Toptal vs Guru

Toptal vs Guru Review


v s




Introduction To My Toptal vs Guru Blog Post

What did happen after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019? Many people lost their jobs. The financial structure of our world started changing very rapidly. We had to stay at home for days without doing anything. As a result, freelancing became the latest trend all over the world. People stayed at home and pursued their business. Of course, they were still working for an employer or a company. However, many others started to ask a straightforward question!

Why should I still work for an employer or company when I can work for myself? That's where many of them realized how important the idea of freelancing could be. Since a few decades ago, the idea of working remotely has been gradually built up. Now, the economy of the world is dependent on it. Are you interested in knowing about freelancing? Do you want to become a freelancer and work for yourself?

Don't worry! In this article, we are going to explain what freelancing is and who a freelancer is? Then, we will introduce you to two of the big names in the business. Toptal and Guru are very popular among freelancers. They offer the best freelancing jobs available for everybody to start their own business. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started.

What Is Freelancing?

Let's keep it simple. What is a normal job? Well, you get up every day at a certain time of the day and go to work. Then, you have to stay in your working area whether it's an office or outdoor for several hours. Next, at a certain time in the afternoon, you will get back home. That's it. You have to repeat this routine every day and sometimes take a few days off.

Of course, there are many disadvantages associated with doing this. Why would you need to do this to manage your time and start or finish your work whenever you like? This question gave people a straightforward idea! Freelancing! So, what is it?

Let me explain by showing you its differences from normal jobs. In freelancing, you work for a company or employer for a short period of time. You have the chance to change your job frequently. Also, you can work on different projects at the same time.

You are not fully attached to just one company and are allowed to manage your business yourself. You don’t need to get up at 6 am every day. Also, you can work for employers or companies even when they are in other cities or countries. As long as you do your job well, more customers come to you.

What Are The Benefits Of Freelancing?

Compared with the usual boring jobs, freelancing is much better financially, psychologically, and socially. Here are some of the benefits of freelancing:

  • You won't stop! The freelancing atmosphere is extremely competitive. So, to survive, you have to work day in, day out. It will give you the chance to learn new skills constantly.
  • You can take control of your life. You are allowed to do your work whenever you want.
  • You can escape from the physical boundaries to do what you have always dreamed about. There are many challenges and obstacles associated with normal jobs. For example, your dream job is in New York City, but you cannot afford to work in such an expensive city. However, as a freelancer, you have the opportunity to work for this company remotely.
  • When you deliver people's jobs, you will get all the credit. In normal jobs, the company you are working for will take all the credit, which is not fair.
  • You can do more freelancing jobs while you are at home or basically everywhere else but an office. You just need a laptop, phone, and high-speed internet. This will definitely improve your life quality as you spend more time with your family and friends while you are working.
  • I'm not going to say it will be easy and beneficial for you from the beginning. However, when you build your name and acquire fame, it could be a good source of money. This is true, especially with jobs that ordinary freelancers cannot do.


What Are The Disadvantages Of Freelancing?

Things as exciting as freelancing are not without challenges. Sometimes, these obstacles force people to consider getting back to their full-time jobs. Here are some of the negatives points you have to overcome if you want to be a successful freelancer.

  • Working is not a simple task. It lets you communicate with people and get social. However, there are no such opportunities available in freelancing as you are on your own. So, isolation might be an ever-present challenge for you.
  • You will not receive extra benefits associated with normal jobs, including vacation pay, health insurance, 401K, and other common perks.
  • You have to always think about your backup plan for the time of crisis. You can ask your colleagues to favour you by doing your stuff when you are sick or unavailable. However, you are the sole responsible person in the mind of your customers.
  • Projects and their deadline can get easily out of control. Sometimes, you are dying to get a project. But other times, you are burying yourself under four or five megaprojects. This fluctuation is always present with freelancing. A freelancer must be super good at prioritizing projects to benefit the most.
  • When people are dealing with a company, they will understand that it's closed on the weekends. With freelancers, I'm afraid they don’t accept. They expect you 24 hours seven days service. This could be very annoying, dealing with unreasonable customers.
  • Freelancers always complain about the lack of job security. That's why people are sometimes hesitant about joining the world of freelancing.
  • Administrative responsibilities, client development, as well as tax consequences are other challenges faced by new freelancers.


Freelance Websites

With the advent of the internet and social media, new doors were opened for freelancing. Freelancers used to complain that even with many skills, it's hard for them to find clients or projects. They needed somewhere to search for new freelancing job opportunities. That's exactly when freelancing websites rose.

They are basically places for people who are willing to find freelancing opportunities. Some of them are free, but others offer jobs when you pay the fee. So, what are the most popular jobs available on these websites? Here is a shortlist of jobs available for people if they want to do freelancing:

Coder Or Programmer

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are running. Currently, you will need a strong footprint. You have to have a user-friendly website, practical interface and so on to adsorb customers. A developer can do it for you. They usually turn code into graphic interfaces, working on databases, scripting, and architecture building. Python, Ruby, Java, and Swift are the most popular coding languages. So, a developer with the ability to work with these languages can earn a good amount of money.


Whatever you are doing, whether building up a website or a house, you will need a designer. Designing is one of the most demanding businesses across the world. You have to be able to present yourself in the market by having a professional portfolio. So, it might take a few years before you get well known.

Writer Or Copywriter

Writing and copywriting are also very demanding in the market. Do you know why? Because of the changes happening in people's behaviour. For example, people search on the internet before buying something. So, what should you do as a business? It's simple but very effective. You should create interesting and exciting content for people.

Let me give you an example. Imagine that you are running a travel agency trying to get more tours and passengers. If you hire a writer to create content about your country's most exciting areas, you offer information that you know people are looking for. Then, besides that piece of information, you indirectly invite them to buy from your agency.


This is one of the oldest freelancing jobs available. Although the money is not as high as programming, coding, or designing, you can learn it very fast. Also, as a translator, you will deal with too much text needed to be translated. So, you have to read them carefully. This is an extra benefit because you get informed when you translate.


People need this! You cannot avoid photography/videography. Birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoon, wedding, goodbye parties, you name them. Nowadays, people save every bit of their lives and can do it better than a professional photographer or videographer? You need to save some money for buying a professional camera and take one or two classes on professional photography.

SEO Professional

This is very easy to learn the job. With a good grasp of English and enthusiasm to learn and improve, you will get thousands of projects. SEO is vital for your business. It doesn’t matter if your business offers the best products or services when people cannot find you on the internet. An SEO expert will prepare content for you so that people can find you and get you visibility.

OK! Very well! So far, we have learned what freelancing is, who a freelancer is, what the pros and cons of freelancing are, and finally, what the most popular freelancing jobs are. From here on, we will focus on two freelance websites that have recently been very popular. These websites include Toptal and Guru. Let's start with a short review of Toptal, and then we jump into Guru.



Toptal is a private global remote company founded in 2010 by Taso Du Vai and Breanden Beneschott. Toptal's website is available internationally. It is a freelance website, especially for software engineers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers. Toptal is coming from two words, “top” and “talent.” I'm sure you have so many questions about this website. Let's review and try to answer them one by one.

Who Can Find Jobs On Toptal?

Toptal is a freelance website for professional freelancers with high skills. As Toptal announces it, they try to bridge the gap between the companies and talented people. People like software developers, product and project managers, financial experts, and designers can finally find their dream jobs.

What Are The Kind Of Projects Available On Toptal?

Developers can highly benefit from Toptal as it gives them a tremendous amount of options. For example, Angular, API, Front-End, IOS, Java, JavaScript, .NET, Node.js. PHP, Python, R, React.js, Ruby on Rails, WordPress, SQL, Web, and software developers can accept projects and deliver the job.

Also, designers have access to thousands of projects on Toptal. Brand, data visualization, digital, fintech, GUI, SaaS, sketch, UI, and UX designers find projects on the website. The same is true with Toptal finance experts, project managers, and product managers. As you can see, these projects are highly sophisticated and must be done by professionals. Interestingly, many programmers at Toptal teach programming to underprivileged children.


How Does Toptal Select Among Too Many Applicants?

Toptal claims that getting projects on their website is among the top three percent of their business. Well, how do they do that? How are they going to make sure applicants are good enough to deliver projects? Actually, Toptal has a very innovative screening process. That's how they can cut inappropriate people and end up with a few real professionals. Let's have a look at the selection process done by Toptal.

Five Steps of Screening Applicants On Toptal

Toptal needs to make sure that applicants pass the screening process designed by themselves. In the first step, Toptal focuses on the applicants' comprehensive English language and communication interview evaluation. They look for people with the highest level of work engagement. Interestingly, only 26.4% of the applicants can pass this first barrier.

Next, Toptal implements different analytical tools to assess applicants' knowledge and problem-solving ability. Only applicants who can produce exceptional results can go to the next round of screening. This is only 7.4% of the applicants. That's impressive. It seems that Toptal is highly selective concerning its applicants.

In the third step, Toptal screeners who are experts in their functional domain assess applicants' exercises, depth, communication ability, and creativity. 3.6% of the candidates can pass the screening process.

In the fourth stage, applicants are given a project. They have to deliver it in one to three weeks. It allows Toptal to test the applicants with real scenarios to see whether they can handle challenges and obstacles in the way.

In the end, there are only 3.2% of the applicants can meet the Toptal parameters. At last, Toptal starts giving the applicants different projects and rates them accordingly. There are only 3% of the applicants who reach this level. That's why Toptal claims that they hire the top 3%.

Who Are Toptal's Customers?

Many big names in the market are outsourcing their projects to Toptal. For example, Airbnb, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Thumbtack, Shopify, Duolingo, University of California, San Francisco, Motorola, Udemy, Priceline, Axel Springer, University of Colorado, Boulder, Commonband, KDDI, Lightspeed, Zendesk, Gucci, Dataxu, and the Union are some of the clients who have worked with Toptal.

For example, Toptal has developed a Virtual assistant to improve mental wellness for the University of Southern California. Or, they have designed a cross-platform app called Bridgestone or another app for the game called Avaliers.

What Do Freelancers Like About Working For Toptal?

Last year, Toptal contacted some of its freelancers, asking them what they like the most about working for Toptal. Here are some of the positive feedback they got.

  • Toptal has given people the opportunity to become full-time freelancers.
  • Toptal does everything to facilitate the relationship between freelancers and clients.
  • Toptal pays freelancers on time.
  • If freelancers deliver high-quality work, they will work with the same clients for years.
  • The community aspect of Toptal has helped freelancers to exchange and learn from their fellow freelancers.



Now, let's see what Guru is capable of. This is another large freelance website in the world. In the following sections, we are reviewing this website. So, if you want to compare Guru with Toptal, you can do it from this point.


What Is Guru?

Guru is a website for all employers and freelancers. It offers a flexible and secure environment where professionals build a community and deliver projects. The website has been running since 1998. As they have claimed on their website, their vision is to boost prosperity and peace for everyone.

What Types Of Freelance Jobs Are Available On Guru?

In contrast to Toptal, Guru is not just a website for designers, coders, and programmers. In fact, it offers more diverse projects. So, freelancers with different specialties can thrive on it and deliver projects.

They have a nice classification system on their website. Programming & Development, Writing & Translation, Design & Art, Administrative & Secretarial, Sales & Marketing, Business & Finance, Engineering & Architecture, Legal, and Education & Training are different classes in which freelancers can engage and earn money.



Benefits Of Guru For Employers

Guru is one of the most interactive places for employers. Amazingly, they access more than two million experts. Also, they can post a job without paying anything. Moreover, if you as an employer are dealing with large projects, you can outsource them to more than one freelancer at the same time. A feature called WorkRooms in Guru lets you do that.

Sometimes, employers are not completely happy with the final work. It needs some changes and revisions. The good thing is that you have to pay for the work only when you are 100% satisfied with it. Not to mention that Guru offers one of the cheapest fees in the market.

Benefits Of Guru For Freelancers

The jobs available on Guru are not limited to certain categories. It has jobs for everyone with different skills. You can choose how to receive the payment. As we said in the above-mentioned section, the WorkRooms feature helps you communicate more efficiently with other people working on the same project. Your payment is going to be paid by SafePay before you start working. Again, Guru offers the lowest fee of all top freelance marketplaces.

Besides, with Guru, freelancers never stay without a project. In fact, you are receiving nearly 300 bids annually. Your rank will improve every time an employer checks your resume. Also, if you become a paying member, you will communicate with potential employers directly.

What Are The Membership Plans?

There are five membership plans: Basic, Basic+, Professional, Business, and Executive (free, 11.95, 21.95, 33.95, and 49.95 dollars per month, respectively). The good thing is that there are many features for all plans, not just paid ones. The number of bids per month, Job Q&A, Sales Messages, and Interlink Personal Site is some of Guru's features.



We are living in the age of technology! This is how we have been able to stay at home and do our job. A few years ago, it was just a simple and innovative idea to work as a freelancer without serious attachment to any company. It was considered a win-win situation for both employers and workers. Now, freelancing is an essential part of the economy of the world.

Here, in this article, we first talked about freelancing and then explained Toptal and Guru. Both are two of the most popular freelance website in the market. Toptal is a bit more specialized, offering only very technical and specific projects.

However, Guru is more general than Toptal, providing a range of easy to complicated projects. Here, we explained their structure and some useful information for everyone who is thinking of joining them. I hope you find this article helpful. Don’t forget to look for our new updates. Take care.



I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experiences, remarks, and/or suggestions about this Toptal vs Guru review in the comments section below. You can also reach me by email at


You might also be interested in the following blog posts:

The 10 Best Freelance Websites vs PeoplePerHour – An Honest Review

SimplyHired vs iFreelance – A Quality Review

An Honest Wealthy Affiliate Review


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *