Has the 9 to 5 corporate grind started to get on your nerves now? Are you missing your doctor’s appointments due to the rigid and inflexible work schedule? Can you not for the life of you seem to devise time for yourself, let alone seek personal tax advice for filing your self-assessment or tax returns?

You wish to find a working situation that allows you to be your own boss. Your creativity has set you apart from others in your league, impressing amateurs and experienced alike. However, right now, you don’t have the funds to start your own business as an entrepreneur in your industry. What do you do?

Online Freelance Websites – Why you need to work from home

Online freelancing websites emerged as versatile, universal platforms for skilled, talented, and creative professionals who wish to make money with their unique craft. Moreover, freelancing websites act as a hub for recruiters who want to hire or outsource their projects to varied talents in the industry. Freelancing websites allow people to work from home online, without having to worry about waking up for an arduous job catering to corporate slavery or how to pay for their oncoming income tax, bills, and unexpected expenses.

Person sat at a desk working on a laptop.

With the help of these freelance platforms, most freelancers have had the ability to earn millions and hire personal freelancer accountants for management of capital gains. With all that is said above, freelancing websites tend to get pretty competitive due to the saturation of the marketplace and respective industries.

To know which of these might help to provide the best work for you, let’s discuss the top ten freelancing websites of 2019 below.

Top 10 Freelance Websites to find the Best Work

Toptal

Toptal is renowned for providing the world’s finest freelance graphic designers, web developers, and software programmers to established and renowned enterprises such as Zendesk, Airbnb, Thumbtack, Pfizer, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, to name a few. 

Getting through Toptal’s screening process warrants explicit knowledge and expertise, through which a position in its infamous tier of Top 3% talented individuals is guaranteed.

Before hiring an expert, Toptal’s top-notch recruiters have an opportunity to provide three ‘selected applicants’ with a trial period of two weeks to make sure that the platforms thoroughly scrutinized and handpicked choice meets with their demands.

During the trial period, the freelancers are required to learn about the job by walking through the ropes so that they can find out if they’re suitable and sustainable for the required description. After the trial period ends, the ‘chosen or finalized applicant’ is guaranteed an immediate upfront of $500 by the recruiter that can be accessed after the acquisition of the first invoice. However, recruiters can ask for a refund if the work of the top expert didn’t meet their standards despite selection.

Pros:

  • Exclusivity – Only banks on top 3% performers
  • Expedited recruitment process (three weeks)
  • Upfront payable after an immediate hire (trial period of two weeks).

Cons:

  • Most of the employers are Western so non-western freelancers can face time zone related issues. 
  • Can’t upsell your work without involving Toptal which is a slower process. 

Rating: 5/5

UpWork

Upwork, formerly launched as ODesk before its acquisition and merger with Elance, is probably one of the biggest freelance marketplaces in the world. From a wide variety of short-term tasks, recurring projects, and full-time contract options to choose from, Upwork has become one of the biggest market hubs for freelance graphic artists, web and mobile developers, content writers, marketing and accounting specialists.

opened laptop sat on a desk with a cup and plant

Ranging from the provision of a free plan to a top tier Enterprise plan, Upwork ensures to provide security to its hiring recruiters for maximum scalable opportunities.

Upwork’s billing process ensures on-the-spot payment once the assigned project has been received, reviewed and approved of. This can be done via the refund option that allows recruiters to keep an amount of money in their accounts for expedited payments or via private credit card or electronic forms of payment. Moreover, the recruiter can request for a peek into the freelancer’s work diary during or at the end of the job to ensure that they are getting billed accurately.

Pros:

  • World’s largest freelancer work platform harbouring newbies to specialists in every niche industry
  • Exclusive In-app messaging tool for on-the-go and timely coordination
  • Work Diary for the proof of hired freelancers’ working hours, ensuring accurate billing
  • Secure payments with a ‘prefund’ option available for recruiters
  • Credit card and other secure electronic payment options available

Cons:

  • Every project is open to bidding so you might not be able to get the rate you deserve. 
  • The number of free bids you can submit is limited. 
  • A huge amount of money is lost as the transaction cost is 20%. 

Rating: 5/5

Fiverr

Fiverr, known quite evidently for its lowest-priced gig package plan, that is, at $5, has been servicing a gig per 4 seconds via its platform. With over 50M+ transactions and a growing community of robust freelancers, Fiverr has helped launched thousands of careers deflected by the 9 to 5 corporate grind.

With over 200 categories to choose from, Fiverr provides every creative, non-tech savvy artist to sign up on their platform for free and sell their craft that will reach hundreds to thousands of entrepreneurs globally. Fiverr also provides the guarantee of secure payments, therefore, preventing sellers from waiting for months on end.

Pros:

  • Ideal for non-tech savvy freelancers who are just starting out in their career
  • Extreme protection of data via the provision of anti-fraud security measures
  • Hub for over 200 versatile categories such as lifestyle, voice over, music or audio, and content writing and translation services as well.
  • Ability to hire a freelancer for as less as $5 to as high as $10,000 with varied gig packages
  • 24/7 customer service for the resolution of issues at both ends

Cons: 

  • Can be really difficult to acquire first few jobs due to lack of credibility.
  • No way for a buyer and seller to discuss expectations in detail before placing an order. 

Rating: 5/5

PeoplePerHour (PPH)

Man sitting at a desk working on a laptop

PeoplePerHour has facilitated millions of freelancers around the world to bid and apply for gigs in accordance with their preferences and qualifications. The freelance platform provides immense financial protection with its guarantee of secure down payments that can be agreed and paid upon prior to the start of each project. PeoplePerHour makes use of cookies and demographic data to bring buyers freelancers that best fit their job specifications and regional requirement.

Moreover, PeoplePerHour comprises of varied pricing plans that allow freelancers to choose from hourly jobs to full-time contract offers as well. With over 1,556,539 freelancers to choose from, businesses can network and build a team proactively. 

Pros:

  • Secure down payments prevent the freelancer from worrying about scams and frauds
  • Regional recruitment provides you the ability to collaborate with people close to you for the facilitation of better understanding of freelance work projects.  
  • Varied pricing plans ranging from hourly to monthly and fixed payments as well.

Cons: 

  • The interface of the website is not very user-friendly and can be confusing.
  • Jobs are very limited for certain categories, for example, translation. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Freelancer:

Freelancer, a crowdsourcing platform, took the entrepreneurial world by storm with its grants of offers, pricing plans, and global accessibility. With a 95% rehire rate and the ability to handpick a freelancer as per their showcased services and a recruiter’s project’s standards, Freelancer has, up till now, closed a minimum of 14M jobs. With its milestone payment system at hand, Freelancer has ensured timely payments to millions of freelancers recorded at each step of completion of the assigned project.

Pros:

  • Milestone payment system for guaranteeing freelancers the authentication and release of their payments.
  • ·Authentication of transactions with state-of-the-art and secure DigiCert 4096-bit SSL encryption
  • ·A first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing freelancer work platform that harbours millions of freelancers with a 95% rehire rare and expedited estimation of quotes (60-second quote)

Cons:

  • Withdrawing money takes 14 days which can be a bit too long.
  • There are a lot of fake projects and scams on the platform one needs to be wary off.

Rating: 4.5/5

Guru

Women sat a table working on a laptop

Guru’s freelancer work platform harbours 3M professionals who are always on-the-go and ready to dispatch their sheer creativity or tech-savvy mastery. With over 1M jobs completed since Guru came into recognition, the freelancing platform has helped facilitate the entire process for its ‘gurus’ by incorporating the milestone payment system into its database.

Moreover, freelancers can also opt for payments by the hour or upon completion of each task. Since Guru provides freelancers the ability to work with their recurring employers, this helps maintain a uniform yet a long-term, secure relationship between each other.

Pros:

  • Region-specific recruitment
  • Dashboard with state-of-the-art features for precision in handling private communication, and organizing day-to-day tasks, alerts, and files.
  • Ability to establish long-term relationship with recurring employers
  • Delivery of secure payments prior to the completion of the project at hand.

Cons:

  • Freelancers get the option to delete bad reviews so you cannot determine if someone is as good as they claim to be.

Rating: 4/5

Envato Studio

Envato Studio’s community of aspiring tech-savvy and creative contractors provide a comprehensive list of 3,000+ services that are growing as we speak. Each service is entailed to perfection, mainly because of the platform’s sheer exclusivity and an easy-to-use customized dashboard. Moreover, the Project Development Tool allows employers to give feedback to the freelancers they’ve worked with via the platform which boosts their confidence, therefore, helping them improve and grow with each task. With the help of personalization options, contractors can now upload-and-update their portfolios so that recruiters can observe and handpick the ‘chosen one’ according to their services for their projects.

Most freelancers opt for hiring specialist accounting services to take care of their bookkeeping and accounts’ management. This allows them to focus on their projects and act according to the feedback provided by their employers.

Pros:

  • Helps to boost careers of non-tech savvy creative freelancers
  • Provides an easy-to-use, in-built app messaging feature for maintaining secure, private communication between recruiters and freelancers.
  • Allows freelancers to upload their portfolios into the database along with a detailed enlisting of their personal and professional data.
  • Equipped with a Project Development Tool that allows employers to provide constructive feedback to freelancers for time-to-time improvement of freelancer work.

Cons:

  • Standards are very high so difficult for newbies to start out. 
  • Marketing is essential as the supply is far greater than demand. 

Rating: 4/5

TaskRabbit

Man holding an adjustable spanner with alloys behind

TaskRabbit houses around 140,000 ‘Taskers’ who provide a vast range of unique services that are not limited to technological advancements or backed up by a computer screen. For instance, suppose you proceed by searching ‘General Handyman’ services on TaskRabbit’s freelancer work platform. Now, the freelancing platform will ask you all sorts of related questions including the timing and details of the task required, but most importantly, the location of the intended job to be carried out. TaskRabbit is simple and easy to use, and therefore, helps recruiters to connect to all types of contractors to secure deals.

Pros:

  • Provides all kinds of delivery services from furniture assembly to tech-savvy market-competitive jobs such as logo design and animation.
  • On-site messaging system that allows you to communicate on all servers, irrespective of using a desktop screen, web server or mobile.

Cons:

  • Fuel and maintenance costs are not reimbursed.
  • There is insurance or safety cover so any injury during the task will need to be taken care of by the taskers themselves.

Rating: 4/5

Nexxt

Nexxt’s freelancer work platform has provided freelancers with the ability to filter their job search criteria by sorting through several categories in focus. Nexxt’s broadest feature is that it focuses primarily on diversity, therefore, shedding light on LGBTQIA, disabled, and seniors who are retired.

With the help of independent accounting services for contractors, freelancers can now tend to their bookkeeping services more proactively.

Pros:

  • Keen advertising practices enable small to large enterprises in their professional search of contractors and vice versa
  • Improved communicative standards warranting necessary feedback on the platform
  • Enables freelancers and recruiters to focus exhaustively on separate career, regional, diverse and global options.

Cons: 

  • Some employers are not very keen on hiring employees who are old or have been through some problems in their professional careers in the past. 

Rating: 3.85/5

Hireable

zoomed in section of a black keyboard

Hireable allows you to create alerts on its freelancer work platform so that you can get notified as per your keyword search. Moreover, having the capability to search for your preferred job postings with relevance to keywords and location has enabled recruiters to find applicants best suited and ideal for their projects. From automated notifications to improved job recommendations, Hireable plans on pushing niche-specific prospectors another step closer to acquiring freelancer work.

Pros:

  • Free job-hunting accelerated with quick SEO (keyword) search
  • Automated push-notifications feature allows contractors to stay updated and on-the-go regarding pre-existing projects and new job offers.

Cons: 

  • Hiring over the internet lacks the security an employer receives when hiring through referrals by employees which sometimes stops companies from using the platform.

Rating: 3.85/5

Conclusion

Laptop on a desk with a coffee in an open space

Online freelancing websites have surfaced as robust alternatives to day-time jobs by offering market-competitive rates. Not all of the platforms providing these jobs are perfect in every possible way, but they each have their strengths. Upwork, for example, is best for people who specialize in one set of skills while Fiverr allows people to work on projects related to a wide range of skills. Toptal, as the name implies, is for people who are highly skilled at their work while Freelancer is best for people who are just starting out and want to slowly build up their portfolio. Envato is best for people associated with the tech industry while TaskRabbit has a broader offering including tasks that do not require the use of a computer at all, such as, a handy-man job while Nexxt and Hireable are both great platforms if you are looking to connect with a more specific type of employers.

In case you do end up starting your own freelancing career on freelancing platforms, be sure to check out tax services for sole traders to make sure that the money you are making is being managed in a legally compliant and secure manner. 

For further details contact our Hounslow Accountants office.