How to Build an Upwork Clone App in 2022? Everything You Need to Know!

Upwork has over 7 million registered users and 12 million registered clients. This enormous clientele offers over 100,000 jobs across various skills on the platform. In 2021, the freelancing giant made over USD 75 million from remote contractors in the US alone – something that justifies business entrepreneurs’ inclination to build an Upwork clone app. 

Now, wait, that’s just Upwork! Let’s take a glimpse at the global freelance market. As per Verified Market Research, the freelance marketplace was valued at USD 3.8 billion in 2020. And that’s not all! Growing at a CAGR of 15.02%, it is expected to swell over USD 12 billion from 2021 to 2028.

global freelance market                                                                                              Verified Market Research

These are some amazing statistics for an ambitious entrepreneur like you to start their freelance marketplace. Read on the blog to get a thorough insight into making an app like Upwork.

8 Steps to Develop a Freelance Marketplace like Upwork

Here’s a roadmap to a freelancing app or website. 

Choose a Niche for your Services

It’s a bit difficult to cater to a large segment of remote contractors, especially when you are starting off. It’s better if you begin with a small niche market. Take the example of 99designs. It is specifically aimed at designers. This allows you to thoroughly understand your audience and build an Upwork clone app with their needs in sight. 

Select a Marketplace Business Model

Even if it’s your dream to make a freelance marketplace like Upwork or Fiverr, it’s still a business. To run any business successfully, you need to have a robust business model. 

  • What will be your sources of revenue stream? 
  • How much will you charge a freelancer and job provider?

Here are some go-to marketplace business models to kickstart your business.

Service Fees

It’s one of the go-to ways to make consistent revenue from each sale that takes place on your freelance platform. You can either charge flat fees or percentage-based fees. For instance, here’s how Upwork charges service fees from its users.

Upwork revenue model - fee structure

Subscription Model

A subscription model can help generate a constant stream of income in the form of membership payments. For that, you can entertain different subscription plans based on features and services. Name them as basic, business, and enterprise plan based on their prices and functionalities.

It’s a far better option to entertain considering you are not depending on one-time payments that will be responsible for the revenue. 

Transaction Fees

From vendor earnings to membership processing, you get paid a small fee for every financial transaction that happens on the freelance platform. Upwork charges a 3% processing fee for each service provider.

Sponsored Features

The sponsored promotions revenue model either uses a featured product or business profile at the top of job listings. This method offers additional exposure to the advertisers.

Third-party Advertisement

You can also allow third-party advertisers to run ad campaigns on your freelancing platform. To do so, use cost-for-impressions, pay-per-click, and cost-per-post among various advertising models.

Finalize your Requirements

Make a shortlist of all the things you need before the app design and development start on a full scale. Not only this will save you a ton of time but will give you clarity of the whole process.

Design the Application 

Once you are done with the prerequisites for a freelance app like Upwork, you can start working on the visual aspect of your online freelance marketplace. It also includes the UX/UI design of the application. 

Build a Prototype

A prototype version of a freelance marketplace like Upwork will give you an insight into the look and feel of the final product. It includes rapid testing of the prototype with real users. Further, the developers use their feedback to improve the application further. 

One of the positives of building a prototype is that it’s cheap and doesn’t require a lot of coding as the final product.  


Whether you create a website like Upwork or a mobile application, testing is an important part of quality assurance. Moreover, it helps to improve the quality and performance of the system and check whether it’s working on both IOS and Android devices.  

Launch the app 

Before you could launch Upwork clone app, a lot of testing, correcting loopholes, and debugging goes into improving the final product.  

5 Ways to Excel in Freelance Marketplace

Even when you have a brilliant idea to start a freelance app like Upwork, the current freelance market is full of established names. So to stand out in such a competitive environment, here are some go-to tips to build a freelance marketplace like Upwork.

Also, check out our recent blog on how it costs to build an app like Upwork.

Perform a thorough market analysis

A thorough analysis of the freelance market will help you understand your competitors’ services and why they are excelling in this business. Moreover, you will be able to find out loopholes in the way they offer services. And if you find any, use it to your advantage and offer a better solution.

Know your target audience

Figure out where your target audiences are struggling in the way they are using already available services. Also, check if there’s a niche of users that are unavailable on the platform. You can provide services to these neglected users and make the most of them.  

Make your services different from the rest

Significant the reason for freelance users to use your services instead of the established names, better the chances of your success. Make sure you are offering better services than the rest. For instance, you can develop an online marketplace that only targets content creators. 

Consider various business models

There isn’t one specific freelance marketplace business model that you should go for! It highly depends on the services and convenience you provide to your users.

  • If you are planning to offer some extraordinary services to your target audience, you may entertain 100% paid access. 
  • Alternatively, you can generate revenue from the services fee paid on the platform among other ways.

Offer innovative technologies & features

You can always add some interesting features that improve the way user benefits from them. It could be an integration of an AI chatbot that improves user experience or some project management tool that eases workflow. 

Final Thoughts

There has never been a better time to invest in any innovative freelance marketplace idea than today! How so? Let’s understand that using freelance marketplace situation in the US. 

More than half of the US working population will be working as freelancers. If the current growth rate of freelancers continues, almost 51% of the US population will indulge in freelance work by 2027. 

Now, the above stats make this decade a golden time to create your ambitious freelance marketplace. Speaking of building an app like Upwork clone app, you can garner support from our expert app development team at Code Brew.

Having built over 10,000 apps for various industries like the online freelance marketplace, on-demand ride-sharing, social media, and online food delivery, among many others, we can help you make your dream – a reality!

Contact us today to get a free demo!

August 26, 2022



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