Journalism Advice

12 Awesome Websites to Kick Your Freelancing Into High Gear

From finding gigs to getting paid, here are the sites you need

When you’re freelancing, a lot goes into finding freelance gigs, managing projects, invoicing clients and showcasing your future-gig-landing work samples. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites that can help—like the ones below.

So check ’em out, bookmark your favorites and take advantage of these awesome services that’ll make your freelancing life a little easier, and hopefully more lucrative.

Getting Paid

When it comes to billing the client, you want your invoices to be easy to understand, simple to track and—most important—effortless for the client. Here are a few options that offer all of that.

1. Harvest

Harvest is a time tracking and invoicing site that makes it super easy to create and send bills to clients. One great feature: You can integrate PayPal right into your invoice, so—if your clients are comfortable using PayPal—they can submit payments directly into your account.

2. Due

While Due also offers great invoicing capabilities, where it truly excels is in its digital wallet and e-payment options—including credit card payments. So if you’re looking for an easy way to manage payments, this might be the invoicing service for you.

3. Invoicera

Similar to the other invoice sites, Invoicera helps you track time and invoice clients, among other features. And if you have clients who are perpetually late on payments, you’ll love Invoicera’s late-fee feature which you can enable to help keep the cash rolling in, and on time.

Managing the Project

One thing you lose when you go freelance is that project manager to keep you on track with your deadlines, milestones and client meetings. To help, here are a couple websites that work as a quasi-project manager.

4. Trello

From a distance, it make look like a game of solitaire, but Trello is really a project management site that uses cards and lists to make it easy to visualize projects, ideas and due dates. And if you’re working on a team, you can invite others to collaborate on your Trello boards.

5. Solo

Along with invoicing and other payment capabilities, Solo offers users the ability to manage and analyze workloads. Another neat features are its client and prospect management tools, which allow you to keep tabs on who you’re working with, and where you might be able to gain more business down the road.

6. Asana

While Asana is designed more for team collaboration, it still works great as a project management tool for the solo entrepreneur. With features like tasks, projects and messaging, Asana is a great way to stay on top of your work while collaborating with other freelancers.

Showcasing Your Work

In order to gain trust and snag more clients, you’ll need a portfolio to show off your work. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to site design and hosting, but some are more user-friendly than others. Here are a few of our simple-to-use favorites.

7. Squarespace

Website builder Squarespace makes it easy to build a site that looks professionally designed. Each site is based off a Squarespace template and—good news—they have an entire section of portfolio templates. While most of the design work is already done for you, you can also go in and tweak design elements to match your tastes.  

8. Wix

Wix is a user-friendly website builder based on the idea of drag and drop templates. Features include slideshows, Instagram-like image filters and a function that makes it easier for your audience to share your content across several social platforms.

9. WordPress

A staple in the industry, WordPress is a great alternative for anybody looking to get a little more hands-on with their website building. You can find portfolio themes for WordPress on its site—it currently has about 30 options—and at places like Theme Forest.

Finding the Gig

Some freelancers say you need to spend 75 percent of your time looking for gigs, and 25 percent actually doing the work. That’s where freelance sites come in.

With the ability to showcase your work, testimonials from past clients and ratings, these sites help good freelancers—like you—build on the momentum of previous work to keep the gigs rolling in. Here are a few great options.

10. Contently

Founded on the idea of telling great stories, Contently is a software company that provides organizations with quality content.

If you have some solid writing samples, all you have to do is create a portfolio on Contently and you’ll be paired with suitable projects, when Contently finds a good match.  

11. UpWork

On UpWork, you can set up a client-facing portfolio, take tests to prove your skill levels, bid on writing projects and get paid. One of the best parts of UpWork is the rating system: Do enough awesome work, and new clients will see your stellar reviews. Keep at it long enough and you could earn the highly coveted “Top Rated” status.

12. Freelance Marketplace

Mediabistro’s Freelance Marketplace is where media pros go to find talent. Here you can create a portfolio, display your background and professional strengths and update as you go. Unlike other sites, where the gigs can span industries, the Freelance Marketplace has a strong focus in media, which can be great for those looking to find work within the biz.

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