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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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