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8 Top Freelance Websites to Kick-Start Your Solo Career

8 fabulous freelance websites to kick-start your solo career

‘When freelance first came into English in the early 1800s, it was used to refer to a medieval mercenary who would fight for whichever nation or person paid them the most.’ – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

While the modern equivalents are not exactly sword-wielding mercenaries, more and more people are choosing freelance pursuits for flexibility in schedule, autonomy in choosing projects, pursuit of passions, broader skill development, and – you guessed it - higher earning potential.

To cater to the demand, freelance websites have sprung up around the globe. And it’s not only job seekers who are turning to these sites. Organizations such as Microsoft, Airbnb, Wise, Bloomberg, Indeed, Adobe, and even Duolingo source top talent from freelancing platforms, as they enable greater access to specialized skills, scalability, cost-effectiveness, faster project completion, geographic flexibility, and risk mitigation to achieve their business objectives more efficiently.

In other words, it’s a reciprocal victory.

So today’s blog post is for all those people at the other end of the keyboard searching for freelance opportunities, and anyone else pondering a move away from the traditional 9-5 office routine.

Aside from JobLeads, there are literally hundreds of websites and job portals dedicated to this type of work. But no one wants to waste time searching dozens of sources. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of

8 trusted sites dedicated exclusively to freelancing opportunities (you’re welcome).

Upwork (www.upwork.com)

Upwork is one of the world’s largest freelancing platforms. Freelancers on Upwork offer expertise in fields such as accounting, consulting, web development, admin support, customer service, graphic design, content writing, marketing, and more. Businesses of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, use Upwork to find talent for short-term or ongoing projects. The platform offers benefits such as access to a global pool of talent, flexibility in project scalability, cost-effectiveness, communication and project management tools, and the ability to hire for specific skills on-demand. Upwork charges freelancers a 10% fee on all projects.

Fiverr (www.fiverr.com)

Fiverr is a popular online marketplace where freelancers offer a wide range of digital services, known as ‘gigs’, starting at $5. Services on Fiverr span categories like graphic design, programming, video and animation, content writing, translation, consulting, and more. It’s utilized by individuals, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even large corporations seeking quick and affordable solutions. Fiverr’s main benefits include access to a diverse pool of freelancers worldwide, fast delivery times for services, transparent pricing, secure payment processing, and a user-friendly platform with tools for communication and project management. Fiverr charges a 20% fee on freelancer projects.

Freelancer (Freelancer.com)

Freelancer offers a wide array of categories such as programming, photography, administration, data entry, and web development. It’s utilized by individuals, startups, SMBs, and enterprises seeking to outsource tasks or find freelance talent for one-time projects or ongoing work. The main benefits of Freelancer.com include access to global projects, competitive pricing through bidding systems, secure payment processing, streamlined communication tools, and project management features. The site charges an introduction fee of 10% of the agreement’s value or $5, whichever is higher.

Toptal (www.toptal.com)

Toptal is an elite talent marketplace catering to companies in need of top-tier freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, and project managers. Renowned for its rigorous screening process, Toptal handpicks only the top 3% of applicants, ensuring exceptional quality and expertise. Typically, startups, scale-ups, and enterprises seeking premium talent for high-impact projects utilize Toptal. Its main benefits include access to a highly curated network of vetted professionals, flexible engagement models, seamless project management tools, and personalized matching services. Toptal handles all overheads and payment processing for freelancers, who are free to set their own rate. Toptal takes no commission from freelancers; clients are charged directly by Toptal for the freelancer’s services and add their fee to this.

PeoplePerHour (www.peopleperhour.com)

PeoplePerHour connects businesses with freelance professionals offering services in areas such as social media, technology & programming, digital marketing, and writing & translation. It caters to startups, SMEs, and entrepreneurs seeking cost-effective solutions. PeoplePerHour’s main benefits include a user-friendly interface, payment processing services, and clear pricing. Its unique feature is the ability for freelancers to offer services in fixed-price packages or hourly rates, providing flexibility for both clients and freelancers. The site charges a 20% fee + VAT for amounts below £250, 7.5% + VAT from £250–5,000 and 3.5% + VAT for projects over £5,000.

ZipRecruiter (www.ziprecruiter.com)

ZipRecruiter is an online employment marketplace catering to businesses of all sizes, including startups, SMEs, and large corporations, across most industries. The platform streamlines the hiring process by allowing employers to post job listings, search for candidates, and manage applications from a single interface. Its main benefits include a large and diverse pool of job seekers, advanced candidate matching algorithms, automated candidate screening tools, and seamless communication features. ZipRecruiter facilitates efficient recruitment, helping businesses find qualified candidates quickly and effectively, ultimately saving time and resources in the hiring process. There are no fees for job seekers (instead, companies are charged for the services they utilize).

Guru (www.guru.com)

Guru connects businesses with skilled freelancers offering services in areas such as education & training, legal, engineering & architecture, sales & marketing, and administration. It caters to individuals and organizations seeking talent for one-time projects or ongoing work. Its unique feature is the SafePay system, which ensures payment protection for both clients and freelancers. Fees range from 9% - 5% depending on membership type.

FlexJobs (www.flexjobs.com)

FlexJobs is a low-cost subscription service offering job seekers access to projects in areas such as sales, accounting, administration, marketing, content writing, recruitment, nursing, and client services. The platform ensures that users receive curated job listings free from scams or low-quality postings. FlexJobs caters to individuals seeking remote work, flexible schedules, or alternative employment arrangements. By offering a subscription model, FlexJobs can provide job seekers with a reliable resource for finding reputable opportunities. FlexJobs is a subscription model, with pricing currently $9.95 (1-week plan), $24.95 (1-month plan), $39.95 (3-month plan) and $59.95 (1-year plan).


A freelance career offers many benefits, including flexibility in work schedule, autonomy in choosing projects, and potentially higher earnings. Freelancers can work from anywhere, pursue their passions, and develop a diverse skill set through a wide variety of projects. Not only that, freelancing facilitates an escape from the constraints of traditional employment and the ability to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Freelance websites are fantastic sources of quality opportunities due to their vast networks of clients and talent, streamlined communication and project management tools, and rigorous screening processes. If you want to work with reputable clients seeking specialized skills, freelancing sites are the way to go.

Key Takeaways • The term “freelance” originally referred to medieval mercenaries; today, it signifies a modern pursuit for flexibility, autonomy, higher earnings, and skill development • Freelance websites have proliferated globally to meet the rising demand, benefiting both job seekers and organizations like Microsoft, Airbnb, and Bloomberg seeking top talent • Top freelancing platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Toptal, PeoplePerHour, ZipRecruiter, Guru, and FlexJobs, all offering many opportunities and resources for freelancers and organizations alike • Freelance websites are valuable resources, connecting freelancers with reputable clients, streamlining communication, and ensuring quality matches through rigorous screening processes • Overall, embracing freelance opportunities through these platforms can lead to fulfilling careers and successful project outcomes for both freelancers and organizations

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