Why these best freelancing websites are leading the market

  • Remote Working & Freelancing
  • Writing
Contra Tips
· 10 min read

Welcome to the wild world of freelancing in 2024! As more professionals pursue the exciting yet unpredictable path of independent work, finding promising freelance job opportunities can pose a unique challenge compared to the traditional job hunt.

Luckily, there’s a rapidly expanding array of stellar freelance websites catering to all sorts of fields where you can uncover your next freelance role.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll navigate the top freelance sites ruling the remote work realm right now. Whether you’re a writer, developer, marketer or other type of freelancing pro, you’ll discover the prime places to land lucrative client projects or short-term gigs that align with your expertise.

Each platform outlined includes key details like pay rates, available work types and what makes them ideal for specific freelancing goals so you can determine the best match for your needs.

Let’s explore the leading freelance platforms promising to connect talented, independent professionals like yourself with great flexible jobs in 2024 and beyond!

The top 10 freelancing website destinations 💻

  1. Contra - A curated network for independent professionals to find long-term clients or quick-paying projects
  2. Toptal - Top 3% of talent network for premium contract work
  3. Upwork - Large freelance marketplace to bid on a variety of remote jobs
  4. Fiverr - Freelance services marketplace that's good for smaller budget gigs
  5. Guru - Skilled business services network good for short and long-term projects
  6. LinkedIn Professional social network with built-in freelance job board
  7. 99designs - Creative focus for graphic design contests and freelance opportunities
  8. Flexjobs - Specialized job board for screened remote and flexible job listings
  9. SimplyHired - Major job search engine useful for finding freelance work too
  10. Dribbble - Popular community linking businesses with creative freelance talent

1. Contra

Contra is an all-in-one freelance platform that provides everything independent professionals need to launch, build, and grow their freelancing careers.

Best For:

  • Launching a freelance business
  • Building a professional portfolio
  • Accessing specialized, in-demand skills
  • Finding long-term freelance work
  • Getting paid commission-free

Key Features:

  • AI tools to generate portfolio content
  • Job board to discover freelance opportunities
  • Built-in contracts and direct deposit payments
  • Customizable pro profiles and business analytics

With Contra, freelancers can leverage AI portfolio assistants to quickly create customized portfolios to showcase their services and talents. The platform matches professionals with potential clients and long-term remote work. All payments are commission-free with options like direct deposit and PayPal. Whether you are looking for developer projects or freelance writing opportunities, Contra has the ultimate freelance job board featuring vetted, well-paying clients.

Upgrading to Contra Pro unlocks additional features for established freelancers like customized branding, powerful analytics on business performance, higher visibility, and expert network access. With everything needed to manage freelance admin and financing in one place, Contra simplifies the independent work lifestyle.

2. Toptal

Toptal aims to connect businesses with the top 3% of freelance professionals specialized in areas like development, design, finance, products management and more.

Best For:

  • Hiring top 3% freelance talent
  • Quickly scaling teams up and down
  • Accessing in-demand skills
  • Trial periods to ensure the right fit

Key Features:

  • Vetting and tests for talent
  • Quick matching with experts
  • Flexible hourly or full-time engagements
  • Developer, designer, finance and PM talent
  • Expertise in trending skills like blockchain

The company puts talent through comprehensive vetting and testing to ensure the highest quality. Toptal promises to match clients with specialized experts in under 48 hours for quick, flexible team expansion without long-term commitments.

With talent spanning from blockchain to analytics, Toptal helps organizations tackle initiatives like digital transformation. Companies can also trial freelancers first to guarantee the right fit.

3. Upwork

Upwork allows businesses to browse profiles, post jobs for bids, purchase pre-made projects or get advice from industry experts.

Best For:

  • Hiring for quick turnarounds
  • Buying premade projects
  • Getting expert consulting

Key Features:

  • Browse profiles with work samples and reviews
  • Only pay for work you approve
  • Secure platform with identity checks

The platform highlights top-rated talent while providing work samples and client reviews so companies know what to expect. Upwork offers useful tools like identity verification to give an additional layer of security.

4. Fiverr

As a freelance site well-suited for students and beginner side gigs, Fiverr connects digital service sellers with buyers through a straightforward purchasing process.

Instead of placing bids, buyers can explore seller profiles and instantly buy listed gigs with set pricing from freelancers.

Best For:

  • Buying and selling digital services
  • Beginner freelancers and side gigs
  • Low commitment purchases

Key Features:

  • Browse seller gigs and pricing
  • Purchase services with one click
  • Withdrawal rules based on seller level

After Fiverr takes commission, sellers receive 80% of the gig price. Earnings withdrawal rules depend on seller levels, with most able to cash out within 14 days.

With over 3 million active buyers and global reach, Fiverr makes selling services accessible. Freelancers can tap into consistent demand and quickly monetize their skills without chasing after projects or negotiating rates.

5. Guru

Guru aims to make hiring top freelance talent safe, affordable and flexible through customizable experiences.

Best For:

  • Hiring pre-vetted, expert talent
  • Flexible payment terms
  • 24/7 customer support

Key Features:

  • Browse freelancer profiles with ratings
  • Customizable agreements and workflows
  • SafePay protection for secure payments

Businesses can sift through freelancer profiles spotlighting expertise levels, ratings, transaction history and more. Guru offers multiple payment methods and terms, tailored agreements, collaboration features, and 24/7 support.

6. LinkedIn

Love it or hate it - LinkedIn is technically a great place to find freelance work! With over 810 million members, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional networking platform. In addition to job hunting, LinkedIn enables freelancers to tap into industry circles and established contacts to find project opportunities.

Best For:

  • Leveraging existing professional network
  • Showcasing services to target clients
  • Supplementing job search with projects
  • Expanding industry connections

Key Features:

  • Large audience of professionals
  • Groups and messaging tools
  • Job board with freelance postings
  • Content sharing capabilities

Freelancers can showcase services through customized profiles, targeted content sharing, and service recommendations. The platform allows you to directly message connections about open freelance work or utilize Groups centered around relevant topics and niches to connect with prospective clients.

The built-in job board also features freelance and contract positions, allowing you to supplement your independent job search. With trusted industry relationships and tools to manage communication and proposals, LinkedIn empowers networking-based client outreach.

7. 99designs

99designs makes custom graphic design accessible through crowdsourced contests and curated talent pairings.

Best For:

  • Graphic design contests
  • Full-service branding packages
  • Print and production integrations
  • Design inspiration

Key Features:

  • Access to global designer community
  • Contests start at $299
  • Tailored 1-on-1 design services

Companies can launch design contests starting at $299 and receive dozens of concept submissions tailored to their brief. 99designs offers collaboration tools, revisions and a 100% money-back guarantee.

For more tailored approaches, 99designs also offers 1-on-1 design services catered to specific needs. Add-ons like integrated printing through VistaPrint simplify bringing finished products to life.

8. Flexjobs

With telecommuting and flexible job listings spanning career levels and categories, FlexJobs aims to simplify qualified remote work opportunities.

Best For:

  • Finding quality remote, hybrid or flexible jobs
  • Resources to improve remote work skills
  • Screened roles from 5,000+ companies
  • Virtual events and webinars

Key Features:

  • Job search tools
  • Career expert Q&As
  • Skills tests and courses

Search filters allow finding roles in specific locations or fields along with company details. All jobs are screened for legitimacy with scam protection. FlexJobs members get access to expert guidance, skills building and virtual networking events.

9. SimplyHired

SimplyHired aims to simplify job searches by compiling openings from across the web into one spot.

Best For:

  • Easy access to aggregated job listings
  • Free signup with email alerts
  • Salary data and other helpful tools
  • Beginner-friendly navigation

Key Features:

  • Centralized board with company openings
  • Guidance for resumes and negotiations
  • Spam protection for trusted postings

Tools like salary estimators, interview prep tips and resume builders cater to various experience levels. Job seekers can sign up for free to access special guides plus custom email alerts when relevant new roles get posted.

SimplyHired enables browsing opportunities in fields like finance, marketing, HR and more. All listings are hand-screened for legitimacy to avoid spam.

Whether looking to dip your toes into freelancing or desiring entry-level flexible gigs, SimplyHired empowers first-time job hunters with the key information needed to confidently apply.

10. Dribbble

As a large platform for visual creators spanning design, illustration, photography and more, Dribbble aims to inspire artistic connections and career growth.

Best For:

  • Showcasing design and art portfolios
  • Accessing a large creative community
  • Finding freelance design opportunities
  • Art and design inspiration

Key Features:

  • Customizable profiles to display work
  • Global networking and collaborations
  • Premium job board for pro members
  • Upload capabilities for videos and more

Freelancers can leverage the power of Dribbble's community to get their work seen. While basic members can upload static images, upgrading to Pro levels provides perks like video uploads, multi-shot posts, priority placement and access to the curated freelance job board.

For creatives looking to get hired or simply gain exposure, Dribbble provides good audience reach and web traffic.

Which platform is best for freelancers? 🤔

What types of work do you offer?

Consider what services or skills you have to offer. Platforms like Contra, Toptal and Upwork provide opportunities across countless categories from writing to development, while sites like 99designs or Dribbble cater more exclusively to creative and visual fields. Choose an option aligning with your expertise.

Do you want long or short term projects?

Certain sites like Fiverr allow freelancers to sell specific services and gigs for fast turnarounds and smaller budgets. Others such as Contra facilitate both fast turnarounds for smaller budgets and long-term independent contract roles. Assess whether you desire quick supplemental income versus larger ongoing engagements.

Is your portfolio ready for clients?

While not always required, having an impressive portfolio showcasing your work and abilities can vastly improve your changes of getting hired on most freelance platforms. If just starting out, options like Contra provide portfolio generation tools versus networks like Behance or Dribbble where display-worthy content is key.

Does community and networking matter most?

Freelance websites like LinkedIn or Contra double as networking hubs connecting you to industry peers, potential mentors and new collaborators in addition to possible clients. If expanding your circle matters, choose one enhancing both exposure and creative relationships.

How will you get paid and manage finances?

From invoicing capabilities to payment processing, each site handles freelance admin and financing differently. Assess aspects like withdrawal rules, commission rates, built-in contracts and international fees during platform evaluation to ensure the infrastructure suits your needs.

Start exploring your freelance website options today 🚀

The freelance platform world awaits! With so many options for showcasing your services, connecting with clients and managing project workflow, the hardest part is deciding where to begin.

Whether you've gotten your feet wet freelancing on Upwork, Fiverr, Guru or 99designs, are building your network on LinkedIn or Dribbble, or are starting from scratch, it's worth checking out Contra's all-encompassing platform. Offering end-to-end features including portfolio building, job matching, built-in contracts and commission-free payments, Contra allows professionals to manage the full lifecycle of freelance business in one spot. It's the best part of your favorite freelance sites - without the costs and hassle.

Ready to simplify your independent lifestyle under one roof? Sign up to explore how Contra can elevate your freelancing career today with the best freelance website on the market.

Contra Tips
We're here to help. 👋
Need some help? You've come to the right place. Here, you'll learn more about Contra and how we can help you with your journey.

Related articles

Start your
independent journey

Get started

Hire top

Hire now