Small Business & Startups

Where Do Online Freelancers Come From?

Freelancing is a tempting route if you want more control over your career path, but just where will your competition come from? Freelance exchange site recently signed up its 3 millionth user, and provided Lifehacker with some interesting statistics to mark the occasion.

Picture by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

When ranking the site by users overall, the top five participating countries aren’t entirely surprising:

India: 26%
United States: 15%
Pakistan: 5%
United Kingdom: 4%
Philippines: 4%

However, there are somewhat different top five lists when it comes to employers versus employees. Here’s the employer rankings:

United States
United Kingdom

And here’s the employee list:

United States

As an Australian freelancer, that’s mixed news: there are clearly people hiring from across the globe, but Australia’s dominance as a hirer doesn’t seem immediately matched with a similar number of local employees. More simply, it looks like lower-cost South-East Asian providers appeal more to local businesses.

Whether you can make a living this way might depend on the skills you offer. These are the busiest categories on the site, which is a two-edged sword: there’s plenty of demand, but competition will be tight:

Website Design
Graphic Design
Data Entry
Internet Marketing

Any move into freelancing requires careful consideration, but it can be a good way to earn extra money or kick-start a career.

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