I recently posted a series of articles about various traffic methods. Some of these methods, like media buying, contextual advertising, and behavioural advertising, required banners ads, and a lot of people have asked me about where they should go to get affordable and professional banner ads. I likewise wrote a post about the importance of content on your site, and though syndicating context is a great way to keep your website current, having some original material is always ideal. This has also led to me getting a lot of questions about where people can go for original content if they don’t have confidence in their writing abilities. The good news is that there is an entire industry dedicated to solving this problem. Brokers put businesses and websites in contact with freelance writers and graphic designers, and even programmer, and the two parties can make arrangements to exchange cash for services. It can be hard to weed out the good brokers from the bad ones, so I’ve decided to put together a list of some of the best freelance websites on the internet.
Freelancer is going to be at the top of most lists, and it is at the top of mine. If you are a business looking to get work done, whether it is programming, writing, or graphic design, Freelancer is a great way to get good, affordable work done in a timely fashion. When getting banner, you can even get different graphic designers to submit work, and you can then choose which you think is best. If you aren’t happy with the work, you don’t pay. When you do pay, they accept every kind of payment method that you can imagine. Their fees are relatively low: $3 or 3% of the cost of the project (whichever is greater), and they split the cost of their service up between the business and the freelance worker, though their fees for the freelance worker can be as much as other sites that only charge the workers, so some take issue with the fact that they double dip. If you are a new business, you might want to hire the new freelance workers as they are often equally qualified and work for less, but once you get a freelancer whose work you trust, you will find you don’t mind paying a little extra for work you know is good. Freelance workers and businesses also rank each other, so be sure to treat the freelancers you work with well so that other workers are willing to work with you, and keep an eye on the rankings of the freelance workers you hire.
2: UPWORK (FORMERLY ODESK AND ELANCE)
Elance and oDesk were two of the most popular freelance websites and have recently merged, rebranding themselves as UpWork. They offer rankings of both businesses and freelance workers, so if you are looking for quality work, you can always check out the freelance workers feedback. UpWork also has tests that their freelance workers can take to demonstrate their qualifications. Though they don’t have as many freelance workers as Freelancer, they still have over 8 million, compared to Freelancers 10 million. The rates for services don’t differ much from Freelancer, and as for money transfers, their payment methods are all pretty much the same. If you are picking between the two services, it is more about which site is more navigable for you. The one advantage that UpWork has for businesses, is that they deduct service fees exclusively from the freelance worker. If you pay $10, the freelancer gets $9 and the company UpWorks takes $1. No service fee is charged to the business as a result.
Guru works in much the same way as the other sites, but they have limited services and far fewer freelance workers. Unlike the other sites, they don’t offer hourly rates. They also don’t offer phone support, nor do they offer time trackers. It likewise doesn’t have any testing services, so the only way to evaluate the workers is through buyer ratings and past experience. A lot of freelance workers who use the site have had complaints, and so move to other services, but those who are on the site are often as qualified as those found on Freelander and UpWork. Some prefer Guru because, according to Andy Singleton from assembla, they have a high percentage of US-based workers, but some businesses prefer sites with international workers because their rates are often lower. The site does offer all the most common payment methods, and functions in much the same way as the others. Still, the general consensus is that the setup is inferior to UpWork and FreeLancer.
If you are a business looking to get work done, these sites can be very helpful. If you are freelance worker, the sites may not offer you as positive an experience. Your first payment is held for three weeks with some of the sites, and all payments after that are held for two weeks (or a month if you should choose) and require a minimum amount of money to transfer the funds to you, at least for most sites. This allows the sites to hold your money and make interested during the waiting period. If you are new and have only picked up one job, you might not see that money until three weeks after you gotten enough jobs to be owed the minimum transfer requirement. The sites usually take the fee from the freelance worker, and if the client isn’t happy with the work, they can refuse to pay. Also, if they aren’t planning on being long term customers, they might take your work and opt not to pay you. At that point there is little recourse. The broker will ban them from their service, but it won’t mean anything to them if they weren’t planning on using the service again. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. If you are a business, be sure to treat the freelancers fairly. If you do, they will do good work for you. If you don’t, it will be hard to develop a productive working relationship.