If you’re looking to make some money on the side or transition fully to a self-directed freelance role, you’re probably evaluating the best freelance websites for beginners to register with. And there’s a pretty big upside to getting this right. According to Refinery29, “the UK’s average day rate is £129.85. That’s equivalent to an annual salary of £33,111.75, which is slightly higher than the UK’s average full-time salary of £31,460.” So, if you’re going to start building up your client list, here’s our pick for the best freelance websites for beginners:
Upwork is the largest freelancer community on this list, so you’re bound to find some clients. They have good overall ratings and act as a trusted platform within the marketplace. Everything is sorted into disciplines, so it makes it easy to choose a niche. However, freelancers pay a membership fee, some transaction fees and more to be on the platform; so it’s not one of the more affordable options out there. You are very likely to win work however as that’s the whole purpose of this website.
Gaining a lot of traction online in viral videos, Fiverr is popular because it’s billed as super affordable. So, if you have a skill like graphic design where you can work on volume, this might be the site for you. Sellers get 80% of the gig price, so it may have fewer fees than some other entrants. However, buyers are looking for a bargain on Fiverr, so it might not be the place for thousand-pound contracts. Cheap and cheerful is the name of the game here.
The dominant freelancer website in the UK, PeoplePerHour sorts talent into subcategories and allows for the booking of small and large contracts. As such, you’re able to win little hourlies and £10k contracts on the same website. However, both you and the buyer pay fairly large fees for this until you are high enough tier. At that point, the seller’s fees are reduced. So, it pays to build your client base here to pay less over time.
A skills exchange as opposed to a traditional marketplace, StarterBarter is unique on this list. Designed to create introductions between professionals who have services each other needs, StarterBarter is less transactional than Fiverr or PPH. Here, no money is exchanged. It’s a straight barter of skills for skills as freelancers create profitable relationships. It’s one of the best freelance websites for beginners if you want to trade your skills to get things you need like a website made, social setup and more.
More of a task website, CrowdSource offers a pool of freelancers (like you) as worker bees for individual tasks. The work is briefed by clients and assigned to a working group. These workers complete the task and the work is checked before a payment is made. Not ideal for building your own brand, but CrowdSource could provide income on slower days when you’re just not winning contracts. Since it’s more of a traditional workforce model, you’ll find the pay and roles are more structured than on other platforms.
While you’re probably surprised to see LinkedIn on this list, it does have a robust services marketplace. This allows you to create your own service offering page, showcase your work and collect reviews for your freelancing skills. However, since it’s not really known for this, you’ll likely need to pay to promote your profile or become very active in direct outreach to effectively monetise this channel. But you might find these methods cheaper than other platforms overall or simply treat it as a supplemental platform to a more bespoke website like Fiverr or StarterBarter.
Not specifically a freelancer website, Gumtree does offer local services where you can find anything from a hairdresser to a web designer. The website is free to list on at a basic level and then there are ways for you to boost the visibility of your job offer via various paid methods. Traffic to the website is generally good, but since services are a secondary offering, it’s not quite as popular for those types of postings. Gumtree works best for freelancers as a supplement to other platforms.