Whether it be to find new work, sell things you’ve already made, or just do some networking in the stay-at-home times of COVID-19, freelance sites are aplenty, and each has a few different things to offer those folks looking to monetize and grow a side hustle. In 2019, the freelance market accounted for just under $1 trillion, and almost 60 million people filed some form of taxes relating to freelance income. Generally speaking, a full-time freelancer in the United States brings in about $70,000 per year, but depending on the work, some freelancers make well over six figures for providing their services in a third-party setup.
If you have already started to monetize your side hustle, here are a few more ways to help it grow… and if you haven’t started yet, check out these awesome sites and start earning that money on the side!
UpWork is one of the most recognizable and popular freelance sites in America, and for many good reasons. Though it did grow out of another pair of companies called Elance and oDesk, UpWork has only been in existence for 5 years, but is already to the freelance world what Coke and Pepsi are to the soda world. UpWork offers workshops to help their freelancers improve, and it’s also just a very easy-to-use medium with truly limitless niches, so even if you have the oddest talent or skill in the world, it’s worth checking on UpWork to see if people are searching for someone with that skill. Odds are they are!
If UpWork is Coke in the aforementioned soda analogy, Fiverr is surely Pepsi. Based in Israel and about 5 years older than UpWork, Fiverr offers similar hub functionality, and is considered extremely easy for first-time freelancers. From media planning strategies to drum beats needed on a new song, Fiverr has a wide breadth of offerings, with some jobs and services being offered for as little as $5, and some folks searching for single-hit jobs that may only take a freelancer 10 minutes to do, making it a solid choice for people who may not have thick resumes in the freelance realm just yet.
Often overlooked as a means of finding freelance work, craigslist was created to be a website geared to help community members help each other out. Though generally thought of as a place to buy “stuff” or find a new apartment, the “gigs” tab on your local craigslist page most likely has a slew of offerings, and utilizing the search function, you can narrow down your searches. Admittedly, craigslist can’t hold a stone to Fiverr or UpWork when it comes to freelance tools, but it is one of the most frequently visited websites on the planet and can serve as a good way to find local workers to help build the online portfolio that will hopefully lead to you getting work from all around the globe.
If you’ve been freelancing for a long time, and fancy yourself a pro’s pro in both your skill and your communication as a freelancer, Toptal may be a place to look if you want to challenge yourself against the top class freelancers in your field (and you’ll get paid like it, too, don’t worry!). Toptal only accepts a small percentage of applicants each month, but those who do get the nod can guarantee they will have a steady workflow from clients who go through a similar vetting process to be allowed to post their jobs on the site.
… about good old’ word of mouth, either. Face-to-face networking is still a great way to find work and more now that a few years ago, many industry meetups now entertain the idea of having freelancers complete work that may have previously been done by staff. Even if you go to an interview that results in a job offer, if you want to be a freelancer, ask them if you can legally decline the offer, but do the work as a third-party contractor, and voila! You have your first freelance client.