The 5 Best Sites to Find Your First Freelancing Gig
If you’re considering freelancing in the online gig economy but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in luck. Nowadays, there are so many excellent websites where you can get gigs that, honestly, the only thing standing between you and your first payday is putting your fingers to the keyboard.
It doesn’t matter whether your skills fall under the umbrella of design, videography, writing, customer service, marketing, administration, teaching, or one of a hundred other categories, there truly is an opportunity for everyone in the online freelance economy today.
As an example of the number of gigs out there, the prominent freelance platform Upwork currently shows 3,206 jobs for “copywriter” and another 1,307 for “administrative support.” Sure, some of these gigs aren’t well paid, but there is a broader strategy here.
You can use these platforms to get your first gigs, and you can fit this work around your existing schedule. In time, these tasks will help you zero in on good-paying, repeat clients. And before you know it, you’ll have a dependable online income you control.
Upwork is just one of the many places where you can find freelance gigs across a broad range of disciplines. Most of these freelancing sites are free to join. It’ll take you a little while to set up your profile, but once you do that, you can browse the listings and start applying for gigs that look like a good fit for your skill set. It really is that simple. If you’re ready to get started, here’s my list of the top five platforms for newcomers to online freelancing.
1. Upwork: With more than 12 million registered freelancers, Upwork is among the largest freelancing sites operating today. Pay rates vary significantly depending on the caliber of clients. Statistics show that content writers, for instance, make anywhere from $10 to $80 per hour on the site. More than 5 million businesses source freelancers on Upwork, including global giants like General Electric and Microsoft. Upwork makes its money by charging a fee that’s automatically deducted when you’re paid.
2. Fiverr: The home of $5 gigs, this marketplace operates differently. As a freelancer, you post a gig, for as little as $5, that clients review and buy. The gigs are structured as “I will” sentences, such as “I will write sales copy” or “I will design a website.” Newcomers can easily get started here offering $5 gigs with bonus offers that cost $10, $20, or more, before moving on to higher-paying work. Like Upwork, Fiverr takes a percentage of your fee.
3. FlexJobs: This is a subscription site ($14.95 a month with discounts for three months or a year) where you’ll find part-time and full-time roles as well as freelance gigs around the U.S. These are usually more traditional jobs, so you’ll be expected to apply with a resume and cover letter.
4. Working Nomads: Geared toward digital nomads, this remote-only job site offers a mix of full-time and short-term roles in administration, video production, copywriting, and more.
5. Guru: With over 3 million users, this site hosts numerous gigs in a whole host of areas ranging from writing and web development to sales and bookkeeping. Guru also claims to charge freelancers the lowest fee of all freelancing platforms at 5%.
One final, out-of-the box site to consider is Craigslist. Yep, the same site you once used to find an apartment now offers a job listing section. You won’t need a profile here, and Craigslist won’t take a fee, but you will have to vet prospective clients to make sure they’re legitimate.
There’s no doubt that remote work is here to stay. Some 57 million Americans, or 35% of the U.S. workforce, currently pursue freelancing either full-time or part-time. And this number is only projected to rise going forward. Moreover, more than 30% of Fortune 500 companies rely on freelancers for various well-paying tasks. So whether you’re looking for a little supplemental money to put away for future expenses or you’re ready for a new, more flexible working life, there’s never been a better time to get out there and find your first paying gig.
By Jen Phillips April