Income from freelancing

Yesterday, in writing about multiple sources of income, I mentioned freelance work as one of the options for secondary income. (Yes, it’s also good as a primary income source.) As a follow-up, I wanted to post some resources for snagging some of those gigs.

If you want to freelance, the easiest way to get started is through freelance job boards. There are general boards and more specialized boards. I’m just mentioning the general ones. There are plenty of lists on line that cover freelance and contract work for techs. I wanted to limit my suggestions to the more established boards that provided jobs in a wide variety of categories. So the jobs on the following boards run the gamut. You can be a graphic designer, a website creator, a writer or an administrator. And more.

I also wanted to focus on freelance, rather than simple independent contracting. You might run across contract gigs on these sites — some that require you to go to the employer’s site. But very few. Primarily the jobs offer the freedom to work wherever you are and at the times you wish, as long as you get the job done according to specs. That’s why I eliminated a number of sites that are highly recommend elsewhere, but offer a lot of jobs that are really independent contract work.

The boards make their money by charging freelancers for membership and/or charging a service fee (commission) for making the match between the employer and freelancer. One simply takes a 10% commission off the top and charges nothing else, whether to freelancer or employer. If not the oldest of the current freelance boards, is one of the oldest, largest, and best respected. It offers a free plan and paid plan. So you can get started without any cost. ELance is also one of the older sites, with extensive opportunities and a lot of happy users. It has a free plan and paid plan.

oDesk. oDesk works a little differently than other freelance job boards. You get paid by the hour through a log-in-to-work program that records your efforts. I’ve given you the faq’s page to look into it further. They pay you 90% of the quoted pay for the job. There’s no membership fee or other service fees. They just take their 10% off the top and pay you the rest.

FlexJobs. FlexJobs is also different from the freelance boards in that it covers not merely freelance jobs per se, but other telecommuting jobs, part-time jobs and flex-time jobs. I’ve given you the link to its “About” page to let you explore further. You can try them out for a one-month fee ($14.95) or an annual fee ($49.95). They also give you a guarantee that you’ll get value for your money in that they will refund the unused portion of your annual fee anytime you want to cancel.