment for your time, that’s between you and your client.
How does Hubstaff Talent differ from Upwork?
- No commission fees
- No option to bid on jobs
- Payment is handled between freelancer and client
DesignCrowd states they’re the #1 custom design marketplace around.
They’re a good option for freelance designers looking to build their portfolios and make fast cash.
Freelancers can sell their designs quickly in two ways: entering contests or getting assigned to one-on-one projects. The opportunities are plenty for freelancers, with job categories ranging from designing logos to flyers.
They’re a streamlined platform like Upwork too; everything can be done on the site, from meeting clients to getting paid.
DesignCrowds fees are straightforward at 15% on all freelancers’ earnings.
How does DesginCrowd differ from Upwork?
- Focus on crowdsourcing contests
- Set fee regardless of earning payout
- Emphasizes fast, lower-cost work
As the name suggests, Problogger is a job board with a focus on high-quality jobs for professional bloggers.
There’s no sign-up or cost to use the site, so you can easily scroll around and apply to new opportunities.
However, it’s a smaller site than many of the other freelance websites like Upwork, which results in higher competition among bloggers looking for work.
While it’s a well-known site and worth checking out, keep in mind that their jobs aren’t screened, so it’s a good idea to do your research before diving in and applying for a job.
How does Problogger differ from Upwork?
- Blogging focused
- No sign up needed
- No job screening for spam and scams
For those looking to sit back while someone else finds you great freelance jobs, Aquent’s a good option to consider.
Thanks to their effective AI, Aquent can auto-match freelancers to clients based on their portfolio skills, rate, and other customized preferences.
If freelancers want to take a more active approach in looking for gigs, they can also use their advanced search filters to browse through their listings.
They offer freelancers both short and long-term opportunities, taking a hands-on role in your projects and client communication.
How does Aquent differ from Upwork?
- Uses AI to auto-match freelancers to clients
- Provides coaching and development resources
- No ability to negotiate rates
- Freelancers have to go through tests to be approved
Storetasker’s draw is that they’re a (nearly) on-demand freelance marketplace that connects clients to freelance Shopify developers within a few hours.
Freelancers get paired directly by Storetasker with top Shopify brands for projects. Once a brand reaches out to you, you can send your quote and go from there.
Storetasker makes it smooth to continue working with clients long-term.
Because of their 1:1 pairing system, there’s also no competition on the site, no need to make a profile, and no stress over making perfect pitches or glowing reviews to win new clients.
Plus, they offer secure payment protection and solid customer support.
How does Storetasker differ from Upwork?
- Shopify developer niche only
- More extensive approval process
- Freelancers matched with clients, so there’s no competing
- No profiles or ratings
- Private Slack group with other freelancers
AngelList focuses on remote and startup employment but has a customizable search filter suited for freelance contractors as well.
While you’ll hear time and time again to tailor your proposal to each new client, the idea with AngelList is to use just one application to apply to every job.
You can talk directly with big brands, like Twitch, Peloton, and Slack, too, without dealing with annoying third-party recruiters.
Plus, companies can find your profile directly and reach out to you if they’re interested.
It’s completely free to sign up and use, and since they’re a job board, there are no commission fees on your income.
How does AngelList differ from Upwork?
- Just a job board site—not a freelancing platform.
- No fees on earnings
- Focus on working with startup clients
Designhill is a massive creative marketplace, making it a viable option for freelancer designers looking for Upwork alternatives.
If you’re a designer who specializes in logos, infographics, t-shirts, and more, you’re likely to find an opportunity on Designhill.
They offer several tools in place to help you connect with clients and sell your designs quickly, including software to actually make designs.
Something that may not be so pleasing to designer’s ears is that they promise clients unlimited revisions with no extra charges.
However, it is completely free to use the site (though membership options are available). And if you’re active enough to make it to Pro Designer status, you’ll be able to get boosted, earn more, and even sell in their online print shop.
How does Designhill diff from Upwork?
- Graphic design focused
- Design contests for freelancers
- Ability to sell in their print shop
- 24/7 customer support
Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing platforms in the world, but there are several other freelance job sites like it for you to explore.
Hopefully, you’ll have a much better idea now about which websites like Upwork are available to you.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, knowing the best freelance websites can help you set up a reliable system to get new clients consistently and make a rewarding income.
There are several tools out there that can help you advance your freelancing career, so take your time, do your research, and enjoy the process.
If you’re completely fresh to the freelancing world and want to learn more, be sure to read my How to Start Freelancing article for 9 simple steps you can use to launch your career.