Whether you’re looking for another way to pay the bills, seeking more professional development opportunities or just love the freedom that freelancing offers, there’s no question that millions of people have discovered the benefits of professional freelancing. As trends like the digital nomad lifestyle grow in popularity, the number of freelance resources out there has increased as well.
There are plenty of guides for striking out on your own, but as a freelancer, getting higher-paying gigs isn’t just a matter of signing up on popular platforms. You’ll have to branch out, establish a great portfolio of past work and maybe even prove yourself through tests that showcase your skills. Here’s a list of the best sites to find work as a freelancer.
With over 1.5 million clients, Upwork (previously oDesk) offers something for every type of freelancer. It accommodates both short- and long-term projects, hourly or per-project work and expert-level and entry-level engagements. Regardless of where you are in your career, Upwork is likely to have something for you.
In 2014, two leading freelance networks, Elance and oDesk, merged to form Upwork, which is now the largest network for freelancers by a long shot. With more than 10 million registered users, four million clients, and three million jobs posted every year, Upwork has something to offer for everyone from writers and architects to legal aides and photographers.
You can sign up for short- or long-term projects, and elect to work by the hour or be paid per-project. The site features an easy-to-use chat feature, a time-tracker and a payment protection plan to make communication and collaboration with your client a breeze.
With a distinctly different approach than the other services on this list, Toptal is for seasoned, talented freelancers. Passing Toptal’s screening process gives you unparalleled access to meaningful projects with great clients (JPMorgan, Zendesk, Airbnb, etc.) and fair compensation (no low-bid contests). You’ll also be able to join the Toptal community for frequent meetups and tech events.
Unlike most other platforms, in addition to offering millions of projects, Freelancer allows you to compete with other freelancers in contests to prove your skills. If you’re competitive and confident in your expertise, it’s a great way to showcase your abilities and attract more clients.
Although most people see Craigslist as just a platform for buying and selling miscellaneous things, it’s actually a great source of freelance jobs. You can easily browse for local offerings if you prefer something in-office, or you can search by major cities if you prefer working remotely.
This site lets you easily showcase your past work experience and offers a daily job-matching feature to make sure you don’t miss out on any good opportunities. The Guru Work Room lets you easily manage all your work.
A platform for freelance designers, 99designs lets you compete in design contests and get feedback as clients choose the best ones. It’s a great way for talented designers to prove their talents.
This is a great platform, focusing on freelancing for web projects. If you’re a designer, web developer, SEO specialist, etc., peopleperhour is definitely worth checking out.
8. Freelance Writing Gigs
Whether you’re a writer, editor, blogger, publisher or any combination of those, Freelance Writing Gigs is a great option for freelancers who have a way with words.
9. Demand Media
Demand Media is a platform for creative types, including writers, filmmakers, producers, photographers and more. You work with the site to create unique content, engage audiences and promote your talents.
10. College Recruiter
As the name might suggest, College Recruiter is for college students or recent graduates looking for freelance jobs of any type. In addition to being a source for part-time work, it can be a great way to jumpstart your career.
This site is for freelance writers, web designers and programmers — exactly what small businesses need to get a website idea off the ground. GetACoder offers millions of smaller-scale projects to choose from.
This platform accommodates some of the usual suspects of the freelancing world (writers, editors, coders, etc.) but also features freelance marketers as well. Unlike other sites, iFreelance lets you keep 100 percent of your earnings.
With hundreds of project categories, Project4hire makes it easy to identify jobs that suit your skillset, without scanning through large volumes of posts. It’s great for coders, consultants, designers and more.
With a wider range than most other freelance platforms offer, SimplyHired is perfect for everyone from salespeople to construction workers. It includes a blog with hiring tips, a company directory and location-based search.
Whether you’re a programmer, designer, expert, college student or something in between, there’s a freelance platform out there for you. Check out the sites above to get started today!
This time last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 15.5 million people in the United States were self-employed. By 2020, that number is expected to shoot to roughly 60 million, or more than 40 percent of our nation’s workforce.
15. LinkedIn Profinder
With over 420 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is indisputably the go-to place for learning about all things job-related. Recently, LinkedIn decided to begin its foray into the freelance economy by quietly launching LinkedIn Profinder, which is helping freelance professionals find their next job.
Because of its enormous amount of user data, LinkedIn is able to quickly connect freelancers with strong leads based on their keyword searches and companies followed. Profinder is a great option for expert professionals in countless fields
16. Scalable Path:
Premium freelancer talent + optional leadership
Scalable Path has a network of premium freelance developers from North America & South America with a leadership team that can guide a project if needed. They are relatively new but have developed a strong reputation with startups and SME’s. They are like the new reliable outsourcing model. Check out: .
17.Crew: Handpicked freelance developers + designers
Crew has a network of handpicked, vetted developers and designers with whom you can start working in 48 hours. Mikael Cho, Founder of Crew has an interesting answer onfrom a project perspective. To learn more about how it works, check out .
StackOverflow: A Q&A site for programmers
With over 1.5 million users and nearly 10 million questions answered since its founding in 2008, users build reputation by answering questions other users have posted. Well reputed developers within a developer community are usually thought leaders. A good hack might be is to reach out to well reputed users and find a way to collaborate with them. They have a way to hire directly on also.
Github: Open source code repository site
Github has over 3 million members, all coders and developers. You can use their advanced search feature to find developers based on experience, number of followers and other specific technical talent. You might have to do some digging but it’s a solid resource for finding developers who might be looking to freelance. (Video on how to find talent on Github)
Angel List: Platform for startups, angel investors and job seekers Angel List is usuallyused as a resource for full time hiring within startups but it’s a great resource to also look for freelance developers. With startups offering great benefits, equity and an opportunity to be part of hyper growth, we’re seeing a lot of great developers create profiles on angel list.
Services such as, , , , and are available for hourly and fixed-price project work. If you’re looking to outsource work from one of these websites, is relevant to you. For design, naming, or other crowdsourcing projects, there’s and . For micro jobs and crowdsourcing: and .