The online freelance job marketplace is expansive and changing every day as the Great Resignation encourages employers to expand their horizons when hiring. These websites are great for novice freelancers looking to break in. Each website has its own nuances and fees, and some may be a better fit for your industry and skill level than others.
Before taking the plunge and signing up for a bunch of accounts, do some research and compare the most popular sites to figure out which is the best fit for you and your business. You may end up ultimately signing up with more than one website but before you do, check their terms and conditions to make sure that this is within their terms of service.
- Thumbs up: No upfront fees and more high-quality jobs than other websites.
- Thumbs down: Upwork needs to approve your profile before you can start looking for clients and if your profile isn’t complete or your industry is too saturated, you may be rejected from the platform.
- Fees and payment: 20% for the first $500 billed to a client, 10% for lifetime billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000, or 5% for lifetime billings with a client that exceed $10,000.
- Thumbs up: Of all websites on this list, they have the most opportunities available. They are open to everyone and there are no upfront fees.
- Thumbs down: You can only bid on a certain number of projects per month.
- Fees and payment: 10% fee or $5, whichever is more, for fixed-price projects; 10% fee for hourly projects; 20% fee for services; $10 fee/month if your account is inactive for 6 months or more.
- Thumbs up: This is one of the most-visited websites in the U.S. and is great for finding local work that may or may not be remote.
- Thumbs down: The site features lots of fraudulent listings and too-good-to-be-true offers.
- Fees and payment: Free to post or apply for jobs; payment structure varies by client and job.
- Thumbs up: This is the largest online marketplace for remote/flexible/freelance jobs, and all listings screened by hand to avoid spam.
- Thumbs down: The monthly membership fees are high.
- Fees and payment: $14.95 for a one-month membership; $29.95 for a three-month membership; and $49.95 for a year-long membership which includes member discounts on things like QuickBooks and career coaching services.
- Thumbs up: This website is best for beginners looking to build their portfolios.
- Thumbs down: Market rates are very low and payments are delayed 14 days to ensure client satisfaction with the work.
- Fees and payment: 20% commission on every sale made.
- Thumbs up: This website has higher end contracts that will pay more
- Thumbs down: It may be harder for people just starting out without much portfolio, but if you have a portfolio and new on platform you’ll still get work.
- Fees and payment: free-$9.99/month
- Thumbs up: This site is perfect for more experienced freelancers as opposed to entry-level workers.
- Thumbs down: It currently caters to just nine industries.
- Fees and payment: There are multiple pricing packages ranging from no monthly payment and a 9% invoice fee to $49.95 per month and a 5% invoice fee.
- Thumbs up: This site takes the tedious task of digging through job listings off your hands.
- Thumbs down: You have to wait for jobs to be sent to you via email and hope you find the right fit.
- Fees and payment: monthly fee of $19.
- Thumbs up: They connect technically skilled, highly qualified freelancers with top companies needing work.
- Thumbs down: There is an extensive screening process; only 3% of applicants are accepted to work on the platform.
- Fees and payment: no fees.
- Thumbs up: This is perfect for graphic designers looking to expand their portfolios.
- Thumbs down: Freelancer profiles have to be evaluated and lower skill level means less visibility on the platform.
- Fees and payment: introduction fee of $100 and a platform fee ranging from 5% to 15%.
People Per Hour
- Thumbs up: This would be good for freelancers looking for one-time/fixed-price projects instead of a long-term commitment.
- Thumbs down: You can only bid on 15 projects per month.
- Fees and payment: service fee starts at 20% and decreases the more you earn.
- Thumbs up: They promote freelancers in writing, editing, and translation to their high-quality client base.
- Thumbs down: It supports a very limited list of industries, and the only way to win work is for the clients to initiate conversations with freelancers.
- Fees and payment: 50% commission fee on all completed work.
- Thumbs up: Part of one of the most trusted, well-known job networking websites across all industries.
- Thumbs down: You have to be approved to use this service and being selective with your applications is going to be your key to success.
- Fees and payment: can apply to 10 jobs for free, but will need to pay $60/month if you want to continue with the service.
This is just a selection of some of the dozens of freelancing websites out there, and if you ask your freelancing network for a recommendation it’s likely that everyone has a different preference. Your experience level, industry, and rates will all shape your final decision.
These websites are a great way to start your freelance career, establish your rates, and expand your portfolio, and it may take some trial and error before you figure out what works best for you. Perhaps most important to remember is that you don’t have to be on one of these sites forever; use them as a jumping off point and reevaluate every few months to find what is working best for you.