Ready to leave the 9-to-5 and set your own schedule and rates? It may be time to try freelancing.
Once seen as “not a real job,” freelancing is now a viable career path for people with a variety of skills and talents.
Here are the best sites that you can join to find freelancing work.
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Top Freelance Websites to Find Work
Most popular siteLearn More
A great option for folks of any specialty just starting in the world of freelancing is Upwork.
Upwork [review] makes it easy to find job openings that match your skills and level of experience.
You have a certain amount of connections per month, each corresponding to the quantity and quality of jobs you can apply to. You get a few for free each month, but you do have to buy more if you run out.
Upwork is the first site I used as a freelance copywriter, and it ultimately led me to where I am today, so I’m personally a fan of the site to find work.
They do take a 20% service fee on any earnings you make, but you do have the option to set your rates (and change them as you get more experience.)
Best for beginnersLearn More
Fiverr has been out there for ages and has a huge following among businesses of all sizes, making it a great place to get started as a freelancer.
One of the best things about Fiverr [review] is that anyone can create a profile for any specialty. Some of the popular services offered by freelancers on Fiverr include web design and development and freelance writing, but freelancers offer other unique skills like online tutoring and even gaming or voiceover.
If you have a talent or hobby, chances are you can turn it into a side gig with a profile on Fiverr.
We like this for beginners because it’s so easy to make a new profile and get started immediately. You also have access to a large community of freelancers that you can connect with and improve your freelancing ability.
Best for local freelance workLearn More
If you’re looking for a local, one-off, in-person gig, TaskRabbit is the best place to look for work.
This site offers everything from IKEA furniture assembly to fixing a toilet to gardening and cleaning, making it a great place for folks with a knack for anything to earn an extra buck. Most tasks take only an hour or two, so it’s great if you have a free Saturday afternoon and need extra cash.
Taskers do have to pay a $25 registration fee upfront but can then set their rates and hours, offering whichever services they want. Freelancers can set up a map of where they’re willing to travel for work and availability.
Largest communityLearn More
Freelancer [review] is one of the original freelancing marketplace platforms, and, as such, has the largest community of freelancers.
Freelancers can easily set up a free profile and search through job postings to find ones that fit their talents.
If you’re strapped for cash, you can search for urgent requests from clients who require a freelancer to complete a project within the next 24 hours. These requests often pay more since they are on such a tight deadline.
Best opportunity to transition to full-timeLearn More
Flexjobs matches freelancers with clients based on project and contract length.
This makes it a great option for freelancers who may be looking for a gig with the opportunity to transition to a full-time position if they decide they want to.
Flexjobs does a bit more thorough vetting than Upwork or Fiverr when it comes to both freelancers and companies using their services, so both you and the business hiring you have been checked out. This process gives both of you more security.
Best for designersLearn More
If you fancy yourself more of a visual artist, Dribbble is the freelancing site you should check out.
Freelancing designers can find jobs in everything from product design to illustration and even animation.
It’s easy to showcase your talent on Dribbble since you can post your stellar portfolio to get possible clients to check you out.
They even offer courses for young and new designers to refine their skills and learn more about their industry, making it great for newer designers.
There is also the option for a pro membership that costs $5 to $15 per month and grants you access to premium features and exclusive job postings.
7. Angel List
Best for freelancers who want to work with startups
Want to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new company? Angel List is your go-to.
This site uniquely focuses on freelancers that are interested in working with startups as clients. Since they do place their focus on such a unique niche, you can find exclusive opportunities with businesses at their beginning stages. This lends itself to the possibility of growing alongside and with their business.
It’s also important to note that Angel List is recruiting freelancers specifically in the tech space, so it’s great for freelancers looking for remote tech positions.
How to Become a Freelancer?
Today, becoming a freelancer is easier than ever.
The first step is to identify what your talents, abilities, and interests are. Do you have an eye for design? Do you want to become a coder? Can you speak multiple languages and offer translation services? Most of us have hidden talents that have lied dormant and we just need to uncover them. That’s the first step.
If you want to learn more about something, take an online class or do some research to make sure you can be good at that job.
Once you’re sure of your talent, create a profile on one of the large freelancer marketplace platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.
Search out jobs that interest you and ones that match your abilities and talents. Apply and reach out.
You’re probably going to have to set low rates at first and work some gigs that aren’t the most glamorous, but as you gain experience and get better at what you do, you’ll collect a network of clients that trust you and will come back to you with more work.
Benefits of Freelancing
There’s a reason that so many people are leaving their 9-to-5s in favor of a more flexible career as a freelancer.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of freelancing for a living.
Set your own hours
One of the biggest reasons people choose to become a freelancer is the flexibility it allows them.
You can set your own hours as a freelancer. Have an article that your client needs Thursday? You can work at night on Monday, make it to a dentist’s appointment Tuesday morning, catch a matinee, and work in short bursts if you please without having to ask for time off.
This is great for people who have inconsistent life schedules or short attention spans that require them to work at a different pace.
Name your price
With a regular job, your pay is set by your employer. As a freelancer, you set your rates based on your experience and ability.
Many freelancers find that they make more money than they did at their old traditional jobs.
Work more or less
Have extra free time or find yourself strapped for cash? You can probably find an extra gig.
Need to take a break? Take on less work.
Rather than deal with the workload that a boss sets up for you, you can work more or less as you please by accepting projects only when you want to.
The term “digital nomad” is very real in the freelancing world.
As long as you have wifi, you can usually work from anywhere in the world.
This makes freelancing a great option for people who want to travel around the world or get bored staying in the office all day. The time difference is also often a non-factor.
Even working from home, freelancers always have the option to take their laptops to their favorite coffee shop for the day.
How to Choose the Right Freelance Website to Work For
To pick the right freelance site to work for, think seriously about your abilities, experience, and availability.
If you’re just getting started, we recommend setting up an easy, free account on Fiverr or Upwork to start building your resume.
If you happen to be talented in design, try a specialized site like Dribbble. Want to work with a startup? Try Angel List.
As you gain experience and improve your skill, you can look into more advanced, vetted sites like Toptal or Upstack.
The great thing about freelancing sites is that you can create profiles on as many or few sites as you want, allowing you endless work opportunities.