Editor @Hackernoon by day, VR Gamer and Anime Binger by night.
This article introduces 5 Upwork alternative websites for freelancers looking for work in niche fields or people looking for entry-level micro work. With struggling economies in many countries, more and more people are turning to online freelancing as an additional source of income. Upwork is one of the most popular websites for freelancers. However, if you aren’t really getting many leads from that site, there are tons of upwork alternative sites you can try.
Online or remote jobs often require experience in a specialized field, such as software testing, graphic design, blog writing, and so on. However, there are also micro jobs which often don’t require any experience at all, due to their simple tasks.
For those just starting out, the online job market can be difficult and you should tread carefully. It’s important to do your research on every company you are considering, and to be wary of online scams. Below are 5 trusted and verified Upwork alternative websites that offer freelance work in niche fields or micro tasks that almost anyone can do.
1. Lionbridge AI - Upwork Alternative for Data Entry Jobs, Data Annotation Jobs, and Translation
For those looking for micro work websites for freelancers, joining the Lionbridge SmartCrowd is a great option. Lionbridge is a large crowdsourcing company that operates in various countries throughout the world. They are a global leader in translation, localization, data collection, data annotation, and more. Just like with Gengo, the more languages you speak, the more jobs you can qualify for.
While there are freelance positions at Lionbridge that pay you per task, there are also part-time positions you can apply for within the company that offer steady streams of work each week.
What’s the work like?
In the AI industry, data collection and data annotation are important tasks. To build and train accurate AI models, developers require large amounts of data in the form of audio, images, video, and text. To supply this data, Lionbridge leverages their large community to complete micro tasks. These tasks can be as simple as drawing boxes around objects in images, recording yourself reading text aloud, or identifying and highlighting certain words in a body of text.
Alternatively, there are also more complex jobs like ad evaluation that require more time and thought. Ad reviewers or ad evaluators are given online advertisements to rate in terms of relevancy and impact. See the full list of current Lionbridge jobs.
2. Gengo - Translation and Localization Website for Freelancers
Do you speak, read, and write in two or more languages with native-level fluency? If so, online freelance translation can be a very lucrative prospect for you. Gengo is a Tokyo-based translation company that is trusted by some of the world’s largest brands. Now partnered with Lionbridge, their online community is now 1 million strong and counting.
Supporting over 300 languages, there is translation work to be found at Gengo across various language pairs.
What’s the work like?
At Gengo, customers can order translations online for virtually any use case. Some jobs can be as short as a couple sentences. Other projects can span thousands of web pages or product descriptions.
There are also opportunities for specialized translation work such as medical documents, patents, legal documents, and other sensitive material which offer higher pay rates. Sign up to become a Gengo translator.
3. uTest - Upwork Alternative Website for Freelance Software Testing
Also known as Applause, uTest is a global software testing company that employs crowdsourcing in its infrastructure. While they primarily test software, they do a variety of projects including video game localization, sales & customer service evaluation, secret shopper tasks, and more.
Anyone canapply to be a uTest crowdtester. Once accepted, you will gain access to test cycles based on your location, languages, and devices (computers/laptops, mobile phones, tablets, game consoles, smart TVs). You never know what projects will popup, so be sure to list every device you have.
What’s the work like?
The work varies a lot. However, the bulk of uTest projects consist of website, mobile game, and mobile app testing. You are paid based on bugs that you report and actions you verify. For example, a common task would be opening an app, verifying that certain pages load correctly, and creating a report with videos and screenshots showing that the software is working as designed.
4. Amazon Mechanical Turk - Micro Work Websites for Freelancers
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a platform where employers can post micro tasks. Workers accepted into the Amazon Mechanical Turk worker pool will then have access to those jobs and can begin working almost immediately.
While it is quite easy to register and access the job platform, many bloggers have reported low pay rates for the majority of the projects. Some tasks even pay just 1 cent for completion. However, in countries where $6 USD/hour is considered a decent wage, Amazon Mechanical Turk can be a good upwork alternative website for freelance micro work.
What’s the work like?
Like Lionbridge AI, there are a multitude of data annotation projects available on Mechanical Turk(MTurk). The platform has a wide array of other projects available based on your location, demographic, and languages. Some tasks include survey completion, image classification, transcription, and content reviews.
5. Online Publications - Upwork Alternatives for Freelance Writers
For freelance writers, the options are virtually endless. Of course, you should choose publications based on your interest and niche you want to write in. In this section, I will briefly highlight a couple publications that accept beginners or writers who are looking to build up their portfolio.
Owned by Valnet, TheRichest is a site that primarily publishes listicles and clickbait articles, and it was the first publication I ever wrote for. This company accepted me while I was a university student with no portfolio to speak of. However, they are a professional company who will teach you how to work with editors.
They are strict, but their strictness will help you hone your craft and stick to your deadlines. Best of all, they pay. If your article goes viral, they pay very well. Moreover, they publish content in numerous categories, including: news, travel, hobbies, tech, sports, pop culture, and more. Therefore, they cover almost every major niche you could possibly want to write for. Apply to become a freelance contributor.
A company I currently write for on the side, Keengamer is an international video game media publication. The website and team has grown considerably over the years, and now receives hundreds of thousands of visitors a month with no signs of slowing down. The site currently accepts writer applications all year round.
Perhaps the best thing about Keengamer is their royalty payment system. This means that you can make money for your published articles indefinitely, so long as they keep receiving views. You get paid a rate per 1000 views, regardless of whether the article was published today or last year. Albeit a modest income, I’m still receiving payments for articles I wrote in 2018.