The very idea of freelance work sounds exciting. As a freelance expert, you get to set your own hours, job location, and of course, your own rates. You could work from home, in the park, or at the beach. The list goes on.
While managing a freelance may not be the best option for everyone, it comes loaded with a couple of perks. In terms of money, freelancing pays more income per hour than most entry-level jobs in any industry. And if you manage to carve a name for yourself in your specific niche, your earning potential has no known limits. It could go from $100,000 to $1000,000 and beyond.
Success in freelancing is usually, not always, a numbers game. You should have the stamina to take on multiple clients and the self-discipline to stick to tight deadlines – if you think you’ve got these traits, then this could be your career.
- 1 Know Your Responsibilities
- 2 5 Most Popular Freelancing Sites
- 3 1. Upwork
- 4 2. Freelancer
- 5 3. FlexJobs
- 6 4. SolidGigs
- 7 5. Fiverr
- 8 50+ Freelance Sites
- 9 i. Content Writers
- 10 ii. Become a Tutor
- 11 iii. Gaming
- 12 iv. Proofreading
- 13 v. Become a Virtual Assistant
- 14 vi. Become a Transcriber
- 15 vii. Graphic Designing
- 16 viii. Data Entry
- 17 ix. Website Development
- 18 x. Photography
Know Your Responsibilities
With freelancing, you’ll find yourself working for several clients on your own schedule instead of for a single company. Freelance jobs could either replace your full-time income or supplement it. They could be your answer to earning more money when you’ve got spare time.
But if you think of your job as little more than a ‘daily grind’ and are looking for ways to escape it, then freelance could be your calling. Just make sure to stick to the really tight deadlines and you’re golden. Most people use their freelance gigs as a springboard, not necessarily as a career.
5 Most Popular Freelancing Sites
If you’re new to freelancing, then you’re probably not aware of the jobs that suit your skills. Freelance can be a lucrative career even if you’re just starting out because there are unlimited jobs and gigs that you can work from home. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve compiled a list of great freelance job sites to get you started.
Note: It is worth mentioning that some quality jobs may end up costing you, but the payoff is the opportunity to find consistent work in your niche.
Upwork has over 5 million registered clients, and offers something for all different industries, from content to graphic design to website design. It works with both long term and short term projects, hourly or per-project work, entry-level, or expert-level jobs. Irrespective of where you are in your career, Upwork may have something for you.
The only catch is, you’ll have to pay 20% of your earnings to the platform for each successful job. So if your total earnings are $1000, Upwork will pocket $200. The benefit of working with Upwork is that it is very effective. It is relatively easy to find new jobs and getting paid. You can easily get in touch with your clients. Upwork is always finding new ways to improve its platform.
There is one problem, which is common across these websites: your reviews matter… a lot. If someone decides to give you a bad review, even if you’ve done a good job, you’ll have to dispute it or remain stuck with it forever.
Freelancer is the second most popular job site packed to the brim with some of the best freelance jobs to make money from home. It is free to sign up and you can apply for a maximum of 8 jobs per month. However, if you want to bid on more projects, you’ll have to sign up for the paid membership. Freelancer will pocket $5 or 10% of your earnings, whichever is higher.
Upgrading to the paid account may deter some freelancers from using the site because many competitors do not charge a monthly rate to use the site. This may work to your advantage if you’ve got extra cash on hand. The paid membership may act as a kind of filter, giving you access to high-quality prospects who may be willing to pay more for your time and hard work.
With a distinctly different approach, FlexJobs tries to be more than just a freelance site. For one, it does contain opportunities in just about every other niche out there, but it also comes with a ton of extra features. These include one-on-one coaching, resume assistance, and member-only discounts. You can also complete over 170 skills tests to evaluate and promote your skills.
The only catch is, you’ll have to pay a small monthly membership fee to check out all the job listings. In hindsight, this is a good feature because it stops 99.9% of scams dead in their tracks. Also, FlexJobs utilizes a stringent system to check every single job listing before allowing it on their platform, which can save you a ton of time. Also, once you get hired or find a good enough gig, you can cancel your membership fee. You can always get your membership back if you feel the need to.
You can also find choose from over 50 full-time and part-time career fields on FlexJobs, including call center jobs, insurance jobs, internet and eCommerce, accounting and finance, and hospitality, among others.
SolidGigs contains well-vetted freelance gigs that often come from more established brands. Whereas Upwork and Freelance usually have inexperienced clients who aren’t willing to pay more than a few bucks for a project, SolidGigs can be a source of some serious income. We recommend using SolidGigs if the job scene in your area is scarce.
SolidGigs works by manually reviewing approximately 100 sites that list freelance opportunities and brings them together in one place. They claim to post the top 1% of listings they find from their search. The value is that it ‘weeds’ out the poorer opportunities and only displays the ones they consider to be the very best.
These gigs are usually targeted towards developers, writers, marketers, and designers. Apart from listing the best jobs available, SolidGigs also provides a vast array of courses, resources, and tools to support solopreneurs and freelancers to improve their skills so they can attract and retain qualified prospects.
As the name suggests, Fiverr gigs start at a minimum of $5. Now $5 may not be much, but it gives a low-risk approach for clients to test new jobs. If clients don’t like the results, they will simply move on (or ask for a refund). But it’s a great way to build your portfolio. Because of the extremely low barriers to entry, Fiverr is home to a massive number of clients and freelancers.
This also means that you will have to set yourself apart from the crowd by offering higher quality services. Fiverr also adopts a different approach to creating job listings, in that, you create a service page, called a ‘gig’, for clients to find you. You set your prices or offer different price points for various levels of your services. Fiverr will pocket 20% of your earnings for using their platform.
50+ Freelance Sites
It can be a little tough to find freelance opportunities if your niche is very specific. But if you know where to look for the right jobs, you will have a greater chance of finding one. To help you look in the right places, we’ve rounded up specific opportunities in different areas of expertise.
i. Content Writers
From short articles to in-depth blog posts to ad copies, there are endless opportunities on the internet for freelance writers. Brands will always need a writer if they want to reach their audience in a cost-efficient manner. Not to mention the fact that SEO success depends on a website’s content generational capabilities.
Freelance writers will write on several areas, including accounting, parenting, crafting, computers, medical advice, and even clickbait-style blogs. It is worth noting that freelance writing requires prior knowledge and skills, but nothing that you can’t overcome. Don’t have good writing skills? Don’t worry! Simply pull up content sites like Forbes, ArsTechnica, and MSN to see how the professionals write their work. Try to mimic what they’re doing and you’re good to go!
Alternatively, you can also check out the ‘blog’ section on professional websites (in areas such as furniture, paint, electrical works, and more). Chances are that you already have some writing experience, probably through school, opinion pieces on blogs, or detailed responses on social media. You don’t need to take online writing courses, but you’ll get a better insight into freelance essay writing jobs.
If freelance writing sounds like something you would like to do, then make an online portfolio that introduces you (and your skills) to prospects. By far the best way to create an online portfolio is to start your website. It is extremely easy to create one for as low as $4 by following our 3-step guide here!
Where can I find high paying freelance writing jobs?
ii. Become a Tutor
If you have mastery over a certain subject, such as math, chemistry, psychology, or economics, and have a panache for teaching, you may want to offer tutoring lessons. There are thousands of active freelance tutoring positions that need someone of your skill level. There are just many topics where people need help with tutors, not just in academia.
Academia tutoring is the first area where you should begin your hunt for gigs, but it is not the only option. If you’re good at marketing, you can offer to tutor in hunting, crafting, web development, or any other area that you have domain expertise over.
One advantage of tutoring gigs is that it is easy to find them online and in your local area. If you don’t like staring at the computer screen all day long, you can teach locally and meet new students. The only requirement for getting new gigs is that you know your domain well enough to teach it to your students in a manner that they understand best.
Where can I find high paying freelance tutoring jobs>?
Gaming doesn’t exactly fit the bill for ‘freelance’ gigs, but it does have the potential to pay a ton of money if you have the patience, passion, and time. You will need a few basic items, such as a console, video game titles, microphone, camera, and a headset. Once you have access to the right gaming equipment, you can start streaming it on online platforms like Twitch, YouTube, or even Vimeo.
Many gamers often start their blog to review equipment or provide how-to guides on popular video games.
Where can I find high paying freelance gaming jobs?
- Create a YouTube channel
- Create a Twitch channel
- Learn how to start a blog
Proofreading is not the same as content writing. In proofreading, you will spend time reading and correcting rough drafts that could be documenting anything from blogs, articles, court documents, essays, and even research papers. You do need an eye for details because this is a delicate work requiring precision.
You don’t need a professional degree in language to get a high paying proofreading gig. That being said, you do need to prove your skills to clients by working towards perfecting your grammar and spieling mistake. You also need a strong understanding of the English language to be successful at proofreading.
Of course, you can also do proofreading in languages other than English and still land a six-figure income. It all depends on how good you are at your job. If you’re not comfortable with writing actual pieces of content, you may want to give proofreading a shot. It is worth noting that some clients will expect you to provide them with feedback about areas in the document that can be improved. Proofreading research papers can be a little tough because you need a good understanding of academic writing, formatting, citations, tables, charts, and more.
You may also be expected to find and remove plagiarized pieces in the draft. This can be tough without using a professional tool like CopyScape (which can be extremely costly if you’re proofreading documents with over 10,000+ words).
Where to find high paying freelance proofreading gigs?
v. Become a Virtual Assistant
The job of a virtual assistant encompasses more than just diary keeping. You can schedule social media posts, answer phone calls, handle customer care, write content, and do a whole lot more. Most businesses need a virtual assistant to handle their assignments. Don’t worry if your online expertise spans over one or two areas, there are thousands of businesses who need your skills, if only for a few hours.
The average hourly pay for a virtual assistant in the US is about $19. Many virtual assistants offer free trials or discounted services to clients so they can evaluate their quality of service. Once they are satisfied, they will charge regular rates.
Where can I find freelance virtual assistant gigs?
vi. Become a Transcriber
If you’ve got good listening skills, you can listen to audio and put them in words. Some of the files you’ll get to work on include conference calls, podcasts, interviews, and a lot more. While it is true that there are many online tools that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to transcribe audio to text, their accuracy tends to be a hit or a miss.
Depending on your skill and experience level, you may have to take on a few courses to learn professional transcription, but the main requirements include fast typing speeds and great listening skills. There are many online tools you can use to improve your typing speed and spelling. To be successful at your job, you will need an expert-level understanding of the language that you’re transcribing, including above-average command over spelling and grammar. Bonus points if you are aware of the relationship between language and culture.
Where can I find freelance transcription gigs?
vii. Graphic Designing
While most people have the basic skills to do content writing or proofreading, they don’t know how to use tools like Photoshop to create beautiful visuals and graphics. In fact, most businesses end up failing just because they’re unable to align their visuals with the type of prospects they want to attract. This is where a graphic designer comes in.
You will have to create visuals from advertisements, blogs, infographics, and even landing pages. While most businesses have their own in-house graphic designer, some choose to outsource the task to a freelancer. The learning curve here is rather steep and you won’t find as much competition here as writers.
There are so many tools to learn including Photoshop, Canva, and other programs. More importantly, you will need to be extremely creative to create beautiful images.
If you are a creative person but don’t have the skills needed to make money in this industry, you should have no difficulty in learning them using free online courses.
Where can I find freelance graphic designing gigs?
viii. Data Entry
Data entry can be a rather boring, monotonous job that requires precise attention to detail, not unlike proofreading. However, if you have the patience to perform simple tasks and don’t mind the repetitiveness of your work, then this could be a great way to make money. All you need to get started is a computer, a strong internet connection, and a few basic skills.
You will also need reasonably fast typing skills, something that most employees will expect of you right off the bat. You should also have a basic understanding of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google and Linux equivalents. There are various online courses that teach how to use these apps.
It is worth noting that there are many scammers or companies that pay zero money for your time. This means you should be on your guard for jobs and only accept from companies that are found to be credible.
Where can I find freelance data entry gigs
ix. Website Development
Your task is to create beautiful websites with neatly laid out menus, visuals, and call-to-actions. Your clients will come from all walks of life, some will be from Fortune 500 companies, others will be solo entrepreneurs who want to launch their own service. While you won’t be expected to create visuals and articles, you will be expected to accommodate the client’s chosen visuals in the website layout. And this can be a little tough without the right technical skills.
In terms of technical skills, you will need above average skills to design websites. You don’t always need coding skills, but if you can code, you will stand out from the crowd. In most cases, you will only have to design sites using drag and drop builders from WordPress and Elementor. Content management systems like WordPress usually take care of coding requirements on their own.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to design a website, it’s extremely easy – you just need the time to practice them. The best way is to create your own website. Try creating your own online portfolio to show off your skills and work.
Where can I find freelance website design gigs?
If you have a good eye for photographs, you could make a lot of money without a whole lot of effort. A good freelance photographer can make around 10% to 50% of every image copy they sell through places like Shutterstock. Besides setting up your own online business that sells photographs, you can take pictures for weddings, birthday events, graduating seniors, and more.
But by far, the best way to make money with photos is to sell them as stock photos. Start with Shutterstock where you can sell your pictures to businesses for commercial use. In return, you receive a commission for every picture sold. The more popular your pictures, the greater your earning potential.
Where can I find freelance photography gigs?
Final Thoughts: How to Know if Freelance is Right For You
Freelance is awesome, but it isn’t easy or right for everyone. It may take at least a year before you can get a hang of things. Most people use freelancing as a springboard into new opportunities than as a full-time career.
In any case, to be successful at freelancing, you need to teach yourself the right skills to find a high paying job. If you do it well, you can add the work to your portfolio and slowly raise your hourly rate. Try to promote your profiles on social media, your inner circle, and everywhere. Before long, you could launch your very own agency.