Best Ways to Find Freelance Programming Jobs

Hello first time visitor!

There are literally thousands of people who look for freelance programming help every day. There are webmasters who start new projects, outsourcing companies who look to reduce their workload, students who need help making their assignments, programmers who can’t handle what is on their hands, small entrepreneurs who want to invest in innovative developments and many more. There is work for everyone – you only need to find it.

At the time I was looking to find freelance programming jobs I was using several very good websites and techniques which keep working today. My advice is not to approach all of them at once. Choose 2-3 and put some effort into winning a project. Work on them, gain some experience and try building good reputation. Maybe you won’t like some freelance website or some message board, but even then the experience will be of use. Don’t try to diversify your time between all of them – this way you won’t have a chance to present yourself good enough in any of the sites.

Freelance websites

These are marketplaces whose purpose is especially to help you find freelance jobs. Here are my top 4 choices:

Scriptlance is one of the best places to start on. There are really over 100 projects posted every day and most of them are freelance programming jobs. The bidding on Scriptlance is public, i.e. your bid will be visible to the others. This makes it excellent for you, because you can learn from others bids. Note that there is a private message board where you can communicate with the client.

The commissions which Scriplance takes are fairly low – only 5% of the project amount (minimum $5). They offer several payment options which makes them appropriate regardless of where you live – Check, Bank wire, Paypal or E-gold. The registration is free and you don’t have to pay anything up-front

GetAFreelancer is another super active freelance site with more than 100 projects posted per day. More than half of them are for programming. On this site you can also see the average bid yet on the page with project listing and the bidding is also public. The commissions they take is higher – 10% of the project amount (with minimum $5). Just like on Scriptlance nothing will have to be paid on the featured projects.

There is an option to be a Gold Member which costs $10 per month and provides you with some benefits, but the basic level is free. GetAFreelancer is a champion in providing methods of payment – they can issue your earnings thru PayPal, E-Gold, Bank Wire, Check, Moneybookers and Western Union.

RentACoder used to be my favorite and I still like it a lot, although their rules for freelancers are a bit too strict. You should definitely deliver the projects on time and communicate with the clients, otherwise you get heavy penalties (bad ratings etc) on your profile which can put the potential new buyers off.

There are a lot of categories, but again finding freelance programming jobs is the easiest among them. Its is also very active – not less than Scriptlance or GetAFreelancer and there are a lot of options to search and filter the bid requests. The bidding on this site is private, i.e. you won’t see other’s bid amounts before the winner is selected.

The registration and using the site is free. The commissions on RentACoder are the highest – 15% of the project amount, but once you sign up in the site you’ll understand what you pay for. A lot of educational articles, professional staff which is always ready to help you and excellent protection from unfair buyers – their escrow system perfectly protects you from not being paid.

RentACoder pays your earnings thru Check, Paypal or Western Union.

Guru is one of the largest freelance websites which includes categories for almost everything that you can think about. When I first visited it I found it a bit strange and really, you’ll need to spend some time reading until you get used to the interface. The site has a an excellent profile/resume builder which allows you really impress the potential buyers of your programming services.

There are free and paid accounts on Guru. As a free member you’ll have to pay 10% commissions and will have limited access to the projects and limited amounts of bids per month. Of course the paid members are not limited in this way and pay only 5% of their earnings. (there are actually 2 types of paid accounts offering different conditions).

The bids on Guru are hidden and you won’t see the other’s offers even after the project is over.

Message Boards

Some freelancers do very well in finding programming jobs thru message boards. I have rare used this method, but have some good impressions from the following boards:

Looking to hire section at Sitepoint.com has 2-3 requests for programming help per day. The competition between the providers is much lower, so your chances to get a job are pretty good.

On Help Wanted in Domain Names Forum you’ll also find 2-3 projects posted every day and in general the buyers are genuine and honest.

Basically the forums can’t be your main source for finding freelance jobs, but they are also a way to start or get additional business.

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