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by Jillian Q

January 7, 2019

Founder Guides 6 min read

10 Unbelievably Popular Freelance Marketplaces to Find Work At

Want to start freelancing? Nearly half of freelancers find work on freelance marketplaces. You’ll find clients seeking services that range from writing, designing, web development, and more.

But landing a successful freelance gig goes beyond signing up for an account. You should decide whether the freelancer platform offers the right tools needed to develop your portfolio and if the fees collected are reasonable.

So if you’re looking for a new platform to offer your services — or are simply kick-starting your freelance career — use this guide to get you started.

Getting Started On Freelance Marketplaces

Freelance marketplaces are websites built to connect freelancers and hiring businesses. Think of it like eBay or Amazon, except people offer professional services instead of goods.

Freelancers create a profile, showcase their portfolio, and communicate with employers through these platforms. Businesses, on the other hand, search prospects based on skills, experience, and other related criteria.

To boost your chance of getting hired, do the following:

Pick your ideal client (and niche)

Start by figuring out your niche. What do you find yourself good at? Perhaps you specialise in email writing or web development. The more effort you put into finding your target audience, the better results you will have.

Create your online resume and portfolio

An online portfolio is ideal for landing clients or jobs. You also reach people in the same industry, giving you the opportunity to create partnerships and grow your network.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating an online portfolio:

  • Showcase design consistency your resume, professional website, LinkedIn, and freelance website profiles.
  • Promote your work on a professional website. You don’t need technical skills to develop a unique online presence. Consider using website building tools for easy customisation and flexibility.

Now that you’ve defined your target market and prepared your online portfolio, it’s time to start scouting for jobs. Below you’ll find freelance marketplaces sorted by general marketplaces and niche marketplaces.

Popular Freelance Marketplaces to Find Work

General Freelance Marketplaces

General freelance marketplaces list a variety of jobs including web development, content development, design, and marketing. Hiring managers use these platforms by default due to their popularity and the massive number of freelancers.

Here's a list of general freelance platforms to choose from:

1.Upwork

Membership fee: Free, Pro membership starts at $10/mo
Pros Cons
  • Largest freelance job site in the world
  • Connecting to bank accounts is easy
  • Tutorials, tips, and how-to blogs are available
  • Easy-to-use job filtering tools
  • Jobs have detailed descriptions
  • Upwork takes 10% off total job earnings — the highest in the industry
  • Multiple users lead to more stiff competition

Upwork, formerly oDesk, is one of the most recognised platforms in the industry. Either sign up as a Free or Pro Member, depending on how you plan to use the website.

Free users get 60 connects per month — Upwork's currency needed to submit proposals to potential clients. Pro members pay a monthly fee of $10 in exchange for 70 connects, a personalised URL, and insight into how much businesses are charging per job.

2. Fiverr

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • No need to bid to get clients
  • Tips are common and encouraged by Fiverr
  • Fiverr sends paying customers to its users
  • Free membership
  • Low income: as the name implies, you only get $5 per gig
  • Fiverr takes 20% off commissions or tips

Fiverr is ideal for freelancers looking for small one-off jobs or short-term online gigs. There’s always a high demand for microservices on Fiverr. You’ll find job listings that range from invitation designs to product descriptions.

3. Guru

Membership fee: Free, Pro membership starts at $8.85/mo
Pros Cons
  • Easy-to-navigate website interface
  • Low commission rates: Guru takes a mere 4.95% of your earning
  • High job volume
  • Paid members are prioritised over free members, leaving you with little or no work

According to its website, Guru has an accumulated user base of 3 million worldwide. You can explore a public database that hosts a million completed jobs and counting. As mentioned above, registering with Guru is free. But to get a leg above the competition, it is recommended to sign up for a paid membership to enjoy benefits such as prioritised listing

4. People Per Hour

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • Users have the option to make offers for existing jobs or propose “hourlies”
  • All kinds of job categories are available
  • Free membership
  • User interface can be confusing

People Per Hour is a freelance platform based in the United Kingdom. The registration process is like other freelance marketplaces— with membership free of charge as of this writing.

If you don’t want to apply for jobs, People Per Hour lets you create Hourlies. Hourlies are job offers posted by you. Share your skills (e.g. edit an ebook or copywriting), how long it takes to complete the job, and name your price. Prospective clients searching for hourlies will then contact you.

Niche Marketplaces

In contrast to its name, niche marketplaces don’t necessarily come under a single category. Instead, it offers quality freelance jobs to a specific area of expertise (e.g: writers, programmers,etc.). Rookie freelancers can gain an advantage on niche marketplaces since the platform presents less competition.

5. Stack Overflow

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • Wide network of programmers and hiring companies
  • Useful for developing your programming skills
  • Users can build and manage their reputation
  • Not for beginners

Stack Overflow is a great resource for computer programmers. Other than a job database built exclusively for developers, you’ll be able to connect with a collaborative community that discusses topics such as JavaScript, C#, PHP, and more.

6. Pangara

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • Career growth opportunities
  • Chance to work with top Scandinavian clients
  • Systematic application process
  • Competitive environment
  • Exclusive for Vietnam only

Pangara examines developers by their coding, English communication, and problem-solving skills. The qualification process is a unique one — with applicants undergoing a series of tests and interviews before being hired.

7. Gigster

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • AI-assisted hiring process
  • Gigs are assigned by in-house managers
  • Fixed price quotes for services
  • Application by invite only

Gigster is a pre-vetted network of computer developers and designers. Freelancers need to have extensive experience to be eligible to apply. For example, they must receive education in top schools and work in large tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest.

8. 99designs

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • 1-to-1 hiring available
  • Contest winners are well-paid
  • Platform to help designers showcase creativity and portfolio
  • Competition among designers is huge
  • Designers are not given incentives in contests

99designs is an online marketplace exclusive for freelance designers. Employers start hiring by running contests or connecting directly with designers. Any freelancer can submit a finished piece of work to the contest, but only the winner gets paid. Though not everyone can get on board with their structure, 99Designs is still a great platform to showcase one’s creativity.

9. Freelance Writing Gigs

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • Wide variety of niche writing jobs
  • Easy sign-up and registration
  • Jobs are updated daily
  • Majority of writing jobs are based in the United States
  • Users must apply via external job hunting platforms

Like writing? Or perhaps you’re more into editing posts? You can find a variety of writing, editing, blogging, and publishing jobs on Freelance Writing Gigs. The website is also affiliated with FlexJobs and other job hunting websites — offering more opportunities for applications.

10. College Recruiters

Membership fee: Free
Pros Cons
  • High success rate in landing jobs
  • Over 250,000 jobs available
  • Search is available by country, state or city
  • No way to filter jobs according to recent, highest salary or date posted
  • Finding jobs is time-consuming — users need to manually check each posting

As the name suggests, College Recruiter is a job marketplace for college students and recent graduates. Other than being a source for part-time work, its vast database lets users apply for internships and entry-level remote work.

Conclusion

As freelancers grow by the numbers, so does the competition between jobseekers online. Increase your chances of getting hired by hosting your own freelance website. This way, you create a reliable line of contact while maintaining a platform that showcases you as a brand.

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General Freelance Marketplaces
Niche Marketplaces