Top Freelance Markets on the Web: Who Deserves Your Talents

In recent years the Internet has greatly expanded the global freelance market. If you have the proper skills and online reputation, you can be a full time freelancer from the comforts of your bathrobe or anywhere in the world! So if you want to start a freelance gig, take a side job, or expand your consulting business, listen up!

Here I list 7 of the best services that I’ve found to get you work, but be careful, these sites aren’t all peaches and cream! Pay attention to my warnings so you don’t lose any value for your talents. 

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One of the biggest freelancing companies in the field, Elance houses hundreds of thousands of contractors in a variety of speciality fields. Elance has overseen over a billion dollars in earnings for their contractors since their inception.
Top Freelance Markets on the Web: Who Deserves Your Talents

Freelancers on Elance bid on contracts offered by companies both big and small from around the world. Although some freelancers enjoy the competitive elements of bidding on contracts, many feel they get elbowed out by cheaper, less professional freelancers. Take a look at some of Elance’s average hourly rates by country and industry here. 

Although Elance has a large base of contractors, there are common complaints regarding payments and tricky agreements that bind you when you first sign up. Make sure you know where you stand legally with your clients before you accept their jobs.

Elance is best for: Web Programmers, Photographers, Non-English speakers

oDesk is another local giant in the freelancing industry. Similar to Elance, oDesk allows you to make a profile, proposition companies, and secure freelance work. These two companies are so similar, in fact, that they recently decided to merge--while still operating independently. 

Top Freelance Markets on the Web: Who Deserves Your Talents

On oDesk you can find work from website development to translation. Some good advice for navigating oDesk is to try out various contracts even if they don’t exactly fit your job description. oDesk is a good place to expand your professional capabilities in a low risk atmosphere. You can also build and show your skills with oDesk’s qualification tests.

As with Elance, accountability problems are a typical concern. It is difficult to see what you are buying even with client reviews. Job descriptions often go through several layers of translation, and can come off sounding vague—not a good starting point for a contract. If you can find a way to stand out, oDesk can be a great place to start. 

oDesk is best for: Beginners, Website development, Non-English Speakers

Fiverr is a hip marketplace where you can find everything from voiceovers to freelance animators. As the name suggests, Fiverr is guided by a $5 principle—all baseline services cost $5, but most of the freelancers offer additional services that can run up to a few hundred dollars.

If you are looking to make a few extra dollars, and you have special talent, Fiverr is the place for you. Musicians, writers, actors all welcome. Each service comes with helpful reviews, and the best freelancers come with a verified symbol by Fiverr. 

Fiverr is best for: Translation, Video Promotion, Miscellaneous 

The Internet marketing industry is exploding, and Grow Digital is sorting it all out. Freelance content writers, SEO and PPC experts, and social media managers are all finding a home on Grow.

Top Freelance Markets on the Web: Who Deserves Your Talents

SMBs are attracted to Grow’s free advanced analytical tools to expand their social media presence, improve their reputation on listing sites, and boost online sales. After using the tools, Grow connects the SMBs to freelancers from their roster of marketing experts. Grow also offers freelancers unlimited use of their analytics tools to give better service to their current clientele. 

Along with hosting a full profile, Grow Digital offers freelance marketers the freedom to publish original content directly on the platform. This allows marketers to show off their expertise to future employers, and builds trust between the two parties.

Grow is still at an early stage, so they are bringing marketers and clients together manually. This is a problem for some marketers and not for others. The platform is free to join, so it supplements any of your existing freelance channels at no risk.

Grow Digital is best for: SEO Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing 

On People Per Hour you can offer your services in a variety of digital capacities like developing and designing. PPH is a nice way of getting your credentials out to potential employers.

Top Freelance Markets on the Web: Who Deserves Your Talents

A nice aspect of PPH is If you earn several thousand dollars within a single contract, the commission rate drops dramatically. PPH also has an interesting referral program that can lower or eliminate commissions. Here is a nice infographic with average hourly rates for PPH freelancers from all over the world. 

PPH uses a ‘freemium’ bidding system. You get 10 bids a month for free, but additional bids will cost you.  10 bids are not enough considering each job listing may receive dozens of bids within minutes of posting. If you are trying to make a living from People Per Hour, be prepared to upgrade your account for more soliciting opportunities.

People Per Hour is best for: Graphic Design, Legal, Customer Research

One of the original freelance services out there, Craigslist brings people together from all walks of life for a wide variety of reasons.

With all the different listings ranging from professional to personal, it can be difficult to know who and what you’re dealing with, but on the upside there are little to no commissions or fees. Just you and the employer.

It’s worth a try if you have a skill, traditional or otherwise, that doesn’t fit into the categories in these other sites: carpentry, legal representation, jewelry making, on and on. Craigslist can give you an affordable (free) channel to bring in more customers.

Craigslist is best For: Babysitting, Manual Labor, Miscellaneous  

See also: How to Edit and Proofread Your Writing

Freelancer boasts over 10 million freelancers. Posting offers on Freelancer is free, but you can move your project up the search rankings by paying a fee to give it “urgent” or “featured” status. 

Top Freelance Markets on the Web: Who Deserves Your Talents

Reviews for Freelancer are generally favorable. As with all large freelance forums, trust and integrity of the individual members are essential to the value of the service. 

To address the concerns of employers, Freelancer instituted a “only pay for work you’re 100% happy with” rule to mixed results. This policy is meant to ensure that freelancers don’t skip out on their contracts, but of course this system leaves room for abuse. But stick with trustworthy employers and you’ll be good to go. 

Freelancer is best For: Web Design, Data Entry, Logo Creation

Ø Author Bio:

Top Freelance Markets on the WebWhen he doesn't have a frisbee in his hands, Danny writes content on cyber security and digital marketing. Danny is also the Community Manager at Grow Digital, a new digital marketing hub that connects businesses to their next marketing specialist. Follow him at @thaRealDR
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