As you finish (or dare say, start?) your holiday shopping for this year, you’re probably wondering how long it’ll take before you pay off all those credit card bills and other expenses you incurred in the final month of 2016. You may already be dreading the new year, complete with its new billing statement and other “due now” items.

Luckily, there is plenty of paying online work to be found if you know where to look. Furthermore, many of these online job boards and other sites are exclusive enough so that you’re not competing against a slew of other hungry freelancers. As a result, you’re less likely to see a “race to the bottom” with your bid price on a gig.

Keep in mind that some of these job board will require you to pass some exams or otherwise prove that you know your stuff. While such vetting processes can seem like an unnecessary hurdle, they also help winnow out freelancers who produce low-quality work (and cheapen work rates for everyone). Job boards that select only the best freelancers are also more likely to be solicited by better-paying clients.

Without further ado, here are the job boards and other online sites where you can start earning more money in 2017- and quickly paying off your December 2016 shopping excursions:

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Authentic Jobs: Peruse all kinds of freelance, contract and even employed jobs here, many of which are available through remote status. The sister site of Authentic Jobs is Authentic Pros, where freelancers can post their work profiles for free. 

AwesomeWeb: Freelancers of all calibers post their profiles to this site, and AwesomeWeb notifies them of any new inquiries from clients. This service isn’t free; freelancers pay $27/month to list their profiles via AwesomeWeb. However, the site does offer a 90-day, money back guarantee.

Behance: If you like to draw or design, then you need to check out this free job board, which lists freelance work opportunities for graphic designers, creative directors, photographers, website designers, etc.

Canadian Freelance Writing Jobs: For freelance writers hailing from up North, this site is for you. Job postings here are free to view and offer many different opportunities and pay ranges.

Dribble: This job board caters to graphic designers, videographers, photographers and artists and is definitely worth a look if your bend is artistic.

Codeable: Are you a WordPress site developer or coder? Can you create professional WP themes and/or plugins? Then Codeable may just be the online gig site for you. The site does tack on a 15% fee for referring your services to clients and giving those clients an estimate of your services. However, this also helps reduce price-haggling by clients.

Coroflot: This site offers freelance design, writing, administrative, marketing and other jobs. You can create a free profile on this site too, which helps clients find you based on qualifiers such as skills, experience, and work history.

Growth Geeks/Word Geeks/Design Geeks: These three sites offer job opportunities for freelance marketers, writers and graphic designers, respectively. To become a geek, you must submit an online application; however, once you pass each respective site’s screening process, you’ll be assured a steady stream of work.

iFreelance: You’ll need to sign up and pay $7/month to access this site and its job board. However, as noted earlier, sometimes the extra fee is worthwhile because it keeps lowball freelancers away and reduces the bidding pool for work projects.

Journalism Jobs: If you’re a journalist, blogger or a reporter, you need to be on this website. Here, you’ll find loads of journalism jobs that pay a decent rate and which can even help build your work portfolio. Best of all, you can search these jobs for free.

Krop: This online job board enables freelancers to look through available jobs and contact clients directly about their postings. Freelancers can also (for an added fee) create a professional profile page on Krop.

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People Per Hour: Browse all kinds of freelance jobs here, including those in design, writing, coding, advertising, marketing, SEO, etc. most of the posted jobs include a pay rate, so you know what you’re signing up for before you start the gig.

ProBlogger: This site cannot be overemphasized for both its quality content and expansive job board, where clients are apt to advertise up-front how much money they are going to pay for the work. The site recently underwent an overhaul and is now even easier to peruse than before. 

Project4Hire: Find all kinds of jobs here, from programming to web design, graphic arts to IT, translation to HR. Posted jobs are bid on by freelancers, and the site manages both the bids and payouts to freelancers.

Scripted: This site caters exclusively to writers, and the writers that are accepted into Scripted must pass several qualifiers. The site also performs all pricing and payment negotiations for its writers.

Smashing Jobs: Created by Smashing Magazine, this job board is completely free for freelancers and others to peruse. Employers support this board by paying $75 or $200 to list for freelance or full-time work, respectively.

We Work Remotely: This site features all kinds of contract, freelance, part-time and full-time positions- and all of them are remote. There is no fee to sign up and take advantage of this job board; clients pay $200 to list a job for 30 days.

New year, new possibilities

As 2017 approaches, consider how you can take advantage of this new year to advance your freelance career and its earning capacity. The extra money that you earn from your gigs can be used to not only pay off your holiday bills, but to get you a little something too.

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