As secure long-term employment is becoming increasingly scarce, there is a growing demand for freelancers on the global marketplace. If you have a specific set of skills and are able to market those skills, you can make a decent living by freelancing on the internet.
With a bit of practice and training, competent software engineers, webdesigners, graphic designers, writers, social media marketers and many other IT-based professionals should be able to find jobs and earn money online. This opens up a lot opportunities such as working while traveling or working from home.
In this article and the video above, I will list and briefly review the top 5 best freelance websites as of 2016 through to 2017.
Upwork is a global freelancing platform formerly known as Elance-oDesk. The company is based in California in the United States and has over nine million registered freelancers and over four million registered clients.
Upwork offers something for freelancers of every type. There are short- and long-term projects, projects that pay an hourly wage or per-project fee, and also both expert and entry level freelance jobs are available.
Even people who are just starting out have a decent chance of finding some gigs on Upwork, provided they know how to pitch themselves to prospective clients.
Upwork has a 10% fee for projects sold through their platform.
Freelancer.com is a global crowdsourcing and freelancing marketplace founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The company has acquired a number of its competitors and has now setup over 40 regional freelance marketplaces in 34 languages. In 2015 it was declared ”Best Employment Website” and ”Best Professional Services Website” by the annual Webby awards.
It’s free to sign up with Freelancer.com as a freelancer but free members can only bid on 8 projects per month. There are a number of membership plans to increase the amount of bids you get per month, starting with a Intro account giving you 15 bids at 99 cents per month and ending with a Premier account giving you 1500 bids at $59.95 per month, and there’s a few options in between and of course the accounts have other perks as well such as listing more skills, daily express withdrawals, eligibility for a preferred freelancer status and much more.
Additionally Freelancer has a 10% or $5 job fee, whichever amount is larger.
Guru.com is a global freelance marketplace originally founded in 1998 as eMoonlighter.com. Guru is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. According to its website, Guru.com has 1.5 million members, 1 million jobs completed and $200 million paid to freelancers.
The job fees for Guru.com are variable depending on your account type. There’s a few different account types, starting with basic which is free, basic+, professional, business and executive. The fee for a basic account is 8.95% which is quite good and the lowest fee is with an executive account which has a job fee of 4.95% and costs $39.95 per month. These upgraded accounts have other benefits as well, such as more bids, cheaper or free marketing perks, premium quotes and more.
Toptal, which comes from the words Top Talent, is an American freelance platform mainly for professional software engineers and designers. The vetting process for becoming a freelancer on Toptal is very strict, it’s really not for the casual freelancer. They have a number of tests and interviews that freelancers must pass and the percentage of those who pass all of the tests is fairly low, it’s around 3%. But if you do become one of those who pass, then you allegedly get unparalleled access to projects from big corporate clients like JPMorgan, Pfizer, Zendesk and others.
The 3% thing is however mainly a marketing gimmick. Don’t get me wrong, they probably have a lot of talented software engineers and designers, but most likely not the top 3% in the world, just the top 3% who apply to Toptal as freelancers.
Additionally I’ve heard conflicting information about their payment rates.
Fiverr is a global online marketplace for tasks and services where the starting price is $5, hence the name. Although there are people on Fiverr making a full-time job income, Fiverr is usually best for those who maybe have a part-time job and have spare time to make some extra money by casually freelancing on Fiverr.
For those looking to make a full-time income, Fiverr may not be the best choice because its fees are quite high. For every $5 earned, they take $1, so a 20% fee. However, withdrawing your money to Paypal will never cost you more than $1.
That being said, as a beginner it might be easier to get at least some gigs quickly compared to other freelancing websites and depending on what services you’re offering, your hourly rate can be quite high although your total income might not be so high.