We cover both sides (the freelancer's as well as the buyer's perspective) in this in-depth review of PeoplePerHour.
Let's start with the freelancer's side:
PeoplePerHour from the Freelancer’s Perspective
Working from home can seem like the dream role to some, but in the modern age, freelancing is quickly becoming a more viable way of living, especially given some of the full-time work contracts available.
However, I also learned that there were a lot of nefarious “companies” looking for content writers, that for the most part were acting as middlemen, making contracts confusing and unrealistic.
It soon becomes clear that working via an official freelancer has its perks, but there can still be some hurdles to overcome if entering the world of freelancing blind.
I had been working as a freelance writer since 2012 and started out with the normal example articles and portfolio pieces which were great from experience but did little to pay the bills.
I tried Elance (today it's Upwork.com) next, and while there was plenty of work available, there seems to be a slew of work that was very low paid with high demands.
Although this was ideal for building up feedback, it wasn’t the most suitable platform in relation to making a profitable living.
The platform (at least at the time) seemed to do little to monitor these instances, meaning that a lot of freelancers could be taken advantage of.
It also meant that genuine clients could be put in touch with freelance writers who may not be as skilled as they say they are.
Granted, the experience that can be obtained can be worthwhile, but it’s important to ensure that freelancers have some sense of value, otherwise many could find that they’re not performing at their best.
Becoming frustrated, I decided to use another platform that had gained positive reviews, and this was PeoplePerHour.
Although the registration process was a little more strict than similar platforms, there are more elements in place to ensure that freelancers aren’t exploited.
The Registration Process
When starting out on PeoplePerHour, how you create your account can make all the difference as to whether you’re accepted as a freelancer or not.
For example, if you were to simply fill in the most basic details, then it’s likely the registration will be rejected, so even the registration process could be considered a sales pitch. However, when entering the site, it becomes abundantly clear as to why PPH are only looking for genuine talent.
One of the first things I noticed was how keen PPH was to ensure that there was a fair price put in place when it comes to forwarding proposals.
One of the many obstacles I would face on other freelance platforms if the fact the many bids could be undercut easily, meaning that to be able to win work, you would often be working at exploitative rates.
The model in place at PPH also ensures that for much of the time, you’re only dealing with official business owners.
This ensures that much of the work is handled professionally without hindrance.
Finding Work on PeoplePerHour
When registering for the platform, I was informed by PPH that I would have to fulfil some orders by a specific date.
Of course, this can be stressful initially, but it makes sense for a platform that wants to have an active community.
I did find that following the first couple of orders, work started to flow in rapidly. Although not much of my income, it’s safe to assume that 50% of my income derives from the platform each month.
Bidding on projects can be hit and miss, but if you have skills then can be offered as a one-off service, in my case 500-word articles, then you can create offers that can be purchased on the platform.
Essentially, if you have the skills you say you do, then there should be little reasons as to why you shouldn’t be able to source work.
One of the things I do like about PPH is the use of its algorithm. In short, the more work you complete, the more potential there is for your profile to rise among the ranks, so obtaining work is much easier if you ensure that the quality and delivery times are adhered to.
Freelancers using the PPH platform for the first time may find that there is less work available initially and get started can be a bit slow. However, once you have gained momentum on the platform, there always seems to be a steady influx of work.
I’m a freelance writer so can only offer an option on this niche, those operating in different sectors may have a completely different experience.
From what I’ve experienced so far, PeoplePerHour does a good job of matching buyers and sellers and for the most part, offers a pleasurable working experience.
Communication on PeoplePerHour
As a freelancer, there are different funnels in which you receive work.
Some are in the form of offer, which is essentially one-off and other work is won using a bidding system.
How successful you are in relation to a bid can depend on several different factors, and in most instances, the bid could be rejected with no explanation as to why.
This may seem a little rude to those new to the platform, but there are freelancers who “flood” different bids in order to win work.
This means that can be a series of proposals from freelancers with different skill sets from different parts of the world, so in some instances, it could be problematic replying to everyone.
One drawback is that each bid uses up “Proposal Credits” which are essentially issued each month. Freelancers are free to purchase more, but in all honesty, the best way to get work is to show examples and offer value for money.
Once a workstream is activated, it allows the two parties to communicate. These are great in concept, but the messages move around depending on who sent the last message.
Given the amount of multitasking that needs to be undertaken when using the platform, it’s a shame that some form of work management system hasn’t been introduced.
The communication options are manageable, but you’re essentially tied to the PPH platform, which means that workflow can hit forks in the road at times.
One addition to PPH of late has been the de-ranking of a freelancer’s profile if they don’t respond to questions sent to their inbox. Although this is understandable when it comes to genuine clients, it can mean that in some instances that freelancers must contend with SPAM messages, otherwise, they could find that their profile ranking is lowered.
However, I have also noticed that when it comes to unscrupulous users of the platform, PeoplePerHour has been very proactive in safeguarding freelancers.
Getting Paid on PeoplePerHour: The Benefits
One of the most worrying aspects among freelancers such as myself is the concept of being paid.
My early days of freelancing meant that I was a little wet behind the ears and put trust into avenues that in hindsight, were the most secure.
However, PeoplePerHour offers a truly secure way of holding onto funds, as well as an effective system should any disputes arise.
For the most part, this has worked efficiently, and funds are generally deposited quickly. I have also had instanced were those with nefarious intentions have placed an order on the PPH platform, and then attempted to do a chargeback via PayPal.
Fortunately, PeoplePerHour was able to spot this quickly, so this aspect of the service does give freelancer that peace of mind that their hard work is never undone by those trying to manipulate the service.
Getting Paid on PeoplePerHour: The Drawbacks
Although the pros outweigh the cons, it’s still worth highlighting some of the drawbacks when it comes to getting paid.
I operate in the United Kingdom, which is where PeoplePerHour is also situated. Despite the pay-outs being regular and fast, there is a cut off time.
All payment requests need to be made by 12:00 p.m. GMT and if you’re late, then you will have to wait until the following day to receive your funds.
It’s also worth noting that PPH doesn’t have support at the weekend, so payments are only made Monday to Friday.
The commission made can also be a little overwhelming, due to as much as 20% being taken for each invoice.
Recent changes have meant that 20% is only charged on the first £500. After this, amounts between £501 to £4500 have a reduced rate of 7.5% and anything over £4500 by 3.5%.
The rates work in relation to each buyer. So, if a client was to purchase work that amounted to £6000, the increments would be broken down as above.
Any work after this with the same buyer remains at 7.5%. Should you undertake work with a new client, then you will be charged afresh.
While straightforward in practice, it can be more time-consuming when it comes to offering a quote.
As well as the fees paid on PPH, I also have to pay a withdrawal-free to PayPal, as well as conversion rate with foreign currency.
As such, it’s not long before I’m having to carry out some calculations to finally determine the final amount that will be received.
Once you’re used to the inner workings of PPH, this doesn’t really pose a problem, but those becoming familiar with the platform for the first time could find it all a little confusing.
There are also procedures in place that ensure that freelancers are who they say they are, but when this relates to freelancers, it can mean funds up being held until documents have been provided to ensure authenticity.
The process is often actioned quickly, but there have been times when documents have been refused, despite them meeting the requirements dictated in the original request.
It can also mean that freelancers become tied up with admin while still trying to meet the requirements of the platform.
I’ve never been in a position when everything has become out of control, but it can be overwhelming at times should there be requests made during a busy spell.
Overview: Should Freelancers Use PeoplePerHour?
The use of freelance platforms such as PeoplePerHour has always split opinion. I feel that they offer a great way of partnering business with freelancers, and there always seems to be plenty of work available.
Some of the concerns are understandable. For example, it can seem like a lot is paid in relation to the commission, but then you are given the opportunity to work with some fascinating people, so it depends what you’re looking to achieve.
I personally have worked on a series of brilliant projects, and some of the concerns I have had with the platform seem to be addressed in later updates.
Payouts can be confusing and work management isn’t its best, but with some additional elbow grease, these slight hindrances can be overcome.
As a freelancer, I’ve used the PeoplePerHour platform for several years and can honestly say that I can see how both the pros and cons can affect someone’s decision to use it.
However, those who are new to the world of freelancing could do a lot worse than PeoplePerHour. There may be commissions in place but obtaining work will be much easier than going it alone.
Some of the obstacles I face could be subjective, meaning that the inner workings of PeoplePerHour could be more beneficial to those with a different way of working.
The clients, for the most part, are genuine business owners with realistic goals and a clear understanding.
Unfortunately, there can be instances where a freelancer and a business can’t agree on a way forward, which is where PPH can come in useful, as it will make a decision based on the facts available.
Those new to the world of freelancing can find that there’s a lot of traction once you’ve obtained some positive traction, but it’s important to include as much information as possible and ensure that examples are the best they can be, otherwise, you could face numerous application rejections.
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Hi – I’m Tim, the founder of Online Business Dude. I run a couple of websites, but here I openly share what works when it comes to starting and growing online businesses. I specialize in content marketing, SEO and PPC, always value first and performance-focused. Let’s get in touch & stay awesome!