As a freelancer with little experience and few clients, your hardest task is going to be finding work to maintain a steady income stream from your freelance jobs. There’s good news though:
69% of freelancers said technology has made it easier to find freelance jobs
Up to a few years ago, freelancing was limited to those people who were able to either make a name for themselves through the grapevine, or who splurged on the yellow pages. Today, technology and freelancing jobs sites have made it much easier to find freelance jobs online.
Pitching yourself on as many freelancer sites as possible, will ensure that you get as much exposure as you can possibly get. Here’s a list of sites where you can use to find clients.
- Freelance jobs websites: A Word of Caution
- Toptal – hire the top 3% of freelance talent
- Freelancer.com – hire expert freelancers for your online job
- UpWork – find freelance jobs to tackle any job, any size, any time
- PeoplePerHour – a community of talent available to work remotely
- EnvatoStudio and the Envato Marketplace
- Fiverr – what do you need done?
- Project4Hire – no longer available
- SimplyHired – explore millions of jobs
- Workhoppers – Freelance, contract & part-time pros in your city
- CrowdSource aka OneSpace – a skilled and scalable workforce as a service
- CollegeRecruiter – helping students find great internships, entry-level work, and careers!
- Guru – find and hire talented freelancers
- LocalSolo – find the top freelancers in your city
- OnSite – quality, curated freelancers
- YunoJuno – find, book and manage the best freelancers in town
- Crowdsite – the world’s fastest crowdsourcing site
- Localancers – simple directory for freelancers from around the world
- Working Nomads – A curated list of remote jobs, for the modern working nomad
- Bark – find local service professionals for whatever you need
- Wayup (formerly CampusJob) – jobs and internships for college students
- Workana: Hire the best Hispanic and Portuguese freelancers
- Flagd – simplifies the communication between contractor and recruiter
- Creatives Freelancing
- Authentic Jobs/Authentic Pros
- 99Designs – great business starts with a great logo
- Behance JobList
- Krop – find creative, design and tech work
- CrowdSPRING – the world’s best creative team
- Aquent – delivering quality talent
- The Creative Group – Job Search – recruiting for interactive, design and marketing talent
- Folyo – finding a designer, made easy
- DesignCrowd – get the perfect custom design, every time
- Juiiicy – find projects from the best designers
- LogoArena – host a logo design contest
- Smashing Magazine Jobs
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Development and Programming Freelance Work
- Sologig – find engineering and IT jobs
- Matchist – want to bring your idea to life?
- TopCoder – challenge yourself. Get Paid
- WordPress Job Board
- Hirable – hire the best freelance developers
- Crew – work with the best designers and developers
- Gun.io – find the world’s very best developers
- Gigster – hire an elite development team in minutes
Freelance jobs websites: A Word of Caution
You’ll need to be a little bit careful and do some research first. Check how much projects like what you do are paid first.
Some sectors (such as WordPress, web design, content writing etc.) get heavy competition from Asian developers whose prices are ridiculously cheap compared to western expectations.
It will be useless to try and compete here.
We’d also suggest that any projects you do with friends or contacts are entered into your freelancing website of choice for two reasons
- Even though they are people you know – an escrow service is always a good idea
- You’ll improve your portfolio of work on that site (this is especially important for those just starting out)
One last thing, when you’ve found a client, make sure you sign a contract. Because you really want to make sure you’re covered against any mishaps in the future.
Now – onto your experiences. Tell us the good and bad experiences you’ve had.
Toptal – hire the top 3% of freelance talent
Toptal is THE freelance jobs site that is aimed at only offering (top tal)ent. Toptal does not allow everybody to register though – they have a very rigorous process to get accepted and only about 3% of applicants actually manage to get accepted to the marketplace. Toptal knows that most people don’t have time to sieve through the hundreds of applications that the typical freelancing job gets – so they do the hard work of screening out applicants. If you make it on Toptal, then you’re guaranteed a good freelancing income.
Freelancer.com – hire expert freelancers for your online job
Wonder of wonders – if you are looking for freelance work, where better than freelancer.com? There are 850 categories to choose from, so your problem is going to be where to start.
UpWork – find freelance jobs to tackle any job, any size, any time
Upwork has about $1 billion worth of projects done annually over about 3 million projects done annually. Formerly known as ODesk, this is one very popular site for finding freelance work.
PeoplePerHour – a community of talent available to work remotely
The unique selling point of PPH is that all freelancers are quality checked. Some freelancing sites have quite a reputation for “harbouring” scammers who work on a few projects, get bad reviews, and then disappear – PPH is different. These freelancers won’t make it in this site, so if you get yourself approved here – you’re bound to get good work.
EnvatoStudio and the Envato Marketplace
The EnvatoStudio is another site where you can get freelance jobs. Since the Envato marketplace is mostly targeted towards creatives, designers, photographers, developers, and creators of all kinds of digital goods, the nature of the work you’ll find will be mostly in these categories.
Besides that, you might also want to add a bit of a revenue stream by productizing your work and submitting to the various marketplaces for digital goods.
Fiverr – what do you need done?
Our experience with Fiverr has not been stellar – whilst we’ve gotten some *very* good work and contacts there, we’ve also found quite a few scammers when buying – so you’ll be competing with those. Use with caution – do NOT give large gigs to users whose 5 start rating seem to come from the same person or who do not look like genuinely different people.
The thing with Fiverr is this – the original idea was what would you be able to do with $5, however much of the gigs will not sell at $5, you’d have to pay or be paid many gigs (each gig is $5) for this to make sense for you as a freelancer.
So – don’t undersell yourself.
Project4Hire – no longer available
Another run of the mill freelance jobs site, you pay $5 to accept a project. Average bids we saw were from $5 to nearly $4K.
SimplyHired – explore millions of jobs
SimplyHired boasts millions of postings available to search by location, a quick search gave us more than 50,000 results – so there’s plenty of stuff across various industries you can apply for.
Workhoppers – Freelance, contract & part-time
pros in your city
Workhoppers specializes in matching candidates with work for freelancers, part-timers, and contracts in various locations. The good thing is that there are no fees for contractors, fees are paid for those who are posting more several pieces of work.
CrowdSource aka OneSpace – a skilled and scalable workforce as a service
CrowdSource works somewhat differently than the others. You apply as a freelancer (in their terms you are a worker). You need to get trained and tested so that they can gauge what tasks you are suitable for. Once this is done, you are presented with tasks within your capabilities and you can then work on these tasks. You may also be paid more or be given access to more freelance work as your performance increases.
FlexJobs is mostly about flexible jobs, projects or tasks which you can perform remotely, part-time or on contract. FlexJobs screen every project and guarantee that each one is legitimate. Searching for work is free, however, applying for jobs is against a fee.
CollegeRecruiter – helping students find great internships, entry-level work, and careers!
CollegeRecruiter (as the name implies) connects students or graduates to their new careers. Although not strictly aimed at freelancers, there are 100,000 jobs posted at any one time so you should find quite a lot of work to get your hands on. Word of note: most of the work available is entry-level or internships – but there’s quite a lot of work tagged as freelancer.
As the primary place where business-related social networking happens, LinkedIn is one of the obvious places you should be looking at for. Besides actual searches, you may want to join a few groups in your niche and look around for freelance work or post about your services.
Guru – find and hire talented freelancers
Guru is aimed squarely at freelance jobs so it should be one of the first places you should get registered at. With about $200 million (at the time of writing) paid to member Guru’s for work, it’s a good place to hang out at.
The popularity of this site makes it a good idea to keep an eye on it – the local aspect of it makes it easier to compete, so keep it handy.
It’s no very difficult to understand what this site is all about … there’s a little bit of everything, but coding seems to be the most prolific
LocalSolo – find the top freelancers in your city
LocalSolo is a site which is focused on finding freelancers in your own city. Essentially, the premise of this site is that it should be very easy to find workers locally. There are projects across all categories, so if you’re looking for people working in the area where you live in, this is a good place to stop.
OnSite – quality, curated freelancers
OnSite is another site which is specifically dedicated to freelancers, and essentially curates and screens the applicants. It is free for both the applicants and the companies posting work – at least while the site grows.
YunoJuno – find, book and manage the best freelancers in town
YunoJuno is another fresh site for freelancers. The great thing about YunoJuno is it’s a full portal, you can chat with your client, log timesheets, generate invoices, and what have you.
Crowdsite – the world’s fastest crowdsourcing site
Crowdsite is the Twitter of freelancing, complete with hashtags and everything – people who need work will send 140 character shouts, whilst freelancers will search within these shouts. It’s essentially all done in real-time via chat and “shout”ing. #wordpress #design #logo – you get the idea.
There are also a number of design contests going on at any point in time within which you can compete in with your designs.
Localancers – simple directory for freelancers from around the world
Localancer costs $19 to sign up, however, they have quality criteria – your profile may not make it (though you’ll get refunded in that case). The idea is to be able to connect (mostly) with people in your own timezone and speak your own language. Essentially, it tries to narrow searches, such that clients don’t have to spend ages scouring through profile which will never work for them. Buyers of services can use search options including location, skill, timezone, countries, and price of services.
Working Nomads – A curated list of remote jobs, for the modern working nomad
Nomads are of course people who have no fixed “home”. They travel from place to place in accordance to circumstances such as availability of food and other resources. In today’s economy, there are different types of nomads though.
Digital / working nomads are people whose are location independent – they can perform their tasks just by being online, so whether they are in NYC or in Timbuktu – they can earn a living.
Rather than doing this for work’s sake though – these are people who enjoy traveling – but can both travel and earn money while doing it. Current categories of jobs are mostly in development and design because, of course, these kinds of projects lend themselves very nicely to working nomads.
Bark – find local service professionals for whatever you need
Bark is essentially a marketplace for any kind of work. They essentially connect jobs to pros who do the work, but if you are a freelancer, registering here will probably give you a number of jobs to work on. As opposed to other sites referenced in this blog, this connects local jobs to local service professionals.
Wayup (formerly CampusJob) – jobs and internships for college students
Rather than for freelancers per se, this is more suited for students who are looking for a part-time job to gain experience or spending money. Work available ranges from graphic design to bartender to DJ – and are of course around jobs that are most likely to appeal to students.
RemixJobs is a mostly for web design and development freelance work. It is based in France and most projects are of course in the country. There are other categories of designs, such as SEO/SEM, marketin, and others.
If you are in Latin America, and would like to work in the region, Workana is the largest freelance work professional community. There are all sorts of jobs available around web design and the creative industries.
Flagd – simplifies the communication between contractor and recruiter
Flagd attempts to simplify the communication between freelancers and recruiters. Contractors only hear about relevant freelance work, whilst recruiters only access available freelancers.
Here is a list of graphic design freelance jobs and other creative freelance work.
AuthenticJobs was founded with the aim of connecting talented web and design professionals to great opportunities for work. There are specific listing for freelancers. You can also use the sister site, Authentic Pros which essentially is a curated list of profiles/link to portfolios of sorts.
99Designs – great business starts with a great logo
There’s plenty of sites where you can get a logo designed. Creatives looking to design logos can start at 99Designs. Following a design brief, a design content is created and as a designer, you can submit great ideas for designs. You need to shine above the rest to win of course.
Besides being the ultimate portfolio sites for Creatives, Behance also has a job board which gets plenty of traffic. There are many postings for freelance creative jobs, so make sure you keep an eye out on it.
Krop is primarily aimed at designers, creatives, and the tech industry and is mostly based in the US. It’s not cheap to access it, but this, of course, is by itself a good thing – you won’t find time wasters and you can expect to find good stuff here.
CrowdSPRING – the world’s best creative team
The difference with crowdSPRING is that you compete based on how you approach a project. you submit your ideas before the project is awarded – thus it’s your creativity and approach which will land you a project.
Aquent – delivering quality talent
Aquent originated the idea of finding specialized temporary staffing for expert creatives and web designers. They screen the people who apply to work with them and then allocate designers to projects as necessary.
Quite a reputable place to be, this one should be on your priority list.
The Creative Group – Job Search – recruiting for interactive, design and marketing talent
The Creative Job Group is a leading creative staffing agency, specializing in placing creatives and marketing talent with the best companies. You can upload your resume and wait to get placed, or you can have a browse through their currently available projects.
MediaBistro is essentially a job board for media companies looking for talent. Although not strictly creative, there are quite a few creative and other media projects for you to look through. All projects are based in the USA.
CoroFlot is also a career community focused specifically on the design and creative professions. It hosts hundreds of design projects across the USA. As a designer, you can also choose to host your portfolio on the site.
Folyo – finding a designer, made easy
Folyo is a hand-picked list of designers available for freelance work. If you want to be on the list, you can apply to become a Designer on the site.
DesignCrowd – get the perfect custom design, every time
DesignCrowd is a graphic design marketplace that gives creative people opportunities. Businesses requiring design can post requirements or request quotes for logo design, business card design, advertising artwork and website design. There are 100s of jobs available at any one time, so you should be able to fill many of those gaps you’ll have in between steady projects.
Juiiicy – find projects from the best designers
Juiiicy is an invite-only site for designers. When top-notch designers get queries they cannot serve at the moment, they will refer them to other great designers through this site. Of course, since it is Invite-Only, getting your foot in the door is going to be your biggest hurdle – although if you’ve got a good portfolio, you may ask for an invite.
LogoArena – host a logo design contest
LogoArena is a design content site where those who require a logo submit a design brief and set a prize amount, and designers submit their designs. As with all design contests, this is most advantageous for those submitting projects, rather than for those bidding to get their design accepted so you are not guaranteed any income.
Smashing Magazine has long been an influencer in the web design, creative and design niche. It’s no wonder that with such a large amount of traffic, they would create a job board for those looking to hire talent. Most of the jobs are for professionals, though you’ll find plenty of freelancing work too.
Freelance Writing Jobs
Well, it doesn’t get any more clear than that, does it? If you are a Canadian writer, you’re sorted. If you’re not, then you need to look elsewhere!
ProBlogger is one of the most popular resources for professional bloggers, or for those who to take their blogging to a professional level. It would be fairly obvious then that this would be one of the first places to get a blogging or writing job.
Bloggers can apply for free, whilst people posting projects need to pay a fee of a $50 – there are quite a few good bloggers hanging around at ProBlogger.
Besides regular jobs for journalists, this site has a specific freelancing category. Projects are mainly in the US.
TheShelf per se is a product that helps brands get social influence. Of course, this Social influence is achieved by getting real people to write about real products. So as a blogger, you can be one of those influencers. The Bloggers list on TheShelf allows bloggers to add their site to the list of bloggers who are ready to collaborate with brands.
Traction – marketing made simple
Similar to The Shelf, Traction is a site for solo marketers to meet with brands and advertisers. If you have a popular blog, or are a social influencer, you can sign-up in Traction as a “Marketing Partner” and start earning.
Besides freelancing, you might need to get your content translated, and if you do freelance translations – the place to get translation jobs is Proz. There’s quite a lot of translators registered on the site, but there are hundreds of sites online at any one time, so don’t get discouraged.
Development and Programming Freelance Work
Dice is another niche-specific job search engine, here you’ll only find technology jobs. This makes your task of finding freelance work somewhat easier since you won’t have to sieve through everything which is not fit for purpose.
Sologig – find engineering and IT jobs
Sologig is mainly focused towards Engineering and IT jobs. It’s not strictly aimed at those who go solo (something which would be obvious from the name), but of course, you’ll find freelance jobs on the site.
Matchist – want to bring your idea to life?
The trouble with the sites we’re referencing for people living in the US, is that some of them tend to get oversaturated with foreigners. Whilst this is of course not a bad thing most times, it is a distraction for those who want to remain in the US.
Matchist targets specifically jobs and ideas for developers in the US. This ensures that if you don’t want to hire/work for/with foreigners, Matchist is the place for you.
TopCoder – challenge yourself. Get Paid
One of the largest technical communities online, it has been hosting technical competitions or hackathons since 2001. More than $70 millions in cash has been awarded, and every day is a brand new hackathon. These are essentially coding contests where you can register and go compete against other developers for the prize money.
WordPress is not only the most common content management system around. It, of course, has spurned a huge community around it – anything from developers to themes, to websites developed from scratch, WordPress has helped spawn several industries. The WordPress job board hosts jobs which are of course mostly related to WordPress.
Hirable – hire the best freelance developers
Hirable is a social site where freelance developers can get hired. After getting a free you can indicate your availability with a “Hirable” status, and opt to the “Busy” status when you are not.
Crew – work with the best designers and developers
Crew is all about high-quality creative work for freelancers who are handpicked a vetted and are then matched to projects. Apply ASAP because there’s a bit of a waiting list to get on the approved list.
Gun.io – find the world’s very best developers
Gun.io is another site connecting freelance developers to projects. It has been delivering freelancers for companies like Amazon.com, Zappos and SolarCity. To apply as a solo worker in Gun.io, you’ll have to register with your Github account. You’ll then get matched to employers according to your skills and the jobs currently required.
Gigster – hire an elite development team in minutes
Gigster is aimed at creating excellent teams for development projects with fast turnaround times, using excellent developer talent from Silicon Valley and beyond. They connect you directly to project managers based in Silicon Valley who access to a vetted pool of developers. Companies can range from startups to top tech companies like
If you want to become a Gigster – you can apply here. Make sure you can prove your worth before you apply though.
Joomlancers has been around for a very long time where Joomla freelancers can apply for Joomla specific freelancing jobs, such as developing Joomla modules and components or tweaking existing components as necessary.
And you – where do you find freelance jobs and work for when you are experiencing downtime? Tell us in the comments below.