There were 53 million freelancers ( 34 % of the total workforce) in America in 2014, according to Forbes. The percentage of freelancers is expected to increase to a whopping 50% of the total workforce. Quartz puts it at 40%. Whatever the percentages are after 4 years or so, we all know that freelancing and earning money sitting at home has become a unique trend. There is no reason to believe that its popularity would be go down in the future.
Freelancing is the solution to many problems. Having difficulty paying tuition fees or rent? Try freelancing. Cannot work 9 to 5 because you have to raise several kids at home? Try freelancing. Getting bored by the education your school/college/university provides? Try freelancing. Your boss is not raising your salary? Try freelancing and say bye-bye to your boss. There are million of reasons to try freelancing. It is simply easy and spontaneous.
The only difficult part is finding the first project. To get the project, the freelancers have to be at the right place at the right time (on the internet, of course). They have to know their expertise and the freelancing sites which are suitable for such kind of expertise. Pretty uphill task is it researching about all the freelancing sites. Even then the prospective freelancers are not absolutely sure which site(s) to create an account on.
Listed below are some of the best freelancing sites agreed upon by almost all the freelancers so that new freelancers do not waste time signing up for wrong websites.
Upwork came into being after two freelancing sites named Odesk and Elance were combined into one. It can easily be regarded as the most popular platform for freelancers. It has 9 million registered members and 4 million clients. All the jobs posted in a year amount to $1 billion. It has work available for all types of freelancers whether they are marketers or lawyers, engineers or writers, data scientists or web developers and artists or app developers.
On Fiverr, each task is called a gig which starts from $5. A gig can be as easy as making a facebook page or proofreading an article. Fiverr again has work for all types of skill sets. It was launched six years ago and has an Alexa rank of about 450.
Guru is about 15 years old. It caters to all kinds of work. Users of guru have claim that this site has one of the simplest and easy to use interfaces among all the freelancing sites. It also has a good dispute resolution system and its project fee ranges from 5-10 %.
99designs is specifically for aspiring designers. And it is not similar to most freelancing sites where freelancers sign in, bid, acquire the project and work on it. Here, work is in the form of contests. Task or project is posted. Several freelancers provide the work. The best design is chosen. It is a must join site for the designers.
Freelancer is the only platform which gives the option of projects as well as contests. Those who think their reviews are good enough that they will acquire a project should bid. Contests are a good way to demonstrate skills if there are less or hardly any reviews. It can easily be called the most popular freelancing platform as it has about 19 million registered users with a total of 8 million jobs posted so far.
Founded in 2005, it is similar to the rest of the freelancing sites and is one of the most popular sites for freelancers. It boasts of over 250000 active users with the majority of them freelancers and the rest clients. The clients are most small scaled businesses that do not want to hire a professional resource. It is a UK based company. It was voted in 2012 as ‘Europe’s hottest startup’.
If you are a writer and you want a dedicated website suited to your skills, Freelance writing gigs is the go to site. Whether you are a writer or a blogger, publisher or an editor, you should not miss the opportunity of joining this site.
It is relatively a new site. Toptal sprung up from Silicon Valley about six years ago. First of all, becoming a member of this site is difficult. Unlike other sites, one cannot just log on and become a member. They have to apply for it. The screening process is quite rigorous and only the top 3% of the applicants are selected. Once the applicants are selected, they are free to do a wide variety of jobs mostly within the bounds of technical projects. It is suitable for programmers, developers and designers. One of its CEOs was named ’30 under 30 enterprise technology entrepreneurs of 2015′.