Freelancing, as an industry has contributed to more than $1 trillion USD in US economy back in 2019. People don’t ‘become a freelancer’ anymore. It is not an alternate career path that you might choose. This is a mainstream option that more and more people are getting interested in. Surprisingly, we don’t have enough so called ‘best freelancing sites‘ where you can go to get a gig.
Story time: I started freelancing as a teenager back in 2012. I was 19-20 years old. The opportunities were limited back then, but so was the competition. I started as a writer ($1 for every 500 words I wrote) on a site called Freelancer.com (this was the most popular one back then). After a few years, I found myself turned into a ghostwriter for eBooks ($50 for every book on average and it used to take me 7-10 days to finish each one).
I had no idea about business or monetization strategies back in those days. I found out later that my clients were selling those books on Amazon Kindle and making banks.
A lot has happened since then. I don’t call myself a freelancer anymore, I started building and monetizing websites, migrated to Ireland in 2017 from Bangladesh and I now do a bit of everything (freelancing, client SEO, agency work, websites, etc.)
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Anyway, this article is not about me. Let’s get back to the list of the best freelancing sites. Where there aren’t hundreds of quality freelance websites to get freelance work, there are enough good ones out there to get started. Let me list out the top ones (based on my opinion of course).
Two Types of Freelancing Sites
Broadly speaking, there are two types of freelancing websites where you can get a freelance gig. The first type is the generalists. They are the Upworks and Fiverrs of the world, where you can sign up and pretty much get a job in any industry that you are an expert in.
The other type is niche specialized. These are small freelancing websites, where the website tackles only one industry (a dedicated site for graphic design freelancers for example).
The general ones get more visibility, more money, more traffic- but the niche ones can also bring a lot of revenue for you if you know what you are doing. Also, pro tip: The niche ones have way less competition than the big ones.
My List of Best Freelancing Sites
Alright, finally, we are in the meaty part of the article – I am not doing this best freelance site list in any special order, as I will be writing my comments along with the name of the marketplaces – to get you going.
Upwork would be my top choice when it comes to freelancing websites. They are a generalist, meaning, you can find jobs for every skill under the planet – and they are by far the most popular and organized site that I know of in the two sided marketplace world. Here’s a quick snap of my profile on Upwork:
If I had to start over and I needed quick money, Upwork would definitely be in the top of my list to get things going.
Let’s talk about a few downsides as well of Upwork, while we are at it. They charge the highest among all similar freelancing websites. Last I checked, they charge 20% on the freelancer’s earning and about 3.5% on the client’s payment. They also ask you to buy tokens to be able to bid on jobs (first 60 are free). Recently, Upwork has also reduced their freelancer intake numbers for more popular job categories (design, SEO etc) as they want to keep a balance between the number of clients and the number of available freelancers.
That was good for people like me who were already in and had a decent profile, but I can imagine a new me having to hustle a lot to get in.
Fiverr is now considered as one of the world’s most popular websites. The initial idea was simple. Freelancer will list their skills (known as gigs in the Fiverr world) and charge $5 for every order. Fiverr kept on growing and now there’s no limit. From $5 to a $50,000 logo, you can get it all on Fiverr.
The key difference between Fiverr and most other freelance websites is that the freelancers list their gigs first, and the client chooses the one they think will work best. You don’t have to worry about cover letters, being active to bid on jobs and all those saga when you are working on Fiverr.
They charge about 20% from freelancers as well, but the bigger issue for you would be fierce competition. Everyone and their mother has a freelance account on Fiverr, no matter if they can do the job or not. It will take a while for you to settle in but it is a wonderful feeling when you do. I know multiple people who are making 4+ figures every month on Fiverr. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.
Alright, I am personally not a fan. I kinda hate the site. I don’t like the UX, I think there are more scams and spams on this website than any other ones out there and I think the overall quality of clients and freelancers on this site is lower than other ones.
The question is, why would it then be in my list of best freelancing sites?
That’s because they are popular and they get a lot of clients posting jobs every day. If you are careful and taking everything with a pinch of salt, you might end up with a great deal on Freelancer.com. Also, it doesn’t harm to have accounts on multiple freelancing websites (another pro tip).
Again, they are a generalist, so you will find job opportunities on a number of skill categories. Browse around. You might like some.
4. Dynamite Jobs
This is not a freelance marketplace as it is more of a job board. However, this is the exact type of jobs that freelancers look for. They have both part-time and full-time listings (mostly full time) and 99% of the jobs are remote. I know you are looking for a freelancing gig, but working for a company remotely with a great salary full time / part time isn’t a bad idea either.
The reason that I kept Dynamite Jobs in this list is because of the type of companies that advertises there. They are all people like me (internet marketers, SaaS companies, digital marketing agencies, software, design etc.).
You will love the atmosphere there.
5. Pro Blogger
If you are a writer / an aspiring wordsmith, Pro Blogger is the website to visit. This is not a generalist website, meaning the chance of you finding any other job but writing is very low – but they have wonderful writing gigs available all the time.
One good thing about Pro Blogger (which is not common in these freelancing websites) is that they charge clients to post jobs – which means the clients are more serious there than anywhere else.
Though it is a freelance platform, most clients there would look for long term freelancers / employees. Try your luck.
6. Flex Jobs
The first thing you need to know about Flex Jobs is that they are not free. They charge you to register and it is a monthly subscription.
You might be thinking, why on the earth would I pay for a marketplace sign up where I can do it free on Upwork or Fiverr, right?
Well, the benefit of a paywall is less competition. Not everyone is ready to pay that $15/month fee to sign up to a platform like Flex Jobs and that’s why the chance of you getting a job is higher (especially if you are new). This also gives a signal to the client that you are serious about your work – which helps.
I would recommend not to sign up on Flex Jobs if you are not from North America. That seems to be the pre-requisite on most jobs there. Also, check out the job categories and reviews online before you pay them. They are not gonna scam you, but you might not be able to find a skill category that you like.
7. People Per Hour
Very similar to Fiverr (with slightly better rates but lower number of clients), People Per Hour has been around for quite a while. The idea is exactly like Fiverr. You set up a gig, set your rate for the project and wait for clients to find and hire you.
Not the best pro-active approach, but you can’t do much.
I am not a fan of People Per Hour as they have banned my profile before for no reason (during my freelancing days). The support is terrible as well.
8. 99 Designs
If you are a designer, you MUST have a 99 design profile. It is more of a portfolio showcase system and 99 Designs is considered one of the biggest marketplaces for designers.
Clients can directly hire you by looking at your portfolio or you can participate in the 1000s of contests clients are creating every day and win money, if your work gets selected by the client. The client has to create a milestone (pay in advance) first before he/she can organize a contest so he’ll have to select a winner.
If you are good, you will love 99 designs. It is free to use for you and I see no reason not to give it a try.
9. Task Rabbit
99.9% of the times when we say freelance work, we simply mean digital work. But freelance work doesn’t have to be that way. You can be a freelance photographer, a freelance plumber or anything else for that matter.
That’s where Task Rabbit comes in and they are bigger than you think. Partnering with IKEA, Task Rabbit has delivered millions of successful gigs over past years.
The biggest con would be that the site is mostly focused on the North American market. If you are in US or Canada, this is definitely a site that I would sign up with.
And that’s it for the day. It is a small list. I could include 100s of other specialized job marketplaces but that wouldn’t be fair. If you are looking for specialized gig places, Google your skill + freelance marketplace and you will get lots of recommendations.
If you are new, I would recommend starting with Upwork + Fiverr. That will give you the best chance of winning.
Remember, if you don’t have skills, there’s no point opening up accounts on these marketplaces. You will get washed out within a day by more skilled freelancers. You are competing against the whole world when it comes to freelance gig economy and whoever can produce the best result / cheapest result wins.
Question: Have you done any freelancing work before? Let me know in the comments. What’s your favorite marketplace and why?