how to earn money online as a freelancer

Image Credit By: is a marketplace of ideas, skills, and talents where anyone can work on what they love. The website has been up and running for about six years now and it has since launched many products and features to help both employers and freelancers get work done. Because of the platform’s vastness, it may seem too daunting for a newbie. In this short guide, we’ll discuss the processes involved in working and earning at

Being a freelancer has a lot of benefits – you can work from anywhere you like, you make up your own rules, you don’t have to concern yourself with trivial office politics, there is less stress involved and you get to spend a lot more time with your friends and family. However, not having a stable job means that you will be living a nomad’s life, moving from project to project, constantly on the lookout for a new employer. Kind of like an online ronin, a masterless samurai roaming the virtual wastes. Well, there are places you can go to look for great freelance opportunities, so do not despair. Here are 20 great freelance websites you should definitely check out.

Freelancing means to have different jobs or short-term assignments or contracts with number of companies, websites, organizations, etc., without any long-term contract. The Internet has greatly expanded opportunities to earn money working as a freelancer. Approximately 10.3 million Americans work for themselves, a number that is expected to grow in the future.[1]Freelancing can be freeing, as the name suggests, as well as empowering and challenging

1. Upwork

Upwork is one of the best websites to look for freelance work of all types. Programmers, designers, writers, IT professionals, translators, attorneys, financial advisers – everyone is welcome and there is plenty of work to go around. You can set up a profile fairly quickly and charge an hourly rate or have a set price for each individual project and you get rated depending on how well you do.

2. Freelancer

It’s been around since 2004 and it has a large following. It’s a place where services are outsourced to freelancers in a number of fields including: web design, writing, marketing and data entry among other things.

3. Guru is a fairly large network that connects companies and freelancers. As stated on the website they are interested in work on “technical, creative or business projects”, so there is plenty of opportunity for all types of freelancers from programmers and game developers to translators, engineers and attorneys.

4. iFreelance

iFreelance is a very wide freelance network with categories that include photography, videography, marketing, traditional art, writing, translation, architecture, engineering, graphic design, accounting and administrative support. It’s easy to set up an account and start looking for a project you can contribute to.

5. People per Hour

Create an appealing profile, look for jobs, send proposals and make a short video promoting your services. It’s all very straightforward with – you find a client, provide a quality service and get rated.

6. Tuts Plus Jobs

This is a great job board for programmers, designers and developers, as well as copywriters and editors. It has a user friendly interface and allows you to quickly find and apply for jobs best suited to your particular skill set.

7. ProBlogger

An excellent job board for talented writers, ProBlogger makes finding the right writing opportunities incredibly simple. Just click on the job listings you want and follow the instructions.

8. Freelance Writing Gigs

This is another great website for all the writers out there. Posting an ad will cost you around $10, but it will give you a chance to showcase your writing skills and provide content to those willing to pay for your efforts. You can also contribute to their blog and get some additional exposure by linking to your blog/website and social media accounts.

9. SmashingJobs

This is a designer’s and programmer’s heaven, offering plenty of full-time and freelance job opportunities. The website has a very clean and crisp design which allows for quick browsing and some efficient job hunting.

10. Odesk

Set up an account and choose from 75 different job categories and plenty of offers within each category. The thing with oDesk is that there is no invoicing involved – your work is tracked automatically and you receive payments on a weekly basis depending on how much time you spent on various projects. Some of the main categories include writing and translation, software development, web development, marketing and design.

11. Fiverr

Sell your services starting at $5, that’s the tagline and it is quite accurate. You can offer basically anything you can think of – write and perform a poem, create DIY projects or promotional videos, etc. Some basic categories are writing and translation, online marketing, video and animation, music, programing and graphic design.

12. Freelanced

This is a freelance social network where a large number of people with different kinds of talents and skills can come together, share their portfolios and look for some online work. There are a huge number of job categories ranging from creative writers, sculptors and music composers to accountants and programmers.

13. Freelance-Writing-Jobs-Online

A variety of fields to write about, ranging from mathematics and physics to biology and medicine. To sign up you need to fill out a form and wait for a confirmation email. Upon receiving the email you may take a competency test and be on your way to earning some money.

14. Pitch me

A freelancer with some experience in journalism will feel right at home on this website. Ideas are pitched on various topics – fashion, science, culture, etc – and you can pitch as many ideas as you like. If someone likes what you have to offer, they can than pay you to write it, it’s as simple as that.

15. Text Broker

This website provides talented writers with a very effective way of getting paid for doing what they do best. You start by creating a free account and completing a competency test after which you will be rated. Then, if all goes well, you can complete your author profile and start looking for writing assignments that suit you.

16. Art Wanted

Artwanted is the perfect place for artists and photographers to create an online portfolio, get feedback and sell their artwork online. Registration is free, but there is a $5 per month premium membership option that grants you access to some good bonus features.

17. 99designs

This is a website where over 281,579 designers from 192 different countries can connect to potential clients and showcase their work. A client gives information about his business and a rough idea of the type of logo he wants. Then the designers send in their work and the client can pick out the one he likes best. You look for design contests, enter the ones you like and do your best to win. As you win more contests your status will improve and you will get more opportunities.

18. Simply Hired

This is a big and broad job hunting website with tons of options, but it is a great way to look for some freelance work, particularly if you are a writer, graphic designer or web designer. It’s very easy to navigate and you can quickly search through a large number of recent job offerings in your field.

Step 1: Determine what you are good at, commit to a life of freelancing, and sign up for a account. Signing up and working at is absolutely free, but we also have membership upgrades that will greatly help you to earn more, such as getting more bids per month, and a list of skills. Certain projects require your profile to reflect certain skills, so the more you have listed, the more opportunities you get. Head to this page to see what’s on offer.

Step 2: Set up your profile. We can’t stress the need for a complete and presentable profile enough. It showcases your personality, resume, portfolio, and skills all rolled into one. It’s also an important tool for persuasion: an employer may completely base his judgment on whether to hire you or not by how well you present yourself. Get tips here:  The Secrets of a Winning Profile Page.

Step 3: Find projects and start bidding. Earning money at actually begins here. Hundreds of projects and contests in different categories are posted each day. Find the ones you want to work on by regularly checking the Jobs or Contests page. In the jobs page, you’ll see suitable projects open for bidding. For contests, you simply submit an entry.

There are over 750 work categories in the Jobs page, from Web development and writing, to marketing and accounting. Certainly, a job that matches your skills is listed here. Before placing your bid, make sure to write a compelling reason why the employer should pick you over everyone else. Not sure how the bidding process works? No problem, we have a step-by-step bidding guide here: How to Bid.

Step 4: Work. This might be the hardest but most rewarding step. Before starting work, make sure that both you and the employer are aligned in terms of project scope, deadlines, and milestone payments so there will be no issues along the way. You may want to have a signed agreement in place to seal the deal. All must be clear between you and the employer before you jump the gun – you may be too excited to start working, but keep calm and focus.

Once the job is awarded, make sure you impress your employer by being consistent when it comes to timeline, budget, and communication. Use the built-in chatbox to converse easier, or better yet, install our mobile appso you can keep your employer updated wherever you are.

Step 5: Get paid and earn five-star feedback. Once you get paid, you can withdraw your money via PayPal Wire Transfer, Moneybookers, or your nominated local bank account (works through our Express Withdrawal System). Also, always aim for five-star feedback – the accumulation of great, quality feedback is a great addition to your portfolio.

To keep earning money on, rinse and repeat steps three to five. If you have any questions, check our FAQ or comment below!

1) I looked for jobs I could do without previous experience.

Many of the jobs posted daily on online freelancing sites don’t require the expertise of an established professional. For example, anyone can write a blog post like the one you’re reading right now.

Lots of clients are just looking for someone who is reliable and puts some care and common sense into their work. Take a look at my very first freelancing job, which I won just 2 days after creating my Elance account:

If you look closely, you’ll see that the client’s post itself gave me all the info I needed to do the job.

The stories they needed were short, super simple, and followed a clear formula that was easy to replicate; in short, the main character was a boy who visited famous places and always learned 3 things about them. The client even gave me topics to work with, so essentially all I had to do was search Google for some cool facts about each destination, and plug them


into the story’s template.

I made $340.00 writing these fun little stories in my first days of freelancing, and I was stoked!

There are plenty of other jobs on Elance (and other sites) that can be done by any conscientious person with an eye for detail, including proofreading jobs, virtual assistance, research, and lots more.

2) I “went steady” with Elance.

Most people make a detrimental mistake when they start freelancing online. That is, they find work from multiple freelancing sites simultaneously.

On the surface, the thinking behind this move appears to make sense — having accounts at more freelancing sites means more potential job opportunities.

But there’s one fatal flaw with this approach: online freelancing sites reward focus.

Why? Because, building up a good solid working history — along with good reviews from lots of clients — helps you win better paying jobs, with less effort.

To understand what I mean, imagine that an Elance client is considering hiring one of two freelancers. They appear almost identical, except one of them has a history consisting of 10 good reviews, while the other has only 3…

Naturally, all else being equal the client is going to choose the freelancer with more positive reviews.

I took advantage of this simple fact by using Elance exclusively, rather than diluting my results by freelancing on multiple sites at once. It wasn’t long before my jobs history was more impressive than my more experienced competitors.

So, contrary to the natural urge to “diversify” your freelancing work across multiple sites, you’ll actually do better if you focus on just one instead, at least when you’re first starting out. (As a bonus, this makes your job much simpler and easier to manage.)

3) I wooed clients.

Though I admittedly started off pretty clueless, one thing anyone can offer clients is an exceptional experience.

That’s why, starting with my very first client, I went out of my way to do simple things that I knew they would love. Stuff like …

  • Surprising them by completing jobs a day or two ahead of schedule
  • Sending proactive updates to let them know that everything was going great (pro-tip: clients appreciate it when you keep these short and to the point)
  • Going out of my way to sound friendly and human in messages, including liberal use of emoticons 🙂
  • Checking over my work a few extra times to ensure it was flawless when the client received it
  • Sending clients links to my Elance invoices, making easier for them to pay (this also gets you paid quicker, which is pretty sweet)

These “little things” made all the difference, helping me gain two key advantages over my more experienced competition:

a) Lots of repeat customers who continued to effortlessly send work my way.

b) Exceptional (rather than “pretty good”) reviews that made it much easier for me to land new clients whenever I wanted/needed to. Check out a couple of examples below.

The bottom line is that clients want to hire (and rehire) people they like, and who make their lives easier.

By being that person, you’d be amazed at the advantage you can get in the online freelance marketplace, regardless of how little you happen to “know” when you first start out.

Why anyone can start making money freelancing right away.

Once upon a time, freelancing was hard. There wasn’t much work to go around, and the competition was fierce.

But today, sites like Elance have made freelancing one of the best ways to make real money online.

Thousands of jobs are posted each day, and snagging enough of them to make a nice living is very doable if you’re willing to go the extra mile.

I did, and it paid off big-time for me and my family.

Now it’s your turn …

If you’ve been looking for a reliable way to make money from home doing something you enjoy, I hope you’ll give online freelancing a try. You and your family deserve a big piece of the pie too.

This post about making money online as a freelancer is one of the most popular on the blog for a reason. Freelancing is one of the fastest ways to launch your work from home story and the cash flow is immediate.

That’s a great benefit compared to other ways to make money online like blogging and self-publishing that take longer to pay off.

Most of the bloggers I know, including myself, started their work from home success story by freelancing. They worked as online independent contractors to pay the bills while their other home-based businesses took off.

After just over five years, I do very little freelancing anymore. I don’t need to! I make thousands on my blogs and books.

By now, you’re asking yourself, “Ok, so how do I start making money freelancing?”

I’ve got you covered.

This post is the fourth of our five-week series on how to make money through different resources online. There are enough scams and wastes of time in internet side-gigs so I thought I would put together a series of legitimate ways to make money freelancing online.If you want to earn money online fast, think about becoming a freelancer. It is the best and the easiest way for remote working.You can start this work without any up-front investment. You will learn how to sell online because as a freelancer you will have to sell your services. The better offer you make, the more customers you get and thereby you will earn more money!