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10 Places To Get Started As A Freelancer: Where And How

10 Places To Get Started As A Freelancer: Where And How
Tracy Stine Feb 24, 2018
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

You’ve probably read frequently throughout Frugal for Less that a good way to make money is by freelancing. Freelancing is basically offering your talents and services to other people for a fee.

But there are so many freelancing sites out there and wonder which one is a better fit for your talents. I’ve done the homework for you and listed several places where and how you can get started as a freelancer.

For many of these sites, you are your own boss and can set your own fees and work as little or as often as you want. Others are actual company contracts and positions that have jobs working from home for a more structured schedule.

Here are 10 places:

1. Craigslist

Let me start with the most unreliable but surprising one. It is possible to find freelance gigs on Craigslist, especially for writers and bloggers.

There are two ways to go about it:

  1. Find the listing for your city
  2. Click Jobs
  3. Check off boxes for either Telecommute, Part time, Contract (or do a search on each one separately)


  1. Find the listing for your city
  2. Click Gigs

Be sure to play it safe and only agree to meet in a public place, and get everything in writing for your projects.

2. Upwork

Upwork used to be called Elance as well as Odesk. It’s free to create a profile and once you’re accepted you can start proposing on projects.

Your application may be rejected only if they feel there are not enough projects to fit your skills. This is easily fixed by adding more skills and experiences.

Projects range from Writing, IT & Networking, Engineering & Architecture, Web & Computing, Programming, Design & Creative, and everything else in between.

You get a number of “Connects” a month (for a free account it’s 60 connects a month) and most bid proposals require 2 connects. There are fixed rate and hourly projects available and there’s a fee charged after projects are finished.

Their fee system is:

  • 20% for the first $500 billed to a client.
  • 10% for billing between $500 – $10,000 (for the same client)
  • 5% for billing after $10,000 (for the same client)

There is a 5-day security waiting period before monies are released and only after the client has approved to pay it. There are many payment systems such as PayPal, Direct Deposit, Pioneering, and more and there are fees associated with some of these as well.

3. Freelancer

Working for Freelancer is also free to start, has as many categories as Upwork, but they also offer Contests as well as Projects to bid on. Contests are one-time idea requests that can be entered and if the contest holder likes your submission, you get paid.

The fees for working on Freelancer are:

  • Fixed Project fees: 3% or $3 whichever is greater.
  • Hourly Project fees: 3% for every payment made

4. Guru

Another freelance project listing site is Guru. They are pretty much similar to all the other freelancing sites except their fee system is different depending on what membership level you are on:

Basic (free account): 8.95% charged per project

Basic+ ($8.95/mo.): 8.95% per project

Professional ($15.95/mo.): 6.95% per project

Business ($24.95/mo.): 5.95% per project

Executive ($39.95/mo.): 4.95% per project

5. Fiverr

Fiverr is a bit different as it’s done the other way around. Instead of you searching for projects to bid on, you list your services and people buy them from you.

As the name implies you offer your gig for $5. But you can offer gig packages for much more. The fee for using Fiverr is 20% ($1 per $5 gig). You can offer to do much more than what you’re allowed to do on the other freelancing sites. Check out this book for creative ideas to offer.

6. Rat Race Rebellion

This isn’t a freelancing site, but more of a job board for work from home positions. Rat Race Rebellion offers a large listing of companies with telecommute, contract, seasonal, part-time and full-time work from home jobs.

They also have a daily e-mail of the latest jobs offered. They do have an extensive and varied listing of opportunities. This may suit those looking for more structured and steady work from home instead.

7. FlexJobs

Flexjobs claims to be the leading job search site for freelancing. They “hand pick” the jobs themselves so that clients “get the best out there”.

The major difference between this company and all the previous ones I’ve listed is that there’s a cost to join before you can get details on their jobs.

Every package they have offers:

  • Unlimited access to every job listing
  • Free skills testing
  • Expert tips, resources and offers
  • Personalized portfolio

Here are their membership packages:

Monthly: $14.95

Quarterly: $29.95

Yearly: $49.95

This is the only drawback of this website – you have to PAY to find a job, but their listings are strictly screened and therefore have higher salary offerings (such as this one in the writing category – Bio-Med Medical Writer).

8. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour works a bit different as they list projects and freelancers as Buy & Sell.

So, it’s a combination of a project posting site and Fiverr. Freelancers can list what gigs they offer as well as bid on projects that employers are looking for. Note that they are a European company so prices and fees are in Euros.

Their fees depend on whether you’re a buyer or a seller and they are:

For Buyers:
  • Payment Processing fees for credit cards/Paypal
  • Fees are charged when you deposit money into your “wallet”
  • Posting a job is free, but upgrades such as “Urgent” has a small fee.
For Sellers:
  • It’s free to register, promote your services and search for work.
  • 5% on all work billed above €520/$650 earned
  • Payment processing fees when you withdraw your earnings
  • Extra features you may want to feature your product have extra fees.

9. CrowdSite

This is a completely different place for freelance work. CrowdSite is great for designers and creative people.

The focus of the company is people starting brainstorming and design contests and you submit your idea and hope you get selected. Contests for logos, flyer design, website design, social media, advertising, mascot design, T-shirt design, and so on.

It’s a great way to build your portfolio on the side while freelancing on other sites.

They charge the client various prices depending on what they want – $149 for a logo design, $349 for an App design, and $149 for a T-shirt design. I couldn’t find how much the designer makes from this though. Not a bad side hustle while working your side hustle.

10. ProBlogger

This site may look like it’s for Bloggers only, but ProBlogger offers many other writing jobs online. So, if you have experience in a specific niche, you  may find a writing job such as:

  • Net Admin writers
  • B2B Marketing Writer
  • Technology writers for smartphones, tablets, videogames, etc.
  • Senior Editors
  • Nutrition writer
  • Sports Medicine Advisor Writer
  • And many more

Final Thoughts

This is a good way to get started as a freelancer by writing on websites and blogs and in publications. You can begin with topics related to your work field and experience and then after gaining experience, spread out into other topics that interest you.

The requirements vary from company to company, but the majority require a good command of English and grammar, SEO experience, and previous experience (even if it’s just from your own blog).

Some have stricter rules regarding structure, layout, and length, others are a little more free-range. Pay also varies and depends on the size of the company as well, some prefer the applicant propose their cost-per-word amount.

Another option that’s a good place to find work-from-home freelance jobs is on all the different job boards online – Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, GlassDoor, LinkedIn, SnagAJob, and so on and so forth.

The easiest search to do is just type in “freelance” and leave the location blank. Some sites have locations such as “remote”, “online”, and “from home”, but others, such as Monster, do not have this available in their location search.

You may narrow the search down to a specific job title, a specific area, or a certain company.

One final option for finding freelance writing jobs is to do a search online – “Write for Us”.

You can even narrow it to a certain field such as “Cooking Write for Us”, that search returned writing opportunities at Taste Insight, Cooking Detective, Veggie Secret, and even for the Cooking Channel.

Freelancing is a great way to earn money from home. If you combine it with teaching online you can possibly have a great earning combination to live comfortably on.

Tracy Stine

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