With the recent advancements in technology and the wide availability of freelance websites, there are many people who wish to prefer setting their own working hours. The concept of freelancing and hiring freelancers to augment regular workforce in companies was already gaining traction when Covid-19 hit us all last year. Thats when it became the saving grace for many and allowed people who were suddenly without jobs to start working from home.
Freelancing though is not everyone’s cup of tea, it takes more than skillsets and availability to being a successful frelancer. Here’s a short checklist to determine if freelancing is a good fit for you.
- Do you have your own dedicated Desktop or Laptop?
- Access to high speed internet?
- Your own space to work the odd hours without disrupting your household?
- Are you the kind of person who enjoys going out on a daily basis? If yes, you may want to get a coworking space for yourself. Otherwise freelancing won’t be easy for you.
- Do you hate the 9 – 5 grind and or need to work on different times depending on your day’s committments.
Job platforms such as LinkedIn and Jooble are already there for you to find remote jobs online, but the ones we are talking about in this article are more famous for short term task based or medium term project based work.
Choosing the Right Freelancing Platform
There are a lot of freelancing platforms for people with different types of skills. These platforms help you earn extra income and make full use of your talents. Those who have made it a full-time job, earn more than their regular salary from these freelance job platforms.
To join any of the freelancing platforms, all you need is a certain set of skills in a certain specialisation, create an account on the chosen freelance site and start earning.
So what qualities encompass the best freelance websites? Here’s a non-exhaustive list:
- Worldwide availability to freelancers in more than 150 countries.
- Wide variety of payment withdrawal options for freelancers.
- Ability to create proposals or bid on projects in order to win a client.
- The platform should be able to provide a variety of projects at different skill levels, budgets and timelines.
- There is a robust internal messaging & collaboration suite.
- Platform provides a way for payment protection and/or arbitration between freelancers and clients.
Best Freelance Websites
If you are interested in earning additional income, turning your hobby into a side-job or go entirely into the freelancing business, below is a list of the best online freelance job platforms you can find today.
Another unique platform on this list is Fiverr. Pioneers of the Gig economy their platform gives freelance work in the form of predefined gigs. ‘Gigs’ are created based on what each freelancer is good at and what they wish to deliver and in their desired timeframe. Each freelancer can create multiple gigs, however atleast one of these gigs need to start at $5.
Gigs, packages and custom quotes; allow a freelancer to create their own freelance marketplace of services. This unique concept also gives clients a way to choose a provider based on their project/task requirement, timeframe and budget.
From social media marketing to SEO to ecommerce to web design to content marketing, there is a gig for every thing. Prices for different Gigs start from $5 to $5000, whereas packages start at $10 and can easily go upto $500.
Fiverr has an app for iOS and Android both, so no matter where you are and what you are doing, you can always connect with buyers and sellers from your app directly. There are four methods through which you can get paid on Fiverr; Payoneer, PayPal, Bank Transfer and Direct Deposit.
Fiverr charges 20% fees from freelancers on each transaction. It is a great platform for entry level freelance workers since it allows you to discover your own freelance talent.
Another popular and highly recommended platform for freelancers is Upwork (formerly oDesk and Elance). This freelance platform is also the largest work marketplace in the world. Once freelancers signup with Upwork, they need to fill in their user profile with skills, experience, portfolio and ideal rate. This profile is then sent for approval. Once its approved, you can start applying to jobs that seem interesting.
Upwork ensures payment protection to its freelancers, a robust collaboration platform with files, messages, call and video support as well as a time-tracker to ensure clients are billed accurately. Its user friendly chat interface is optimized to enable freelancers and customers engage rapidly. With an application for both iPhone and Android phone, keeping in touch with employers is easy for freelancers.
With more than 2 million jobs posted every year, Upwork has a job for everyone in any field.
There are 3 type of projects on Upwork, fixed price (with Escrow protection), hourly jobs and Project Catalog. Project Catalog is a ready to start project with its defined scope, cost, timing and deliverables at a fixed price.
Upwork has steep freelancer fees at 20% of project cost for projects upto $500. It reduces the fee to 10% once you cross $500 and then further reduces to 5% after $10,000. Further to this, Upwork charges ‘connects’ for each project application. The free Freelancer Basic account provides 10 connects each month, whereas Freelancer Plus (costs $14.99/mo) provides 80 connects each month.
If you are someone who loves proving your skills and is highly competitive then Freelancer.com is the ideal platform for you.
This platform features a competition that allows you to compete with other freelancers to win engagements and fame. These type of projects are called Contests. Unlike 99designs, a Contest on Freelancer.com can be for any project type and is not restricted to design contests only. With the high number of jobs posted daily, winning a contest is the best way to get your name out there and of course earn money.
There are regular job postings that are open to bidding available on the site. Freelancers bid on projects with their price and delivery timeline. Interestingly, freelancers can see competitive bids and timeframes placed by others here which drives the value for each project lower since bidders can easily under bid their competition. Those who wish to hide the specifics of their bids can do so with a paid plan. Typical service fee charged by the platform is at 10%. For full list of service fees take a look here.
The site has a system of payment called Milestone Payments. It offers protection for both employers and freelancers giving them equal control over payments for projects. Payments can only be created and released by employers while freelancers can return them to their employers or cancel them.
A freelancer can withdraw using the Daily Withdrawal system which processes payments within one business day. However, this can only work when you are subscribed to the plus, professional or Premium Membership. Once the withdrawal has been processed, it can take between 3-5 days to reflect in your bank account.
The platform offers iOS and Android apps for you to keep in touch with your project.
Guru is one of the original 4 freelance networks that has managed to maintain its service levels and high quality. Though not as popular or widely used as Upwork or Freeanlacer.com on this list, Guru continues to stand out for the lowest fee in the industry – at 9%.
Guru gives freelancers the opportunity to ask clients questions before proposal submission, interlink their personal site and send sales messages to prospective clients. Many features are behind a paywall, however their pricing plans are built keeping a freelancer’s commitment in mind.
Their collaboration tool makes it easy to keep track of commitments and work hours. While their current job matching feature makes it easy for freelancers to not miss out on any job opportunity. Here, you can find any job from management to legal services.
Guru offers a safe method of payment called SafePay. Freelancers can see the money in the SafePay of their employers before signing up for it. Therefore, there is no fear of not getting paid. To withdraw, you can either pick wire transfer or Payoneer’s MasterCard.
Just as the name suggests, 99designs was created exclusively for freelance designers, and every job that is posted there comes in the form of a design contest. At the end of a week, the client selects the best design concept to develop further, and the designer gets paid after delivery. This platform is ideal for designers who are interested in testing their talents, proving their skills amongst their peers, receiving feedback, winning clients and building their portfolio.
99Designs specialises in logo design, brand identity, website design, app design, advertising, illustrations, clothing & merchandise, packaging and books.
As a freelancer, once you have received your earnings, it can be transferred to your account using one of their payment providers such as Payoneer or PayPal. A Payoneer account can be activated freely or by paying some charges which are quite low with a turnaround time of 24-48 hours.
People Per Hour
People per hour is perfect for people with different types of skills in content writing, web development, WordPress, designing, and software engineering.
The platform features a tool called work stream, which makes your business more accessible by organising your payments, management and communication plan all in one place. You can browse jobs and get notified of new openings. You also have the chance to send up to 15 proposals at no cost before signing for the premium plan.
Peopleperhour also has a platform called plus works for the top 1% of freelance talent from their freelance marketplace. Clients submit their talent requirements and the talent manager starts short listing high calibre freelancers for a job. Through plus works, clients can get copywriters, project managers, graphic designers, finance experts, developers and search marketing experts.
To pay for services on PPH, employers can use of the following methods of payment: PayPal, Credit or Debit Card, Skrill, Alipay, Kiwi Wallet, Cashu, TrustPay, GiroPay, Paysafecard and Unionpay.
As a seller, once you have raised an invoice, it will be sent to the buyer for approval. After approval, the invoice goes through an automatic check before being released into your PPH wallet. You can choose to withdraw using your PayPal or bank account.
Best for experienced and talented developers, designers, project managers, product managers and finance experts. Toptal ensures a variety of clients from startups to Fortune 500 companies. It should be your first choice as a freelance platform if you are experienced.
Getting on the platform is not easy. Toptal approves only 3% of applicants who apply. Those who succeed go through a stringent screening process which on performing excellently, opens limitless opportunity to work with top clients. Toptal gives its freelancers the chance of setting their own rate without worrying about low bidding contests.
At Toptal, freelancers get the opportunity to work with top companies such as Airbnb, Shopify, Duolingo, Etsy, Bridgstone and many more.
Toptal also provides TopTracker; a very interesting and completely free Time Tracking app for freelancers everywhere. This desktop app is platform agnostic and allows freelancers to bill clients easily.
Projects are divided into 3 types of work: Hourly, Part-time, Full-time. Toptal pays its freelancers through Payoneer amongst other payment methods.
Notable Mentions – Freelance Job Boards
The websites listed below are mostly job boards where you can get hired as a freelancer by potential clients. These websites are not freelancing platforms themselves. We are mentioning them here for the sake of your knowledge.
Remote Tech Jobs
As the name suggests, RemoteTechJobs is a platform that caters specifically to Technology field. The website is curated and funnels jobs posted on famous job seeking portals such as Indeed and more. The site covers Web Development, Copywriting, Testing, iOS, Data Mining, Security, Digital Marketing, Blockchain, Game Dev and several more!
If tech is your field, and remote jobs are your thing, then this is a well curated platform for remote work to get started on.
Ideal for graphic designers, illustrators or photographers; Krop gives you the chance to land your dream job on this platform. Krop is one of the most prominent industry job boards online.
It is a non-paying site, but you get the chance to find creative jobs when you build your portfolio and resume while highlighting your creative talents. Their specialty lies in connecting top companies with the right talent.
For all creative job seekers, or those who are stepping into the world of graphic design, Krop should be your first stop.
Simply Hired is ideal for anyone interested in extra work. Here, you can find freelance jobs in different fields in over 24 countries and 12 different languages. So no matter what job you do, there is always a client for you.
However, Simply Hired now sends jobs to Indeed.com and just like Krop, it doesn’t pay. However, you can get connected to someone who will be in need of your services and from there, you might even land your dream job.
Simply Hired has an app that is available on iOS and Android devices.
Finally, with all these freelanceing websites mentioned above, improving financial situation has become easier for everyone.
Get started with these platforms today and enjoy the benefits of working online.