Freelancing is a way of life for many small business owners. Plus, in today’s market, many employees moonlight as a way to earn extra income. Getting started and spreading the word about your services when looking for freelance jobs is not always easy.
There are many good websites for temporary jobs and contracts with freelancers in mind. Some only post specific freelance categories, such as writing, design or coding, while others are more general. If your networking has come to a standstill, below are some sites to try for more work.
Note: Many of these sites are also good places for business owners to find talented people to help them get things done, too. This is a two-way street of opportunity.
Looking for Freelance in All the Right Places. . .
The big three contractor/freelancer sites are Guru, Elance and Odesk.
Guru offers a wide variety of freelancing jobs and allows you to create up to five different profiles. Their commission is variable, but they handle tax reporting so you do not have to give out your Social Security number to every employer. Escrow ensures freelancers are paid, but can be confusing. The onsite messaging is awful, but they will accept outside evidence in disputes.
There are five major job categories on Elance: Programmers, mobile developers, designers, writers and marketers. But you can drop down into a wide ranging list, too. As one of the top freelancing websites, they maintain a great site and service. The commission is higher than most. They offer escrow payment and dispute resolution, for those jobs that don’t go right.
Odesk is designed for freelancers who prefer hourly wages as opposed to flat fees. They are a little more expensive in their commissions, but they cover employer tax costs if the employer wants to hire you through their payroll service. You need to log in to the website while you work so it can record screen shots.
If you have a talent (such as being able to design a business card in one hour), PeoplePerHour is the freelancing website for you. It works like the other freelancing websites, but also allows you to post “hourlies” to drive business to you. In general, there are fewer jobs, but they are higher quality.
Freelanced is a job posting site. You have to register to use it, but memberships range from free to $7 per month based on the features you want. Once you find an employer, Freelanced bows out of the relationship, so you will need to arrange for payment through Paypal, Escrow.com, or another mutually agreeable way.
Any job can be posted on Freelance Switch, but it primarily has IT style jobs with a few SEO, design, and writing jobs. It is best known for its blog and freelance information. The job board is primarily classifieds. You apply and then everything is taken offsite including payment. It can also be difficult to navigate and has very few jobs posted overall. Freelancers must pay a $7 monthly fee to be able to bid on jobs.
Aquent has a unique business model that works as part freelancer connection and part international temp service. You have to apply, be tested, and go to one of their many locations for a fact-to-face interview. But they will match you up with temporary employers that pay decent wages. It primarily has jobs in design and marketing but caters to many types of jobs.
Rat Race Rebellion
Rat Race Rebellion is a job-posting site that focuses on work-at-home and freelance jobs. There is no fee, but the site warns that it is supported by advertisements, so you have to be careful where you click. The actual jobs that are posted are screened for legitimacy. The advertisements are not. Everything is arranged offsite, but they have some nice resource links on their FAQs page for spotting scams.
FlexJobs is one of my favorites. This site is an aggregator, of sorts, collecting jobs they find all over the Web. But they have real people research, sift, and sort telecommuting, part-time, remote jobs of all types. It has a monthly subscription fee or $14.95 or $49.95 for an annual subscription.
Patch is an online journalism freelancer website. You need to create a profile to apply for jobs writing local news stories. You must live near the reporting areas.
Online Writing Jobs
If you are an established writer (you have a blog or a book for sale), Online Writing Jobs (formerly QualityGal) might be the place for you. You apply to them and they have articles posted that you can choose to write. Payment is through weekly mailed checks or Paypal.
Post your resume or search job listings on Journalism Jobs. There are a variety of writing jobs, but most are targeted toward journalism.
Media Bistro has an excellent job board as well. Less freelance focused, but they have the occasional post that is flexible or temporary.
Pitch Me reverses the concept of a job-posting site. Here, freelancers pitch the articles they want to write and editors select them. To sign up, you have to click on the sign-in icon, fill in the information, and be accepted. It looks like the website takes care of payments and charges a flat fee plus commission to editors when they accept your articles.
Canadian Freelance Writing Jobs
If you are a Canadian writer, Canadian Freelance Writing Jobs caters to you. It offers high standards of community and pay for Canadian writers. Jobs are screened and profiles can be posted, but pay is done offsite. This website is also advertising-supported and free, but it is easy to spot the ads.
TextBroker is another great service to build a profile to sell your writing skills. Like most of these services, it works both ways: I used TextBroker to get a big blogging project done earlier this year and was pleased with the quality. I have not signed up as a writer, but have considered it. They use Paypal, but cover the fees for writers. Very well organized and focused on quality.
Artists and Designers
You can upload your artwork (as a sample or for sale) on Artwanted.com. People can search by artist information or by keywords for artwork. They charge a 15% commission if you process through them, but no fees are charged if you get paid through Paypal or another service. There is a $39/year premium membership with added benefits and the option of selling your artwork on mugs and things like that.
99Designs is for designers. It allows them to showcase their work in the logo store, accept 1-to-1 projects, and design something for a “contest.” Only the winner of a contest receives payment. Like other freelancer websites, it offers both escrow and invoicing payment options. Employers pay to use the website.
Developers and Coders
Computer Assistant is an interesting website for tech freelancers who are willing to work onsite. You register with them as you do on other freelancer sites and are then screened by them. When jobs in your area come available, based on your availability and skill, you will be notified and can bid on them. If you win the bid, you have to get a signed work order from the job and return it to get paid.
GetACoder targets IT people who are looking for freelance jobs. It is similar to Guru and Elance, but every job is completed through an escrow payment. Freelancers are charged both a commission on each job and either a per project fee or a monthly membership fee. There are a few jobs outside of IT listed, but not many.
Smashing Magazine created the Smashing Jobs outsourcing board for freelancers to pick up work. Like the other tech job boards, it isn’t pretty, but it’s functional. The employer pays a fee to post the job, but all other payment terms are worked out between employer and freelancer.
Odesk, mentioned above, is also heavily tech-focused.
You can get online tutoring jobs on Tutor.com after you pass through the application process. You must commit to five after school hours per week. People are given preference if they pass tests for multiple subjects and pass tests in high-demand subject areas.
There is also ispeakuspeak, which pairs you with ESL students and allows you to teach as much or as little as you want.
Arise directs work toward tech support, customer service, and sales representatives who have obtained certification in their fields and adhere to Arise’s standards. (For example, you cannot have a generic email like Gmail or Yahoo, and you must incorporate). They pay per call, per minute, or per hour.
If you are an expert in certain areas of knowledge, you can get paid to answer other people’s questions on Just Answer. You choose the questions to answer, but you have to fill out an application/profile, take a brief test, and verify that you have some sort of knowledge credentials (such as a certification or college degree). You get paid a percentage based on your ratings.
CDS Signing Services
Notary Publics can register with CDS Signing Services, and they will schedule you with potential clients who come available in your area.
Attorneys, paralegals, and law support staff can check out Update Legal. You apply to their website, and they will help match you with temporary or permanent positions. They also offer benefits.
Uber, Lyft and Sidecar
Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and other ride-sharing services are popping up all around the USA. You go through a background check and other steps to become an approved driver. Drivers for some of these services are bringing in hundreds per day.
Airbnb is the home, apartment sharing app that allows you to rent a room in your home, or your entire home, for business and leisure travelers. Most cities are okay with it, but a few municipalities have passed regulations, or are trying to ban the service. I have read of numerous entrepreneurs that have used the service to get their software startup off the ground and people who have completely left their day jobs to focus on providing rooms.
Fiverr is a well-known online service match-making provider. Everything from graphics to marketing to sign-holders (people who will hold your sign and snap a quality photo of it for you to use). There are people who will run an errand or transcribe an audio file. Most of the tasks start at, you guessed it, five dollars.
Whether you are freelancing or adding side projects to supplement your income, the new economy offers lots of ways to build a business. These sites are truly the tip of the iceberg.
Seeking Photo via Shutterstock