Andy Fleming writing on online income

It feels great to get rid of the boss and work for yourself. Having the freedom to choose your own schedule and interact directly with clients provides a more satisfying and meaningful work experience. We’re lucky to live in a time where freelance opportunities are more plentiful than ever.

By choosing the right platforms to market your work, you’ll find the process of transitioning away from a desk job to be simple and easy. Once you learn to properly market your skills and get a feel for finding freelance work, you can expect to make a decent living from just one freelance website. Of course, you can always diversify your options by setting up profiles on multiple freelance job sites. Here are some of the best freelance sites for beginners and in general

1. Upwork

Upwork is both the best site to get started as a freelancer, and one of the most robust freelance sites overall. It’s the result of a merger between Elance and oDesk, formerly two of the biggest freelancing platforms, and boasts an average of 30 job postings every 10 seconds.

Upwork will allow you to easily create a free account, and will guide you through the process of creating an effective profile and an attractive portfolio. It features jobs from hundreds of categories, from creative work to sales and marketing. If you’ve got a skill, Upwork provides both the platform to advertise it, and the knowledge to help you market it effectively. This is a great first step, and will provide you with the experience and connections to get your freelancing career off to a strong start.

2. People As A Service

People As A Service is a good “second tier” freelance website. As a freelancer, you’ll be vetted by the site and have to go through a short interview process before being listed. Although it’s not as quick and easy to get started, you can expect to find higher paying jobs with more growth potential than sites with no evaluation process. Currently this site lists jobs falling under the categories of writing services, programming, design, telemarketing, grant writing, and translation.

People As A Service charges no fees to the freelancer, instead it makes money by charging a monthly rate to customers looking for job applicants. There are plenty of jobs on the site, but the vetting process means competition is lower and opportunities are more likely to come your way.

3. goLance

GoLance sits somewhere in between the two previous sites. It has job postings every day, but less competition than some of the more popular sites. It doesn’t require an evaluation to join, and you can even look at many of the listings before joining. It charges a 10% commission, but offers some interesting options that other sites do not. You can earn passive income by referring other freelancers to the site, and it runs a blog that offers tips on maximizing your income and potential as a freelancer.

4. Toptal

Toptal claims to only list the top 3% of freelancers, and it has been favorably reviewed by industry bigwigs like Bloomberg Business and The Wall Street Journal. If you have skills in software development, web design, or finance, joining its ranks of skilled talent is definitely a good move. Toptal clients include the likes of Airbnb and J.P.Morgan, and it doesn’t accept jobs with low bids. Plus, Toptal offers frequent meetups and events for its community, giving you more opportunities to network.

5. The Official Harpoon Blog 

Freelancing isn’t difficult, but it is “different” than working for someone else. The Harpoon blog isn’t a site where you can list your talents, but it does offer a myriad of tips, tricks, and general advice for the budding freelancer. Their blog consolidates techniques for finding extra work, staying motivated, pitching your talents, and dealing with clients in one convenient location.

Editor’s note: Find out more about freelance opportunities, simpler living, and being independent in our free Truth & Plenty eletter. Just sign up below to receive it three times a week.

Image: ©iStock.com/demaerre

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