With the flexibility of working from home, the freedom that comes with being your own boss, and the opportunity to earn extra money, freelancing has become a popular way to work. People who are either looking for a lucrative side hustle may freelance part-time. Others looking to leave their regular 9-to-5 job may pursue a freelance career full-time.
With so many benefits from freelancing, it’s no surprise that there’s a growing trend in the industry. According to Techjury, there are 73.3 million freelancers in the US in 2023. That’s up almost 3 million compared to 2022!
Freelancing websites can help you land the exact type of jobs you’re looking for by putting your skillset directly in front of potential clients. This is true whether you’re a graphic designer looking for a one-time project, a software developer looking for long-term work, or a social media manager looking for a short-term contract gig.
The Best Freelancing Websites to Find Work
With so much growth in freelancing, the job hunt can be competitive. We’ve rounded up the best freelance platforms to help you find work and grow a successful freelance business. Keep reading to learn about some of the most popular and trusted freelance sites on the web.
Upwork is a freelancing platform that connects freelance talent with clients through a traditional job board platform. It’s free to sign up.
All you have to do is complete your profile by outlining any work experience and skills, and including any portfolio examples you may have. (Freelancers and clients undergo a screening process to help ensure all job listings and applications are legitimate. Keep an eye out for job listings and profiles with a blue verified checkmark.)
The wide range of freelance jobs offered on Upwork are categorized into levels (beginner, intermediate, expert) and offered at an hourly rate or a one-time project price point. If you find a listing you like, apply for it by submitting a cover letter and a bid using the “connects” UpWork provides. The client will then contact you to further discuss the job opportunity and, if hired, offer a contract.
Although UpWork is free, it’s important to note they do collect a service fee from your payouts. This service fee is placed on a tier and is based on a percentage of how much money you earn from the contract for the pay period. Be sure to keep this in mind when considering the overall costs of your freelancing business.
For experienced professionals, Toptal is a great freelancing platform to use when you’re ready to level up your freelancing career. They work with top-performing freelancers who have to apply to be considered for the platform.
According to their website, fewer than 3% of the thousands of applications they receive monthly are accepted. You’re working with the very best of the best!
Their application process is rigorous; It includes a screening process to evaluate personality, language proficiency, and skill level, an interview, live work product exercises, and a 1-3 week test project.
Toptal is also slightly more refined in the types of freelance talent they hire and the industries they serve. They hire developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers who work in various fields, including healthcare, consumer products and services, financial services, media, and communication.
Although the hiring process takes a lot of time and investment, this site’s freelance opportunities are undoubtedly worth it.
Fiverr is one of the most popular freelance websites out there, and it’s the perfect platform for beginners. Instead of applying to freelance opportunities that are posted on a job board, on Fiverr, you create a freelancing project (or gig) that you offer to clients.
You’ll receive a notification when a client wants to purchase your project, and after completing the deliverable, you receive payment immediately available for withdrawal.
Since you can create your own gigs, you can market pretty much any service you want as long as it’s legal and complies with Fiverr’s terms. Whether you’re a freelance writer who wants to sell SEO-writing services or a freelance designer who wants to offer website-building services, the sky’s the limit regarding the types of freelance gigs you can offer.
In addition to offering your freelance services, Fiverr also has professional courses available to help you become a successful seller in the freelance marketplace. It’s worth spending some time using this resource, especially if you’re a beginner, to learn the basics.
Freelancer works similarly to Upwork in that clients can post a project or job listing, and freelancers can apply for the gig. At the same time, clients can also browse through freelancer profiles and connect with freelancers who may be a good fit for the job they posted.
This freelance website is open to all freelancers, from beginners to experts. Once you’re ready to take the next step and take on more high-value projects, you can apply to be part of Freelancer’s Preferred Freelancer Program. This program offers various benefits, including personalized invitations to jobs curated by Freelancer’s recruiter team and reduced payment fees (paying only commission instead of upfront charges).
Finally, like other freelance websites, Freelancer serves various industries and screens clients and freelancers to ensure all job listings and profiles are legitimate. Just look for a green verified checkmark when you browse through the listings.
Getting started with Guru is simple, and it works similarly to other freelance job sites on this list. It’s free to get started. All you have to do is sign up, create your profile, and start submitting bids.
Guru offers several methods of payment using their secure payment system. You can either opt in to auto pay and receive payments automatically after completing a project, or you can use a preferred withdrawal payment method like PayPal, wire transfer, or direct transfer.
In addition to offering flexible payment methods, freelancers and clients can also choose to use SafePay to ensure payment protection for both parties. Although it’s not required, SafePay is highly recommended.
If you use SafePay, the freelancer chooses a minimum SafePay balance when creating the job agreement. The employer pays the balance as a deposit and after the freelancer completes the work, the employer can use the funds in SafePay to pay the freelancer.
With a wide range of job listings and a payment protection option, Guru is a great platform to join if you want to expand your reach to more clients.
FlexJobs is a job board that offers remote, hybrid, and flexible jobs. The job listings consist of full-time, part-time, and flexible-schedule jobs in various industries. There is truly something for everyone on this site. It’s perfect for job hunters specifically looking for remote or hybrid work, including freelancers.
It’s important to note that FlexJobs requires job seekers to pay to use their job board. Pricing plans depend on how long you want to use their platform. Plans range from one week (for $9.45 at the time this article was written) to one year. As a paying member, you’ll receive unlimited access to the job board, free skills testing, job search tips and resources, a personalized portfolio, and more.
In addition to the professional development resources above, members receive perks from various retailers and brands like Dell, Cotsco, and Audible. Be sure to take advantage of these when you join!
99designs is a site exclusively for designers. Businesses looking for creative talent can either hire a designer with the assistance of 99designs, or they can host a design contest, and designers can submit their designs for a chance to win.
To join this site as a freelancer, you must apply (it’s free). If accepted, you’ll be placed in either an entry, mid, or top-level category (depending on your experience and work). Every six months, you can apply for a review and an opportunity to move up a level.
After completing projects, payments are disbursed within three business days. Keep in mind a platform fee (based on a percentage according to the designer level) is charged on every project.
If you’re a creative freelancer who designs logos, clothing, merchandise, books, websites, or apps, this website is definitely worth checking out. Although, we recommend finding gigs directly rather than participating in contests, which can be a waste of time.
Designhill is another site that’s ideal for freelance workers in the design industry. This platform primarily serves businesses that need help with branding and marketing designs. They offer projects of varying capacities, from vehicle wraps to packaging design.
Similar to 99designs, Designhill gives employers the option to either work directly with a freelance designer or host a design contest. Unlike other platforms, Designhill doesn’t require bidding for a project. Instead, you or the client will reach out to each other to discuss the project specifics and determine if you’re a good fit for the job.
In addition to working with clients directly on freelance projects and entering into contests, Designhill also offers artists an opportunity to sell their work through their online PrintShop. The signup process is free. All you have to do is apply.
It’s important to note that Designhill currently only makes payouts through PayPal and Payoneer.
To get started, sign up and create your online portfolio.
ServiceScape offers job listings for freelance professionals who work as editors, translators, graphic designers, or writers. If any of these are within your scope of work, then ServiceScape is the platform for you.
Getting started is free and easy to do with a few clicks. Create an account and complete your profile, including a brief summary of your skills, a list of credentials, and your portfolio.
After that, clients can look you up in ServiceScape’s freelance directory and contact you from there to discuss your services. As a freelancer, you can choose how a client can interact with you by selecting options like “Buy A Service” or “Set Up A Teleconference Call.”
The directory is also sorted according to average client rating, ranging from one star to Elite. The goal for freelancers is to achieve Elite status. This gives you the most visibility and opportunity for landing new projects.
10. People Per Hour
People Per Hour is geared towards various freelancing professionals with jobs available in tech, business, marketing, design, and more. This site works like a typical freelance job board in which employers post listings and accepts proposals from bidding freelancers. They then pick the freelancer that’s best suited for the job.
In addition to finding work, this platform makes it easy to manage client communication, payments, and project progress in one place.
After completing a project, clients will have the opportunity to leave you a rating and review. This will inform other clients about your stellar work and help build a positive reputation for you as a freelancer.
SolidGigs makes searching for your next freelancing gig seamless by eliminating the time you spend sifting through job boards and bringing you high-quality leads each week.
You let SolidGigs know what type of work you’re looking for. Then they get to work finding your ideal clients. When they find a good match, you get notified so you can submit a pitch and land your ideal gig. It’s free to try for seven days. After the trial, it costs $35 a month.
On top of a seamless job search, you’ll also enjoy Solidgigs’ fee-free policy. Keep 100% of your paycheck from every client you work with.
Dribbble is another freelance platform made specifically for designers. Animation, web design, print, branding: You name it!
To find work, you can search the job board (they offer full-time jobs and part-time/single-project freelance gigs) and receive daily leads emailed directly to your inbox. The job board is free, but to receive emails, you’ll need to become a member by signing up for a paid subscription.
If you’re a designer, you can also use Dribbble to create a portfolio and sell your art through their Creative Market shop.
With so many ways to earn in one place, this site is worth looking into if you’re a designer or creative freelance professional.
Last but certainly not least is Behance, a social media platform owned by Adobe that’s designed for creatives. It’s completely free. All you have to do is create your online portfolio and showcase your work.
If you’re looking for freelance gigs, browse listings under their website’s “Jobs” tab. You’ll find everything from website redesigns to motion graphics animation projects.
Since Behance is an Adobe platform, almost all job listings require knowledge and experience in using Adobe software like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Premiere. This is a great way to keep those software proficiency skills sharp while getting paid to do what you do best: creating!
Frequently Asked Questions
Beginners can use many of the sites listed here, but if you’re looking for the best starting point, you may want to consider Fiverr. With Fiverr, you’ll create specific gigs you want to offer clients. You can start by offering small projects that you can complete quickly and at low rates. This can help you to get a few clients and build positive reviews, which will help you scale up to bigger projects.
Experience isn’t mandatory to work as a freelancer. However, it will help you to land more jobs and to ensure that you do the best job possible for clients. If you start with no experience, it’s best to work on some personal projects or work with people in your network at first. This way, you’ll gain some experience and start to build a portfolio.
Yes, earning an excellent full-time income as a freelancer is possible. It takes time to build your business, but the income potential is outstanding. Of course, many people prefer to freelance part-time, so it can be whatever you want it to be.
Final Thoughts on Freelancing Websites
With so many freelancing websites at your fingertips, the opportunities for finding your ideal freelancing gigs and matching with ideal clients are limitless.
Bookmark this page and join one or two (or more) of the platforms on this list that you feel are best suited for your skills and professional level. As you grow, so will your experience and portfolio, and you’ll be able to level up and qualify for more advanced platforms and projects.
Whether you’re new to freelancing or have been freelancing for some time and want to take your career to the next level, there’s a site on this list for you.
Sign up to get started and start using your favorite freelancing sites today!