Are you looking for the best freelancing sites in 2016?
I’ve been a freelancer for two years now and I can tell you a lot has changed in the freelancing world since I began. For one, a freelance job is no longer something to be scoffed at – it is a serious profession, one that has helped millions earn a decent livelihood and support their families.
Did you know that there are 54 million freelancers in the U.S.? That’s a full one-third of the American working population. That’s massive.
There’s a huge freelance marketplace out there and good freelancers are always in demand.
If freelancing interests you, you will want to know where to get the best freelancing jobs in 2016, so I have prepared this list of the top 5 freelancing sites to make it easier for you to get started.
Toptal is a relatively new freelancing site that has achieved great success in the little time it has been around.
Toptal is popular because it conducts rigorous quality checks on freelancers. Only 3% of the freelance developers and designers who apply to sell their services on Toptal get admitted. Freelancers are screened for their English-speaking skills, technical knowledge, skill and personality. Toptal is for the really serious freelancers, the absolute top of the draw. Freelancers on Toptal are very well paid, and there are many who make a six-figure income here.
Of all the freelancing sites Upwork is the largest freelance network out there.
It was formed from the merger of two of the biggest freelancing sites in the world – Elance and oDesk. Upwork has over 9 million freelancers working on the site and over 1.5 million clients. It has the most number of freelancing jobs that you will find anywhere. There are all sorts of jobs on Upwork, from programming jobs to freelance writing, virtual assistants to logo design, web design to data entry. There’s something on Upwork for everyone and for all types of skills. Freelancers are required to bid for projects on an hourly or fixed price basis. Clients usually carry out interviews on Skype to evaluate clients and judge their competence to take on a project. The bids range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars, so there’s no way to tell how much you can make here. Talented freelancers with marketable skills will have no trouble earning a decent living on Upwork.
99Designs is strictly for designers – logo designers, graphic designers, web designers, eBook cover designers and so on.
It has a very innovative business model. Instead of the bidding process that is used on most sites, here the clients crowdsource their projects. They submit a mini-version of their project along with the relevant information to the designers on 99Designs, who then submit their work based on that brief. Clients pick the best submission, and the winner gets all the money. They can choose to continue working with the designer in the future to develop a full-fledged version of the project or for other future projects. There are over a million designers working at 99Designs and it’s a place where true talent cannot be hidden and always comes on top.
FlexJobs is a freelancing site I like because of a different business model.
On this freelancing website, the jobs posted are vetted, and not the freelancers. Anyone can join as a freelancer, provided they are willing to pay a fee of $14.95/month or $49.95/year to join. FlexJobs is essentially a paid jobs board that you can join as a freelancer. As a member, you will have access to the contact information of the clients who post jobs on the site and can apply directly. There are a plenty of jobs on offer here, over 30,000 at any point in time. So you won’t find it hard to stay busy as a freelancer on FlexJobs.
Guru has been around since 2001, which makes it the oldest freelancing site in the world.
There are over 1.5 million freelancers here, many of whom have been on Guru since the early 2000s and have made hundreds of thousands of dollars working on it. Indeed, Guru has paid out over $200 million to the hard working freelancers on the site. Clients can look through the portfolios of the freelancers, read the details of the recently completed projects and reviews before offering them a job. Guru is known to be a very friendly site for freelancers and a great place to work.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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