Looking for alternatives to Upwork?
If you're a freelancer, perhaps you've been one of the lucky ones who always has a steady stream of referrals, but it never hurts to have a backup plan, right? There are plenty of high-quality contract or remote job board sites to find the perfect opportunity, whether you're looking for full-time or part-time positions or your next client.
If you're not looking for a permanent position, keep in mind that remote companies are typically much more flexible, so even if you're not looking for a full-time gig, you could see if they're open to part-time or contract work. It doesn't hurt to pitch them and see!
Whatever your work preference, both freelancers, employees and businesses will benefit from this list of freelance and remote job sites for marketers:
The Muse - Aside from providing kick-ass career advice in general, The Muse has a board dedicated to high-quality remote and work-from-home jobs.
LinkedIn ProFinder - This is for local contract and freelance opportunities. You get 10 free proposals before having to pay a monthly fee. I have been signed up for ProFinder for about 6 months, and 10 opportunities have come through. I have applied for two. Warning: Pro Finder is annoying to set up. Be sure your LinkedIn is top notch with a professional bio and several recommendations. But I did get a client through here, so hopefully you do, too.
CloudPeeps - It's a little competitive depending on your specialty, but the quality is great here. However, you can't submit free proposals anymore. But from what I can tell from before it was paid only, the opportunities are good and budgets are on the higher side.
And Co. - This site offers time tracking, invoicing, proposal templates and more. Basically every freelancer's dream come true. Be sure you sign up for the e-newsletter to get the Gig List. (And if you don't feel like signing up for their newsletter, you can view their list of remote work companies.)
Betalist - This site for startup jobs offers both remote and on-site positions, and it has many industries. There are more on-site positions than remote, but most of the companies are startups or tech companies that may be flexible on this depending on your location and skillset.
Workhoppers - Lots of remote positions!
Remote - You can set up a profile, but you can't submit bids unless you pay ($19 for 10 bids) or if you're invited to a job. Invitations are key here, though. If you set up your profile with your skills and expertise, you'll get tailored invitations frequently. That way, you can apply without paying. Since you have to pay to submit jobs, the competition is typically a little lower than other sites.
We Work Remotely - Jobs are separated by category, featuring customer support, programming, design, marketing jobs and more.
Werk - Curated remote-only positions. Some full-time, part-time.
Skip the Drive - As the name suggests, this job board mostly focuses on full-time remote positions.
Moonlighting - This job is a site similar to Task Rabbit and similar project-oriented sites, but after creating a "service" I got a request for a proposal. However, not very much competition.
LocalSolo - Free to join and use with zero commissions. This one offers freelance onsite and offsite as well as full-time positions. There are less opportunities, but still worth setting up a profile on.
Zoe Pepper - When the site tagline is "The very best freelancers in advertising", you know you're in good hands. Beware: this site has a very thorough application process that took me about 25 minutes and caused some serious impostor-syndrome. I actually don't think I got accepted.
Working Not Working - Highly curated network of creative freelancers, and it's free. Make sure your portfolio is top notch before applying, because only 10% of applications are accepted.
MediaBistro - A healthy list of opportunities here, both remote and on-site. Free to browse and apply.
Digital Freelancer - Lots of remote copywriting and design jobs.
Jobspresso - There aren't a TON of marketing jobs here. Seems more like for programming and the like. This is another site where freelance jobs are curated/posted, not for bids.
Angel.Co - A startup site. If you want to be a part of new tech or a new industry, definitely browse the jobs here. Some startups may only pay in shares/equity at first, although those opportunities are usually part-time. But if something excites you and you think it may take off, obviously the rewards for being a part of that will be amazing. Also, a lot of startups don't have offices, so you'd likely be working remotely 99% of the time.
TaskRabbit - I have a love/hate relationship with this site. On one hand, there are a LOT of opportunities, and while there may be a healthy amount of competition, time is of the essence and each RFP can only have 5 proposals max, and you need to submit within 48 hours. But the great part is that businesses are required to put their budgets up front so you can decide whether or not you want to submit a proposal for that particular project.
It's now free to submit proposals on TaskRabbit, but you have to pay if the person responds to your proposal. But if you submit proposals for higher-paying jobs (think $5k-$10k retainers), it's worth it.
Power To Fly - This site is essentially a virtual recruiting firm that aims to increase diversity in tech. Mix of on-site and remote jobs available.
Others to Consider
Honeybook - Originally started as a community for wedding professionals, there's an over-saturation of photographers and event planners here. But, there's definitely a shortage of marketing professionals and designers, so browse discussion topics, and connect with local creatives and solopreneurs.
Tispr - A site similar to TaskRabbit where you can offer services locally or remotely. Prices can be fixed or open to negotiation. There are no fees for posting or getting hired through this site.
Guru - This is a "bidding" site that's on par with Upwork. A LOT of competition here - mostly from India - and many budgets are on the smaller side. You get 10 bids for free and then you're required to pay if you want to send more. Quality will prevail here, so if your hourly rate is higher than others, people will notice. It may be worth building up your profile a bit here to stand out from the competition. You can also creep on everyone who has submitted a proposal for that job. If the client wants someone in the U.S. to work on their project, you'll have a big advantage here.
Upwork - Upwork has a terrible reputation of being inundated with low-wage labor that works with low budgets (think $4 an hour), but they recently released a feature for U.S. based freelancers that cuts the competition substantially and increases average budget sizes. Now, when companies post an opportunity, they can select "U.S. based freelancers only", meaning you'll no longer have to worry about competing with crazy low rates.
Psst. This list is constantly being updated, so bookmark it and check back for new ones. Just be sure to avoid People Per Hour, Fiverr and Upwork, unless absolutely necessary.