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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 January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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