Going freelance is not going to be easy. Having consistent gigs will definitely take time, and this is partly why I harp on about getting your game plan in place before you hit the road. You read my guide on how to prepare for digital nomad life, right? You didn’t? Read that first!
The good news is that there are tons and tons of freelance jobs websites online that will help you connect with potential clients, wherever you are around the globe. There are so many that it makes my brain hurt!
As with anything online, finding accurate information all in one place is a fucking nightmare! All freelance jobs website has different sign-up agreements, some even take a massive cut of your pay, too! There are lots of ways to find jobs as a digital nomad but it takes time and man, I hate wasting time.
So to save you some time, I have compiled this list of best freelance jobs websites, so you can hit the ground running and turn your game plan into actionable steps forward.
For Building the Basics
These four sites provide you with a good foundation for your future in freelancing. Their job postings cover every aspect of the working world and are also the most popular freelance job websites, with the highest number of job listings between them. Until you have developed a following through your own website, these are a good place to start regardless of your niche.
This is the first port of call for many freelancers, aspiring and seasoned. Jobs here are both short-term and long-term, and workers may be paid by the hour or by project. You will need to set up your profile and take on some initial jobs to make yourself more attractive to clients who offer higher payments.
These initial jobs can be pretty shit. One freelancer I worked with got his first job on here, and he was writing product descriptions for e-cigarettes for USD 0.50 a pop after UpWork took their punchy 20%. Once you have earned USD 1,000 with a client, this is reduced to 10%.
Be warned, discussing taking work off UpWork can land you with a stern and belittling email from management. Be smart.
Just like UpWork, PeoplePerHour is the next port of call for many freelancers. Many people have a profile on both sites and flick between the two. Again, all sorts of industries use PPH—software development, business support, web development, finance, administration, and more.
Much like UpWork, PeoplePerHour operates a bidding system where freelancers pitch for work. Sometimes this really fucks me off as it creates a what is known as a race to the bottom. Everyone is so desperate for the work they’ll lower their rates by crazy amounts. This creates an environment where clients literally want something for nothing.
My tip: Adjust your rates, but don’t sell yourself short. If a client isn’t willing to pay for what’s fair, they aren’t worthy of being your client.
I like iFreelance for the one good reason that they let you keep 100% of your earnings. As you should! Freelancers can bid on projects to get clients and leads. You can also advertise your skills and let clients come to you which is always great. You just need to sign up for a membership for a minimal fee, and this allows you access to many projects and bids. Although paying a membership fee seems daunting for a newbie freelancer, this is far cheaper (and less disheartening) in the long run.
WorkingNomads has a huge community of digital nomads who look for work to support themselves while they travel. Again, you’ll find here a huge number of work options, ranging from short-term to long-term projects.
Being nomadic by name, it is safe to say that clients are more understanding of the digital nomad lifestyle and the curve balls it sometimes throws our way. That said, there is an expectation for you to be able to deliver your work efficiently.
My tip: Sign up for their daily email updates to not miss any new listings and get ahead of your fellow freelancers.
This is another one of those freelance jobs websites that have been around for years. Freelancer has a ton of work and projects within its database. It is important for you to build a good profile here because the best freelancer gets the advertised job.
Given that it’s been around for so long, clients are always inclined to those with the best ratings, and ratings are built up over time. It’s not too late though! You can start by bidding for smaller projects or looking for clients who are willing to give newbies a chance. Just remember what I said about not selling yourself short though.
So that’s the basics sorted. Designers in the house, this next section is for you!
Freelance Job Sites for Designers
Behance is ~the~ website for creatives. You can find thousands of jobs for creatives professionals. Your portfolio is everything on Behance so pull your finger out when writing your profile. I like how user-friendly it is and the good number of jobs listed daily.
99Designs helps clients connect with freelance design experts. Their community is filled with over 1.5 million designers, so that’s some stiff competition out there for you newbies! However, clients are always looking for new talents, right?
99Design freelancers deliver work like logo design, website design, branding, packaging design, and more. Pricing is already fixed to ensure quality work between the client and the designer.
Dribbble offers another unique opportunity for freelance designers to show off their work so that clients know what to expect from them and potentially hire them. You can, however, also find job listings in case you aren’t quite inspired to build your personal portfolio just yet!
Skilled Remote Workers
Perhaps you’re not looking to move into a new niche, but you want to turn your existing profession into a digital nomad job. You’ve read my guide on types of digital nomad? You could very well be a skilled remote worker! Here’s where you can find jobs as a digital nomad!
Guru is freelancing site known the world over, offering jobs that include sales and marketing, legal services, admin support, engineering, architecture, finance, and more. A good site for those of you wanting a more remote work style of job.
As a freelancer, you’ll find briefs on the work needed to be done. You can also send a quote for your services so that you get paid fairly.
My tip: If you know exactly what you want to do, use the job filter to hide all the crappy jobs you’re too good for.
It may sound strange, but there are actually niche freelance jobs websites that connect highly skilled freelancers to clients. Toptal is one of them, and they have a database of finance experts to connect with businesses.
If you are one of the best in your field (you know you are!) and mega knowledgeable about your game, then you can give this website a try. It goes without saying that you potentially get paid much higher as well.
Tutor.com helps you sell your skills as a teacher. If there is a particular skill that you are really good at, you can apply as an online tutor for the subject.
It’s free to apply, but there is a strict selection process to make sure the site hires quality people, so expect some wait and apply as early as you can!
My tip: If you’re not a qualified teacher, don’t bother applying here. You can do an online TEFL course in just a few weeks. Tick that box then set your profile up on here.
If you have wondered how to find jobs as a digital nomad specifically, then there are great websites to help you find remote work. We Work Remotely is one example, which offers jobs in many fields like writing, marketing, service, design, and more.
This is quite a generic site to tell you the truth but worth scouting through if you have time and other sites haven’t been to your liking. As the name suggests, these jobs are more remote worker style than freelance project-by-project style.
Best Freelance Websites for Techies
Are you a computer geek? A programming pro? I hear you! These sites are great for you tech savvy guys and gals!
Is programming your forte? Stack Overflow is a big community of programmers and developers. Geek central! It’s not just a platform to find jobs. It’s also a place to help you gain knowledge and share tips with the community as well.
My tip: Take time to read through their blogs and articles. These can be super helpful when you’re starting out.
There is a giant market for freelance work relating to the IT industry. Digital nomads aren’t all writers you know!
FreelancerMap helps connect clients to freelancers. The best part is that there are no bidding fees, and there is no membership fee as well. Fuck yeah!
You can filter jobs that need on-site attendance, or jobs that can be done remotely. This, too, is a worldwide service, so you can filter jobs by location.
WordPress is one of the biggest and highly customizable platforms online. If you’re a savvy WordPress user, you can head over to WordPress Jobs. Here, you’ll find all sorts of work related to the website, such as site redesign, customization, widget, and plug-in development, and more. Projects can range from simple, cheap fixes to more complicated long-term development work.
My tip: This is a great place to learn on the job. Don’t go in blind! Even if you’re not a pro… be a pro, right?
Best Freelance Websites for Writers
I said that the digital nomad community isn’t just made up of writers, but there are ~so~ many writers! Stiff competition means that if you haven’t got what it takes you need to get readjusting that game plan; I can help with that. Don’t you dare give up before you’ve begun, check out these sites!
Is writing your best skill? You’ll find tons of writing or blogging work at Problogger Jobs. This site caters mainly to bloggers, which is perfect if you have or are trying to build an online presence or are generally comfortable with blogging.
My tip: If you found yourself falling into the race to the bottom in UpWork and PeoplePerHour, get your niche on and head over here.
As the name suggests, Freelance Writing Gigs offers a shit ton of long-term and short-term writing jobs. You’ll also find editing and blogging work here if this is something that you’re more comfortable with. It’s good if you’re the complete package!
If you know how to publish e-books, you can monetize this skill as well through listings found here. If you have a number of skills related to writing, this is the perfect place to start to find jobs as a digital nomad freelancer. If you don’t know, learn!
Good at writing short yet snappy copy? This is a place where you can put your wit to work! GetASlogan is a place where writers create slogans or taglines for businesses. You can earn money for every winning slogan you come up with.
My tip: Since the payment is pretty small, it’s a good way to get your creative juices flowing. Use it as a bit of fun and extra cash. We all need beer money!
Best Freelance Websites for Marketing
If you working in marketing, you actually have a whole host of other skills you probably don’t realize you have. Although these sites focus on marketing, they can help you branch out into sales support and HR, too.
Remotive is another site that offers remote jobs to freelancers. This website is different because it offers tips to help you stay on track with your work and maximize the ability to work remotely.
Apart from that, you can browse thousands of jobs on their site and apply for the ones that suit your skills. They focus on marketing, sales, education, engineering, and HR.
If you’re particular about jobs in marketing and social media, try searching for jobs on Inbound.org. Inbound is primarily a forum for discussions on digital marketing trends, but they helpfully connect members with jobs as well.
Remember what I’ve been saying about the value of networking? Get mingling people!
These are just some of the many freelance jobs websites you can try to apply at. There are many more ways for you to find work as a digital nomad; get in touch with companies directly and let them know that they need you on board.
It goes without saying that creating your profile on these sites is one of the most important things you can do. Gone are the days when you rock up in your suit and tie for a formal (fucking boring) job interview. We’re in the age of instant! A client wants to skim read a pitch and award the job to the right freelancer ASAP so they can get the fuck on with whatever it is they’re trying to do. You have to be professional even if you don’t feel it while you’re starting out. So, remember: Even if you’re not a pro, be a pro!
Have a shit ton of grit and determination. Don’t worry about the rejections that get thrown in your face and just move the fuck on next client. Give it time; it’ll happen. Your steady freelancer income will arrive sooner than you think.