So, you’ve decided to become a freelancer. First off, congratulations! You’ve just joined the ranks of more than 57 million enterprising small business owners.
But, once you’ve decided to give up the typical 9-5 life, you realize that the first thing a freelancer needs is work. While referrals and personal contacts are always key in growing your business, job boards can help you find freelance opportunities quickly.
Why use a job board?
Job boards can immediately put your name out to the world as someone who is ready to work, helping you find new clients. Instead of sending out dozens of cold emails to what can seem like a black hole, or randomly searching Google, you can use a job board to find people who need your work.
With many job boards, you can search by a number of criteria to find a job that suits you, like desired job title, entry-level vs. experienced and so on. Basically, job boards make your job search a lot less of a job. (That’s a whole lotta “job” for one sentence — let alone for one person.)
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Think of a job board as your own personal, digital job recruiter. Who wouldn’t want that? Now, let’s see which of the many job boards available are worth checking out and who they work best for.
38 places to find freelance jobs online
Every job platform has its own personality, so it can take a while to find the right one for you. We’ve rounded up 38 freelance sites for finding the best freelance jobs. Grab a cup of coffee and a pen, and prepare to start your long and fruitful freelance career.
Best for general professional jobs
Are you a jack of all trades, not sure what kind of freelance you want to look for, or work in a general business role rather than a specific niche? These sites will help you find a wide variety of freelance jobs that fit a number of skills.
As a freelancer, part of your goal might be to work at home in your pajamas. With FlexJobs, you’ll find a curated list of professional-level, remote and flexible jobs that you can guarantee are real because FlexJobs vets every job posted.
There is a monthly cost that comes with the service, but if you’re not happy, FlexJobs will refund your money. The service itself makes the hunt easy, as they send job alert emails that keep you in the loop when a new job is posted.
There are a wide variety of remote jobs on FlexJobs — from freelance writing to data entry, and from part-time to full-time. If you’re set on remote work and not looking for a specific type of freelancing or if you simply want to see what’s out there, this is a great place to start.
LinkedIn ProFinder is a no-brainer because it takes your LinkedIn profile, which you’ve likely already created, and matches you with potential clients looking for your services. You’ll get an email alerting you that you’ve been selected to offer a proposal, and you can send it off, including your own price quote. It’s as simple as that.
LinkedIn ProFinder can also be useful for businesses needing professionals because it allows you to post a job and find candidates. For example, if you need a copywriter or a one-off android web design project, you can post that listing and be matched with qualified freelancers quickly.
Freelancer.com is a free, streamlined freelancing board for both businesses needing work and freelancers needing clients. With this site, you simply browse through projects that fit your area of expertise.
After browsing posted projects, you can submit a proposal and a bid, then wait to see if you’re chosen. You can quickly check the average bid and see how many there are to decide if a project is going to pay too little or if it’s simply too competitive.
Yes, many jobs on Fiverr pay $5, but it can still have some value. If you’re a whiz at creating taglines or just want to boost your portfolio with some logo design work, go ahead and offer your services here. The jobs can be very quick for those with experience, making the pay a little better. And for those with no experience, Fiverr can be a solid way to build the portfolio you need to find a full-time job.
There’s also Fiverr Pro for more involved projects. This service is reserved for the top freelancers on Fiverr but has jobs that are generally higher paying than others on the site.
Previously known as Odesk, Upwork is one of the best-known freelance job boards around. Upwork allows you to quickly create a free profile then have potential clients contact you after you’re matched based on your skills and experience.
Like Fiverr, many of the jobs can be low-paying, and they can be competitive to land. But for those needing experience, Upwork can have some value.
Set up your resume and WorkMarket will use its algorithm to match you with the opportunities that are right for you. They boast that there are 3,500 assignments a day doled out via their platform, making WorkMarket a happening place for freelance bloggers, SEO specialists, and others.
Yes, Craigslist is a place to do far more than offload your old VHS tapes. While it’s hard to verify the jobs and there can be lots of low-paying job opportunities, there are often hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.
But as usual when on Craigslist, use caution when looking through any jobs. There will be scams, so make sure to verify potential employers by checking their sites, asking for references, etc. before moving forward with any work.
Moonlighting allows you to search the available listings or create your own personal business page and let people find you. The jobs are nicely categorized with names like “Family” for nannies, house cleaners, and tutors, or “Health and Fitness” for trainers, coaches and nutritionists.
Come for the company reviews, stay for the jobs. Glassdoor allows you to sign up for alerts that will send appropriate jobs your way. These jobs can be matched with you based on the skills you select, the location you enter and whether you want a remote position.
Top talent, Toptal — pretty clever, eh? This professional-level website bills itself as the top 3% of freelance talent — from software developers to finance professionals. Think you have what it takes?
If so, you could be matched with top companies looking for interim talent. If you have experience and you want only the most high-quality, upper-tier freelance jobs, this site is a great place to look.
Guru covers everything from sales and marketing to legal and administrative. Search by hourly or fixed price jobs in each category and find a job that matches your background and interests.
Industry Dive is known for its deep dive newsletters that cover 13 different job types, but along with your industry trend report come a few jobs in each email. Sign up for these emails for free, effortless alerts on freelance jobs that just might match what you’re looking for.
Despite its name, there are plenty of “fixed price” projects on PeoplePerHour. You can also search by experience level, meaning that “expert” jobs will offer more money, making it easier to find jobs that match your experience and get paid accordingly.
We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely only has paid-for placements ($299 for the month) so that often attracts serious job posters. This can translate to better-paying jobs from companies that are dedicated to finding a good freelancer. Sign up to receive jobs in fields like programming, design, and marketing that will be sent straight to your email.
Indeed is a straightforward, free job site aggregator with a multitude of listings. Patiently picking through their many listings can yield some decent results, so it’s worth giving it a try.
Jobs tend to have very thorough descriptions which can help you decide if it’s a proper fit before applying. Some jobs even allow you to quickly apply using your Indeed resume, which can save a lot of time during the job hunting process.
On LocalSolo.com, employers can post jobs themselves, search for freelancers, or let LocalSolo do the matching for you. You, the freelancer, can be contacted in addition to searching for jobs yourself.
LocalSolo also sends freelancers a curated email that’s triggered when a job matches your skills. Most of the jobs are for creative work, such as writers, photographers, web developers and more.
Create a profile for virtually any small business and Bark will send you leads. If something grabs your attention, you pay a small fee, called a credit, and Bark sends you the contact information.
Credits are $1.50 and contact info is priced anywhere from 1-20 credits. While this isn’t anywhere near free, you only pay for the services or communications you use, so there’s less pressure to use the service all the time than you would feel with a monthly fee.
Specialty sites for the housing industry
For those of you with the skills to bring down the house (or bring it up), this section is for you. These sites focus on offering jobs and resources for people with the skills needed to overhaul, remodel and furnish homes.
With the tagline “Home is Where Our Heart Is,” Angie’s List focuses on small businesses in the housing category, and tends to attract qualified customers browsing the services. The list of services offered is vast — from pest control to solar panels. If your skills or work experience falls within these categories, this is a good site to use.
From massage therapy to landscaping to dog grooming, Thumbtack is a marketplace for virtually any service under the sun. Local customers go there to find a pro to fill their needs. Your background and rates will pop up if you match what they’re looking for. It’s as simple as that.
While this isn’t the best freelance marketplace for writers, designers and so on, it can be great for those with handiwork-oriented skill sets.
Porch, a subscription site for home-related services, will email or text you qualified leads that match your skills and experience. With a custom profile, you can show your skills and reach customers as they’re ready to buy.
HomeAdvisor is a home-project matching service. They offer a host of support modules to help you find homeowners who need a professional in the home space.
Projects can range from kitchen renovations to internal or external painting to entire remodels. HomeAdvisor even offers an online library that provides advice on building your business as a home project specialist.
Houzz took the social media industry by storm as homeowners flocked to it to find ideas and compare projects. For those in the home design space, Houzz is a great place to connect with savvy customers who know what they want. Build your free profile and start adding idea books, answering questions and connecting with eager customers.
Specialty sites for the writing industry
Don’t worry, freelance writers, you’ve got a set of special job boards too! While the general job boards listed earlier will often have freelance writing gigs, the following sites will help you narrow your search and cut out the unrelated jobs.
Problogger is a one-stop-shop for aspiring and experienced freelance writers alike. They offer numerous articles and resources on writing, feature a community of other freelance writers and bloggers, and have a section for finding jobs.
Unlike some other sites, you don’t need to upload your own profile to be matched. Just browse the board and apply to the jobs that interest you, no profile or sign-in required.
Not to be confused with the previous site on this list, BloggingPro is another great resource and job board for freelance writers. BloggingPro allows you to create a free profile and easily search for writing jobs, read articles on freelance writing and industry trends, and build your career.
All Freelance Writing
The All Freelance Writing job board is a simple, easy-to-use board that lists the pay before you even have to click on the description. This can be helpful if you’re looking for jobs that pay a certain amount. Jobs are ranked from “low pay” to “professional,” so it’s easy to find the right category to suit your needs or expectations.
FreelanceWritingGigs is both a great freelance resource and an excellent place to find work. They have a number of articles that help writers stay abreast of the latest writing trends, build their skill sets, and find clients. They even offer a daily newsletter that sends you 20 or so jobs curated from other boards, broken out by copywriting, proofreading, grant writing, and content writing.
If you’re a new or experienced journalist looking for work, JournalismJobs is the board for you. This site offers more ways to browse jobs than most, allowing you to search by salary, date posted, or industry. While many of the jobs are full-time, there are some part-time freelance jobs as well.
Mediabistro is a specialized site that features numerous jobs in the media industry. Similar to JournalismJobs, many of the jobs are full-time, but there are a few freelance ones among them.
While the jobs are all in the media industry, there’s work for freelance designers, writers, marketers, and beyond. The site is a treasure trove of other helpful information, too, including tips on how to pitch editors and more.
Specialty sites for the creative industry
If you’re a creative, especially one that works primarily with visuals, finding work in your niche can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of sites that are dedicated to helping creatives find freelance that aligns with their unique skills.
Photography Jobs Online
Photography Jobs Online is a paid service that helps photographers make money with their visual skills. The unique hook to Photography Jobs Online is that you don’t actually have to meet your customer.
When using their site, a client uploads details of the photographs they want. You then take the pictures requested and submit them to the client. In addition, you can upload photos to a stock site where you get paid when they are downloaded.
There are also a number of training courses and resources on the site that can help you sharpen your skills and build your business.
Get Photography Jobs
Get Photography Jobs is a straightforward job board for photographers. You simply search by state to find jobs in your area and apply. Job postings are free, which means you’re not always guaranteed to find high-quality clients, but it’s easy to search to find something that might be suitable. Seeing as the site is free, you have nothing to lose by giving it a look.
Crowdsite is what’s known as a contest site. Companies will start a “contest,” either for design or idea brainstorming, and you can offer your ideas. They’ll pick their favorite, and if you’re the winner, you’ll get the prize money and possibly the beginning of a healthy professional relationship with the company.
OnSite is a freelance board and community that’s just for artistic creative professionals. This invite-only site will take a look at your portfolio, and if you’re accepted, give you access to the job listings. You can then indicate whether you’re interested and apply. While the site is more exclusive than others on this list, the exclusive nature does mean there’s less competition.
99designs is another contest site where applicants compete for a client’s work by submitting an entry to a contest. The winner gets the money promised by the posting and has their work used.
Whether you specialize in logos, branding, packaging, or something else, 99Designs will connect you with businesses that need your visual prowess. The site itself will rank you as entry-, mid-, or top-level when you apply, making it easier for clients to find you.
Lorem is an application-only site that matches small businesses with web developers and designers for one-time projects. With a smaller pool of competition and fantastic rates of $50-$100 per hour, Lorem is a great place for developers and designers to find work.
Specialty sites for other industries
Are you a restaurant extraordinaire, tech guru, or other type of specialist that has yet to be covered in this article? There’s a good chance you’re going to like this section.
Want to pick up shifts in restaurants here and there? Pared pairs you with food service jobs — from prep cook to catering event staff. This makes it possible for those in the restaurant industry to do what they love without having to work long shifts and weekends.
Authentic Jobs specializes in tech — think engineering and app development — but also has some writing, product management, and marketing jobs available. It’s easy to search by full-time or freelance, and you can get a daily or weekly email newsletter.
Dice is a career-building site for those in tech, offering advice based on your current career status, experience, and work history. They can then recommend jobs for you based on your history, showing you only jobs that align with your experience.
While focused mainly on tech, Dice also includes some financial services and energy-related jobs. The advanced search function lets you narrow down your results to different skills, keywords, and locations.
Fun with freelance
Freelance is exciting, giving you, as the professional, near-total control over your career. But the number of jobs available online can be overwhelming when approached incorrectly. Sure, you can use a search engine, but job boards exist to make your life easier.
Check out the many job boards listed in this article, see which ones fit your needs, and keep things focused on one site at a time. While freelance can start out slow, it won’t be long before you have a healthy portfolio and long list of clients. If and when you find yourself ready for something new, you can start your freelance search fresh. And, that is the fun side of freelance.
P.S. Once you’re cruising along as a freelancer, make sure you’re well-versed in the ways of freelance income taxes. That’s the not-so-fun part of freelance.