By Ralph Francois on January 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Whether you’re looking for another way to pay the bills, seeking more professional development opportunities or just love the freedom that freelancing offers, there’s no question that millions of people have discovered the benefits of professional freelancing. As trends like the digital nomad lifestyle grow in popularity, the number of freelance resources out there has increased as well.

There are plenty of guides for striking out on your own, but as a freelancer, getting higher-paying gigs isn’t just a matter of signing up on popular platforms. You’ll have to branch out, establish a great portfolio of past work and maybe even prove yourself through tests that showcase your skills. Here’s a list of the 15 best sites to find work as a freelancer.

1. Upwork

With over 1.5 million clients, Upwork (previously oDesk) offers something for every type of freelancer. It accommodates both short- and long-term projects, hourly or per-project work and expert-level and entry-level engagements. Regardless of where you are in your career, Upwork is likely to have something for you.

2. Toptal

With a distinctly different approach than the other services on this list, Toptal is for seasoned, talented freelancers. Passing Toptal's screening process gives you unparalleled access to meaningful projects with great clients (JPMorgan, Zendesk, Airbnb, etc.) and fair compensation (no low-bid contests). You’ll also be able to join the Toptal community for frequent meetups and tech events.

3. Elance

Elance removes a lot of the hassle that comes with freelancing. You’ll be able to make a profile right away without jumping through any hoops, enjoy payment protection to ensure you’re always paid for the hours you work and more.

Editor's note: Elance has joined Upwork since the publish date of this article.

4. Freelancer

Unlike most other platforms, in addition to offering millions of projects, Freelancer allows you to compete with other freelancers in contests to prove your skills. If you’re competitive and confident in your expertise, it’s a great way to showcase your abilities and attract more clients.

5. Craigslist

Although most people see Craigslist as just a platform for buying and selling miscellaneous things, it’s actually a great source of freelance jobs. You can easily browse for local offerings if you prefer something in-office, or you can search by major cities if you prefer working remotely.

6. Guru

This site lets you easily showcase your past work experience and offers a daily job-matching feature to make sure you don’t miss out on any good opportunities. The Guru Work Room lets you easily manage all your work.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245953

Ralph Francois

Blog Author

Ralph Francois

Ralph Francois is the founder and CEO of Studgate Inc, the web developing company based in Boston but reaching clients as far as Hong Kong. Ralph is passionate about developing websites and transforming ideas into web applications that our clients ca... Read more