Freelancing: Your Most Valuable Tools

Creating Accounts on Freelancing Sites

If you intend to make any kind of cash freelancing on the Web, you’ll need to a create profile on at least one of the major freelancing sites. For many freelancers, a single site will eventually stand out as the best option—the one with the most jobs and the highest-paying contracts. But, especially when you first start out, I recommend putting yourself on as many venues as possible. The more potential projects you have to bid on, the better your chances are for landing jobs.

The Dedicated Freelancing Sites

Although there are dozens more freelancing sites that you can find through a Google search of the Web, here are the top ones that currently make up the majority of the online freelancing business. Set up accounts on these sites and you’ll be assured of having a large number of projects to choose from at any given time.

Upwork

Upwork (formerly known as Elance and Odesk) is the largest freelancing site on the Web with a network of thousands of freelancers and clients.

Upwork operates by charging you a 20% fee for the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts with them, 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000, and 5% for total billing swith your client that exceed $10,000.

If you plan on getting started with Upwork, you will almost have to provide low-cost projects for a short while to build up a reputation. The majority of clients on this site will expect hourly rates, though you can bid on fixed-rate projects. Stay clear of hourly rates for anything that doesn’t make sense hourly. Writing, design work, and small coding projects should probably be done at a fixed rate. Many freelancers in these fields find they get paid less for hourly work.

That said, Upwork has a fantastic project management system and a massive database of projects. Major companies and small businesses alike are using it these days to generate new content and it’s received a lot of attention. Every freelancer should at least have an Upwork profile.

Flexjobs

Flexjobs stands out as a freelance job site by vetting jobs, not freelancers. Instead, freelancers are the ones who pay for the platform. In return, FlexJobs provides a list of jobs, currently just under 30,000 in 55 categories, that the platform has vetted as legitimate. Once you select and pay the access fee, you can view and apply to any of these jobs through the contact information provided by FlexJobs. The service also provides skill testing, job search tips, and special members-only discounts through site partners to create loyalty among its freelance network including other added benefits.

Guru

Since it first came on the scene in 2001, Guru has completed 1 million jobs and received $200 million in payout. Today, it has over 1.5 million freelancers on its platform. Freelancers can get an idea of whether a client’s job is viable by looking at how much they have spent on freelancers in the past. Creating a freelancer account on Guru is free but you can purchase a membership (at various fee levels) to get more perks. This site lets you easily showcase your past work experience and it offers a daily job-matching feature so you won’t miss out on any good opportunities.

Freelancer

Freelancer can also be used for programming, design, writing, and marketing work, among other things. If you are a programmer, you will find a tremendous volume of work here, as this site absorbed the former king of sites for freelance programmers, RentaCoder. Although for the more accomplished freelancer, the site regularly hosts contests in which employers post a project with a money prize, and freelancers bid on the project with their submissions. This is a way for freelancers to showcase their talent while honing their skills and makes the hiring process easier for employers, who get to see different takes on their project.

99Designs

99Designs is a platform for freelance designers that lets you compete in design contests and get feedback from clients who choose the best ones. It’s a great way for talented designers to prove their talents.

Peopleperhour

Focusing on freelancing for web projects, Peopleperhour is a great platform for designers, web developers, SEO specialists, etc. And, as the name implies, each job is paid by the hour.

iFreelance

This is not only a good platform for writers, editors, and coders, but also features freelance marketers. And, unlike other sites, iFreelance lets you keep 100 percent of your earnings.

SimplyHired

SimplyHired is a freelancing site with listings for everyone from salespeople to construction workers. It also includes a blog with hiring tips, company directory and location-based search.

Toptal

Although not for beginners into the freelancing market, Toptal is perfect for the seasoned, talented freelancer. Once you pass Toptal’s screening process, you’ll have access to projects with great clients like Airbnb, JPMorgan, Zendesk, etc., and fair compensation (no low-bid contests). You’ll also be able to join the Toptal community and attend frequent meetups and tech events.

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Freelancing: Other Sites for Finding Work