With an estimated 36% of American workers currently involved in the gig economy, freelance work has become significantly more mainstream in the last decade. To find reputable gigs and clients, many freelancers turn to freelance job websites to search for job openings, gigs, projects, and other opportunities.
We looked at two dozen different freelance job sites to determine which ones are the best for finding suitable opportunities and chose the best based on quality, industries catered to, volume of opportunities listed, costs, and more.
The 10 Best Websites for Freelance Jobs of 2021
- Freelancer: Best Overall
- Upwork: Runner-Up, Best Overall
- Craigslist: Best for Local Jobs
- FlexJobs: Best for Remote Jobs
- LinkedIn ProFinder: Best for Networking
- Fiverr: Best for Beginners
- TaskRabbit: Best for Non-Digital Jobs
- Working Not Working: Best for Creatives
- Freelance Writing Gigs: Best for Writing Jobs
- Guru: Best for Experienced Freelancers
Best Overall: Freelancer
Founded in 2008, Freelancer is currently the largest online marketplace for freelance work, connecting over 45 million employers and freelancers from over 247 countries. We chose Freelancer as the best overall because it has the largest amount of opportunities available, is open to everyone, and there are no upfront costs when creating an account.
It’s completely free to create a Freelancer account and complete your profile. Once your profile is filled out, you’re free to search and pitch yourself for any opportunities. On Freelancer, you can search and apply to both local and remote jobs in dozens of different fields, such as accounting, architecture, design, human resources, content writing, social media marketing, sales, software development, and more.
Even though Freelancer is free initially, the site does take a percentage of your earnings once a client accepts your proposal. The fee structure is as follows:
- Fixed-price projects: 10% fee or $5, whichever is more
- Hourly projects: Flat 10% fee
- Services: 20% fee
- Account inactive for six months or more: $10 per month
- Employer referral: No fee for any work you book with that client
Throughout each project, freelancers can communicate with clients through the platform as well as track hours, send invoices, and receive payments.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Upwork
Upwork was originally founded in 1998 as Elance and now boasts over 16 million freelancers and over five million clients. Although Upwork tends to have higher-quality gigs than Freelancer, we chose it as our runner-up because it lists fewer opportunities and is more difficult to get started with.
Creating a profile on Upwork is completely free. To get started, you can populate your profile with your rates, work samples, resume, case studies, and personal statement. Unlike Freelancer, Upwork needs to approve your profile to join the platform before you can start applying for projects. Upwork caters to dozens of industries, including but not limited to consulting, customer service, data science, engineering, marketing, IT, translation, and web development. If Upwork determines that your skillset does not meet their standards or the market is too saturated, your application to join may be rejected. If approved, you can search Upwork for relevant projects and start bidding.
After you book a client through Upwork, you’ll use the platform to communicate with them, send invoices, track billable hours, and get paid. Like Freelancer, Upwork has no up-front costs but takes a percentage of your earnings once you successfully book a client. Upwork’s fee structure is as follows:
- 20% for the first $500 billed to a client
- 10% for lifetime billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000
- 5% for lifetime billings with a client that exceed $10,000
Best for Local Jobs: Craigslist
Craigslist was founded in 1995 as an email newsletter and was migrated to the web in 1996. Today, Craigslist serves 700 cities in over 70 countries and remains one of the most visited sites in the U.S. We chose Craigslist as our top choice for local jobs because it lists dozens of freelance gigs in your local area that may not be found on other freelance job sites.
Craigslist lists jobs and gigs across dozens of categories including but not limited to finance, marketing, general labor, domestic work, IT, education, writing and editing, and more. To apply to a job posting, simply respond to the listing with a courteous, professional email, or follow the instructions to apply through an external site, if applicable.
You can certainly find amazing clients and opportunities on Craigslist, but be wary of fraudulent listings while searching. You can actually search for work outside of your immediate area by visiting other cities’ Craigslist pages. You may be able to find work outside your local area if the employer is willing to work with remote candidates.
Best for Remote Jobs: FlexJobs
FlexJobs was created in 2007 to respond to the lack of a centralized place to find legitimate work-from-home opportunities. Since then, it has grown to become the largest site for hand-screened remote jobs, with nearly 25,000 active listings from over 5,000 companies across the world. We chose FlexJobs as the best site for remote freelance jobs because of its commitment to researching and vetting every listing to ensure that members have access to the best possible opportunities.
FlexJobs uses the proceeds from its membership fees to fund its extensive vetting process. As a result, its members have access to a scam-free, up-to-date database of freelance opportunities across over 50 industries. Members also get access to exclusive discounts and deals on products and services like Intuit QuickBooks, Dell laptops, and career coaching.
FlexJobs charges $6.95 for a one-week trial, $14.95 for a one-month membership, $29.95 for a three-month membership, and $49.95 for a yearlong membership in order to apply for jobs and unlock member savings.
Best for Networking: LinkedIn ProFinder
LinkedIn was founded in 2003 and is now the world’s largest professional networking platform, with over 690 million registered users. The company launched its freelance hub, LinkedIn ProFinder, in 2015 to help connect its freelance members to quality leads and opportunities. We chose it as the best site for networking because freelancers can connect directly with recruiters and other business owners to find opportunities and build their professional networks.
LinkedIn ProFinder caters to freelancers in several areas including consulting, coaching, editing, graphic design, marketing, real estate, photography, software development, and more. Before you look for clients through LinkedIn ProFinder, you’ll need to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete, since ProFinder will direct any potential clients to your LinkedIn profile. Like Upwork, LinkedIn must approve your application to join as a ProFinder freelancer. Once accepted, you’ll receive email alerts about potential clients looking for someone with your skills and expertise. You can respond with a proposal and finalize all details through the platform.
Your first 10 proposals are free. After you’ve sent 10 proposals, you’ll need to buy a Premium Business subscription for $59.99 per month, or $179.97 per year. With a Premium Business subscription, you can send an unlimited number of proposals.
Best for Beginners: Fiverr
Founded in 2010, Fiverr gets its name from the fact that many of its sellers offer services for as little as $5. Now, four gigs are sold every second and the platform has handled over 5 million transactions to date. We chose Fiverr as the best platform for beginners because its reputation for offering low-cost gigs makes it a suitable platform for freelancers looking to build their portfolio.
Fiverr skews heavily toward those in the creative/design fields, but there are also sellers who offer project management, legal, career counseling, relationship coaching, IT services, and more. To get started as a Fiverr seller, create a free profile highlighting your areas of expertise and then add the services or “gigs” you’re offering to potential clients. As a seller, you can add up to seven unique packages to the Gig section of your profile. You can also send custom offers to potential clients.
Fiver takes a 20% commission of every sale made and holds your payment for 14 days after a job has been completed. This is because they offer a 14-day refund guarantee to clients. Once 14 days have passed, sellers can deposit their earnings into a bank account or PayPal account.
Best for Non-Digital Jobs: TaskRabbit
Not every freelance job requires a laptop. Since 2008, TaskRabbit has been connecting people with freelancers who help out with odd jobs like shopping, plumbing, assembling furniture, moving, and more. We chose it as the best site for non-digital jobs since it specifically caters to those with non-digital skillsets.
To book jobs through TaskRabbit, you must create a profile and list all of the task categories you feel comfortable completing, along with your rate. After you’ve completed your profile, you need to pass background and ID checks. Once your background check has cleared, you also have to attend an onboarding orientation session, which costs $25.
As a “Tasker,” you’ll receive alerts about nearby jobs by downloading TaskRabbit’s mobile app and turning on push notifications. You can choose which ones you’re interested in completing and communicate directly with the client on the details and scope of work. Once the work has been completed, you can submit an invoice to your client directly through the platform. Similar to Upwork and Fiverr, your TaskRabbit clients can leave you ratings and reviews based on your performance. If you plan to use TaskRabbit to find gigs on a regular basis, positive reviews can help boost your visibility on the platform and land you repeat clients.
Best for Creatives: Working Not Working
Working Not Working (WNW) was founded in 2011 with the mission to connect creative talent to the most innovative companies including Apple, Google, Airbnb, Facebook, and Nike. We chose WNW as the best site for finding creative freelance jobs because of its high-quality listings and freelance-friendly features.
WNW doubles as a resume site and job board. To apply for jobs and display your portfolio and work history, you’ll need to complete a detailed profile that highlights your past work experiences and links to any external portfolios. Once complete, you’ll be able to apply for jobs on the “All Jobs” tab. When you “favorite” a job by clicking the star icon, the employer listed will be able to see that you’re interested in working for their company Similar to LinkedIn, companies that are actively recruiting through the WNW can also send you a message directly if they feel your profile matches their needs. WNW is completely free for freelancers; they don’t charge any membership fees or take commissions for work found through their platform.
Best for Writing Jobs: Freelance Writing Gigs
What started out as a blog and portfolio site for writer Deb Ng eventually became Freelance Writing Gigs (FWG), an aggregator that curates the best freelance writing jobs across the web. We picked FWG as the best place to find freelance writing jobs because, like FlexJobs, its moderators thoughtfully sift through hundreds of opportunities and update the site daily with quality listings.
FWG is more of a traditional job website in that you don’t need to create proposals or bid on opportunities. Simply browse through the job board or run a search based on job title, location, or category. FWG posts content writing, grant writing, copywriting, editing, and essay writing jobs across all industries and is completely free to use. FWG also maintains an affiliate relationship with FlexJobs and offers 30% off their paid memberships with their promo code.
Best for Experienced Freelancers: Guru
Guru was founded in 1998 to connect companies with quality freelancers. Today, Guru serves 800,000 employers, has paid $250 million to freelancers across the globe, and boasts an impressive 99% client satisfaction rate. We chose Guru as the best site for experienced freelancers because it specifically caters to experienced professionals rather than entry-level job seekers.
Guru caters to freelancers in eight main areas: administration, business and finance, engineering and architecture, design, sales and marketing, programming, writing and translation, and legal. After you’ve completed your profile on Guru, you can browse through job listings or use the platform’s Top Match and Good Match filters to find clients who are likely to be a good fit. When you find a listing that matches your interest and skill set, you can submit a bid for it. You can also work on projects with other freelancers through Guru’s virtual WorkRooms feature. Like many of the other freelance job sites we reviewed, freelancers use Guru’s platform to communicate with clients, draft contracts, send invoices, and get paid.
It’s free to make a profile on Guru, but the platform sells tiered membership packages to help boost your rankings in search, send messages to clients before bidding on a project, and up the amount of jobs you can bid for. Guru’s paid plans are as follows:
- 10 bids per month
- 9% fee taken from every invoice
- $11.95 per month
- 50 bids per month
- 9% fee taken from every invoice
- $29.95 per month
- 50 bids per month
- 7% fee taken from every invoice
- $33.95 per month
- 50 bids per month
- 6% fee taken from every invoice
- $49.95 per month
- 50 bids per month
- 5% fee taken from every invoice
What Are Freelance Job Listing Websites?
Freelance job listing websites help connect employers with freelancers to complete short- or long-term projects. Freelance job sites list opportunities across nearly every type of profession and skill level, including but not limited to: accounting, engineering, graphic design, legal, IT, marketing, sales, web development, and writing. Any freelancers who are actively seeking clients can use freelance job listing websites to search for opportunities, source leads, and network.
How Do Freelance Job Listing Websites Work?
Unless they’re structured as a traditional job board, most freelance job websites require you to create a profile in order to apply for opportunities. Employers can review the proposals submitted from potential candidates and book the one that they feel is most suited for the role, or they can scout resumes and portfolios beforehand and reach out to potential candidates directly. Some sites, like FlexJobs, also require you to pay a fee upfront in order to start browsing for opportunities. Others limit the number of listings you’re allowed to apply to for free, and most take a percentage of your earnings when you successfully book a client through their platform. There is no guarantee that you will secure a job when you use a freelance job listing site.
How Much Do Job Listing Websites Cost?
Some websites are completely free to use, but others charge subscription fees or take a percentage of your earnings when you book a job. Fees can range anywhere from 5% to 20%, and subscription costs range from $11.95 per month to $59.99 per month.
Is Using a Freelance Job Site Worth It?
Freelance opportunities can be found through social media platforms, as well as traditional and niche job sites, but using sites that directly cater to freelancers is a great way to match with clients that you may not have found otherwise. Most are free to try, so you can see what kinds of opportunities are listed before applying or submitting a bid/proposal.
How We Chose the Best Websites for Freelance Jobs
We looked at nearly two dozen different freelance sites before picking the top options. We chose these sites based on the quality of their listings, industries catered to, number of opportunities listed, costs and fees, and more. We felt these were the most important qualities to examine when selecting the best websites for freelance jobs.
Gallup. "What Workplace Leaders Can Learn From the Real Gig Economy." Accessed July 19, 2020.
Cio Story. "History of Craigslist: How it evolved?" Accessed July 21, 2020.