Freelancing is growing, and thousands of Americans prove you can make a living (and even get rich) working remotely. The gig economy is expanding as well, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 16 million Americans already make money from remote work. That’s a sizeable portion of the workforce, and it’s expected to expand dramatically over the next ten years. To aid in the development of this new economic sector, companies formed to offer freelancing services online. These companies connect freelancers to clients and help new remote workers get their careers off the ground. While it’s usually not advisable to rely on a platform for your income (think ad-mageddon on YouTube), these top sites for freelance jobs are excellent resources to break into freelancing, get a feel for it, and launch your career:
Types of Freelance Jobs
Freelancing comes in a variety of specializations, not least of which is writing. Freelance writing is one of the most popular career choices for remote workers for a few reasons. First of all, there’s an enormous amount of work available for writers. Content writing, business writing, and SEO (search engine optimization) gigs are in constant demand, so it’s relatively easy to find work. Most writers aren’t pressed for impressive qualifications (such as advanced degrees) and the general attitude in the field is straightforward—if you can do the work, you can get the jobs.
Writing, despite its popularity, is not the only freelancing field with an abundance of available job opportunities. Software development (in its various forms) is another immensely popular freelance career option. Remote coders make impressive wages for their work, and they can find stable, long-term contracts on the top sites for freelance jobs. Individual results will vary, but programming is an excellent skill to offer on freelance websites.
Designers have great opportunities in the freelance job market too. Graphic designers, artists, and other visual and audio creators can find stable work on top freelancing sites. These professionals help businesses create the designs they need, and they charge a premium too—freelance designers often make a comfortable living from their work, and some even make more than they did at their traditional job. One of the best aspects of freelancing is that your income is never capped—it relies entirely on your ability to work and market yourself.
Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing sites around. Signing up is relatively simple, and once you’re approved, you can get started right away. You can apply for jobs that fit your skills using credits. Credits cost 15 cents each, and most proposals require between two and four credits to submit. Freelancers apply for jobs by submitting proposals, which include a price quote (hourly or fixed-price) and a short description of skills. Like many freelancing sites, Upwork takes a cut—20% of your earnings go to the company, at first. Though, once you’ve earned $500 from a single client, Upwork will only take 10% of future earnings from that client. While this may seem ridiculous, it’s the price you have to pay for their platform. And as most people will agree, Upwork is a handy platform—especially for beginners.
Freelancer is one of the top sites for freelance jobs—after all, it’s in the name. This freelancing site works similarly to Upwork. When an employer posts a job that matches your skills, you can ‘bid’ a price and timeline to complete the job. Also, you’ll have a brief opportunity to introduce yourself and describe why you’re a good fit for the project. Freelancer employers can choose between the bids and find the best fit for their project. This site has changed significantly since its original version, so if you haven’t been on board for a while, it’s worth checking out. Freelancer offers several perks over other freelance sites, including a long and legitimate history of successful remote workers. Freelancer, unlike Upwork, only takes a small percentage of your income. Their cut for fixed-price jobs is currently set at 3%, which is much lower than many other platforms.
Indeed is unlike Upwork and Freelancer, as it’s not a dedicated freelance site. Instead, this site is one of the largest job boards on the Internet. This platform isn’t even a platform—it’s just a place to find jobs. The site offers its own freelancing page which hosts over 200,000 jobs. What makes it one of the top sites for freelance jobs is that it takes no cut of your income once you get started with a client. Also, your relationship with the client is between you and them, and it protects your reputation from demanding and intolerable clients. If you want to fire a client, just fire them—you won’t miss out on opportunities because of a scathing review from a disgruntled customer. But unlike Freelancer and Upwork, this site offers no income protection once you begin working for a client.
Why Use One of the Top Sites for Freelance Jobs?
Freelancing offers a level of freedom unlike any other type of work. Regardless of what you specialize in, being a freelancer give you the ability to work your own schedule, choose your own clients, and work from wherever you want. The life of a freelancer isn’t usually glamorous, but it opens doors to people who don’t fit the typical nine-to-five office work environment. Freelancing takes office politics out of work and allows you to find the schedule and environment that’s most productive for you. No HR, no breakfast meetings, and no extended hours—if you choose. However, freelancing requires personal responsibility and time management skills. If you have excellent work habits (or you’re willing to develop them), freelancing can be a life-changing work opportunity that can dramatically improve your quality of life and job satisfaction.