Digital Nomad Jobs – Where to find work online?*
Finding (good) freelance digital nomad jobs online is not as straight forward as you may think, whilst there is a massive amount of work available, there are even more freelancers going for the same jobs. Fortunately there are ever-increasing numbers of sites online offering work for freelancers, listed below are several of the biggest, a few of the more obscure and some specialist sites. Why not try setting up a (copy and paste) profile on a few sites and see which is getting you the best results? If you know where to look, hopefully you’ll be able to get decent work and forge a glowing reputation for yourself allowing you to successfully live the digital nomad dream.
Hubstaff Talent – A concern for many digital nomads when signing up with freelance marketplaces and directories are the fees they may face. You could spend your valuable time joining a freelance site, trawling through the listings, applying for a job, interviewing for the job and just before accepting said job you realise that X% of the fee is going to the middleman. That can be a bit of a kick in the pants. Thankfully the team behind Hubstaff Talent felt that pain and wanted to do something about it, so they did and they managed to do it in rather successful way. Hubstaff Talent is unlike many freelance directories in that it is 100% free, free for you and free for the people who hire you. As with other freelance marketplaces you create your profile (free) and then either wait for the jobs to come directly to you (free) or use the fairly new ‘Jobs’ section on the website to search for the perfect job (also free). Unlike some other freelance sites open to you there is no bidding, saving you time, time that can be spent enjoying the finer aspects of being a digital nomad. The website is clean, easy to use and currently there are thousands of clients looking for quality, remote freelancers. Quality like you! For more information on the ins and outs of Hubstaff have a quick read here.
Rent a coder – Replacing ‘get a coder’ on the list is rent a coder. Bet you can’t guess who this site is aimed at? This site specialises in freelance jobs for coders. Registration is free, membership is not.
Speedlancer – Fast freelancers might want to apply for speedlancer. The aim of speedlancer is to have all jobs completed within 4 hours of acceptance unless otherwise stated, that’s a fast turn around and might not suit digital nomads travelling fast and furiously. The website also says ”we only accept the best freelancers and have tough acceptance criteria, so don’t be disappointed if you are not accepted.” Take that on board if you’re not great at dealing with rejection.
Work Market – At Work Market, work finds you. Well it might do, you’ll need to sign up first but if you are a freelancer looking for work in any 1 of the 23 industries listed on Work market, you should definitely have a look. Work Market is free to use as a freelancer but there are non obligatory options to purchase screenings (I have no idea) and insurance.
Coworks – Coworks is used by employers to hire freelancers. Coworks is used by freelancers to attract employers. The two of those go well together. Coworks is free to join and will help you out by sending you handpicked job opportunities and giving you access to many tools you might find useful whilst running your freelance empire. It is a good-looking website that you should really see but note that a fee of 12% will be deducted from the invoice of any job obtained through the site.
Konsus – Konsus wanted to make a freelance site that works for freelancers, they wanted to eliminate endless time searching for jobs, the threat of non or late payment and help ease any other worries you might have. With that in mind the concept is fairly straight forward, once you have completed an initial application process, which only accepts less than 1% of all applicants, you are in their care. You will (hopefully) receive a steady supply of projects that you can accept or decline at will, never have to interview for a job again, it’s a one and done affair at Konsus. Never have to worry about payment, if the client doesn’t pay up, that’s on Konsus. Finally you wont have to deal with the clients, project managers will do that so you can concentrate on the work. That all sounds pretty good but less than 1% is pretty infinitesimal. You’ll have to be amazing at what you do and be happy to work to the rigid price plans already in place. Might make you think that if you’re in the less than 1% you can earn a lot more elsewhere?
CloudPeeps – If you live in one of the supported 25 countries and can stand being forever known as a ‘peep’ you might want to look at CloudPeeps. It’s free to join on the ‘hobby’ plan but it seems to me that to make any big money you’ll need to upgrade to one of the pay monthly plans. Er, I’m not an expert on CloudPeeps and I’m sure they are very good at what they do but there are plenty of free and cheaper options out there for you to try. If you have up to 49$ a month to spare by all means have a look, let me know how it works out and hopefully I can re-write this! You’ll still be a ‘peep’ mind.
Indeed – Looks pretty desolate but is full of jobs all over the world provided you go to the correct domain. To be honest trying to get to the US version of the site from Portugal baffled me until I read the 3 words of Portuguese telling me to click here for indeed.com. I’m not sure you’ll have much luck with remote work as it looks a bit ‘Craigslist’ but if you’re planning an extended stay somewhere it’s worth 10 minutes of your time.
The biggest but not necessarily best
Upwork – oDesk is dead, long live Upwork. Formed out of the merger of oDesk and Elance, Upwork is a huge site dedicated to freelance work. There are roughly 80,000 jobs listed on Upwork at the time of writing this article, which is quite a lot really when you think about it. Of course not all of these 80,000 jobs are going to be worth anyone’s time or effort, you will see a lot of people expecting the equivalent of the complete works of Shakespeare hand-written, in an hour, for $1. Jobs are available in a huge range of professions and include both short and long-term projects, fixed rates and hourly rates and expert and entry-level roles. Hopefully something in that range suits you! Making a profile couldn’t be easier and thanks to Upworks great help centre you can rest assured that you’ll be looked after should any unforeseen problems (bad clients) pop up. Make sure that you fully read all of the conditions on Upwork as they do charge fees for using the service.
Freelancer – Freelancer is very similar in design to Upwork, roughly 8.5 million projects have been launched through freelancer and there is a huge number of positions available at any one time. That there are so many jobs available is a bonus as you will be competing with quite a few of the other 16,700,000 or so other registered users, although that won’t be a problem as I’m sure you’re the best person for the job.
Guru – As above but on a smaller scale. Not all that much to say about Guru if I’m honest. It has a better name than the previous two.
SimplyHired – SimplyHired isn’t strictly a site for a digital nomad, it does offer jobs in the electronic world but also real life interaction jobs outside! As far as I can tell the jobs listed on this site are solely based in the US but if you’re from there and fancy travelling, or are visiting the US on an extended stay it may be worth a few minutes of your time to look.
Smaller scale but not necessarily bad
iFreelance – Don’t be put of by the idiotic lower case i they have put in the name to look edgy, new and cool (I assume). The site iFreelance is a relatively modest site in numbers compared to the big three above but still deserves a look. There is much less competition on this site and it surely has to get bigger numbers of users sooner rather than later.
Project4hire – As with all of the sites listed above project4hire offers a range of jobs in many categories. The interface is easy to navigate and it is really easy to narrow your search down to just the jobs you are interested in. Project4hire requires you to bid on any job you are interested in and then the employer will make their decision. Registration is free for the basic membership or $10/month for the premium deal.
Behance – Mainly aimed at the creative types but also covering a huge range of subjects. Behance is great for designers, photographers, writers etc but also lists jobs for developers and designers.
Specialist sites for the special among you
Peopleperhour – Peopleperhour is a site that offers freelance jobs that are all web project based. If your specialist subject is web design, S.E.O, web development or anything that glues your eyes to screen for up-to 12 hours a day you could do a lot worse than having a look at the site.
Toptal – Toptal aims to hand-pick the top 3% of freelance development, design and financial talent from all around the globe. They insist that this way they can offer only the cream of the crop and hopefully this will be reflected in the fees you receive. If you are a gifted developer, designer or finance person? Financier? Good with money person? Definitely have a look at this one.
Freelance Writing Jobs – If you’re good with a pen and have that creative talent for writing you should certainly look at this site. A useful site offering jobs and advice to boot.
If all else fails
Craigslist/Gumtree or locational equivalent – Although it’s not something most people tend to do, and I can’t stress how careful you have to be whilst doing it, message boards like Craigslist can often contain meaningful job offers. Working from these sites is often unpredictable and unprotected so have a serious think before you decide to take on work without any upfront payment. Personally if I were to use these boards for work I would be looking for actual, physical, analogue work in bars/restaurants etc. Somewhere with a little bit more reliability about them.
Facebook – Sounds daft but if you are travelling the world have a look on the old Facebook for the local areas and see if anyone needs any work doing in the local groups, you might get lucky and wind up working in your dream destination.
Ex-pat forums – As above with Facebook but not on Facebook. Google it instead.
Any of you digital nomads out there know of any other good job sites? Share the wealth and let us know in the comments below.
*This is an updated version of an existing list but I felt that with a few updates and tweaks this one has stood the test of time considerably well.