Are you interested in starting a freelance writing career? Trying to figure out where to start can be one of the biggest challenges aspiring freelance writers face. To help point you in the right direction, I've put together a list of resources for freelance writers -- tools to help you get started, build a network, learn from freelance writing colleagues, find freelance writing jobs, and more.
Here are 101 resources for freelance writers, whether you're just starting out or you're looking to find new freelance writing opportunities to grow your business.
While most of the writing resources listed below are free, I did include a few paid options that I felt were well worth the cost, including some freelance writing books.
Disclaimer: Several of my resources here at All Indie Writers have been included. Obviously I'm affiliated with those resources.
Freelance Writing Blogs
Here are 20 freelance writing blogs that I'd recommend you start with (although some don't cover freelance writing exclusively). They provide a wealth of articles and advice on various aspects of building and managing a freelance writing career.
- About Freelance Writing
- About.com Freelance Writing
- All Indie Writers
- Be a Freelance Blogger
- Dear Dr. Freelance
- Fab Freelance Writing
- Freelance Folder
- Freelancer's Union
- Get Paid to Write Online
- Productive Writers
- The Renegade Writer
- The Urban Muse
- The Well-Fed Writer
- The Write Life
- The Writing Realm
- Thursday Bram
- Words on the Page
- Write to Done
- Writing Thoughts
Joining writing forums can be a great way to meet new people. After all, freelance writing can be a solitary line of work. Consider these writing forums to build your network and ask questions of your colleagues.
- About.com Freelance Writing Forum
- About Writing Squared
- Absolute Write Forum
- All Indie Writers Forum
- Writer's Digest Forum
If you want to start querying magazines and other freelance writing markets right away, your best bet might be to sift through some writer's market directories. Here are some examples to get you started.
- All Indie Writers' Writer's Market Directory
- The Market List: Magazine Markets
- Writer's Market Online Directory
- Writer's Weekly Paying Markets and Jobs
Job Boards and Freelance Marketplaces
Here are some job boards and freelance marketplaces that might help you land some early gigs. Note: This does not include bidding marketplaces due to their "race to the bottom" approach to freelance writing jobs.
- All Indie Writers' Freelance Writing Job Board
- Journalism Jobs
- Media Bistro
- ProBlogger Job Board
- Blogging Pro Job Board
Books for Freelance Writers
If you're looking for some deeper reading before you jump into a freelance writing career, these books can each serve as a great starting place.
- Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer -- by Jenna Glatzer
- The Freelancer's Bible -- by Sara Horowitz
- The Money Book for Freelancers, part-Timers, and the Self-Employed -- by Joseph D'Agnese and Denise Kiernan
- The Renegade Writer -- by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
- The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock -- by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
- The Wealthy Freelancer -- by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia
- The Wealthy Writer -- by Michael Meanwell
- The Well-Fed Writer -- by Peter Bowerman
Social Media Tools for Freelance Writers
One of the best ways to get your name out there professionally these days to is to effectively harness the power of social media to build your network. Here are some social media tools that can help you get started -- from social networks to online collaboration tools.
- Google Drive
- Google +
- Zoho Writer
Writing and Editing Tools
If you want to improve your writing and self-editing, here are some tools that might help. For example, you'll find free word processors and online editing tools.
Apps for Freelance Writers
Here are some Android and iPhone apps for freelance writers which make it even easier to work on-the-go.
Android Apps for Writers
- CamScanner App (for scanning research material)
- Olive Office Premium
- Pomodoro Tracker
- Swype (for it's great voice-to-text abilities)
- Tasks N Todos
- Zoho Writer
iPhone Apps for Writers
- Dragon Dictation
- Penultimate (from Evernote)
- Scanner Pro
Research Tools for Writers
Not sure where to find credible information for your next story? Need to find an expert source for an interview? Then check out these research tools and other resources for writers.
Website Development Tools
It's a good idea for any freelance writer to have a professional website. If you aren't sure where to start, give these resources a try.
- ElegantThemes -- Join for access to premium WordPress themes.
- Google Analytics -- Track your website stats to get a better understanding of how clients use your site.
- Google Webmaster Tools -- It helps you identify problems (like dead URLs) on your website.
- ThemeForest -- This is an Envato marketplace where you can find premium Web templates and blog themes.
- WordPress (self-hosted)
- WordPress Theme Repository -- Access free themes for WordPress.
Online Tools and Calculators
Here are some of my own free online templates, worksheets, and calculators that you can use when starting (or growing) your freelance writing business.
- Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator -- Set your freelance writing rates.
- Freelance Project Hourly Rate Calculator -- Find out how much you really earned per hour on a project.
- Keyword Density Analyzer -- Tailored specifically for writers, this tool helps you keep both SEO and readability in mind.
- One Page Business Plan Template
- One Page Marketing Plan Template
- One Page Project Plan Template
- SWOT Analysis Worksheet
- Monthly Marketing Calendar
Design Tools for Writers
Whether you're looking for design resources to assist you with a client project or software to simplify design elements of your writing work, give these resources a try.
- Canva -- This is my new favorite image creation tool for my own, and clients', blog posts.
- Flickr -- A good source for free photos to illustrate your articles. Just remember to review each photo's license
- GIMP -- Free image editing software
- GraphicRiver -- Templates for business and client projects (like brochures, newsletters, and your business cards)
- Scribus -- Open source desktop publishing software
This certainly isn't an all-encompassing list. If you can think of a category I didn't cover here that you'd like resources for, please let me know and I'll consider putting them together for you in another post.
Note: This post was originally published on November 20, 2012. The list was updated and nearly doubled in size on its currently-listed publication date.
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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media -- a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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