FreelanceSwitch is an excellent online resource for all kinds of freelancers, with a blog full of articles and advice, a freelancers directory, job board, forum and other resources. The site is very well-designed, so graphic designers shouldn't have a problem spending time on it browsing content and meeting the community.
Freelance Advice in the Blog
The FreelanceSwitch blog is full of advice, mostly focused on the business side of freelancing. Recent topics include word-of-mouth advertising, self-promotion, tips for time wasters and client research. The articles are a good length for online reading (short and to the point), with consistent commenting if you want to get into a discussion on a topic. The archives offer an easy way to browse by date or category, with topics including inspiration, project management, freelancing essentials, making money and interviews. The "Explore" section has some top picks from the editors for a quick glance at some freelancing articles.
The Job Board
Rather than charge for job postings and allow anyone to apply for them, the FreelanceSwitch job board allows for free postings, and only paid members can apply. A paid subscription costs $7 per month, and also comes with an enhanced profile and other upgrades within the freelancers directory. Jobs are categorized by design, development, writing, illustration, flash and miscellaneous. Looking over the last month, there are several new jobs posted every day, making it a good resource for a variety of freelancing jobs. All jobs are moderated before posting, keeping the quality high; according to the FAQs they do not allow spec work, unpaid internships, bartering, "ridiculously low rates," or commission based work.
The Freelancers Directory
The directory on FreelanceSwitch is a quick way to find a freelancer by keyword, profession, country or tags. There are a lot of people in the directory, so a well-written description with important keywords is important in a listing. Public profiles are free, but a paid subscription gets you access to add work samples, more skills, multiple URLs, testimonials and a profile image. Paid listings are also higher in search results with more details displayed. Again, this is the same monthly fee that allows you to apply for jobs so it is a good deal at $7 per month, even if it lands you one project.
Forums, Podcasts and More
The FreelanceSwitch forums are busy, with topics such as "review my work," "money matters" and "member bios." FreelanceSwitch also offers a resources area, with links to 3rd-party resources such as project management software, payment services, backup services and other job boards. The site's podcast is on episode 45, with topics ranging from negotiating contracts to working remotely. Rounding out FreelanceSwitch is the hourly rate calculator, a great tool for calculating your rate based on business and personal costs, billable hours and desired salary.