Freelancing websites are platforms that allow employers and job seekers to share their offers. Although each freelancing website is different from the other in terms of functionality and types of offers, all of them essentially are an online space for job ads where depending on your level of skills and preferences you bid on an offer.
There are numerous freelancing websites available for you to try. Some of them, like 99Designs and BloggingPro, are niche-focused websites that offer jobs that are closely related to one industry branch (in case of 99Designs and BloggingPro that would be graphic design and writing respectively). We’ve spoken about the more niche-focused freelancing platforms before, so check it out if that’s more suitable for you! Other freelancing websites, like the ones we listed below, offer jobs from different industries, ranging from according to administration work.
Upwork offers a variety of job opportunities. It offers collaborative working space and has great features like built-in invoice maker. You begin your journey as a freelancer on Upwork by creating a profile (indicating professional skills, experience, and portfolio), highlighting the area of interests and scanning through the list of job opportunities carefully selected by the Upwork’s highly sophisticated algorithms.
As with most of the freelance websites, there’s a top-rated and rising talent program. This program allows you to enjoy greater visibility and certain prestige. While this is great for those who have already made a reputation for themselves on this platform, working your way through might be a bit more challenging.
However, each freelancer on the platform has a certain number of connects per month. As there are no free connects on Upwork, upon spending your ‘monthly allowance’ on your bidding process (each proposal costs you a certain amount of connects) you’ll either have to buy an Upwork plus membership or wait for the month to pass.
Upwork also charges you a certain fee that differs depending on the amount of income you’ve made through the platform.
Tip: Avoid using pre-made proposals, as these will rarely get you a job.
Although a new freelancing platform, Hubstaff Talent offers some refreshing differences to other freelancing websites. For example, it is free for freelancers to join, and there are no fees for bidding on jobs. There is a wide range of jobs available on the platform. You can choose from administrative, virtual assistant, data entry, transcription, customer service, writing and content site development, IT, marketing and social media, and the like.
Hubstaff Talent offers an affiliate program where you can earn a 30% recurring commission through the said program.
And while there are many advantages to this platform like interesting jobs, an option to receive your payment directly even if you are working in a team of freelancers on a certain project, the general payment per hour is below $10. Yes, there are some jobs that pay $20 – 50 per hour, but there are also job listings that do not state the hourly rate.
Tip: This could be a great platform for a start of your freelance career, of course, in addition to some other platform.
Fiverr is a bit different from the previous two platforms we discussed. Think of Fiverr as your virtual shop. Register as a seller by creating your profile detailing what you can do and what your interests are. You can create a package offer (Basic, Standard and Premium package) of your services, detailing what each service is and how much you charge for them respectively. Then, offer your service (also known as Gig), and if accepted, get compensated for it. Also, Fiverr lets you set a rate for your Gig.
There is no fee charged for joining the platform, so anyone can set their shop on Fiverr.
Fiverr also has their affiliate program where you’ll earn $5 for referring a new member who makes a Gig.
While Fiverr offers a variety of jobs and great potential earnings, this is not a ‘get rich quick’ kind of platform.
Tip: Make sure your customer reviews are outstanding! This will help you draw in more customers.
Toptal markets itself as an exclusive network that offers top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers. They promise companies and employers to match them with 3% of the top talent. Their rigorous screening process serves to find the 3% of the top applicants in their domain of thousands of applications they receive each month.
There are 5 stages of the screening process. Each stage is designed to measure subject matter expertise, professionalism, and communication skills. Stages include language and skills, in-depth skill review, live screening, test projects, and continued excellence. The screening process takes anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks.
Toptal offers experts from design, programming, business, marketing etc. Some of their clients include Airbnb, Shopify, Duolingo and many more.
This platform offers a high financial reward, flexibility of time, a variety of jobs and projects. In addition, Toptal encourages their freelancers to contribute to Toptal’s blog where they can gain recognition and exposure.
An interesting feature Toptal requires you to accept in their terms and conditions is a 2 week trial period working with a client. This means that in case a client is not satisfied with your work, they are not obligated to pay for your work to Toptal. However, Toptal will pay you 50% of the contracted price.
With more than 30 million users, Freelancer is one of the most popular freelancing platforms. Freelancer platform is not free of charge, as it has its own commission system based on the type of package and your successful bidding. As a freelancer, you get 8 bids per month. If you want to bid more, you have to upgrade to a paid account. Freelancer has an app that allows you to communicate with your clients and track the time you’ve spent working on an hourly project.
Across the internet, you can find varying reviews on Freelancers. Some of them include freelancers complaining they have not been paid accordingly for their work. However, there are equally positive reviews of this freelancing platform as well.
Freelancer offers a wide range of jobs, from IT-related jobs, business, accounting, human resources, and legal jobs, to local jobs and services. In a nutshell, on this platform, there is something for everyone.
The process of securing a job is much the same as with Upwork, for example. You create a profile, bid on projects, and if successful you collaborate and get paid.
Tip: Becoming a Preferred Freelancer on the platform will give you more opportunities and edge when bidding on jobs.
Choosing the right platform that suits your needs as a freelancer is important! But don’t be quick to judge a freelancing platform based on a first impression. Try its features, do some further digging, read reviews and so on.
Freelancing websites can be a great place to restart your career, or turn your hobby into a paying gig. But, make sure you also build a personal website that would portray you in a more professional light!