Whether you are a working professional or a student, freelancing is always a good idea. Not only do you get to earn some extra moolah, but you even get the opportunity to hone your skills. To top that, it also adds to your knowledge and makes for an impressive resume. And finding freelance work is not as difficult as you might think. Companies are increasingly looking to tap into the freelance workforce to get small jobs done quickly and without having to hire a person on their pay-roll. Also, the vibrant startup scene has opened up a lot of opportunities for freelancers. Start-ups are always on the lookout for people to do small jobs for them. The reason these startups prefer outsourcing the job is that they usually function on shoe-string budgets. There are many sites where you can look for freelance jobs, Elance being the most popular of the lot. Here, we take a look at some of the alternatives to Elance you can look at. 


Freelancer also has a Freemarket place where you can sell stuff from codes to designs

Freelancer also has a Freemarket place where you can sell stuff from codes to designs

Freelancer.com is one of the largest sites for freelancers and has its presence in over two hundred countries and regions; it also has regional freelancer sites in various countries. It covers wide areas like coding, software, mobile computing, writing, content development, design, animation, VFX, data entry, engineering, sales, marketing, accounting, HR, translations and many others. You can sign-up using Facebook or create a new id. You can browse through the projects and bid for the ones that you are interested in. Apart from this, there are also competitions that you can participate in and earn prize money. While registering on the site is free, when you receive and accept an offer, you will be charged a nominal fee that is set at Rs. 250 or 10 percent, whichever is greater for free and basic members. However, with free membership there is a cap on number of projects you can bid for, as well as the size of portfolio. You also do not get additional benefits like reward points, project bookmarks, notifications of new postings etc. The site also has a feature called Freemarket where you can sell stuff, right from code to templates to graphics to SEO materials. 


It's a site for students looking for freelance opportunities

It's a site for students looking for freelance opportunities

If you are a student and looking to earn some money, then one such website that focusses on students and brings you such freelance jobs is StalkNinja. Set up by IIT Madras alumni, it’s a perfect portal for IT students, as its focus is only on IT-related skillset. The portal follows some strict rules and access to the work is restricted. Even the projects uploaded are reviewed to ensure that they are from trusted sources, while the students have to pass a Ninja Challenge to be able to compete for the projects. To ensure the completion of the projects, the startups are currently being charged a premium over and above the project money. While the service is currently free for students, in future, they wish to start a subscription plan for startups. You can make anything from Rs 1000 to Rs 10,000 plus depending upon the complexity of the project. For instance, some of the projects floated on the site include bug fixing, clearing junk files from web server, PHP developer, web developer etc.            


It has a feature called ‘Hourlies’ that allows people to sell their skills by the hour

It has a feature called ‘Hourlies’ that allows people to sell their skills by the hour

Launched in 2008, UK based site PeoplePerHour is a purpose-driven platform that functions on a simple premise – businesses can post their requirement and on the other hand, a person can sell his skills. It has a feature called ‘Hourlies’ that allows people to sell their skills by the hour. It basically means that you can post a skill, say how much time you can deliver it in and based on that decide the rate. As a user posting his skill, you even have the option to upload images, videos etc. if you think that will help you attract clients. Along with the skill posted, you need to give the exact description of what the client should expect and also what you will require to get started in case the service is bought. The services posted on the site range from SEO services to increase the likes on your Facebook, writing professional review of a product, editing document, creating logo, retouching photos, itinerary for a destination, caricatures, flash banners, creating animations etc. What’s crucial here is the amount of time required to deliver the products. Once you create a profile, all your postings will be displayed and you will also get to see the level and ratings, which will help attract more clients. On the other hand, you can also browse the jobs posted according to the categories listed on the site and apply for the same. The job posting will state the requirement, the amount that will be paid and how quickly they want it done. 


3Desk encourages in person freelance opportunities

3Desk encourages in-person freelance opportunities

This site is different from others in the sense that it provides you a listing of freelance jobs available in your locality, as it encourages freelancers to work in person. You can sign-up on the site using your LinkedIn profile, as it will save you from the trouble of creating your profile. Once your profile is up on the site, you will be suggested jobs based on your skillsets. You can then apply for the one that suits you and you can contact the employer directly to negotiate the rate and terms of employment. Also, unlike other sites, it does not have membership plans and will charge you 5 percent flat on the rate that you have quoted to the employer. So when quoting a rate to the employer, it’s better to keep this in mind. The employer will also be charged the same amount. The site has only recently expanded operations internationally, so at the moment, there are very few freelance jobs listed for India.     


At Guru.com you will even find freelance photography opportunities

At Guru.com, you will even find freelance photography opportunities

Another site for freelancers is Guru. It provides freelance projects in the areas of e-commerce, website development, programming, writing, translation, editing, graphic designing, illustrators, sales, telemarketing, CAD, interior designing, fashion designing, consulting, legal, accounting and even photography. After creating your profile, you can start bidding for the projects by sending proposals. Depending on your skillset, the site will forward you projects and if they interest you, then you can bid for them by  sending a proposal. The proposal is basically something that will tell the employer what you will do, how much time you will take to complete the project and also how much you will charge. For better prospects, you also need to mention your expertise with regard to the project as well as your implementation plan. Every proposal is equivalent to one bid and with free membership, you can have 10 bids, which means that you can bid for 10 projects in a month. You also have the option to send a premium proposal, which will utilise six bids, if it’s a project that you know you have the skills for and are keen to do. A premium proposal will be highlighted and will remain on top of other bids that an employer may receive. For every project that you earn, Guru.com will deduct a nominal fee from the payment made by the client. Depending on your performance, i.e. projects earned, delivered, repeat business, etc., the site will rate you. These ratings will help you get more freelance projects.

Do you have any other freelance site that you would recommend? Do let us know.

Cover Image: Getty Images

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