Top 8 Freelancing Websites for Beginners
There’s never been a better time to freelance. In fact, nearly 80% of employers say they’re increasing their use of freelancers and suspending full-time hires. To kickstart your freelance career, create a profile on the following platforms and start applying for gigs.
If you’re a beginner freelancer, check out:
Contra is a smaller freelance platform, but it packs a punch. The opportunities feed is full of gigs posted within the platform and curated by the Contra team (a.k.a. There’s a sea of opportunities).
They also don’t take a fee, meaning you’ll keep everything you earn.
Pangea is another smaller freelance and contract work platform. They are distinctive because they offer contract-to-hire job opportunities. This can be beneficial if you are looking to transition into a permanent position.
It’s also completely free to use and doesn’t take a cut from your earnings. The one downside is that there aren’t always a ton of gigs on the platform.
Fiverr is one of the most well-known freelancing platforms. If you’re in the United States, however, be aware that this is a global platform. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but you’ll compete against freelancers in other countries where the exchange rate is lower.
This means that while you might need to charge $20 an hour to pay your bills, someone in another country can charge $4 an hour. Still, it’s worth a shot to create a profile and apply to some gigs.
Upwork is another well-known freelance platform, allowing you to submit proposals for thousands of gigs. It's a worldwide platform, so your profile and proposals must be unique to stand out from others.
This platform has over 69 million users, meaning you’ll need to craft your profile around your unique selling point. Otherwise, you’ll fade into the abyss of competition. That said, there’s been over 23 million roles posted, so there’s ample work to scoop up.
LinkedIn is one of the most underutilized platforms for sourcing freelance opportunities. Not only can you sift through the jobs feed, but you can use this reverse-search process to land gigs.
Simply head to the search bar, type in “looking for freelance [insert role type here],” then sort the posts by “past week” or “past 24 hours.” You’ll find a slew of posts from people hiring. Oftentimes, these roles aren’t posted to the jobs feed, which can mean less competition.
FlexJobs is an aggregator that compiles job opportunities in various industries in one place. The list of opportunities is long, which is a double-edged sword — lots of gigs to apply for, but you’ll likely spend a decent chunk of time sifting through them.
RemoTasks is unlike the other platforms mentioned in that it’s focused on gig work, rather than long-term one-on-one client work. After you sign up, you’ll see a list of gigs such as transcribing audio or labeling images for a specific amount of pay. If you complete the task, you’ll receive compensation.
Some tasks require a specific skill set, while others are simpler to complete. The simpler the task, the lower the pay.
Platforms to Avoid (For Now)
Once you’ve gotten some experience under your belt, you can explore the following platforms. Until then, don’t waste your energy applying or making profiles on them — you’ll likely get weeded out or won’t land gigs due to the tough competition.
This platform is an exclusive network of the top freelancers. Fewer than 3% of applications are accepted, so this isn’t well-suited for beginners.
This platform has over 3 million designers and agencies available. As you can imagine, competition is fierce and you may get lost in the mix.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Freelance with No Experience?
To land your first freelance client with no experience:
- Craft your profiles around transferable skills: If you’ve worked a single day in your life, you have at least one transferable skill you can apply to freelancing. Highlight this in your profiles so they don’t look bare.
- Take free online courses: Free courses on sites like HubSpot, Coursera, and Udemy are incredible resources for learning the basics of the field you hope to enter. Sometimes you might find that it's fine to pay a little bit for a legit course and earn more and a great place to do so is Skillshare.
- Create sample work: When possible, create a sample piece of work, like a logo for a random company or a social media post for a made-up brand. This will give clients an idea of the quality of your work despite lacking direct client experience.
- Dip into your network: The vast majority of roles are filled through networking, so don’t be afraid to rely on yours. Ask colleagues and friends if they’re aware of any companies hiring freelancers.
- Develop a proposal template: In the beginning, you’ll spend a decent bit of time submitting proposals for gigs. Create a template to streamline this process. It’ll save you time and allow you to apply to more opportunities.
How Much Do Freelancers Make?
Your potential income as a freelancer depends on the industry in which you work. Here are a few of the average rates in different industries:
- Writers: $30-$40/hour
- Marketers: $50/hour
- Software Developers: $50-$60/hour
- Bookkeepers: $30-$35/hour
- Photographers: $35-$45/hour
- Data Analysts: $55-$65/hour
Is Freelancing Worth It for Beginners?
We won’t lie to you — freelancing requires a bit more upfront work than some other side hustles like driving for InstaCart or selling items on Facebook Marketplace. That said, the income potential is much greater, and it’s more flexible than other options.
If you’re willing to invest a bit of time upfront, you can reap the rewards for years.