The best places to find freelance jobs on the internet (and how to use them to land your next gig).
Whether you’re tired of your day job and want to embrace remote work forever or you’ve been a permanent freelancer for years, we’ve pulled together some of the best websites to help you find and land your next gig. You will for sure find a variety of exciting, creative opportunities to take your freelance career to the next level.
Let’s take a deep dive into everything you need to know to find freelance work online—including a huge variety of great websites to tap into during your job search, the pros and cons of different freelance jobs sites, and exactly what to do when you find the perfect freelance job for you.
- Where to Look For Freelance Jobs
- General Freelance Job Boards
- Writer and Editor Freelance Jobs
- Designer and Developer Freelance Job Boards
- How to Vet Job Postings (And Make Sure the Opportunity Is Right for You)
- Pay Attention to the Job Posting
- Research the Company
- Ask the Right Questions
- Getting Ready to Apply for Freelance Jobs
- Spruce up Your Resume…
- …and Your LinkedIn Profile
- Put Together an Online Portfolio
- Create a Cover Letter Template
- How to Set Yourself Apart From Other Candidates: Proposals
- Negotiating Your Rate
- Do Your Research
- Your Hourly Rate Is Not Your Take-Home Rate
- Stand Behind Your Rate
- Get Out There and Find the Perfect Freelance Job for You
Where to Look For Freelance Jobs
Only you can decide if freelancing is the right career path for you. But if it is? Here are 68 of the best places to search for freelance work online.
General Freelance Job Boards
There are so many different types of freelance jobs. There are opportunities for photo and video editors, content strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), business development…the opportunities are endless.
And while there are plenty of niche sites out there that cater to full-time freelancers in different industries, not every freelance job category has its own dedicated website—that’s when you need to hit a more generalized freelance job search website.
The most popular websites take a more general approach to postings, which means you can find a wide variety of opportunities in whatever field you’re looking for work.
Here are a few of the biggest (and best-known) freelance job boards you’ll want to check out.
Upwork is the world’s largest freelance marketplace that hosts a huge volume of remote work opportunities for a variety of talent (for example, web designers, graphic designers, writers, and project management specialists). While the exact number of freelancers registered with the platform is unknown (in 2018, there were over 16 million freelancers on Upwork), in 2020, freelancers were paid a whopping $2.3 billion from jobs posted on the platform.
Fees: Upwork is free to join, but once you actually get work through the site, the platform charges freelancers service fees based on the amount you bill for each client. Upwork will charge a service fee of:
- 20% on the first $500 you bill to a client
- 10% of lifetime billings for that client between $500.01 and $10,000
- 5% of any lifetime billings for that client that exceed $10,000
Pros: Because it’s the biggest and most comprehensive website of its type, you won’t find a website with more opportunities—or a wider variety of opportunities—than Upwork.
Cons: Because Upwork is the world’s largest pool of freelancers, competition for quality work can be fierce. And because a lot of those freelancers are from areas with a more affordable cost of living, you can often find yourself competing against talent with a similar skill set—but at a much lower rate.
FlexJobs is a job board that specializes in “flexible” jobs, which includes remote jobs (both full- and part-time), on-site jobs with flexible or alternative schedules, and—you guessed it—freelancer opportunities.
Fees: FlexJobs charges membership fees in order to access the jobs posted on the site. The typical rate is $24.95 a month, but you can cut down the monthly rate by signing up for 3 months ($39.95) or a year ($69.95) at once. (If you want to get a feel for FlexJobs before committing to a longer membership, there’s also the option to try it for a week at $9.95.)
Pros: All the jobs on FlexJobs go through a thorough vetting process, so you can be sure that the job postings on the website are legitimate. (No wasting time with spam—or scam—jobs!)
Cons: Again, not every job on FlexJobs is a freelance one—so not every opportunity is going to be the right fit if you’re committed to working on a freelance basis.
Craigslist is a great place to find a used couch or to sell your old records—but it also happens to be a great place to look for new gigs. This well-known classified ads website has become a go-to for employers thanks to its wide reach and low job posting fees.
Fees: None! While it costs employers money to post their jobs, it doesn’t cost you anything to search jobs or apply.
Pros: Because every major city has its own Craigslist board, you can search jobs locally—or, if you want to expand your opportunities, see what’s listed in other cities.
Cons: Craigslist is notorious for scams. Before you share any personal information, accept a job, or start working on a project, make sure to thoroughly vet the opportunity to ensure it’s legit.
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace that brings together freelancers and businesses. With professional service offerings in an impressive 250+ categories, no matter what kind of work you’re looking for, chances are, you can find it on Fiverr.
Fees: You can list your services on Fiverr for free, but if it leads to a gig, prepare to pay up; the platform charges a 20% fee on every transaction.
Pros: Again, Fiverr has an extremely diverse talent pool (from voiceover actors and speechwriters to data entry specialists)—and because the talent is so diverse, the platform attracts clients looking for all kinds of services. If you typically have trouble finding potential clients for your specialization, Fiverr is a good place to start.
Cons: Fiverr got its name because its services start at $5. And, as a result, the platform has gained a reputation as the go-to resource for employers looking for affordable (some might even say cheap) freelancers. This can make it hard to negotiate higher rates.
Freelancer is another well-known freelance marketplace that boasts an impressive client list (on its homepage, the company lists the platform as being used by business juggernauts like Microsoft, Boeing, and Intel).
Fees: Freelancer has one of the more complex fee structures. The fees the platform charges freelancers include:
- A 10% introduction fee for all accepted projects
- A 10% contest fee if you are awarded a contest prize
- A 20% fee if you’re subsequently hired for additional work after winning the contest prize
The site will also charge you a maintenance fee of up to $10 per month if your account is inactive for more than 6 months.
Pros: The site seems to feature a high volume of gigs and a good variety in the types of opportunities available. (With over 1,350 job categories, you can pretty much guarantee variety!)
Cons: The fee structure is a bit confusing—and all of those fees can seriously add up over time.
Other Websites to Find General Freelance Jobs
While the websites we just covered might be some of the best-known websites for finding a variety of freelance job opportunities, they’re certainly not the only websites! There are a huge number of websites out there where you can find everything from marketing and video editing to research and virtual assistance (and just about everything in between).
Here are some additional websites that offer a solid range of freelance jobs that you’ll want to check out.
For freelance-specific job boards, try:
For short-term contracts, gig, and/or hourly work, try:
For student-specific freelance opportunities, try:
For micro jobs (extremely short-term opportunities), try:
For remote-only opportunities, try:
For general job boards, try:
Writer and Editor Freelance Jobs
Whether you’re an expert at creating engaging blog content, editing non-fiction, or writing and reporting the news, there are a ton of freelance opportunities for writers and editors—if you know where to look.
If you’re a freelance writer or editor, here are some resources you’re going to want to check out to land your next gig.
Freelance Writing Jobs
Freelance Writing Jobs is part job board, part resource for writers and editors. The site scours the internet and posts relevant writing and editing gigs twice a week alongside tips and articles on everything from how to improve your writing skills to how to build a viable writing or editing career.
Fees: None! The gigs on Freelance Writing Jobs are completely free to browse.
Pros: The team at Freelance Writing Jobs searches all corners of the internet to round up the best jobs for writers or editors—which means that you don’t have to. The extra resources on the site are also super helpful as you’re building your freelance writing career.
Cons: Because Freelance Writing Jobs is only updated twice a week, some of the postings on the site may be outdated.
Journalism Jobs is a job board for (you guessed it!) journalists in search of their next gig. The site hosts a wide variety of journalism opportunities, including both editing and writing/reporting jobs.
Fees: Journalism Jobs is completely free for job seekers (yay!).
Pros: As the name implies, this site strictly features jobs for journalists—so if you want to focus on journalism projects, consider this a must-have resource.
Cons: In addition to freelance gigs, this site also features full-time journalism jobs. So, if you want to find the perfect freelance journalism assignment, be prepared to sort through plenty of full-time positions to find your freelance diamond in the rough.
Contently is a content marketing platform that connects brands with freelance writers for a variety of content projects (like blog posts, white papers, and case studies). To get started, all you have to do is create an online portfolio that showcases your best work. Then, brands can check out your samples and get in touch with any projects they think would be a good fit.
Fees: It’s free to set up your portfolio on Contently, but once you start getting assignments, expect to pay a 15% fee to the platform.
Pros: Contently has a reputation for hosting some of the best-paying writing gigs on the internet, with many clients paying in the $1 to $2 per word range.
Cons: The process of getting your profile approved is a slow one. New writers to the platform can expect to wait weeks (or even months) before their profile is reviewed and they’re approved to start connecting with clients.
Other Websites to Find Freelance Writing or Editing Jobs
If the above websites don’t feel like they have quite the “write” gig for you (pun intended), don’t worry! There are plenty of other websites for freelance writers and editors that you’ll want to check out.
Here are a few industry-specific websites to help you find your next writing or editing job opportunity:
- Blogging Pro Job Board
- Freedom With Writing
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Online Writing Jobs
- ProBlogger Job Board
Designer and Developer Freelance Job Boards
Design and software engineering/development are both extremely specialized skill sets. And luckily, they have specialized job boards to match!
Here are some of the best freelance jobs websites for designers, developers, coders, and engineers.
99designs is a design platform that connects businesses with designers for a variety of projects, including logo design, custom illustrations, and branding. The platform is best known for its design contests, where clients send out a brief and designers submit their designs, competing to win the bid and project.
Fees: 99designs charges a few different fees to their designers, including:
- A client introduction fee (20% on your first $500 billed)
- A platform fee, or monthly fee, for all one-to-one projects completed (5 to 15%, depending on the designer’s level of experience)
Pros: 99designs features a variety of design contests and opportunities. So, whether you’re an illustrator, logo expert, branding specialist, or a packaging designer, chances are you’ll be able to throw your hat in the ring.
Cons: While there is an opportunity for clients to reach out to designers directly, 99designs is best-known for its design contests. And while they work extremely well for clients, they’re not the most designer-friendly; you don’t get paid unless your design is chosen.
AngelList is the go-to platform for all things startups. While the site offers a variety of services for startups, its most popular and well-known feature is its extensive job board, which connects talent with startup opportunities.
Fees: None! AngelList is a free resource for coders, designers, and other talent looking to land a gig with the next up-and-coming startup.
Pros: AngelList isn’t just free for freelancers; it’s also free for employers. That means that more startups are likely to post jobs to AngelList—which means more freelance jobs for you to choose from.
Cons: The startup life isn’t for everyone—even on a freelance basis. If working in a fast-paced (and sometimes volatile) startup environment doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to look elsewhere.
Other Websites to Find Freelance Jobs for Designers and Developers
If the previously mentioned websites don’t help you find the freelance graphic design/programming/coding job of your dreams, it’s all good—there are definitely other graphic design, art director, and developer options to explore.
Check out these websites for more freelance opportunities specifically targeted toward designers, coders, developers, programmers, and the like:
- Art Wanted
- Authentic Jobs
- Computer Assistant
- Scalable Path
- Smashing Jobs
How to Vet Job Postings (And Make Sure the Opportunity Is Right for You)
There are a ton of websites and options to help you on your freelance job search. But not all freelance job opportunities (or websites!) are created equal, so it’s important to vet every gig and make sure it’s:
- The right fit for you
But how, exactly, do you vet freelance jobs? Here are a few tips to make sure you’re only spending your time on potential gigs that are going to pan out in the long run:
Pay Attention to the Job Posting
Obviously, you’re going to read through the job posting; that’s how you find out about the job opportunity and potential new client in the first place. But a job posting can tell you a lot more than just the details of the job; it can help you determine whether the opportunity is legitimate.
Before you apply for a job, go through the job posting and look for any red flags—like significant grammatical errors, typos/misspellings, or requests for sensitive information (like a Social Security number or financial details).
Research the Company
You can find out a lot about a client and company (and a potential freelance opportunity) with a little bit of digging. If you find a freelance job that sounds like a good fit for your skill level and experience, take a few minutes to research the company first. You can look on websites like Glassdoor to get employee insights—and other websites (like Upwork) sometimes list reviews on different clients directly from freelancers.
Ask the Right Questions
If you do decide to apply for a freelance job, you need to ask the right questions to make sure it’s the right opportunity for you. Some questions you’ll want to ask the client during the screening process/interview process include:
- What’s the scope of the project?
- What are the key deliverables?
- Who will I be working closely with to complete this project?
- When are the deadlines?
- Are you looking to pay by the hour or by the project?
- What systems do you use for communication and submitting work? (e.g., Google Drive, Asana, Slack, etc.)
- How will I get paid? (Most freelance platforms have their own payment system, but if you apply for a freelance job directly, it’s important to understand how and when the company plans to pay you.)
- Do you have any expectations of working hours or can I work on my own schedule?
- Are there any additional calls or meetings I’ll be expected to attend during this project? If so, will I be compensated for that time?
Getting Ready to Apply for Freelance Jobs
You’ve scoured the freelance jobs websites. You’ve vetted the opportunities and found a few potential gigs that feel like a slam dunk. But before you start applying for freelance jobs, it’s important to do a little work on the back end to ensure you’re prepared and ready to get hired.
So what, exactly, does that entail?
Spruce up Your Resume…
You need an up-to-date resume for any kind of job you’re applying for—including freelance. Before you get started with the application process, make sure you have an up-to-date resume that speaks to your experience, background, and relevant skills.
…and Your LinkedIn Profile
Consider LinkedIn your online resume. And just like your traditional resume needs to be up-to-date before you apply to any job, so does your LinkedIn profile.
Put Together an Online Portfolio
Your would-be employer is going to want to see samples of your work as proof you can handle that job—and that’s where an online portfolio comes in.
An online portfolio is an easy and organized way to showcase your best work to potential freelance employers. Set up portfolios on relevant job sites—or, if you want to get creative, set up an online portfolio website of your own.
Create a Cover Letter Template
If you’re applying for a high volume of jobs, writing a new cover letter with every application can get really tedious, really fast.
Before you start applying for freelance jobs, put together a cover letter template that you can personalize for each opportunity. It’ll save you a ton of time (and hassle!) throughout the application process.
How to Set Yourself Apart From Other Candidates: Proposals
There are a lot of freelancers out there. And if you find an amazing freelance opportunity, chances are, you’re not the only one. This is why figuring out a way to break through the clutter and set yourself apart from other candidates is so important.
And one of the best ways to set yourself apart (and show a hiring manager that you’re the perfect freelancer for the job)? A killer business proposal.
A proposal shows your client that you’re not taking a “throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks” approach when looking for work. Instead, it shows them that you took the time and effort to consider their specific opportunity—and to showcase how and why you’re the best person for the job.
Need help crafting a proposal that will get you hired? We can help! Get started with FreshBooks’ proposal feature.
Negotiating Your Rate
The very last step to landing a great freelance job? Negotiating your rate.
Now, for some freelancers, the thought of setting and negotiating their rate can feel uncomfortable or overwhelming, especially when they’re just starting out. But it doesn’t have to be!
Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when navigating the world of setting and negotiating freelance rates:
Do Your Research
Before you propose a rate to a client, it’s important to do your research and get a feel for what other freelancers in your field and at your level of experience are charging. That way, you can set a rate that’s competitive (and not under or oversell yourself).
Your Hourly Rate Is Not Your Take-Home Rate
As a freelancer, you’re responsible for paying your own taxes. So the amount you get paid every hour (or project) isn’t the same as the amount you’ll get to take home. When setting your rate, make sure to factor in the added cost of taxes. (And immediately put that money aside so it’s already in your bank account come tax time!)
Stand Behind Your Rate
You might be tempted to lower your rate in order to get more work. But fight that temptation! While having a little wiggle room is fine, you don’t want to accept work that’s too far below your pay grade. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with too much work for not enough pay—which can be a fast track to burnout.
If you want more tips on how to negotiate the best rate for your freelance work, make sure to check out the FreshBooks Setting Your Rate eBook!
Get Out There and Find the Perfect Freelance Job for You
If you’ve been sorting through job ads and other remote work opportunities already, then you know there are a lot of freelance jobs out there. And as you now know, there are also a lot of websites to help you find those opportunities. AND now that you know where to look for the perfect freelance job (and how to stand out, get hired, and get paid), all that’s left to do? Get out there and get your freelance on!
This post was updated in July 2022.