Top 5 Freelancing websites for 2018….Let me be very clear, the FOCUS here is on 5…Why 5? why not 7,10 or 15 (I’ve seen one post which outlined as many as 25 freelancing sites!)
Well, the reason is simple……..Pareto’s 80/20 rule which says that in life, 80% of results come from 20% of all the activities you do is applicable to freelancing sites as well! I may list down a long list of 100 freelancing sites for you, but the fact is that most of them are crap and will just be a waste of your time and energy, hardly giving you anything constructive in return. And it will only be the Top 5 (or the Top 20% as per Pareto’s principle) that will bring home the results and money for you.
When I started out, I went to the best platform out there, Elance (Elance and Odesk have now merged together to form Upwork). The benefit of working with an established and leading platform like Upwork is that you can expect good quality work, defined systems and processes and most importantly, security of your money.
So, what I am listing down for you is the Top 5 freelancing sites that are genuine, secure and will give you real jobs that actually pay…
1. Upwork – Without any doubt, Upwork has to be at the top because I’ve personally been working on it for the last 5 years and have not had any unpleasant experience till date. Going by the numbers given out by the platform, it has over 12 million registered freelancers, 3 million jobs are posted annually, doing about $1 billion worth of work…that’s huge!
Keeping aside the numbers, I can vouch for the fact that this platform works well for freelancers. This platform is single-handedly responsible for giving me a regular source of income for the last 5 years and as of today, I am a Top-Rated freelancer on Upwork. So if you are a beginner in freelancing, Upwork should definitely be one platform you should seriously be looking at!
2. Fiverr – Fiverr is like the Ebay of freelancing world, with a huge number of buyers and sellers competing in the marketplace for the best deals on their gigs. And the best part is, everything here starts at just $5! And don’t get disheartened by this $5, it’s just that all the basic gigs here start at this amount. As the complexities of a given job increases or your level of experience and positive reviews from past clients go up, so does the amount that you can charge per gig.
The reviews on this platform is a huge help as they can help you chaff out the good and genuine buyers/sellers from the bad ones. Do check out this write-up for a more detailed information on finding success on Fiverr.
3. Toptal – If you are a highly skilled software engineer, designer or a finance expert, then Toptal is definitely a good option for you to find good quality work with reputed companies. Here, check out what their homepage has to say:
They also have big names like Hewlett Packard, Airbnb, and Pfizer to boast of. Their screening process is really rigorous, striving to identify the best talent across the globe. So if you think you have it in you, definitely give Toptal a try!
4. Freelancer.com – Freelancer is quite similar to Upwork in terms of functioning like posting projects, selecting freelancers on the basis of their bid value, proposal, and payment processing. However, freelancers with a free membership can only bid for 8 projects in a month while with Upwork, you get 60 connects (most jobs require 2 connects to apply) each month under the free plan.
I think this ability to bid for just 8 projects in a month under the free plan is a huge drawback for beginners as you would be finishing these 8 attempts in a day or two itself and incases you do not land up a project within these attempts, you will have to wait for another month to be able to qualify for projects again.
Yet, with over 25 million subscribers from over 247 countries, Freelancer.com is definitely one of the key players in the global freelancing market.
99designs – Now this is one platform dedicated solely to freelance designers. 99designs allows one to compete in design contests, getting paid when your design gets selected by the client. Logo designing, packaging, brand design, book cover to T.Shirt designing – there’s a whole bunch of options that you can choose from.
99designs has some big names like Tim Ferris supporting it, so you can rest assured that the website is legit. It has also been featured in top publications like The Wall Street Journal, TechCruch, Entrepreneur and The New York Times. So for all those talented designers out there, you can go ahead and create your profile on this site and hopefully, it should work out well for you too!
So, there you go…You have the Top 5 Freelancing sites for 2018 listed out for you! Each one of them serves a different purpose though. Fiverr is more suited for smaller gigs, Toptal for only the select few who can get through their tough screening process to join the Top 3% global talent and 99designs for designers.
Top of the list undoubtedly is Upwork, a global leader in the freelancing market with robust systems and processes in place. I’ve never had the need to go in for the paid membership in order to bid for projects, a great blessing for beginners on a tight budget. In fact, Upwork and Fiverr should work well for most of you, whether you are a content writer, branding expert, designer, data analyst or a social media expert.
If you’re really good at your craft, the above two platforms are definitely good places to start at and give your freelancing dreams a steady growth. Also, always make sure to STAY AWAY from the smaller, sometimes even popular names. You may be tempted by the lesser competition on these platforms, but you can never be sure if you will land up with genuine jobs or clients that actually pay!
Even if you want to try a different platform, make sure that you know of a trusted person who has actually been able to earn real money on that site. The online world is full of frauds and it pays to be careful, ALWAYS…
I would be reviewing each of the above platforms in detail in my upcoming posts. Also, do let me know if you have worked with any of the freelancing sites and how has your experience been. It will be a great learning for all of us here!