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Top 3 Freelancing Sites

Updated on September 19, 2013

Quitting a stable job to work for yourself can be a scary, but hugely satisfying move. It means flexible hours, choosing the work you want to do, deciding when to do it and how much you get paid for your time!

Most people would love to be able to tell their boss exactly what they think of them, Bridget Jones to Daniel Cleaver style; leaving the office, head held high while Aretha’s 'Respect' plays you out.

If the crashing reality that the future of your career is now in your hands has hit you - don’t panic!

Keep reminding yourself why you’ve decided to become a freelancer and focus your energy on working hard to make the decision a good one! Why did you quit your 9-5?

Whatever the reason, the internet has opened up so many opportunities to help get you started.

From sites specifically dedicated to fields of freelancing expertise such as; writers, designers and programmers, to others offering access to clients looking for a combination of skills.

If you’ve Googled ‘freelancing sites’, you’ll know that there’s an exhaustingly endless list to choose from! Which is why we’ve broken down a list of the top 3 freelancing sites based on your area of expertise to help you decide which is best for you!

1. Elance

Elance is a great site for every kind of freelancer. Here you can find IT specialists, graphic designers and multimedia professionals such as mobile app developers, writers, translators and salespeople, as well as marketing experts to admin support, like virtual assistants.

Will it cost me?

While it is free to sign up to Elance on a basic plan, you will have to pay to join as a member. There are several benefits to becoming a member, such as showcasing your online portfolio, appearing higher in client freelance searches and connecting to more clients. Membership fees range from $ 10.00, $ 20.00 to $ 60.00.

How do I get paid?

Once you’ve been paid, you can withdraw what you’ve earned from your Elance account using ACH bank transfers, bank checks, Paypal, wire transfers, Payoneer and Skrill.

How to get started:

· Create your profile as a freelancer

· Look for job offers under the category that suits you

· Find a job you’d like to do and check the specs for the work

· Submit your proposal, explaining how you’ll tackle the project

Wait for the client to review the proposals, and get paid if you’re chosen as the best candidate for the job!

2. Odesk

Ranked number one by annual freelancer earnings, with 1.5 million jobs posted and 3.1 million registered freelancers, Odesk is one of your best options.

They offer opportunities for freelance writers, translators, designers, web and software developers, as well as experts in the customer services and business-related fields. ODesk also lets you take skill tests to help you impress potential clients by proving that you have what it takes to do their job.

Will it cost me?

ODesk doesn’t charge a fee to sign up for the service; however, if you get a job and get paid, there is a fee equivalent to 10% of the total amount you charged to your client.

How do I get paid?

Depending on your country, you can withdraw money from ODesk using ACH, local funds transfers, PayPal, Moneybookers, pre-paid debit cards and wire transfers.

How to get started:

· Create your profile as a freelancer

· Take a few skills tests

· Pick a project from 75 job categories

· Apply to a job that suits your skills

· Get paid weekly for hours worked

· Review feedback, increase your site rate and grow your reputation

How to Create a Great ODesk Profile

3. DesignCrowd

Aimed at the characteristically creative and representing over 165 countries around the world, DesignCrowd has built an impressive reputation. Rather than offering jobs for freelancers, DesignCrowd runs a system of contests. There are over 40 contest categories, ranging from t-shirt, logo and business card design to newspaper ads, packaging and vector images.

A potential client will submit a design brief in the form of a contest, wait for designers to respond with their entry, then choose a winner and pay them for their time.

Will it cost me?

It is free to sign up to DesignCrowd

How will I get paid?

DesignCrowd pays via PayPal or Moneybookers

How to get started:

· Register with DesignCrowd

· Browse the 40 contest categories

· Submit your design entry to the contest of your choice

· Wait to be chosen as a winner!

How DesignCrowd Works

So whether you’re still considering it or have already started freelancing, remember that building a client base takes time. Be patient, friendly and trustworthy and make sure what you’re promising a client is what they get. Commit to making every job a success and freelancing might be the best career move you ever make!

What's your favorite freelancing platform?

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    • hire-freelancers profile image

      Spottask - Work Or Hire Freelancers 19 months ago from India

      Oops looks like you missed SPOTTASK ?

      Well amazing read, great inputs for freelancers.

    • Jetstream profile image

      The Jetstream 4 years ago from South Africa

      So glad we could help, goodluck with your new venture!

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      This is very helpful especially since i have been trying to get into the freelance business... this is going to make my life easier!!