The best places to find freelance jobs on the internet (and how to use them to land your next gig).
We’ve pulled together some of the best websites for freelancers, where you can find a variety of exciting, creative opportunities to take your freelance business to the next level.
Let’s take a deep dive into 85 great websites to find freelance jobs (and exactly what to do when you find the perfect freelance opportunity for you):
Where to Look for Freelance Jobs: General Freelance Jobs
There are so many different types of freelance jobs. There’s freelance photo editing, freelance content strategy, freelance SEO, freelance business development…the opportunities are endless.
And while there are plenty of niche sites out there, not every freelance job category has its own dedicated website—that’s when you need to hit a more generalized freelance jobs website.
The biggest freelance jobs websites take a more general approach to job postings, which means you can find a wide variety of freelance opportunities in whatever field you’re looking for work.
Here are a few of the biggest (and best-known) freelance jobs websites you’ll want to check out if you’re looking for a freelance website with a little bit of everything:
Upwork is the world’s largest freelance marketplace with over 12 million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. A whopping three million jobs are posted annually, which are worth about $1 billion.
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 more 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 a much lower rate.
FlexJobs is a job board that specializes in “flexible” jobs, which includes remote work (both full- and part-time), on-site jobs with flexible or alternative schedules, and—you guessed it—freelance opportunities.
Fees: FlexJobs charges membership fees in order to access the freelance jobs posted on the site. The typical rate is $14.95 a month, but you can cut down the monthly rate by signing up for three months ($29.95) or a year ($49.95) at once.
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 freelance jobs. 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 freelance jobs, it doesn’t cost you anything to search job postings or apply.
Pros: Because every major city has its own Craigslist board, you can easily search for local freelance gigs—or, if you want to expand your opportunities, see what’s listed in other cities.
Cons: Craigslist is notorious for scams—and that includes freelance jobs. 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 freelance 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 freelance 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 to 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 type of freelance work, 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) freelance support. 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 in the freelance jobs space. 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 six months.
Pros: The site seems to feature a high volume of freelance jobs 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 is a huge number of websites out there where you can find freelance jobs in everything from marketing to video editing to research to 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:
- Genuine Jobs
- Just Answer
- Mechanical Turk
- People Per Hour
- Skip The Drive
- Solid Gigs
- Smashing Jobs
- Student Freelancing
- The Muse
- Virtual Vocations
- We Work Remotely
- Working Nomads
Where to Look for Freelance Jobs: Writer and Editor Freelance Jobs
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 Gigs
Freelance Writing Gigs is part job board, part resource for writers and editors. The site scours the internet and posts relevant freelance 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 freelance writing or editing career.
Fees: None! The gigs on Freelance Writing Gigs are completely free to browse.
Pros: The team at Freelance Writing Gigs searches all corners of the internet to find the best freelance 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 Gigs is only updated twice a week, some of the freelance jobs 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 opportunities to find your freelance diamond in the rough.
Contently is a content marketing platform that connects brands with 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 that feature freelance jobs exclusively for writers and editors.
Here are a few industry-specific websites to help you find your next writing or editing opportunity:
- Blogging Pro Job Board
- Freedom With Writing
- Freelance Writing Jobs (freelance jobs targeted towards Canadian writers)
- Government Bids
- Online Writing Jobs
- ProBlogger Job Board
- Task Army
- Writer Bay
Where to Look for Freelance Jobs: Designer and Developer Freelance Jobs
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 their 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 (15% on your first $500 billed)
- A “platform fee” for all one-to-one projects completed (5 to 15%, depending on the designer’s level of experience)
If you are a finalist or win a contest, 99designs waives the client introduction fee.
Pros: 99designs features a variety of design contests and opportunities. So whether you’re an illustrator or a logo expert, a branding specialist, or a packaging designer, chances are there 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 start-ups. While the site offers a variety of services for start-ups, it’s most popular and well-known feature is its extensive job board, which connects talent with start-up opportunities—including freelance jobs.
Fees: None! AngelList is a free resource for coders, designers, and other talent looking to land a freelance gig with the next up-and-coming start-up.
Pros: AngelList isn’t just free for freelancers; it’s also free for employers. That means that more start-ups are likely to post jobs to AngelList—which means more freelance jobs for you to choose from.
Cons: The start-up life isn’t for everyone—even on a freelance basis. If working in a fast-paced (and sometimes volatile) start-up environment doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to look elsewhere.
Envato Studio is a freelance marketplace for designers, developers, and other creative talent. Freelancers set up a profile that showcases their work and rates, and clients can get in touch with relevant freelance job opportunities.
Fees: Envato Studio charges freelancers a 30% platform fee at the completion of a project.
Pros: Envato is a well-known and trusted name in the digital space, and that name goes a long way in drawing in high-quality clients to the platform.
Cons: At 30%, Envato Studio has one of the highest platform fees in the business. Plus, you have to go through a review process in order to become an Envato Studio Service Provider—and not all freelancers are selected.
Other Websites to Find Freelance Jobs for Designers and Developers
If the previously mentioned websites don’t find you the freelance design/programming/coding job of your dreams, it’s all good—there are definitely other options to explore.
Check out these websites for more freelance opportunities specifically targeted towards designers, coders, developers, programmers, and the like:
- Art Wanted
- Authentic Jobs
- Computer Assistant
- Hexi Design
- Scalable Path
- Smashing Jobs
How to Vet Freelance Jobs (and Make Sure the Opportunity Is Right for You)
When it comes to searching for freelance jobs there are a ton of websites and options. 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 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 of financial details).
Research the Company
You can find out a lot about a company (and a potential freelance opportunity) with a little bit of digging. If you find a freelance job that sounds like a good fit, take a few minutes to research the company first. You can look on websites like Glassdoor to get employee insights and many freelance jobs websites (like Upwork) sometimes list client reviews 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 during the brief/interview process include:
- What’s the scope of the project?
- What are the key deliverables?
- 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 for freelance jobs, 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 freelance jobs, 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 to applying for freelance jobs. 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 freelance 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
There are a lot of freelance opportunities out there. And as you now know, there are a lot of freelance jobs websites out there 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 November 2020.