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The Best Freelancing Sites of 2016

The Best Freelancing Sites of 2016

Freelancing has never been easier. This is fantastic news for creative folks that are looking to either supplement their income or branch off on their own. Now an Internet connection and creative skills can secure you work from anywhere.

But where does one start? There are so many different sites out there that offer creative freelancers the chance of acquiring money for their services. Some sites seem too good to be true while it’s easy to see that others are actually trying to get money out of the freelancer.

Some sites reach out to multiple creative areas and others offer services that are specific to one craft like article writing and logo design.

Either way, a great Internet connection and creative drive will make it possible to work from anywhere.

Opportunities for Creative Freelancers

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Bunny Inc.

Bunny Inc. is working to build the “one-stop shop for professional services that can be delivered online.” What is interesting about Bunny Inc. is that they don’t let just anyone work as a freelancer for their multiple services. The application process is intense, and only the best of the best are able to make it as one of their creative freelancers. Another stark difference between Bunny Inc. and a lot of other sites is that they use artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms to connect clients with the right workers for the job.

While there are only four categories at the moment – voice over work, writing services, dubbing, logo design – freelancers in these fields can rejoice because they can actually set their own rates. Another great feature of the Bunny Inc. brand is that they work with a human-powered quality assurance team that make sure all submitted projects meet their high standards. If the project passes their quality control, the freelancer gets paid no matter what – even if the deliverable is ultimately rejected by the client. When it comes to outsourcing creative projects, Bunny Inc. is a great option for freelancers.

Upwork

Formerly known as oDesk, Upwork is an international platform that connects freelancers and businesses. The billion dollar corporation boasts more than 10 million freelancers and receives about 5 million job postings on a yearly basis. Upwork has freelancers across a wide-variety of areas. Some of these areas include, but are not limited to, writers, designers, web developers, mobile developers, sales and marketing experts, consultants, and more.

The competition is stiff, with freelancers from around the world competing for jobs. Because of this, those with a lot of experience freelancing might get priced out by newcomers that charge little in an effort to lock down work and expand their portfolio.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a global marketplace for micro-gigs and small tasks. While popular among businesses looking to save a few bucks (or many bucks if you think about it), Fiverr is quite controversial in the freelance community.

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They have been accused many times by countless freelancers of taking advantage of creative folks by only promoting $5 gigs. Sure, the freelancer can charge more for rush jobs, bulk jobs, and anything that goes beyond the basic $5 job. But they have become known as the place to go to get the cheapest projects completed. Fiverr is a great place to build a portfolio by completing many projects. And considering Fiverr is enormously popular and receives huge amounts of projects each day, freelancers working with Fiverr will get all of the experience necessary to make sure their portfolios are strong.

Guru

Guru is a site that connects freelancers to creative projects and has been in the game since the 90s! That is an incredible feat in the online world, but they are still going very strong. Guru offers over 3 million different services that are separated by categories on their site.

They cover a wide range of different services that include web design, software, IT, design, writing, sales, marketing, legal, engineering, architecture, translation and much, much more. While there are loads of jobs posted every single day to Guru, the competition is very intense. There can be dozens of people out to get the same job. Make sure you are quick with your edits when applying for a gig. Otherwise, it might get snatched up before you can even reach out to the client.

Freelancer

Freelancer.com works with millions of small businesses from around the world. With over 8 million jobs posted on the site and close to 20 million registered users, Freelancer is one of the biggest players on the planet. Their site is very easy to navigate – for both freelancers and clients – making the experience a pleasant one for users.

Freelancer has a wide range of different membership plans for their freelancers. There is the Free, Intro, Basic, Plus, Standard, and Premium. The lower your membership, the higher the project and hourly fees you will pay to Freelancer. Also, the lower your membership, the fewer bids you will be able to use per month. For example, the Free membership will only allow you eight bids per month and charge a 10% fixed and hourly fee. The Premium membership – which will cost you a whopping $199.95 per month – will give you 1,500 bids and still charge you a fee, this time only 3%. You have to decide how much you want to put into your freelance experience. If you plan on really hustling and doing this full-time, the Premium membership might be a good road for you. If you plan to moonlight as a logo designer or article writer, it might make more sense to go with the Free or Intro membership (at least to start).

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iFreelance

iFreelance’s membership rates are inexpensive, and they don’t take a commission from your earnings. This is a good sign for creative folks looking to get into the world of freelancing. Their website is a bit of an information overload and could definitely benefit from a makeover. The project page leaves quite a bit to the imagination as well, with very few projects posted across a couple of dozen categories. If you are going to use iFreelance, definitely do so alongside some other platforms if you are serious about landing some gigs and making some cash.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Contently

Contently is a powerhouse in the world of content creation. They only work with top-notch writers to accomplish their mission of creating and content marketing solutions for their large portfolio of international enterprises. Writers working with Contently feel productive and accomplished though many feel disposable because of the long line of writers waiting in line to join the team. The Contently platform is well-designed and easy to use, making the entire process a breeze for all parties involved. The pay is very competitive, leaving writers happy. Contently is growing fast, which means changes happen quickly. For those who aren’t quick to adapt, this can mean problems or confusion. But for writers looking to shine on an accomplished platform with room for growth, Contently is a great option.

Scripted

Scripted works with thousand of professional writers and offer its clients projects ranging from blog posts and website content to white papers, social posts, and travel guides. Not just anyone can get work with Scripted, and the application process is quite selective. Many of the Scripted writers are happy with their experience. The rates are higher than some of Scripted’s competition, and work is steady for the writers with great reviews and proven track records. Scripted is a great option for writers with a passion for the written word and a desire to grow their portfolios.

ArticleBunny

ArticleBunny offers writers the chance to set their own rates and work on projects ranging from blog posts, listicles, academic papers, marketing content, product descriptions, SEO content and more. Unlike most other sites designed for freelance writers, ArticleBunny is very strict about who writes for them. The application process involves first taking an English proficiency exam. If you pass, you will be asked to produce an article that is presented to you the same way ArticleBunny writers receive projects from clients. ArticleBunny’s quality control team will then evaluate your article to make sure you have what it takes to join their team of writers. This makes sure that only high-quality written content is being sent to clients. Another great feature of ArticleBunny that leaves their freelance writers smiling is that revisions are paid. ArticleBunny is still very new compared to their competition, so the number of available projects isn’t as high as other places but growing at a very steady rate. This is a great site to get in early and make a name for yourself.

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Opportunities for Freelance Voice Over Actors

Voice123

Voice123 is a marketplace where clients post jobs and voice over artists audition for roles. The client then chooses the perfect voice and can communicate directly with the artist to perfect the project. Voice123 revolutionized the way the voice over industry works back when it started back in 2003. Since then, many sites have tried imitating the way it works but have had trouble gaining traction. There are two types of memberships. First, there is the free membership for voice actors. Second, the premium membership, which costs $395/year. You can visit the Voice123 website to see the advantages of joining as a premium voice actor.

VoiceBunny

VoiceBunny is a production house that uses sophisticated algorithms to connect clients to the best professional voice over artists to their project. Voice actors looking to use VoiceBunny don’t have to pay anything to join; they just have to pass the test and be accepted as a worthy voice artist. The algorithm will connect voice over artists to the right projects the moment they are posted. The description created by the client will be reviewed instantly by the algorithm and sent immediately to the voice actors that fit the bill. The entire process with VoiceBunny is streamlined. This makes life easier for the freelance voice actor because they don’t have to worry about billing or auditioning for roles. To find out more about how to apply for a position as a professional voice actor, visit VoiceBunny today.

Opportunities for Freelance Logo Designers

Logoworks

Logoworks is an online graphic design agency that works with logo designers from all over the world. By using intelligent technology and great designers, they are able to produce high-quality logos while meeting deadlines.

LogoBunny

LogoBunny is a great place for designers to get work creating logos for clients around the world. As with the other Bunny Inc. services, the requirements for becoming a logo designer are stringent, and designers should be prepared to wow the team behind LogoBunny to be accepted as one of their designers. Many more applicants are rejected than hired, keeping true with the Bunny brand reputation of only working with very qualified freelancers. LogoBunny is a new service that has already established itself as a service that delivers high-quality logos in a timely fashion.

The trend of outsourcing creative content is growing at a rapid rate. Also, the idea of the remote workplace is becoming more acceptable, even for large corporations. These realities are making it possible for creative freelancers to have the ability to take control of their lives and follow their passions. Sites like the ones listed above help companies looking to save money by outsourcing projects while offering creative freelancers the ability to find work and sustain themselves doing what they love.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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