Expensive phones, classy cars and trips to snowy mountains don’t buy themselves, you need money for that. And when your great desires are paired with the fact that you lack a steady job, and wish for a more flexible schedule, freelancing is the way to go. As you may well know, unfortunately, freelancing comes with a highly unstable payroll and contract terminations from time to time (when there’s even one implied).

In order to avoid bankroll disruptions and to create the illusion of a steady income, freelancers have to scout for jobs frequently, looking for new contracts. Sometimes, even after years of freelancing, people may find themselves out of work and out of any employees. The only thing left to do is to search for new jobs, and we are here to help with that task.

Best 9 Freelancing Websites

freelancing advantages

Either you’re a programmer, an ex-blogger that found himself fond of writing or a graphic designer, there are certain websites which can help you score a contract. Doing deep research on most of those quoted below may help you sign for a bigger paycheck and create more contacts in the industry.

Elance

elance

Elance, a rather more conventional freelancing website, is a place where contractors can post projects on which us, the working segment, bid for winning the job. Depending on how low are your expectations and how experienced is the freelancer, the employer picks a person and assigns the project. Payments and project completion are done through Elance and at the moment of writing, we can say that almost 100,000 offers were available for programmers, mobile developers, designers, writers and marketers.

Although I personally do not like bidding against cheaper freelancers, Elance helps seekers with an average bid system, which shows what is the highest and the lowest bid until the moment, and the average sum for all those interested. Using this average sum should get you an idea of what you can get out of the project.

The downsides is that it takes several days for the money to process, so make sure you do it from time.

oDesk

odesk logo

Short for Online Desk (we believe), oDesk is the perfect place to search contracts for the first time. This is a simple to use website, which offers jobs to beginners and professionals as well, while helping clients of both sides getting what they want. After registering an account, users have the possibility of browsing through over 75 categories, and thanks to their original, but optional, paying system, freelancers can be paid at an hourly rate.

One of the things I like about oDesk is the variety of posted jobs, the number of contractors offering work projects and the easiness of the payout system. Those opting for that optional, hourly-supervised feature, will be overviewed by contractors to make sure they actually work in those paid hours, and not browse Facebook. This is accomplished through the use of an interesting screenshot system, which instantly sends captures of the freelancer display. Dangerous? Well, not for the serious.

oDesk also comes with a simple, but nice feedback system, which helps contractors distinguish between trustworthy or bad clients. This feature also store historical events and other work-related details, such as the entire money figure gathered online.

Demand Media

demand media

A good place for writers, editors, filmmakers and experts of all kinds is without doubt Demand Media. Here, people looking for something to do can take assignments and manually negotiate how many hours they want to work, while being paid a sufficient sum for their efforts. Those accepted in the program receive full support and aid in projects.

There are big chances that once inside the media, people have great growth opportunities and some even get stock options, which should spice the game a bit.

The bad part is that applications are heavily scanned, and we heard about some heavily qualified people being rejected. Moreover, projects are manually assigned and you held little control over tasks, and we also heard that editors can sometimes be a pain.

Freelancer

freelancer

Freelancer is probably the most known source of getting gigs, and we dare to say that here’s the place were most people find something to work on. The website provides a rather easy-to-use interface, and when it comes to finding projects, there are millions available.

Unfortunately, because it’s over populated, it is somewhat hard to bid against people who will work for a couple of cents an hour and which usually, poses no skills at all. Another scheme used by the service is to subtract hidden fees from finished projects, which surely don’t drop nicely for freelancers. But, once you get pass these things and have the patience to deeply scan the market, you will surely find something worthy.

Freelance Switch

freelance switch
A spam-free source of finding brand new jobs is also Freelance Switch. Although their job board environment is not as crowded, usually there are around 10 new jobs every week, aiming mostly people in the web-design and content production area.

I’ve always though of Freelance Switch as a tricky place, especially for those hunting projects often. With highly paid jobs and interesting thing to work on in the tech or IT sphere, there’s always a catch; and in our case, it’s a premium access fee, worth $7 each month.

Anyone wishing to apply for a job posted here must pay $7 each month, a subscription which renews itself automatically. Besides this premium membership, users gain access to a helpful blog, forum and eBook but most importantly, to a low-competition medium. Those who get hired may face another downfall, as billing occurs automatically and usually involves a lot of paperwork.

Piece of advice: browse the existing entries, before purchasing membership.

Craigslist

craigslist

Yes, that weird minimalist looking website which people use each day for selling or purchasing seldom goods is perhaps one of the best places to find a freelancing position. As many sources point out, Craigslist can truly offer projects for people working in different niches, but you will have to do some research first.

Once arriving at the homepage, you will have to click on a relevant city (New York or Barcelona lets say) and then choose a relevant domain, from the Jobs section. Here you can find anything related to writing, programming and designing, so you will certainly have your hands full for a week or two. When you’re done scouting, try the Gigs area too; there are some relevant mentions there also.

The bad part about Craigslist is that hunting must be done city by city, for each continent. While there are more chances you could score a deal for a English-written website when searching in USA, don’t leave other zones like Europe, Australia or Asia unexplored. Also, when you do find a job, pay close attention to the job description, before submitting a request.

Another impediment might be the sheer number of opened positions, which can sometimes be overwhelming. Try browsing for requests posted in the past few weeks, and leave the old ones to dust.

Honorable Mentions

freelance

  • People Per Hour – another great place to start looking for a gig is People Per Hour, a website that usually indulges projects from all over the world. There are tons of projects starting each day so if you are interested, give it a swirl. Everything’s free.
  • Project4Hire – a rather small source for freelancing which is somewhat similar to Elance, this website allows people to post jobs in a couple of minutes. Also, those on the other camp can find a buck or two, but not too much.
  • FreeIndex – although based on UK, FreeIndex offers posts from all over the world, especially in the web design and programming domain.
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Author

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.