One option available to freelance writers, editors, or any other service type freelance workers, is the U.K. based website, People Per Hour. This freelancing portal is just one of the many third party sites that are designed to connect employers and small businesses with freelancers looking for work.
This type of arrangement works for employers because they can post smaller jobs and hire extra workers, for one small project, a day, or even a week, that would normally be done by a staff person. It’s helpful for new freelancers because it makes it easier to find clients who are looking for project help.
PeoplePerHour is a website where freelancers can not only browse through and bid on jobs that are posted by employers but can also choose to promote their services by posting an ad displaying their skills along with a price. This promotional service is a valuable way for freelancers to get themselves out there, putting their talents in front of employers.
Getting Started with PeoplePerHour
PeoplePerHour does not charge its freelancers for registering and setting up a profile. The process of setting up a profile is similar to other third party freelance sites. One of the things I didn’t care for about the getting started process for PeoplePerHour was that it was mandatory profile completion.
Many of the profile fields were required in order to continue to the next section. You could not set up a user profile without providing a phone number, something I really hate to give out unless it’s absolutely warranted. In addition, you had to complete the profile fields in sequence to move on to the next one.
The fact that I couldn’t jump around and fill in the information that I knew off the top of my head and then come back and fill in information that took more time, like my resume and skills listing, was frustrating. There was also no way to skip a section. One of the sections is “References” and you are required to connect to either your Facebook or LinkedIn account or add external website links to your blog, website, or a website with your work on it. I feel this did not need to be a required section.
The final section of the profile is a personalization section. It requires you to submit a video or audio recording telling buyers about your skills. Apparently, profiles that include video messages will receive priority over those without video. You can opt to switch to a text document if you wish. Unlike other third party sites, you could browse jobs but cannot submit any bids until you have fully completed the profile sections.
There are also sections to verify your identity, verify your payment methods, and to set your availability. It does save your profile as you fill it out so you don’t have to start over when you return but you cannot access anything on the site other than to browse jobs if your profile is not 100% complete.
One feature I did think was unique to PeoplePerHour as I’ve not seen it on other third party sites is their referral program. Apparently if you refer a friend to their website via a link they give you, you can earn $45 for each person you refer who actually completes their first project on the site.
Browsing for Jobs
Once you’ve completed your profile, you can start browsing the job postings to find jobs you’d like to bid on. PeoplePerHour includes job postings in the following categories:
One feature I did like was that there are several categories beneath “Writing” including:
- Blog Posts
- Company Profiles
- Report Writing
- Screen and Script Writing
- Editing and Proofreading
- Website Content
- CV & Cover Letter
- Ghost Writing
- Company Profile
- Creative Writing
- Email & Newsletter
- Technical Writing
At the time of my review PeoplePerHour had limited jobs compared to other freelance sites. There were only about 400 jobs posted under the writing category which is far less than other third party freelance sites. I did like the option of searching for jobs based on an entry level, intermediate, and expert. This made it easy to weed out the lower paying projects and focus on the higher paying ones. There were approximately 100 expert level jobs listed but only 3 had been posted in the last 24 hours on the day that I did my review.
I think being able to sort by these categories would be a great time saver for freelancers because you could quickly search for beginner screen and script writing projects for example or expert technical writing jobs. This saves freelancers time by enabling them to quickly look at those jobs that are best suited for them.
Cost & Fees
With your free membership, you can bid on up to 15 jobs per month. Although it’s not impossible to get started this way, most new freelancers will find they need to bid on more than 15 jobs each week. PeoplePerHour does allow you to purchase additional bids at a cost of $6.50 for just 5 bids. If you are just getting started, I recommend you keep applications to at least 15 jobs out there at all times. Compared to other third party freelance sites, PeoplePerHour is higher so keep that in mind.
Most third party sites charge a commission fee of up to 20% on any income that you earn as a freelancer. This is normal and it’s how they make money. PeoplePerHour charges only 15% commission for the first $280 earned from each client monthly. After that initial amount from each client in the month, the fee drops to 3.5% for anything billed and paid by the same client in that month. That sounds pretty good considering other third party sites like Freelancer and Upwork charge 20% or more commission fee until you earn a specific amount from one client.
One warning if you do decide to try PeoplePerHour make sure that you understand service fee tier completely and the consequences if your account becomes inactive. Some users indicated that when their account was inactive for more than six months, they were charged an “admin fee” which was not returned once they became active again.
I did appreciate the flexibility to use several different methods for withdrawing funds from PeoplePerHour. It appears they support Paypal, Payoneer, and Skrill in addition to Bank and ACH Bank (U.S. only) accounts.
I’ve not had personal experience with the customer service of PeoplePerHour but based on the reviews that are out there, it appears that the main complaints are over freelancer payments. Complaints include freelancer payments that seem to have just disappeared even though the client paid and work was completed, freelancer payments being withheld without a clear reason, a security hold period for payments that is longer than it is supposed to be, and refunds to employers being given during disputes with no chance for the freelancer to contest.
There were several freelancers who claimed that their accounts had been closed without any concrete reason at all once they had significant earnings in their account. Attempts to contact customer service appear to go unanswered, although one reviewer said you can get a response quicker by going through the PeoplePerHour Facebook page.
PeoplePerHour seems to have some good features as far as their referral program, the ability to filter to search listings, and their option to create a freelance service ad. The charge for purchasing bids above the 15 free ones could be prohibitive if you aren’t successful in getting work from those extra bids.
In this case, I have to recommend extreme caution in using the site because of the numerous complaints about freelancers actually getting their earnings. No freelancer can afford to expend time and energy finding work and completing the work and then not get paid. If you choose to give PeoplePerHour a try, withdraw funds as quickly as possible rather than letting them accumulate. I wouldn’t recommend relying on PeoplePerHour for all your income, as there are many other sites out there that have more stable reputations, including Upwork and Freelancer.