Freelance writers don’t rely solely on their ability to write, as they also must put some work into finding the right clients and the right gigs. Some experienced writers might even find that clients come to them. But when you’re a beginner freelancer, it’s hard to build up a network of clients. That’s where our list of the best freelance websites for beginners comes in!
How Can a Beginner Start Freelancing?
Beginners can start freelancing in lots of different ways. Freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork are good places to start as they already have lots of clients on the platform. However, you can also use your existing network to find work.
If you know people that own businesses, ask them if they need help with anything. If you’re a freelance writer, perhaps you could help write a bakery’s website copy. Freelance graphic designers could ask their friends if they know anyone in need of a new logo. So, you don’t just have to look online to find freelancing jobs! But if you do, what are the best freelance websites for beginners?
The 5 Best Freelance Websites for Beginners
Fiverr is a website specifically created for freelancers, and you can advertise any skill or service you can provide and earn money from. From logo design to translation, and from astrology to dance lessons, there’s nothing you can’t monetize on Fiverr!
Setting up an account and listing your freelance writing work is free and easy. Fiverr even lets you come up with your own prices, and you can offer various different pricing packages.
When you’re starting out on Fiverr, you’ll be able to have 7 active gigs on your profile. If you continue actively selling for extended periods of time on the website, you can be “promoted” to the next seller level, which can lead to more orders and therefore more money.
There are four seller levels on Fiverr: New Seller, Level 1, Level 2 and Top Rated Seller. Working your way up through these levels is rewarding, and it unlocks a heap of new benefits for you as a freelancer. To succeed on Fiverr, you need to have patience, as it can take a while to get your first orders!
- You can make money with almost any skill
- Fiverr’s levelling system rewards your good work
- You control your deadlines and prices
- Easy way to start a portfolio and gain some confidence
- Lots of competition
- It’s hard to work your way up to making regular money
- Fiverr takes a 20% cut of your profits
ProBlogger is the industry standard when it comes to finding freelance writing gigs. The site started in 2004 with the intention of becoming an online record of blogging tips for other bloggers. Since then, it has become a huge archive of articles, tips, tutorials, podcasts, eBooks and courses dedicated to helping people become better writers.
Their “Jobs” section looks just like a regular job listing website and it’s really intuitive. You can search for keywords, locations, and even the type of schedule you want. You then find job adverts related to your search, and apply to the ones you want.
It’s completely free for freelancers to search for any available project – you don’t even have to set up an account! Potential clients who want to set up job listings have to pay a fee, depending on what kind of exposure they want. A standard, 15-day job listing costs $75 (about £54). However, featured listings are highlighted and guaranteed to stay on the front page for the same amount of time, and they cost $150 (about £108).
- Completely free to use for freelance writers
- User-friendly and intuitive
- Lots of useful resources and even courses to help improve your writing
- Allows you to set up a Candidate Dashboard, which is useful for marketing your work
- There’s a lot of competition
- Listing your own job offer can be quite expensive for beginners looking to hire freelancers
Just like Fiverr, Upwork is a website where freelancers can earn money from any skill or service they provide. It’s free to set up a personal account. However, Upwork does have measures in place to reject applications if they don’t feel your skills have a place on the platform. If there are already lots of freelancers advertising your chosen skill, your application might get rejected. While this doesn’t seem to be a problem with Fiverr, it’s something to be aware of on Upwork.
You can also choose to upgrade your membership from Free to Plus. This grants you some perks like customising you profile URL, making your earnings private, and never having your profile hidden due to inactivity. This costs $14.99 (about £10.80) per month.
Once Upwork approves your profile, you can start applying for different jobs. Each job requires a certain amount of “Connects.” Connects work like tokens that you have to “invest” when submitting a proposal. You get a limited number of Connects, so this works as a way to show the client that you are really interested in the job.
With the Plus membership you get 80 Connects per month, but with a Free membership you only get 10 Connects each month. However, you can purchase Connects as and when you need them, at $0.15 (£0.11), plus tax, each.
- Higher rates in comparison with other freelance websites
- Easy payments
- Upwork has a desktop, browser and mobile app
- You can choose to get paid in milestones or in full at the end of a project
- It relies a lot on how your profile looks, so it takes a long time for beginners to get going
- Upwork charges 20% on your first $500 (about £360) and then 10% on earnings above that
- Like on Fiverr, there’s a lot of competition
- The Connects system is more complicated than Fiverr’s system
BloggingPro is a job searching website for bloggers, freelance writers, journalists and anyone offering other writing services. Looking and applying for jobs is free and there’s no need to set up an account. You can search for jobs with keywords, location and the type of contract you’re looking for.
It’s similar to ProBlogger at first glance, but it doesn’t offer as much when it comes to tips, tutorials and other resources to improve your writing. However, BloggingPro has a tab dedicated to WordPress tips which is very useful if you’re interested in starting your own blog.
Businesses or clients who want to post a job offer must pay a $30 fee (about £21.50) for a 30-day advert. This is useful to bear in mind if you plan to hire freelancers in the future.
- Completely free to use for freelancers
- Besides blogging jobs, there are other types of writing gigs available too
- There’s no content screening or validity checks on the job listings (so some aren’t very reliable)
Freelancer.com is one of the biggest marketplaces for freelancers, just like Fiverr and Upwork, with a userbase of over 50 million people from all over the world.
Signing up for the website is free, but they give you the option to try the Plus membership for free or to directly upgrade to any other membership plan. The memberships available are Basic, Plus, Professional and Premier, and their prices vary between $4.95 (about £3.60) and $69.95 (around £50) per month.
In order to apply for jobs on Freelancer.com there’s a similar mechanism to the one found on Upwork. However, instead of investing Connects, here they are called Bids. While Free members get six bids per month, freelancers with paid memberships can get up to 1500 bids per month.
- The website provides competency tests that allow the clients to choose the best freelancer for the job
- There are many payment methods to choose from
- Easy to set up
- User-friendly interface
- It uses an automatic bidding system which doesn’t always match the best freelancers with the best jobs
- You only get six bids per month if you don’t want a paid membership
- Freelancer.com takes a cut of 10% of the freelancer’s earnings
Best Freelance Writing Websites – Honourable Mentions
MediaBistro is a job board/community for media and content creators. You can find writing, editing, marketing, social media and other related jobs for free. However, if you choose to buy the Unlimited Membership for $14.99 (about £10.80) per month you get unlimited access to online courses, freelancing tools and exclusive discounts with partnered websites.
JournalismJobs is a job board for freelance writers who are interested in journalism specifically. Here you can find jobs for reporters, investigative writers and editors, plus some freelancing career advice too. Even though this website isn’t as big as other job boards on our list, it’s still a great niche job board where freelance journalists can find relevant jobs.
Which Freelance Writing Websites Will You Use?
There is a huge variety of freelance websites out there. This makes networking, pitching, and getting jobs easier for beginner freelancers. Plus, they are a great way to obtain quick and easy gigs that can help you build up a portfolio!