Freelancing bares some similarities to Formula 1: a good start is everything, and you must choose teams wisely. In all seriousness, finding the perfect work environment is crucial for your freelancing career: pegging down to a freelance platform that offers poor gigs, low payouts or has a terrible service fee structure could very well kill your spirit, eventually driving you away from home office work.
Therefore wanting to know which freelance site is the best for you is a more than legitimate question. Although our site reflects the findings of freelancing experts and fellow freelancers, it’s always a good thing to turn to the general public for an opinion – in our case, Reddit. And since ‘Redditors know it best’, we decided to create this collection of colorful opinions found on Reddit.
Freelance Sites Are Flea Markets?
Naturally, there are plenty of discussions dedicated to freelancing where the most experienced freelancers on the market debate the best work strategies, as well as help newcomers with their advices. But not when it comes to freelance sites, as those can stir up quite a storm.
In fact, storm is a huge understatement: the majority of Redditors is downright vile towards freelancing sites, particularly Upwork. Past users of the site resent the poor service quality and the high fees charged on each successful gig, with a Redditor in particular calling the payment process a nightmare that might even take weeks.
Still, the biggest criticism Upwork and its peers received was their ‘race the bottom’ policy – the concept when the freelancer offering the lowest prices takes it all. What these sites fail to realize, however, is that they inevitably enter a downward spiral of quality loss by promoting the idea of bidding with your wage, which manifests in a swarm of freelancers who work for literal pennies, but otherwise present rushed out, half-baked results. In simpler words, decent freelancers are constantly outbid by fakers, ruining their chances of landing a starting gig and setting their foot.
The Other Side of the Coin
Although the common consensus on Reddit is that you get better paying jobs if you start your own business or build a private network of clients, there are still some Redditors who genuinely believe in freelance sites. Most of them acknowledge the existence of the completely wrong ‘race to the bottom’ policy, but they also point out that if you have a strong portfolio that speaks for itself, you can convince companies to hire you.
Redditors suggest newcomers to resist the temptation of quick paying jobs and instead specialize on quality projects that take a lot of time but pay better as well. Not to mention that if you manage to get a name for yourself on the market, you don’t need to bother with the bottom of the barrel anymore.
One more thing worth mentioning is that according to Reddit design contest websites, like crowdSPRING, are free of the problems poisoning Upwork and co, because winning freelancers are always judged by their service quality and not the payroll.
Not Everything Is Black or White
Listening to the public’s opinion regarding freelance websites is often useful, but on Reddit be prepared for some not so subtle controversy. We can’t help but feel that most Redditors are seriously biased, since some of the naysayers of freelance websites always recommend the job board on Reddit. This is not surprising at all; what is, however, is the fact that most people are unaware of freelance sites other than Upwork and Freelancer.com – hence why the names Fiverr, Guru.com, Toptal, PeoplePerHour or 99designs areren’t even mentioned in any of the discussions.
So the moral of the story is that Reddit is a fine source of information, but it doesn’t substitute review pages offering a much wider perspective on freelancer websites in the forms of thorough reviews or comparison articles.
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