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At Freelancer.com, you can hire someone on the other side of the world to design a website for you, which means you’ll probably pay far less than you would for a local designer. Users post their projects, wait for bids to come in, and then accept one. The most popular jobs include design work, online marketing, search engine optimization, and copywriting—work that can be done from anywhere and then delivered online.
The website—and others like it, including Elance.com and 99designs.com—are powerful tools in the new freelance economy, in which workers are looking to take more control of their income by earning money through various side gigs and businesses are looking to cut costs by outsourcing more tasks. But there is a dark side to the phenomenon, too....