Always looking for another tool to build your freelance career? For the latest in tools, productivity hacks, portfolios and more, you’ll want to check out this epic list of best freelance websites.
Freelancing is a great way to augment your income, and can quickly become your main revenue source.
But it can be overwhelming at times. After all, you’re on your own, without the support structure of a corporation or office. The Internet however, can be your savior – if you know how to use it.
There are tons of handy resources on the web for freelancers, whether you are a wedding photographer or a golf ball diver (yes, that’s a real job!).
Take a look at these websites that can help you find jobs in a jiffy, improve your skills, learn new things, keep you from making embarrassing (and potentially costly) mistakes, and a whole lot more. (Click here to tweet this exhaustive list.)
Websites to help you find work
Mashable’s Job Board is oriented towards tech, digital and editorial positions from a wide range of companies, featuring full-time as well as remote job positions.
Indeed is searchable by job type and location, and features a “show only new jobs” option to display postings that appeared since your last visit. You can also bookmark specific search queries, like this one for freelance health writers.
Elance has a variety of job listing, though the majority are looking for writers, designers, programmers or social media marketers. On this site, freelancer to bid for a job and go through an interview with the employer.
oDesk is like Elance, but jobs posted here tend towards pay-by-the-hour, while Elance is more of a fixed bid place.
Both oDesk and Elance can be a bit bewildering the first time you dive in. The secret sauce is to find those jobs that pay a rate you’re comfortable with, and strive for repeat work from those clients.
Skillbridge is quite similar to Elance and oDesk, but it usually caters to assignments that need a bit more experience.
The Problogger job board features job listings for online content, and sometimes features calls for writers from large websites.
Freelance Writing includes gigs under various verticals, including online jobs and calls for magazine submissions. While Problogger only features jobs posted on its job board, Freelance Writing pulls listings from a variety of sources, including Craigslist and company websites.
Css Tricks features a job board geared towards its audience of programmers and web and graphic designers. Jobs listed here include full-time jobs as well.
Websites to increase your productivity
For all those poor souls who just can’t resist Internet distraction, the Self Control App for Mac and Cold Turkey for Windows are your redemption.
If you like to intersperse work with intervals of leisure, Egg Timer could be what you’re looking for. It comes preloaded with some well-known “productivity time sets”.
Traffic too loud where you work? Or just the opposite — things are so quiet they give you the creeps? Defonic and Noisli let you create the kind of background noise you like.
Stressed out about deadlines or lack of work? Meditate! According to research, meditation helps you overcome stress (and a whole lot of other things). Isha Kriya is a popular online option, as is UCLA’s collection of audio.
If you’ve got writer’s block, Language is a Virus offers a way out with writing prompts. For those in a more visual line of work, Creative Roots offers nice inspiration.
Bonus: Reddit’s Internet is Beautiful subreddit can also help with creativity. Like the rest of Reddit though, this page can be a bit of a hit-and-miss — so use it at your discretion.
Websites to help you get paid
Worktimer is a free tool to track the time you spend on a project, making it easier to bill clients. Toggl is similar, with free and paid options, but doesn’t have the invoice-creation feature that Worktimer has.
If you just need to generate an invoice, Invoiceto, Invoice Generator and Slim Voice will serve you well. As for contracts, the Contract Killer template for web designers and Shane & Peter Inc.’s more general template are good starting points.
If you’re still wondering how much to charge for your work, try Motivapp.
Ever had to deal with late payments? Fundbox is sort of like insurance when you’re stuck with tardy clients.
Once you’ve made money, you still have to pay your taxes. Freelance Taxation has advice for this rather complicated adventure.
Bonus: A lot of these websites require an email address to sign up. In case you just want to try them out before giving them your real ID, use 20MinuteMail.
Websites to help you learn new skills
First, let’s get some well known sites out of the way. Khan Academy, Wikiversity, Coursera, Open Culture, Youtube, and OEC offer free courses in a variety of topics, at several learning levels, with a mix of theory and practice, and sometimes in languages other than English.
If you need to crowd-source your learning trouble spots, try Open Study, a community for homework issues. The Directory of Open Access Journals is useful if you’re taking college-level courses. It accesses around 10,000 academic journals that offer their content for free.
For writers, Make A Living Writing by Carol Tice is a great resource on freelancing and blogging.
What’s the biggest benefit the Internet has offered Carol as a freelance writer? “Research,” she says. “What used to take hours and hours in a physical library, finding sources, finding publications, finding facts — it’s now all at your fingertips online.” She adds, “I look back now to the pre-Web days and have no idea how I got assignments done!”
If you want to learn programming, Html Dog, Codecademy and reSRC have great tutorials.
Codepen isn’t a traditional learn-to-code site. It features work from various programmers. Surf the site, pick stuff you like, and learn from the code posted there.
Skillshare and Tuts+ feature tutorials on coding, graphic and web design, as well as marketing, blogging and product design. Css Tricks (whose job board is featured above) isn’t a place to start your coding journey, but it’s great for keeping web design skills sharp and exploring new ideas.
Websites to help show off your skills
As a freelancer, selling yourself is one of the most important things you need to do. Here are a few websites that help.
Behance is a must for every kind of designer. Though the sheer size of the site can be overwhelming, it’s reasonably common for freelancers to be solicited based on their profile here.
99 Designs and Envato Marketplace aren’t exactly portfolio sites. But they do let you offer your graphic design, music, web design, video, or photography skills for sale.
Programmers can feature (but not sell) their work on Github and Codepen (also mentioned above), while photographers can put their work up for sale at Shutterstock and iStock Photo — just two of the many stock photography sites out there.
There’s nothing like your own personal website, of course. If you aren’t in the business of web design, pick up a Creative Commons site template from Html5 Up.
Bonus: Your clients are among your most valuable assets, so you might want to keep them up-to-date on your work with a newsletter. You never know what new ideas and job offers it might trigger. Goodbits is a free tool that takes the hassle out of newsletter creation.
What websites have been valuable assets in your freelance journey? Leave a comment!
Alka Pratap is a community volunteer, traveler and yoga-nut. Between answering emails and teaching meditation, she can be found enjoying what’s left of the planet’s natural wonders.