In the U.S., freelancing gigs contributed $1.2 trillion to the American economy in 2020. So if you’re thinking about leaving your 9 to 5 or finding a side gig to make extra money, and want to know the best freelance websites for beginners, guess what. You found it!
Switching from a traditional job to become a freelancer isn’t easy, but the rewards far outweigh the costs.
Our schedules are flexible, we select and work on projects that we really enjoy, and we have control over our rate of pay amongst many other things.
The lack of micro-management and the freedom to work when and where we want is just a couple of reasons that keep me, the Love Work at Home team, as well as literally millions of others, addicted to the freelance lifestyle.
By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a much better understanding about:
P.s. check out our blog titled ‘How To Be A Successful Freelancer – 11 Steps To Mastery‘ if you’re not quite ready for the sites just yet.
This post might contain affiliate links, and I may be compensated, at no additional cost, if you make a purchase after clicking on a link.
With over 18 million registered freelancers and 5 million clients, Upwork is one of the biggest freelance platforms out there and one of the best freelance websites for beginners.
You can find freelance jobs online by applying for job posts or being invited by clients. You can also showcase your work with additional niche-specific profiles and work portfolios. If you decide to freelance on Upwork, you can’t go wrong.
Slightly different from Upwork, Fiverr is one of the largest marketplace platforms where freelancers can advertise or showcase their services known as gigs. It’s like a virtual shopfront for freelance services which also makes it one of the best freelancer sites.
The difference between Upwork and Fiverr is that clients find you versus you finding suitable job posts. (Although this is available, the competition is stiff.)
FlexJobs is the largest online portal for finding remote work which includes freelancing jobs. Though mostly focussed on long-term remote positions, you can find the occasional freelancing job or a part-time job if you prefer consistency.
The great thing about freelancing is that you’re not limited to only being on one platform. As each site works slightly differently and services a different client base, you can diversify your options and create a profile on each platform if you like.
Keep in mind that with most platforms that are specifically freelance-focussed, you will need to build up your profile, work history, and ratings. This does take time but perseverance is the name of the game when it comes to freelancing for beginners and once you have an established history, finding easy freelance jobs becomes a breeze.
Professions: Development & IT, Design & Creative, Sales & Marketing, Writing & Translation, Admin & Customer Support, and Finance & Accounting
Countries: Upwork is available in over 180 countries. Everyone 18+ that has an internet connection is encouraged to apply. Upwork states that due to U.S. Law (where Upwork is based), it is not allowed to conduct business with the following countries: Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea (region of Ukraine), and Cuba.
As a top freelancer at Upwork, I’ve had my share of ups and downs with the platform but it’s one of the top freelancing sites out there for finding international clients and projects. Most of the Love Work at Home team are on Upwork and it remains one of our favorite platforms to find easy freelance jobs.
To apply for projects, you need to have “connects.” The free membership option gives you 10 free connects or you can opt for paid membership that gives you 70 extra (80 in total). You can also purchase extra connects if needed (at $0.15 per connect) and earn connects through winning an interview, completing an Upwork skill certification, or earning a talent badge.
The number of connects required to apply for a project will depend on the client’s requirements and some projects can even be free. Clients also have the option of refunding your connects if you don’t get hired. If you are invited to a project, you can apply for free.
Projects can be fixed price milestone-based or hourly. For both, Upwork initially deducts a 20% fee on the first $500 dollars. (See the fee structure below).
Upwork’s 20% fee continues to be a reason I hesitate when looking for new clients. As a freelance writer, I would prefer to locate clients from referrals and job boards that won’t require me to pay a fee for a one-off job or a short-term relationship.
Hot Tip: When quoting on projects, be sure to quote a little more to cover the 20% fee.
However, that being said, incorporated into that fee is payment protection. If something goes wrong with the client’s account or payment method, Upwork will still pay you as a freelancer and will sort out the issue with the client. This has happened to me a few times and knowing that I would still be paid and didn’t have to address this with the client was very reassuring.
I have found many quality clients through freelancing on Upwork. Employers respect my time, schedule, and pay what I have asked for. In my opinion, spam hasn’t been an issue like other platforms, customer service is attentive to freelancers, and the payment process is seamless. Upwork remains one of the best freelance websites for beginners.
Fees: Each completed job has an associated cost. Freelancers are awarded long-term relationships with clients and even encouraged to suggest future work to keep the employer on the platform.
You can negotiate a fixed price per project or an hourly rate for ongoing/long-term positions. If you’re lucky to negotiate hourly work, this brings down the Upwork fees very quickly.
Upwork fees per client are as follows:
If you work with an Enterprise client (this will be displayed on their profile), a flat 10% fee is generally applied as fees for priority clients are negotiated by Upwork. When you get hired for “Featured Jobs,” you may pay a reduced price if you are currently a Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, or Rising Talent freelancer.
It is free to sign up with Upwork which makes it one of the easiest places to find freelance jobs online for beginners. However, they do screen you and it’s recommended that you have some form of qualification to be accepted.
You can also pay for Freelancer Plus. This paid membership option is $14.99 per month and offers features like 80 total connects (70 + 10 free), confidential earnings, and a customized URL.
Upwork has an Expert-Vetted badge for its top 1% of freelancers. The Expert-Vetted badge is currently invite-only and limited to certain skills.
Professions: Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Music & Audio, Programming & Tech, Data, Business, and Lifestyle
Countries: There are no general country restrictions with Fiverr. However, to be a buyer or seller, you must have access to the site in your country and accept and use Fiverr’s payment methods.
If you freelance online, chances are your skills fall into the digital category and it will be possible to freelance on Fiverr. Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for digital services and also ranks as one of the best freelance websites for beginners.
It differs from Upwork in that as a freelancer, you can “sell” your services which are known as “gigs.” If you are looking for a freelancer (a buyer) you can buy “gigs” from sellers. Freelancers can also apply for jobs known as Recent Buyer Requests.
It’s easy to create a profile on Fiverr and a great place to start freelancing for beginners — you can start selling gigs from day one.
Hot Tip: To succeed in this highly competitive marketplace, you will need to market your skills and Fiverr profile on social media or your own website.
The platform provides Learn from Fiverr, which helps you advance your freelancing career using online, on-demand video classes. After completing each course successfully, a badge regarding the subject matter will be added to your profile.
Fiverr also offers the following services to top freelancers:
Fees: Fiverr charges sellers a 20% flat fee on their finished gig. The platform also takes a 20% cut on any tips given to the seller. Included in this fee is seller protection from false chargebacks. Buyers can also file a chargeback if the freelancer hasn’t provided the services as requested.
Professions (click to show):
Accounting & Finance, Administrative, Advertising & PR, Animals & Wildlife, Art & Creative, Bilingual, Business Development, Call Center, Communications, Computer & IT, Consulting, Customer Service, Data Entry, Editing, Education & Training, Engineering, Entertainment & Media, Environmental & Green, Event Planning, Fashion & Beauty, Food & Beverage, Government & Politics, Graphic Design, HR & Recruiting, Human Services, Insurance, International, Internet & Ecommerce, Legal, Manufacturing, Marketing, Math & Economics, Medical & Health, Mortgage & Real Estate, News & Journalism, Nonprofit & Philanthropy, Operations, Project Management, Research, Retail, Sales, Science, Software Development, Sports & Fitness, Telemarketing, Transcription, Translation, Travel & Hospitality, Web Design, Writing, and Youth & Children Jobs
Countries: USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, United Kingdom, and elsewhere (multiple international locations)
One of the largest platforms out there, FlexJobs aggregates job listings for remote work, freelance, telecommuting, and more. The jobs provided are all listed for free online through company websites and agencies, but having a one-stop-shop for spam-free job listings can be a huge time-saver and worth the fee.
Hot Tip: Once you land the new job, you can cancel your paid membership. You can also find the occasional discount offer!
Fees: Pricing starts at $6.95 for one week or $14.95 per month. You can also sign up for a three-month plan for $29.95 and a one-year plan for $49.95.
Professions: Technology & Programming, Writing & Translation, Design, Digital Marketing, Video, Photo & Image, Business, Music & Audio, Marketing, Branding & Sales, Social Media
Countries: Mostly USA, U.K, and Europe but is open to international freelancers
People Per Hour was founded in 2007 and is one of the best freelancer sites for U.K., U.S., and European freelancers. It works with over one million businesses and nearly three million freelancers. Similar to Upwork, you can create a profile, post a few offers that showcase your skills, and apply for jobs.
People Per Hour also provides a wide variety of services beyond traditional writing, creative, and I.T. offerings. The platform’s A.I. match service helps connect companies with suitable freelancers using a detailed project questionnaire.
Hot Tip: As with all the best freelancing sites, the key to landing your first project is to apply to a job ad as soon as you can. It’s best to check job ads daily and apply as soon as you see a new one. Apply to as many as you can!
Fees: Percentage fees are per client and they have a minimum payment of £6, $10, or €7. But People Per Hour also offers payment protection which is reassuring.
For every invoice you send to a client, there is an additional fee of approximately £2.5 | $3.5 | €3 (excl. VAT).
Professions: Graphic Designers, Marketers, Developers, Coaching & Mentoring, Accounting, Writing, Consulting, Events, Finance, Home Improvement, I.T., Insurance, Law, Operations, Photography, Real Estate, and Software Development
Countries: U.S. only
If you’re looking to freelance on LinkedIn and you’re in the US, then you can be a part of ProFinder. You will need to have an updated LinkedIn profile, recommendations, and endorsements.
LinkedIn ProFinder has a lot of potential. The service uses its platform to connect employers with potential freelancers. While most freelancers can’t justify its nearly $60 a month price tag, the opportunity to join ProFinder does give you ten free queued job matches to try out the service.
Unlike other freelancer sites, ProFinder offers a unique approach to the job application process. There is no scrolling through endless job listings — the site will automatically forward you a relevant job listing in your “Client Request” tab if you are a good match.
Each job that ProFinder forwards to you has a maximum of 5 proposals, so if you are interested in the job, complete a proposal as quickly as possible to be considered (usually within 24 hours). This feature is beneficial for both employers and freelancers. Employers have considerably fewer applications to weed through, and you have less competition from both an applicant standpoint and the dreaded undercut of your bids.
Hot Tip: Publish regular articles on LinkedIn to build your name and brand on LinkedIn ProFinder.
Fees: The first ten proposals are free. After ten proposals, you will need to subscribe to a LinkedIn Premium Business subscription ($59.99 per month or pay annually to save 25%). The LinkedIn Premium Business subscription gives you unlimited access to ProFinder jobs, who’s looking at your profile, improved analytics, and the LinkedIn Premium Badge (a.k.a. I care a lot about my career and making connections).
Professions: Handyman, Moving Services, Yardwork & Removal, Cleaning, Organization, Furniture Assembly, Mounting & Installation, Shopping + Delivery, Office Services, Baby Prep, Event Planning, Winter Tasks, Virtual Assistant, Research, Data Entry, and more.
Countries: Over 70 U.S. metropolitan areas, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany.
With TaskRabbit, you can apply skills that don’t always fall into the computer or technical realm. TaskRabbit can also provide both if you want to earn extra money or desire to have a spontaneous schedule that helps you ditch your 9 to 5.
You can choose your rates, work when you want to, and even provide a recurring service for your favorite clients. Plus, TaskRabbit offers perks like up to 18% off your cell service and discounts from Zipcar, QuickBooks, TurboTax, and office supply stores.
Keep in mind: you will need to be at least 21, have a valid bank account, credit card, and a smartphone (iOS 7.0+ or Android 4.0.3+).
Fees: You will pay a $20 upfront charge to complete a background check to start as a tasker. A 15% TaskRabbit fee is assessed on every completed task. For example, if you charge $200, you will receive $170.
Professions: Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Finance, Project Managers, Product Managers
Countries: If you are looking for “remote freelance jobs with top global clients,” then Toptal might be an option for you. According to Toptal, they have freelancers in over 100 countries, with the majority located in the Americas and Europe.
Founded in 2010, Toptal only selects approximately 3% of all applicants it receives. Applicants are vigorously tested on communication skills (including a high level of English proficiency), personality, domain-specific knowledge, and a high level of professionalism.
Not only do candidates have to pass long and challenging application tests, but Toptal also personally interviews each expert to confirm their capabilities. This process usually takes 1-5 weeks and must be completed before Toptal will introduce you to a client.
Once approved as a freelancer, Toptal matches you with relevant employers willing to pay top dollar for your vetted services. Although it’s challenging to join this platform, once you are accepted you can be sure that you are in the top echelon of your profession.
Fees: Freelancers have a set rate per hour for Toptal projects. Toptal invoices the client directly (usually every two weeks) during the entire project. Once it receives payment, Toptal holds the commission charge and pays the freelancer their predetermined rate.
Professions: Software Engineer, Product Manager, Data Analyst, Product Designer, Graphic Designer, UI/UX Designer, Operations Manager, Growth Marketer, Account Manager, Sales Manager, Financial Analyst, and HR Manager.
Countries: US (New York City, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Washington DC, Denver, Seattle, Chicago), India, and remote (not all jobs are remote)
AngelList offers a job board for multiple types of jobs in the digital engineer, designer, and manager fields for startups. Jobs can be exciting and have great potential for those just finishing college as well as those who have been in the field for many years. It’s a good site to find freelance jobs online for beginners.
Startups can be somewhat chaotic as they scale and grow. However, this can be a benefit for people who enjoy spontaneity, appreciate evolving roles, and are looking to make a difference. Pay options often include stock in the startup and roles can be contract or full-time.
Fees: No fees but pay may be in the form of the startup’s stock (full or partially)
Professions: IT & Programming, Graphic Design & Multimedia, Writing, Data Entry & Admin, Finance & Accounting, Sales & Marketing, Customer Support & Service, Social Media, SEO & SEM, Mobile Application, Music & Audio
Countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States
CloudPeeps was established in 2015 by founder, entrepreneur, and social media manager Kate Kendall. CloudPeeps works by connecting clients with freelancers through job postings.
It is important to note that CloudPeeps does not accept every freelancer that applies to their platform. The freelancer must be a native English speaker, have prior freelancing experience (so not for beginner freelancers), and have the related education/qualification.
CloudPeeps is a combination of Upwork and Fiverr. Freelancers on CloudPeeps can apply for jobs (like Upwork) and also create a virtual storefront that clients can directly purchase custom packages from them for a fixed price (like Fiverr.)
It also has a tiered fee system that lets the freelancer decide whether they want to pay a monthly fee or choose the free plan and pay more in fees per job.
Fees: CloudPeeps has both a free plan and paid plans for freelancers. The Free plan has a 15% fee per job plus processing fees. A Standard plan at $9 a month offers a 10% fee per job plus processing fees, whereas a Plus plan at $29 a month offers a 5% fee per job plus processing fees. The amount of proposal opportunities you receive each month is also based on the plan you have.
Professions: IT & Programming, Graphic Design & Multimedia, Writing, Data Entry & Admin, Finance & Accounting, Sales & Marketing, Customer Support & Service, Social Media, SEO & SEM, Mobile Application, Music & Audio
Countries: US, UK, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India
Truelancer launched in 2014. The platform is an Indian-based marketplace that helps freelancers connect with global clients. It also has a “buy and sell” service section for freelancers that features fixed-rate services. Truelancer has a secure messaging and payment system to protect clients, freelancers, and copyrights.
Fees: Service fees range from 8% to 10% on each billed job determined by the membership plan (plans cost $0 to $50 per month). Freelancers receive 20 free proposals per month. Extra proposal credits can be purchased as follows: 5 for $4, 10 for $6, 25 for $12, and 50 for $20.
Professions (click to see):
Account Management, Accounting, Admin, Business Operations, Case Management, Consulting, Creative, Customer Service, Data Entry, Editing, Engineering, Financial, Fundraising, Government, Graphic Design, Healthcare, Human Resources, Human Services, IT, Instructional Design, Insurance, Internet and E-Commerce, Investigations, Legal, Management, Marketing, Non-profit, Product Management, Program Management, Project Management, Quality Assurance, Real Estate, Research, Sales, Social Media, Training, Transcription, Translation, Travel, Writing and more
Countries: Mostly US-based companies but non-US applicants may apply. It’s up to the employer if they want to hire a non-US-based employee.
Our article wouldn’t be complete without a mention of our friends at Virtual Vocations. Virtual Vocations is a job service that hand-screens legitimate remote jobs that are available to job seekers from top remote-friendly companies. (They have researched 24 167 companies that are remote-friendly.)
As a 100% remote company themselves, Virtual Vocations specializes in work-from-home jobs, including part-time and freelance work. Simply enter the word “freelance” in your job search and you’ll find any freelance positions for your career. Be sure to search under “telecommute” and “part-time” positions that might be more suited to freelancers.
Although it’s not a freelance website, you can find freelance job openings on Virtual Vocations and you can be guaranteed that they are legitimate thanks to VV’s screening process of all job openings.
Fees: Free registration and paid subscription to Virtual Vocations. With the free registration, you have partial access to their database of recent remote job leads.
Paid subscription: $15.99 monthly, 3 months for $39.99, and 6 months for $59.99. You can cancel at any time, and you’re covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Whether you are considering freelancing or have already taken the leap, it’s essential to join a few of the best websites freelance websites for beginners so you can showcase your work and help employers quickly find you.
While fees are commonplace, it’s important to remember that the fees you pay help offset the cost of finding new clients. Look for platforms that focus on spam protection so you are not wasting your time applying for unskilled jobs and you keep your personal information secure.
Joining the top freelancing sites isn’t a guarantee of steady work, a liveable wage, or a life-long career. Freelancers must be willing to go with the flow, clearly state the payment they require for the job, and consistently improve their skills to stay competitive. But, with perseverance and hard work, it’s extremely rewarding.
I hope this article will help you start your freelancing career on the right foot and platform. If you’ve found it helpful, we would be delighted if you shared this article with others.
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