The 10 Best Websites For Freelancers
Freelancing

The 10 Best Websites For Freelancers

By
Derek Abram
|
CEO of Prio
|
9 min read

If you’re new to the freelancing industry, you’re probably going to find yourself struggling to find freelance work for a while. 

While a freelancing portfolio may help convince potential clients that you have what it takes for them to give you the gig, it will take a lot more for you to actually build a pipeline of freelance jobs, only a percentage of which will convert into paying assignments.

Among the tools that freelancers around the world use to land paying jobs, freelancing websites definitely top the list. 

We’ve curated a list of the 10 best websites for freelancers to register on. We’re going to take you through how these websites help freelancers, their pros and cons, and more.

What you need to do before applying for freelance work

Sure, the websites we’re going to talk about can help you land freelance projects, but there is a certain amount of prep work you will need to do before you start looking for work.

1. Pick up small projects

We’re sure you’ve heard people say that the proof is in the pudding. This applies to your clients as well. 

Before they hire you, they’re definitely going to want proof that you really have the skills you claim to have.

Once you know which of your skills you’re offering as a service and which business verticals you intend to work with, it is a good idea for you to take on a few small projects to hone your skills, even if it means doing them for a discounted price or for free. 

These projects can then feature in your portfolio as samples of the work you are capable of doing.

2. Create a portfolio

Your freelancing portfolio is what will showcase your skills to your clients, and, as a result, help you get paid freelance jobs. Therefore, it is only natural that your portfolio should consist of samples of your best work.

There are a couple of ways you could build your portfolio. Some freelance professionals choose to build a portfolio website, link it to their social media accounts, and promote it to gain visibility.

Others choose to host their portfolios on websites like Behance, WordPress, and Flickr, depending on their skill set and industry.

3. Build a social media presence

No, we’re obviously not talking about posting selfies on Instagram or following the latest TikTok trend. 

What we are talking about is creating profiles on social media for professional reasons and actively contributing to those profiles to engage the freelancer community as well as clients.

One of the ways you could do this is by writing blogs about your work and promoting these blogs through your social media profiles. You also ought to maintain an active presence on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is probably the most active professional networking website, a resource that businesses often turn to to find the right freelance talent for their projects. This makes it essential for every freelancer to stay active on the platform.

You could post about the projects you’re working on or have worked on. You could also post about industry news, new breakthroughs, or anything relevant to the type of client you want to work with.

Ten best websites to find freelance jobs

Here are our picks for the top ten websites for freelancers to find work on.

1. Upwork

Upwork, formerly known as Elance-oDesk, is one of the most popular freelance job websites, and for good reason. 

Freelancers of all professions can find work on Upwork, ranging from digital marketers, web developers, and graphic designers all the way to customer support jobs and content writing. 

Organizations of all sizes, ranging from multinational corporations to small local businesses, are looking for freelance talent on Upwork. They can either post their requirements on the job boards or opt to buy a service from the project catalog.

Freelancers who have registered with Upwork have access to these job boards, where the listings are constantly updated and can bid for jobs directly.

Pros

  • There is a seemingly endless list of opportunities for freelancers on Upwork.
  • The platform offers payment protection, which means the client is contractually bound to pay you when you are done with the project.
  • You can choose to get paid via PayPal, directly to your account, and wire transfer.

Cons

  • The registration process is lengthy.
  • You will need to write proposals to land jobs, and until you have a ranking on the site, may need to take on work at a lower pay scale.
  • Competition is fierce on Upwork, which means landing a project isn’t an easy prospect.
  • Upwork charges a fee for every project you work on. This fee is on a sliding scale, starting from 20% for the first $500 you bill. The more work you do on the platform, the less you need to pay.

2. Fiverr

Fiverr got its name because the site started off as a platform for customers and freelancers to engage in small projects for $5. It has, since its humble beginnings, grown to become one of the biggest freelancing platforms in the world.

Freelancers can simply list their services on the website and charge the rate that they want, while businesses can browse for the service they want, pay for it, and hire you. 

Fiverr holds the money until the project is done, and protects the customers’ banking information through an SSl certificate. 

Considering that an estimated 4.2 million customers have bought a service on Fiverr so far, you can rest assured there is no dearth of opportunities.  

Pros

  • The registration process is free and easy.
  • Freelancers from practically any line of work can find work on Fiverr. 
  • The platform takes payment upfront from the customer, so you are guaranteed of being paid, and do not need to bother about invoicing.
  • You get paid 80% of whatever the customer pays the platform.
  • Fiverr even offers online courses to help you upskill yourself.

Cons

  • There’s a lot of competition for work, and people can lowball each other to get jobs.
  • 20% of all your earnings go to Fiverr.
  • You may need to wait for as many as 14 days to draw your payments.

3. Toptal

Toptal prides itself on being able to source the top 3% of all freelance resources for its clients. This means getting onto the platform isn’t easy, but once you do, you can expect to work with the biggest brands and get paid better than most freelancers do.

This platform is best suited for freelancers looking for financial consulting, software developers, product development specialists, and designers.

Pros

  • Top-notch clientele and pay scales.
  • Toptal handles invoicing for you, as well as collecting payments for completed projects.

Cons

  • The selection process involved is very rigorous and not everyone can cut the mustard.
  • You only get large projects, so this isn’t for you if you want projects with quick turnaround times and fast payments.

4. LinkedIn

We’ve already written about why an active LinkedIn profile is important. However, LinkedIn has a smart feature that is dedicated to helping businesses connect with freelancers who have the qualifications to work with them called LinkedIn ProFinder. 

LinkedIn ProFinder allows potential employers to search for specific skills, such as logo design, app development, or content writing and then pulls up freelancer profiles that match these requirements.

LinkedIn Profinder also sends freelancers leads via email, allowing you to contact these businesses and pitch your services directly to them.

Pros

  • LinkedIn is cost-effective and does not charge you based on your per-project earnings.
  • The opportunities to network within the freelancer community and with clients are huge on LinkedIn.
  • If there’s anything new that’s going to affect the market, you will definitely hear it first on LinkedIn.

Cons

  • The biggest drawback is that LinkedIn is not a platform meant exclusively for freelance jobs. It is, in fact, a professional networking platform. This means you're liable to receive spam from time to time. 

5. DesignHill

If you’re a freelance graphic designer, web designer, or any other designer, you are likely to find freelance gigs on DesignHill. 

DesignHill allows businesses to search for specific design skills and links them up with resources that fit the profile. 

Pros

  • DesignHill allows you to host your own online store.
  • The website does not charge any fees for its services.
  • They have online chat support to help freelancers and clients alike.

Cons

  • If you aren’t a designer, this website is not for you.
  • The platform lets businesses host design contests to choose talent, and some of these could be scams that lead to nothing.

6. Behance

Behance is the go-to website for creative freelancers, ranging from illustrators, graphic designers, and animators to app developers and beyond.

By setting up your profile on Behance and uploading work samples, you open your work up to your peers, whom you can follow on the website. These networking opportunities often lead to collaborations and paid freelance gigs.

Being a featured profile on Behance means your work is exceptionally good and is bound to attract the attention of influencers and potential clients. 

Behance also has a section dedicated to freelance job opportunities and even matches projects with the skills of subscribers.

Pros

  • Behance allows you to showcase your work to a huge audience, increasing your chance of being discovered by the right clients.
  • This platform is also a great place for creative professionals to network, and explore opportunities through common channels.

Cons

  • There are over 10 million users on Behance, so the competition can get really stiff.
  • The platform does not allow users to upload high-resolution images, so your work may not be viewed the way it ought to be. 

7. Dribbble

Dribbble is another platform aimed at helping creative and design professionals network, showcase their work, and discover opportunities.

Dribbble also has a paid premium section, costing between $5 and $15 per month, which allows users to soup up their profiles with multi-shot images and videos. The premium subscribers also have exclusive access to Dribbble’s job board.

Pros

  • The volume of client traffic looking for designers that Dribbble sees is monumental, which means a profile on the website is a great way to reach new clients.
  • The website is also a great place for creative professionals to get inspiration from their peers.

Cons

  • Dribbble is very rigid, and does not allow for much customization at all.
  • Unless the designs posted aren’t currently trending on social media platforms, visibility may not be too great.

8. SimplyHired

SimplyHired is a great resource for freelancers, even beyond just searching for opportunities. The website has a lot of handy guides on topics such as resume writing and how to write the ideal cover letter, among others.

The website allows both job posters and freelancers to easily post their requirements. In fact, you could search for freelancing opportunities without even signing up for a profile on the website.

Pros

  • It’s free for both employers and freelancers to put up requirements and/or profiles on SimplyHired.
  • The process of creating a profile is also very easy, as is looking for opportunities.
  • There are plenty of guides and job tools on the website, again, free of cost.

Cons

  • The only major con is that with everything being free, you are liable to get spammed by unreliable third-party websites. 

9. People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a website that connects freelance professionals with paying clients. It allows freelancers to upload their profiles and browse for freelance opportunities across business verticals.

Applications are always checked by moderators before being approved. Once your profile is approved, you can bid on the jobs you want. The platform allows you to generate invoices and accept payments as well.

Pros

  • You can set your physical location, and look for jobs locally if you’d like.
  • Invoice generation is automated, taking a mundane off your to-do list.
  • Payments are received securely through the website, so you know you’re not getting a raw deal.

Cons

  • You initially need to pay up to 20% of every $350 you earn as a fee to the platform. Of course, that percentage gets smaller as you do more work.
  • You can’t make free bids worth more than $15 per month. 

10. Guru

Guru is a great freelancer platform that embodies transparency and trust. 

The website allows freelancers to upload their profiles and then has an internal vetting process, so when clients search for resources, they know they’re getting a qualified freelance resource from the get-go.

Once your profile has been vetted, Guru automatically starts matching your profile with freelance projects based on your skills.

Pros

  • The website enables secure payments through SafePay and offers you multiple options to withdraw your payments.
  • Invoicing is automated, so you don’t need to keep doing it after every project.
  • You can sign up on the platform for free, but the paid membership gives you access to more tools that increase your profile's visibility.

Cons

  • There have been instances of fake client profiles trying to communicate with freelancers. 

Conclusion

These website recommendations are sure to help you network and start making headway towards landing your first freelance job. However, patience and perseverance are extremely important until you actually land that first paying client. 

In fact, it could take anywhere between three months to a year before you achieve some form of stability. Click here to learn more about how to land your first client as a freelancer

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