Finding freelance jobs: 6 sites for talented techies

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You know the story: layoffs are everywhere and those who have managed to keep their jobs are taking cuts in pay or reducing their hours. If you're lucky enough to have a day job, chances are you've at least had thoughts of moonlighting.

Assuming you're not ready to pack it in altogether and open a bookstore/coffee shop (wait, that's my dream Plan B), maybe it's time to give freelancing a try.

Here we look at 6 services that promise to help you put a little cash in your pocket. You'll learn how the services work, what skills are in demand, how much you can expect to earn, and you'll get the inside scoop from freelancers who use these services.

Which is best? Well, that depends on you.

If you're a developer who thrives on competition, TopCoder might be up your alley. If you're the very picture of patience coaching your granny through a virus scan, chances are you have what it takes to be a CrossLoop "Helper" or a LivePerson "Expert." Elance, RentACoder, or Guru.com might be good choices for established freelancers looking to source jobs and market their services.

Ready to hang out your shingle? Let's get started.

First up: Elance

Also in this series: Elance | TopCoder | CrossLoop | RentACoder | Guru.com | LivePerson

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