How and where can you earn money while working from home or during your travels?
Freelance gigs, Projects, Contract work!
Freelancing isn’t a stopgap anymore – it’s a full-time thing! More and more skilled professionals are opting for gig work to earn an income, be productive and acquire new kinds of work experience. A lot more businesses and brands are hiring them because of the available talent pool and cost advantages. Most join one or more of the best freelance websites to find work.
If you want freedom and flexibility, explore the different ways and websites to land online freelance work.
What kind of online freelance work can you do online?
Naturally, it all depends on your skills and aptitude. There are a large number of options and avenues available for online work. There is a demand for everything from general tasks to highly specialized skills and outcomes. You too can be part of more than one third (35%) of the U.S. workforce that freelanced in 2019.
Some of the popular freelance categories include:
Marketing for email funnels, paid ads
In Design, you can look at graphic, visual and UX design
Media work like video and podcast editing, creating how-to content
Customer service including inbound calling, email responses and chat support
Content creation like copywriting, pitch decks and advertising copy
Social media work includes creating posts, hashtag research, engagement
Accounting & Bookkeeping
General work like administrative, data entry or research projects
Virtual professional work which might be a mixed basket of the above activities
Technology like Basic programming, WordPress, etc.
This list of freelance work options is by no means exhaustive and keeps growing, thanks to technology and an increasing list of skills that can be delivered virtually.
Explore Freelance Jobs in multiple Niches!
How do you get hired for a Freelance job?
These are the top 5 criteria that clients or employers assess.
- Expertise or work-related skills
- Related experience
- Interpersonal and soft skills
- Rates & Pricing
1.Demonstrate expertise and past experience
- Create a good Resume and/ or
- A portfolio
- LinkedIn profile
2. Create a digital (or online) footprint (add video product)
Link to a Website or blog
Have a presence on 1 (or more) social media channels
Memberships sites in your niche. (E.g. Maroon Oak is great for women freelancers, entrepreneurs & agencies)
Show off soft skills like communication, reliability and commitment
Personalize via cover email or message
3. Be willing to give something for free
Share tips during an interview
Free discovery call
Submit a basic proposal/ project outline
4. Do your homework
What does the competition charge, and what are clients willing to pay for? Then create your pricing structure and build the room for negotiation.
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But finding the right kind of work and getting hired is a big challenge!
There are lots of opportunities but knowing what’s legit is key, as well as applying for jobs where you are a good fit. Similarly, employers and clients don’t want freelancers who might misrepresent their skills and experience, so vetted or verified freelancers stand a better chance and command better prices.
Where can you find good freelance jobs and opportunities online?
Check out these top freelance websites to find the kind of work that’s right for you. You can choose from the 2 main categories or be a part of both.
Connectivity Platforms – enable connections between freelancers are employers in different ways. It needs more effort (and usually better skills) on your part, but the possibility of success is higher.
Job Boards – these are a collection of available gigs or offer some degree of curation. Many have keyword searches and filters. You need to do your homework and apply.
Most boards specialize in a few functional categories e.g. design, tech or digital marketing, so you can choose the one that aligns with your niche.
You can find free and paid options in both categories.
Top Platforms that connect Freelancers and Clients
Freelance Platforms for multiple niches
Upwork is a mecca for freelancers, with jobs in most categories, the option to create a great profile and smart technology that connects a provider to a client based on skills. Payments are made by clients to them and they deduct 20% of your earnings, which comes down as your total billing increases.
Works for Design, Tech, Marketing, Video, Music, Writing
Details on Upwork’s Pricing
Guru – find international talent virtually. You can sign up for free at their freelancer portal or pay from 11.95 to 49.95 per month for premium memberships + a per job fee. Premium allows you to bid for more jobs and communicate with employers.
Fiverr – find gigs starting at five dollars, and price up from there. Fiverr keeps 20% of your earnings.
Works for Design, Tech, Marketing, Video, Music, Writing
Onsite a UK based invitation-only platform for freelancers, with no commission payable. You need to have a website or portfolio to get considered.
Freelanced calls itself The Freelance Social Network with pros offering a wide range of skills. Apart from categories like Featured Freelancers as well as Featured Jobs, they offer lots of other gigs, with details and pricing. You need to be a Member to apply.
Freelance Jobs in Design, Marketing, Video, Music, Languages, Writing
YunoJuno connects creative freelancers to opportunities in London, UK primarily in web development, design, copywriting. They pay the freelancer, and their commission is charged to the client so the freelancers get their full rate.
Maroon Oak has curated listings for freelance, part-time and contract work in content, social, marketing and 15 other categories. You can sign up to get email alerts for curated remote and onsite freelance jobs. You can also be seen and connected to hirers for free. A paid plan gives you first access to top Opportunities plus higher priority on the Member Directory.
Freelance Jobs in Content, Design, Marketing, Media, Writing
Freelance Platforms for specific niches
Verblio is a crowdsourcing platform (of sorts) for writers and content creators. They vet the writers and the companies give the specs and choose from pieces submitted for a particular job. They offer content work for 35+ industries. The companies pay Verblio depending on the plan – per piece or for a monthly subscription. Writers get paid, starting at 10.50 per piece (300 words).
Folyo is a connecting platform for creatives with clients for remote gigs only. There is no referral fee payable and the freelancer owns the relationship with the client. You can sign up for free and join the pro plan for access to more gigs.
Crowdsite follows a content-based approach for design and creative work. Clients can pay to crowdsource a Design Contest or garner a lot of ideas with the more expensive Brainstorm Contest option.
Dribbble is for design professionals. You can explore their job board which lists work on graphic, UX and even product design. Or explore different projects. However, you need to join a paid plan for Pro Members to message clients, submit a proposal for projects and even join the community.
Freelancermap lets you create a profile for free and send proposals to potential clients, primarily for IT projects. Both employers and freelancers pay a monthly fee for premium access, for features like bidding for more projects and priority listing of profiles.
Cloudpeeps calls itself a business management system for freelancers (currently) in 23 countries. They connect talent to companies for a range of services including marketing, content, SEO, paid ads and more. You can opt for their free plan and pay the transaction and processing fees. Or there are paid plans with a monthly membership and lower transaction fees.
This is CloudPeeps’ Pricing Plan
Toptal positions themselves as a ‘top talent’ platform mostly for technical functions like developers, project managers and also finance experts and product designers.
Their focus is mostly on hiring and they connect pre-screened talent to companies, based on a brief from the employers.
Popular websites with Freelance Job Boards
Facebook Jobs lets hirers post on their individual pages. You can find jobs on a company’s page or their jobs portal. There is an option to apply directly from the Page. You do need to have a Facebook id to see and apply.
LinkedIn has thousands of jobs where you can pick your options by job title or industry and get notified by email, about the jobs which meet your specs. While they match skills, the search focus is on job title e.g. graphic designer, even if only 3 or 4 (out of 10 of your) skills match. Only LinkedIn members can see jobs and save searches.
Working Nomads is a curated job board with remote digital jobs in 15 different categories, but heavy on tech. You can find the jobs on their boards or sign up to get alerts. The hirers pay a fee to post a job.
Works for Tech
Blogging Pro is a job board with lots of paid freelance and contract gigs for writers, bloggers, business and copywriting. Employers pay to post jobs. However, it’s free for applicants seeking freelance work.
Virtual Vocations curates telecommuting jobs – their researchers browse opportunities in the remote work sphere. You can get free limited access to jobs or a paid subscription with full access.
Skip the Drive is more an aggregator of hirers rather than jobs per se. They list the companies that hire for remote and online work if you’re looking for something in the professional functions e.g. Accounting, HR, IT, Finance, etc. Each employer has a dedicated profile page and you need to click through to the company’s career or jobs page.
Remote PR Jobs is a paid service to browse and get notified (by email) about remote PR gigs in the U.S and Europe. You need to be a Member to access the jobs, as well as get tools and tips.
We Work Remotely – a job board, with jobs listing remote work in a number of fields, with a majority being in Programming and DevOps as well as Marketing. But they also offer Design, Customer Support and Product related gigs. A great feature is that you can subscribe to receive alerts about a particular category rather than all listings. It’s free for Freelancers.
You can also do an advanced keyword search on Twitter. However, the results are not curated like the platforms or job boards.
If you’re looking for the best freelance jobs and opportunities that let you find interesting and viable work, these websites and platforms are a great place to start. Have you used any (or many) of these? Share your experiences – what worked and what wasn’t great.
What does your ideal freelance job platform look like?
Pooja Krishna is an Entrepreneur, Business Mentor and Mom. She has worked both in large corporates and managed startups over the last 20+ years.
She’s a co-founder at Maroon Oak, and is founded Win Thinks, where she writes, speaks and teaches about Digital Media, Brand Building and Future Ready Businesses. A day trader for over a decade, Pooja launched Trading Paces to educate amateur and pro stock traders. As a classroom mentor, Pooja loves teaching students across the U.S. about job skills and entrepreneurship. Read about her on Huffington Post and Forbes.
A trivia buff and yoga & hula hoop enthusiast, she’s discovering the pleasure of drawing Zentangle patterns for ‘creative mindfulness.’