We’ve been scouring the internet to find the best freelance websites to help find you work and we’re a bit concerned. When we looked at other reports on this they all seemed to miss out on an important detail – that it matters what kind of work you do.
The best freelance website for writers is different from the best freelance website for developers and is different again for designers. This ought not to be rocket science. However, we’ve compiled a list of 20 good quality freelance websites where everyone ought to be able to find at least some work to suit their skillset.
We’re not huge fans of Freelancer.com or their business model. It is the original stack it high, sell it cheap, freelance job board. Having said that, you can’t leave out the largest freelance job site on the Internet and hope to have a shred of credibility.
The pluses are there’s always work for everyone on Freelancer. The downside is you are always competing against developing nation talent and rates are horror-show low. Worse, they expect you to pay a monthly subscription fee if you want to be able to compete effectively.
The second biggest job board online for freelancers is not as bad as Freelancer.com but it’s fair to say that Upwork ain’t great either. Scammers regularly cheat freelancers out of their cash (though if you follow Upwork’s suggested processes – you can’t be cheated, so this is up to you).
The rates are low and some of the clients are absolute monsters. However, there’s a huge range of work on there and in among the disasters, some of the clients are absolutely stellar. You won’t get rich or ever earn what you’re worth, but you can get by using Upwork and they cover almost all freelance areas of work too.
Fiverr has improved from the days when every piece of work was sold at $5. That’s not saying very much is it?
The people who can earn a semi-decent living on Fiverr are those that have a commodity product (such as logo design) which can be upgraded (pay for extra concepts, pay for additional file formats, pay for commercial license, etc.).
Then they can charge very little for the initial service but make most of it back on the upsell. All freelancers can earn on Fiverr and for some, it may even be worth rolling the dice on.
It’s fair to say that 99 designs is one of the biggest sites online for freelance design “work”. They now offer a “hire a designer” package when the site used to rely solely on contests for “opportunities”.
We hate contests for freelance work. They’re a terrible waste of a freelancer’s time and resources. When you’re competing against dozens of other professionals, doing all the work and then relying on a client’s taste to get paid? You’d be better off doing other work – even it pays badly. You win 100% of paid jobs, and about 5% of contests if you’re lucky.
Designers may want to give 99 Designs a go for their guaranteed work or they may not. It’s your call.
We’re not coders or designers or even finance people and that makes us sad when we think of Toptal because this is one of the few “best freelancing sites” that is best for freelancers.
Expect to pass a fairly rigorous testing and interview process to get accepted by Toptal but if you are – you can also expect a fair rate of pay and not to get ripped off in the process. Many people swear by Toptal and we’re going to say that if you’re in that Top 3% they’re looking for – you ought to give them a go.
Simply Hired has a bit of everything thrown up all over its pages. It definitely caters to freelancers though we find the fact that most of the “freelance” ads have salaries attached to them a little worrying – we’d expect that to be a “remote work” thing and not a freelance deal.
However, if you’re in need of work, beggars can’t always be choosers and it’s definitely worth a look.
People Per Hour
An also-ran when you compare it to Upwork, People Per Hour is still one of the biggest names in freelance job boards and worth a look as long as you meet their criteria for working for them.
Our biggest complaint is, once again, the exploitation wages for freelancers on the platform but they offer a wide range of work and they pay quickly too. People Per Hour is one of those sites you use in an emergency if you think you can’t pay your bills.
We discovered Aquent when we started hunting around for the best freelance websites. We haven’t used it to find work and we don’t know anyone that has. However, we are impressed with the way it seems to work and there’s a reasonable amount of global coverage for freelance opportunities through Aquent too.
We’re not sure how much work they actually have but there’s a level of professionalism to this offering rarely seen in the online freelance market.
We couldn’t make it through the first 10 of our best freelance websites without mentioning Guru. Guru was one of the first players in the online freelance market and that they’re still around says something positive about them.
We’ve found a definite bias to tech jobs on Guru and we closed our account a few years back because the writing jobs were, generally speaking, terrible and pathetically paid. Coders, however, swear by Guru and if you’ve got technical skills they have to be on your radar.
The positives about Craigslist are that you can find yourself some nice local clients and work with them. The downsides are that Craigslist attracts more scammers and sharks than any other job board. You need to think long and hard about how you will protect yourself when working with clients on Craigslist.
Never work without a deposit. Never hand over the finished product without being paid. We’d also recommend that you take cash not checks.
The Creative Group
As the name suggests if you’re not into the creative professions – this may not be for you. However, this includes front end developers and salespeople as well as designers and art directors. So, don’t be too quick to abandon your search.
However, this is a “submit your resume and we’ll see what we’ve got” deal and that may mean that The Creative Group is more work to land a freelance job with than it would be with other job boards.
We’ve not used Nexxt but it’s a job search engine that claims to have a huge number of jobs indexed including freelance jobs. We have to confess that we’re a touch skeptical about its claims, particularly given the slightly “false” nature of the customer references on the landing page but it’s got to be worth a go, right?
If you’ve browsed around the site, you’ll know we’re not 100% onboard with Flexjobs. Yes, they have freelance and remote work. Yes, they’re a big name. Yes, they offer training too. But… they also demand a monthly fee.
Now, that might be good news. It could cut down the numbers of applicants for jobs and reduce your competition or it might just be money down the drain. You might want to take the $2 trial and see if you feel it’s value for money before committing.
Note: We also noticed a lot of people sneakily stuffing Flexjobs affiliate links into their posts. We don’t do that. We’re not an affiliate and if we were, we would tell you.
It’s another subscription service and we only include it because we’ve heard positive reviews. We think you could swiftly end up going broke if you subscribe to every site out there. It’s not a terrible idea to take a trial – to see if you can make it pay for itself but if it can’t. Cancel immediately.
Solidgigs is reputed to cover a wide range of freelancing opportunities and it may be worth your time.
Note: We also noticed a lot of people sneakily stuffing Solidgigs’ affiliate links into their posts. We don’t do that. We’re not an affiliate and if we were, we would tell you.
The name makes us shudder but for remote workers, particularly those with a tech bent, this is a job board with a lot of opportunities. It’s worth noting that you can only be from a certain group of countries to seek freelance work through CloudPeeps.
It is also a paid service which requires both a subscription service and a fairly hefty percentage paid to CloudPeeps on each job that you do. (Though you can reduce the percentage by paying a much larger sub fee).
We weren’t convinced to pay up but maybe you will be?
One of the older freelance job boards and one of the best presented, ServiceScape offers Editing, Graphic Design, Writing and Translation opportunities only. You have to go through an application process to get accepted to get work on the platform.
We like their professionalism but can’t comment on rates, etc.
Task Rabbit is like a worse version of People Per Hour in our book. You must be in the United States to use their product to find work which places it farther down our best freelance websites list than it maybe deserves.
You can find work of all kinds on Task Rabbit but you can’t find well-paid or even fairly rewarded work. It’s OK when you’re in a bind but otherwise, you might want to look elsewhere.
Global opportunities for freelancers are what Skyword promises and based on the companies involved in the project, this seems very likely to be true.
We’ve not used the service and we don’t know people who have but we’re tempted to based on the information on their website. You might be too.
Hireable is a decent job board with a small scattering of freelance and remote work opportunities. It’s probably not going to be your first port of call in your job hunt but you shouldn’t be put off from using it at all.
Yes, you guessed it – Writer Access is for writing professionals. Sadly, you must be in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or the United Kingdom to use their services or I’d be giving them a whirl now.
Their pay rates, if the website reports them correctly, are very good for Internet-based writing work.
So, there you have it the 20 best freelance websites for 2020 and beyond. They’ve all been around for a long while and here to stay. Most offer a wide range of work and some even offer a decent rate of pay.
However, we’d encourage all freelancers to work on their sales and marketing and to try and find clients without using freelance websites at all – that’s where you find the best relationships and best rates of pay.