Freelance work or being a freelancer is not an easy task. Everyone would love to, but eventually, many will give up.
Sometimes people give up the run because they failed to overcome the competition. And many would quit trying, as they have chosen something that they couldn’t fulfil their skills.
That is why you need to do your homework before you step in. In my previous article, I discussed how I managed to overcome the hurdles in the very beginning.
Previous article: Top 5 Must-Dos Before You Create a Freelancer Profile
Read this first. I’m sure this will help you.
Even after identifying the core competencies we have, many would still be struggling to find just the right place to showcase their skills and eventually sell them for a better wage.
If you check the internet, you will find hundreds of websites solely for freelance work. When I was doing my homework, I had the same mindset of choosing what was best for me.
Well, I was wondering! I set up profiles on many different platforms and still couldn’t get a hold of any of them. I circled back to the point where I started.
After many failed attempts, I almost gave up the idea of becoming a freelancer.
Trust me, that will happen to anyone. The only thing that matters is to keep your hopes up. Just try not to give up. I was helpless until one of my best friends showed me the way.
I might not be writing this now if it wasn’t for him. I understood that, without having proper guidance, it is hard to find a way around it.
Here is why I decided to share my experiences in choosing the best freelance work marketplace for a beginner.
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1. Upwork (Formerly oDesk)
Upwork is one of the biggest freelance online marketplaces, which offers a variety of job opportunities. The system facilitates clients (People searching for skills to get their job done) to meet freelancers.
And what I like about this freelance platform is, setting up an account is 100% free for freelancers.
So if you are a freelancer, you are in a risk-free zone. And Upwork charges from the client, not from the freelancer. (Now they have changed their charging scheme. Still, worth a shot).
Recently Upwork has merged with another leading freelance platform called Elance. But my opinion is both Elance and Upwork were better when they were two platforms.
If Elance still offers jobs, that would be my #1 choice. If you are a newcomer, then I recommend you start from Upwork.
It is risk-free, and they have a massive job pool. If you are aiming for a long-term business relationship, Upwork is the best freelance marketplace
Fiverr is another marketplace that offers almost everything you could ever imagine.
And the good news is, everything here starts from just $5. That is the bottom line. But, if you pay close attention, you will see a different picture. Yes, everything starts from $5, but the cost will increase as your requirement gets complicated.
And the worst part is Fiverr will charge you $1 out of every $5 you earn. Simply, the Fiverr fee is 20% which is way too high. Other than that, Fiverr is an ideal option to start.
Not like Upwork, Fiverr doesn’t offer such long-term opportunities. Maybe returning clients are there if you do a better job. Other than that, Fiverr is not recommended for the long term.
Freelancer is one of the biggest freelance work platforms.
It has nearly 20 million registered users. Even though it has such a massive user base, Freelancer is still far behind the providers like Upwork. Because Freelancer is not ideal for a newcomer. It has membership plans.
If you want a job there, you will have to invest some money to get the opportunities and bid on the posted projects.
This marketplace is ideal for freelancers who have already established and have some money to invest before earning.
Freelancer has a free membership. Still, that is not enough to get a hold of the competition.
Guru connects creative freelancers with clients who are in search of creativity.
Unless you have creative skills, you don’t go in there. That will be a waste of your time. But take note, Guru offers around 3 million services.
Guru is much similar to Upwork. Because it offers a vast array of freelance work. Simply, you can start with Data Entry and move forward.
And the competition is exceptionally high. So, “The early bird catches the worm” should be your motto in Guru’s environment.
Last but not least, PeoplePerHour is another perfect place for someone who is starting his freelance career. If you have design and developing skills, then you better try it out.
PeoplePerHour has given much of a concentration on Web projects. Still, it pays a better wage.
As you know, we can find so many good freelancing websites these days. However, most of them are super selective freelance work offering platforms. So, it is really hard for beginners unless you have pro-level skills in a specific area.
If you are a professional, you might think that you should start with the best ones. So, please find the two bonus sites below.
When it comes to design work, 99designs is the best place. But, as I mentioned earlier, this is not a place for beginner-level designers. This place is exclusively for pro designers.
The best about the 99designs is that it allows freelancers to run a design contest and all the designers on the platform can submit their designs for the contest, and you can reward the one you like the most.
Toptal is another excellent platform, but the selection criteria are super strict there. I would not recommend Toptal to anyone who is just starting their freelance career.
As I always suggest, freelance work can be anything. All you have to do is try. But keep in mind each, and every marketplace has its pros and cons. That may feel entirely different from person to person.
All the five freelance work platforms I mentioned above would be my best shots if I were starting the journey. Don’t forget; those 5 aren’t everything you may find on the internet. They may be perfect as it seems.
Check what is there for you. Don’t just stop trying and looking.
Anything to add up? Go ahead, and we are all ears.