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 aspiring freelance writers — tools to help you get started, build a network, learn from freelance writing colleagues, and find freelance writing jobs.
Here are 55 resources for freelance writers just starting out (and for those of us looking to grow and find new freelance writing opportunities). 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.
Freelance Writing Blogs
Here are 10 freelance writing (or more general freelance) blogs that I’d recommend you start with. They provide a wealth of articles and advice on various aspects of building and managing a freelance writing career.
- About Freelance Writing
- All Freelance Writing
- Diary of a Mad Freelancer
- Freelance Folder
- Freelance Switch
- Freelance Zone
- Get Paid to Write Online
- The Renegade Writer
- The Well-Fed Writer
- Words on the Page
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 Freelance Writing 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 Freelance Writing 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: We’re not including bidding marketplaces here due to their “race to the bottom” approach to freelance writing jobs.
- All Freelance Writing Job Board
- Freelance Switch Job Board
- Journalism Jobs
- Media Bistro
- ProBlogger Job Board
Books for Freelance Writers
- Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer – by Jenna Glatzer
- 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. Here are some social media tools that can help you get started — from social networks to online collaboration tools.
- Google Drive (formerly Google Docs)
- Google +
- Google Reader
- 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.
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.
Online Tools and Calculators
Here are some of our 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
- Monthly Marketing Calendar
Design Tools for Writers
Whether you’re looking for a template to design your own website, design resources to assist you with a client project, or software to simplify design elements of your writing work, give these resources a try.
- 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.
Do you have favorite resources for writers? What tools, websites, books, or other resources would you recommend to new or aspiring freelancers? Tell us in the comments.