Being a freelancer can be extremely advantageous and is probably a dream for many designers and developers who are tired of the cubicle life. Not only do you get to choose jobs you are passionate about, but you also have flexibility in terms of time, whom you want to work with, and where you want to work at.
The downside is that as a freelancer you’re no longer working with an in house team — now you are the team. For me over night I became the accountant, the project manager, the team leader, the social media guru, the slick sales gal and last but not least: the branding expert. One thing I learned was that I was better prepared in many of these areas than I initially thought. I simply needed to read up and educate myself on my tool set.
In this post, I will share the ten blogs that I use - thanks to self discovery or a referral by more experienced freelancers. I’ve also included some blog posts from each blog, so that you can get started. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or an experienced freelancer. Each blog offers valuable information.
Austin is a blogger after my own heart he’s a writer who also draws. He is best known as the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work!.
While his target demographic is creative professionals every freelancer can learn from his notion of doing what you love and finding your voice.
The only way to find your voice is to use it. It’s hardwired, built into you. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow.
- How will I pay the bills?
- How to support an artist you love
- 33 thoughts on reading
- How to pitch a creative idea 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
If you’re working as a freelancer or running your own ship, it is crucial that you can close sales. While you don’t need to be the world’s greatest salesperson, but if you can improve your sales it will have a HUGE impact on your business.
A Better Lemonade Stand in an online e-commerce incubator. It’s goal is to inspire new entrepreneurs as well as to provide the tools and resources to build, launch and grow online businesses better, faster and cheaper.
- How To Find A Product To Sell Online: The Definitive Guide (Book Launch)
- #TheGreatBuild – Product and Niche Evaluation
- The Ultimate Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Preparation Stack
- How I Built An Online T-Shirt Business In 24 Hours With $24 That Made $347 The First Day (And How You Can Too)
Have a great product idea? Then this is the blog for you!
Amy is a tech industry vet who over the years has finessed the process and psychology behind delivering a product, finished or not. On my 2015 summer reading list is her book Just F*cking Ship (the title alone appeals to the over-analyzer in me).
- Why you should do a tiny product first
- How do you create a product people want to buy?
- Don’t Fave This Post: How to REALLY Launch in 2014
- Why Blacksmiths are Better at Startups than You
This is the blog I read everyday. As of 2015 there are 53 million people doing freelance work in the US, that’s roughly 34% of the national workforce. The Freelancers Union has an article that caters to every aspect of being a successful, happy and healthy solopreneur.
- 6 things to do after your pitch
- Getting paid.
- Tax Deductions Guide for Freelancers and the Self-Employed
- How to Cope with Freelance Dry Spells
- How to Land Freelance Work with Social Media
- How to set up your freelance business and pay taxes
I am may not always agree with Mr. Godin but when you launch Squidoo, one of the 500 most visited sites in the world, Lisa sit’s up and pay attention when you have something to say. An author of 17 books it should comes as no surprise that Godin's Seth's Blog was ranked the number 1 marketing blog in the AdAge Power 150.
Last year I was among the over 3,000,000 people who visited his blog. Here are some of the most clicked on posts of 2014:
- It's not about you
- Really bad Powerpoint (7 years later, sadly still relevant)
- Project management for work that matters
- What does it's too expensive mean?
- The tyranny of the lowest price
I originally began reading this blog as a way to improve my communication and educate my clients in the value of branding. Just like for the big corporations, successful branding is essential to the success of a freelancing business and sadly it’s something we freelancers tend to neglect.
This is where visual strategist Dre Beltami comes in. Her entire process is to educate soloprenuers on developing a complete branding experience which is more than just a spiffy logo.
I am a huge fan of Dre’s work and she is one of my favorite blogging badasses.
- How To Get Past The Sh*t That Holds You Back
- 20 Visual Marketing Strategies To Help You Propel Your Brand
- 5 Ways To Make Your Content Stand Out From The Crowd
- Social Etiquette You Need To Know To Avoid Being Branded A Doucheasaurus
Jacob Cass has often been described as a design wunderkind. For those non-designers who don't know Jacob is a blogger who mastered his market niche early in his career and as a result is making several thousand dollars a month while offering design services on his blog.
Although design may not be your specific market niche every freelancer can learn from both Jacob’s self-promotion and freelance experience.
- How To Invoice Effectively to Avoid Poor Cash Flow
- Tips For Negotiating Budgets
- Coworking Explained & How To Make It Work for You
- A First Hand Guide On How To Start Freelancing
- How to Talk to Non-Tech-Savvy Clients
- Freelancers: Inspire yourself, Vary your Working Environment
- The 20 Worst Habits of Clients
- Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Freelancer
Minterest is a digital marketing & technology journal by Mahesh Mohan. His blog is a cornucopia of resources on SEO, Blogging, Freelancing etc. If you’re looking for answers to questions on web marketing and self-promotion this is the blog where you start.
- How To Write A Blog Post That Is Perfectly Optimized
- 15 Blogging Tips To Supercharge Your Next Blog Post
- Over 151 Google Products You Probably Don’t Know
- Make Money Blogging: Over 40 Google AdSense Alternatives You Didn’t Know
- Over 121 Websites For Anyone And Everyone To Make Money Online
This organization’s mission statement explains it all. Their blog offers Bullsh *t free business growth advice”. The Guerilla community offers resources and support every freelancer needs to build a successful business all for a minor membership investment.
Some of their must reads include:
- Dare to be Different: A Guerrilla Freelancer’s Manifesto
- Quick time management tips for freelancers
- Digital Nomad: Taking your freelance business on the road
- Most business plans are bullshit, including yours
- Guerrilla marketing videos to get your creative juices flowing
The one common element all of the above blogs have is that they all recommend Problogger as an excellent resource, and who I am to argue? 321,000 readers (and growing) can’t be wrong.
There’s no one wrong place to start reading but here are the Most Popular Posts on ProBlogger from 2014:
- 5 Ways to Promote Your Blog Without Relying on Google Traffic
- How to Socialize Your Posts for Maximum Effect
- Facebook Theme Week: Boost Your Organic Reach with These Tips
- Facebook Theme Week: Case Studies of Popular Pages and What They’re Doing to Get Great Engagement
- A Social Media Etiquette Guide You Might Find Useful
I’m not a professional writer so it’s entirely possible that I have missed your favorite blog. If you have a favorite you would like to share, let me know in a comment below, and I’ll be glad to add it to the above list.
Thanks for reading!