Most people I know would prefer working at home instead of having to commute every morning to an office outside home. The convenience of waking up and starting work right there, the benefit of not having to spend hundreds of dollars every day in transport, and the benefit of being your own boss and control your work hours are some of the reasons you would love to become a freelance worker. You can of course work at home doing what you do now at the office and enjoy the same benefits, but most people choose to go freelance when they make the decision to work at home.
One of the biggest problems that new home workers face as they begin a new career path is finding the jobs to do. Once they have their workstations and offices set up, when the internet is up and running and they are all psyched for a new beginning, where do they find people to work for? There are sites such as Craigslist and Monster where thousands of jobs are listed every day but the problem is that there are no guarantees those are real jobs, and even when they are real, these companies do not offer any arbitration or services to ensure you get paid for work done. What do you do now?
Well, the best course of action is to go for freelance work sites. There are tens of them that I know of, and most of them have terms and conditions that protect the worker and the clients. This is probably the best place to start with. Since there are many job sites, the important thing to do is find out which site is the best for the kind of work you want to do.
The many freelance job sites on the internet have different terms of service and most target a particular group of clients and workers. Some focus on programmers and coders while others are specifically for financial services or academic writing. The best place to start though is at a job site that connects the widest range of service providers with clients. This, of course, is unless you want to do a specific job and there is a work at home job site that connects clients with people like you.
What makes the best freelance job site?
Well, for starters, there is terms of service. The whole idea of meeting clients at a freelance job site is to ensure that you are protected from scams and to get paid for the service you provide. In this freelance job sites review, we will compare sites based on:
- Terms of service
- Payment modes
- Customer service
- Ease of use
- Jobs on offer and job variety
Note that freelance work is not just about working to make money, it should also be a way for you to showcase your skills and talent by doing what you love. It is a perfect way to build your skills and learn in the process – and a way to establish a portfolio online that you will help you establish a web presence and identity. The advent of information technology has seen a large number of people dive into the online workforce fray – mostly par time – and do something they have always wanted to. Whether you are an artist, a web developer, content writer, accountant or work with human resources, the internet has a place for you.
Top freelance work sites
There are over 30 work at home job sites I would have loved to review, but I have narrowed down to five most popular sites. These are:
The major difference between freelance sites is usability – how easy it is to navigate and how uncomplicated it is to apply and find jobs that meet a certain criteria.
Freelance job sites review
Every freelance worker dreams to be connected to well-paying clients, and to work knowing that the payment for the service they are offering is guaranteed. Elance is among the free global online job sites that operate an Escrow service. Its efficiency has seen it grow from a little-known marketplace for writers to one of the largest job sites in the world. The best things about Elance are that thousands of jobs are added every day and it has one of the simplest yet very professional interfaces. A freelance worker gets 15 job bids per month and can set up a job profile to appease clients. One downside of the site though is that creating a profile is very tedious and finding the first job can be quite a challenge to a new home worker.
VWorker, formerly VCoder, formerly RentACoder is an online workplace where job seekers and entrepreneurs from numerous fields and industries are connected. This site has built a reputation ever since it only offered services to program developers. Now, the company offers a wide range of job types and has millions of service providers and contracts on offer. Since its inception in 2001 as RentACoder, VWorker has attracted talented programmers and later writers, financial service providers and virtual assistants among other service providers. The company pays its workers via Paypal or Check and charges a service fee of between 6.5 and 15 percent depending on the service and job type. Newbies will have an easy time getting started on VWorker because it offers tests that service providers can post to their resumes and show employers just how good they are in a particular field.
The on demand Global Workforce freelance site or oDesk is a job site that once you get started in, you cannot stoop going back. The site offers free proficiency tests that are easy to navigate around, giving freelancers a chance to show what they are worth even before they land a job. The interface has been redesigned to become very friendly and simple and finding and applying for jobs has never been more straightforward. Most employers on oDesk are credible since oDesk insist on credit card verification for employers, although it only guarantees payment for hourly jobs but not fixed price jobs. A worker gets 20 job bids per month if their profiles are fully filled, and they can withdraw their earnings at any time as long as it is matured (after a waiting period of between 5 and 10 days). oDesk charges a service fee of 10% but this charge is often levied on the employer. oDesk offers a wide variety of jobs in these categories: Networking & Information Systems; Writing & Translation; Administrative Support; Design & Multimedia; Business Services; Sales & Marketing; Web Development and Customer Service. In my view, if you want to build a career and work at home, this is the best place to launch it.
Freelancer used to be called getafreelancer and is one of the most notable pioneers of online freelance job sites. The Australian company has over close to 2 million freelancers now and attracts more with time. It has very friendly employer terms but I feel it is not very friendly to the service provider. Because of this, the site has quite a number of scammers and employers who want free work. Newbies can set up resumes and may take tests, which unfortunately are not free. To have advantage over other freelance workers, you can pay a certain fee per month for Gold membership and get the attention of more serious and better paying employers. The company charges both the employer and employee a particular fee depending on the job type. The payment system is however very complicated and although there are several payment options, the charges and the time it takes to get your money from them is unreasonable.
Fiverr is the simplest place to find work. The five dollar marketplace is just what the name says – offer your services and get paid $5. Services can be offered for more than the $5 by asking for ‘bonuses’ listed on the job description. Unlike most other work at home job sites, with Fiverr, workers list their services and clients place orders for them. The only payment method Fiverr currently supports is Paypal. Once you make money, it will be available for withdrawal after two weeks. Fiverr however charges the service provider $1 out of the $5 which makes the service fee 20% – it probably is not a good site for those who intend to take on large projects.
What other freelance job sites are there?
Other sites you can check out are:
- People Per Hour
- Freelance Switch
- Go Freelance
- Logo My Way
- All Freelance Work
- 99 designs
- Get A Coder
- Programmer Meet Designer
- Freelance India
- Translator Café
- Freelance Writing
- Project Spring
- Freelance Job Search
- Project 4 Hire
- Authentic Jobs