Ah, dear freelancers. I know your pain when it comes to finding a meaningful job. I know that the gig economy can often feel unfair and that the deck is stacked against you. Don’t despair, though. The real trick to getting anywhere as a freelancer is fighting back, and by using every available tool in your arsenal to make something of yourself.
What’s your biggest weapon, though? What’s your trump card? Job sites. Having a good portfolio of job listings at your fingertips makes being a freelancer easier than ever before, so we’re going to show you the 15 best jobs websites for freelancers.
Props for the original name. What makes Elance stand out from the crowd of other freelance websites is that it aims to cut the chaff that makes being a freelancer annoying sometimes. While an ideal freelance situation involves just you and the client, some sites get in the way of that to the detriment of all parties. Elance attempts to remove the middleman as much as possible, and just let you get on with your work.
Payment protection is an active part of Elance’s appeal too. Freelancers will always have one client that tries to weasel out of paying for the work, but Elance does its very best to ensure you are paid correctly and on time.
For the competitive amongst you, Freelancer is the ideal website you should be searching for clients through. You have the chance to prove yourself and actively compete against other prospective freelancers for a job. If you’ve been doing freelance work for a long time, you can definitely find a market that values your experience. Inversely, if you do high-quality work but haven’t been in the industry long, you can still prove to a client that you do good stuff regardless of experience.
The competitive nature of the site isn’t for everyone, but in a lot of cases, you’ll find it helps to level the playing field in many instances where experience generally would rule.
If you’re looking for more longstanding project work rather than flash in the pan small stuff, this site is for you. With hundreds of specialist projects on offer, you can play to your strengths and get yourself regular work. In the freelancing industry, that’s an incredibly exciting prospect. It almost adds an unseen level of job security that most freelancers never get to experience.
Choose your projects wisely, though. It’s always best to be passionate about something if you’re going to be working on it for an extended period of time, so do your homework before you commit to anything.
Still, don’t just think because you’ve got a whole world of job listings ahead of you that things are going to be easy. You’re not the only one that’s realized a healthy market of potential clients can help improve your earnings. There’s still a degree of bartering and providing your personal quality involved, but that’s a topic for another article.
Freelance Writing Gigs
If you relish the written word and can turn your creativity on and off like a spigot, this site is for you. With a broad range of topics to write about and clients to work for, if you’re an ace at writing this is the place to check out. Admittedly, you’re not always going to be able to write about things you’re passionate about, but few freelancers rarely can.
Instead, you’re going to have to “act” through your writing, enticing your reader to get engaged in whatever you’ve got to say. Keeping it interesting even if the subject doesn’t move you is an acquired talent you’ll certainly build as a freelance writer. The phrase “beggars can’t be choosers” rings true here, and it’ll be up to you to develop a style that doesn’t bore you or the reader.
Demand Media goes beyond what a lot of freelancing websites dare to offer. It goes beyond web projects and writing content, and moves into more ambitious creative fare of photography, fiction writing, and even filmmaking. Be warned, there are some seriously talented players lurking on sites like Demand Media. These are pros who know every trick in the book and are trying to position themselves as a go-to individual for creative freelancing work.
Don’t let that deter you, though. Different clients have different needs, and some may very much be willing to give you a break and prove yourself through your work. Not all clients will be immediately rushing to hire the most successful individuals on the site.
There should be a disclaimer when it comes to using Toptal; it’s not for rookies. Toptal markets itself as a place where seasoned freelancers can try taking their skills to the next level with more ambitious, important, and occasionally better-paying jobs. If you think you can hang with the big boys, by all means, go and join Toptal.
The site also puts a strong focus on career advancement and offers networking and training events. This is more than just a jumped up jobs board, so you should treat it as such. When you’ve had a year or so seeing how this freelancing gig works, then you might want to explore Toptal more.
The online Mecca for digital designers. There’s only one problem, you’re going to be up against many, many competing freelancers aiming to lure the same clients you are. Some of them are going to be swooped up immediately by the more experienced amongst you. So what can you do about that?
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, many clients will hold open design contests, giving you a free shot at proving yourself. You may not win your first competition, but over time your skills will improve, and you’ll start to get noticed all the same. If you’re a relentless trier, this site is perfect for you and your persistence.
Ah, old Craigslist has been around for freelancer forever. It’s practically the grandfather of all the similar sites that came after. While these days it’s mostly known for buying and selling (sofas of dubious cleanliness, mainly), you’ll still find the jobs and personals board fairly active, and that they can give new freelancers a start.
You won’t make a career on Craigslist, but it’s an easy way to get yourself into the industry and get established. Bare in mind, you’re bound to run into a few weird offers while trawling Craigslist, so don’t get suckered into a job that isn’t going to work out well for you.
If getting hired hinges on how you display your work to prospective clients, then Guru is the site for you. Guru has a design mantra that has a heavy emphasis on how your work looks, and how you show it. There are many options for putting your best digital foot forward with clients by showing off your prized works.
It’s usually ideal to keep your sample works limited to your very best offerings, but try to be as diverse with what you show as you can. Guru attracts many different kinds of clients, so it’ll be important to show off your range of skills.
Does exactly what it says on the tin, and is heavily based on web projects. You don’t even have to be a tech-head to participate here either, as there are a wealth of clients looking for design and writing based freelancing work. The web economy is broader and more diverse than you may think, and there are plenty of clients looking for someone to fill their content void. That someone could be you.
Don’t expect to be making the big bucks early on. It’ll take time to prove yourself qualified for the more extensive, well-paying freelance gigs on here. It’ll be worth it once you get there, though, trust me.
If you’re looking for a set of comprehensive tools for your freelancing work, then look no further. SimplyHired supports a broad range of freelancing jobs, both online and offline. If you want to diversify the work you do or earn a bit of supplemental income, SimplyHired has the infrastructure you need to find jobs that fit your skill set.
Straight out of College with absolutely no idea what to do with yourself? You’re not alone. College Recruiter is exactly for people like you. While it’s not a place where you’ll ever make a long standing career for yourself, it’s a valuable launch pad to take you in the right direction. When you’re right out of College with no direction, the structure of freelancing can be a good way of acclimatizing to the world of work without giving up too much of your free time just yet.
In short, it’s a nice way to enjoy yourself while earning money. Of course, you’ll have to up your game in freelancing to make any serious cash, or check out and try to find yourself a regular day job, but who wants to do that anyway?
iFreelance doesn’t have much going for it compared to other sites, except for one critical factor. You get to keep the total amount of your earnings. While other freelance websites don’t usually take a large cut of your profits, it adds up the more jobs you do. With iFreelance, you get paid what you’re owed, no ifs, no buts.
The cut you’re saving from going to the freelancing website can easily stack up if you’re doing enough work, which should give you more than enough incentive to try it out.
The primary benefit of Upwork? It boasts upwards of 1.5 million clients. That’s not a number to sniff at. A low number of clients is a death knell for a freelancing site, so I’m sure we can all be pleased Upwork has been able to attract so many and become a major player in helping freelancers find jobs.