When you kick off your holiday shopping this Black Friday through Cyber Monday, don't forget to look for deals for your business as well.
You can save on web hosting for your professional website or blog. Save on domain name registrations. Get amazing deals on software. And much more.
This year I've rounded up some of my favorite Black Friday deals for writers. These are companies, products, or services I personally use (or have used) and recommend. Some do contain affiliate links where available (which means I'll earn a small commission if you purchase those things after clicking my link). Others are not; they're simply included because I love them and think they could help you.
On top of that, I'm finally unlocking all freebies here at All Freelance Writing. From now on no free resource will require an email opt-in for download! Find links to the previously-gated freebies below.
Enjoy, and I hope you're having a happy start to the holiday season!
If you're a freelance writer, you need a professional website. If you're an indie author, you need an author site or blog. If you're a blogger, it's always a good idea to host your own blog instead of using free hosts.
To run your own website, you need a hosting company. Here's the one I used for quite a long time to manage dozens of blogs and other websites. Don't miss their Black Friday through Cyber Monday specials.
HostGator was the company I used for years when I first launched this site on a shared hosting account.
While I switched companies when I moved to more dedicated resources, their support was generally quite good (though, admittedly I had one issue that prompted my leave, that was an issue with one rep while most of them were absolute gems).
I'd still recommend HostGator if you're starting out and looking for a shared host (though I can't speak to their dedicated and VPS hosting as I haven't used them).
In addition to web hosting, you also need a domain name. A lot of domain name registrars run gimmicky sales year-round, so you never know if you're getting the best deal (or to get a great deal, you have to constantly hop from one registrar to another). Not so with this company!
I used GoDaddy, Netfirms, and other domain registrars for about a decade before I came across NameSilo. I've moved all but one domain there (this site's oddly enough), though that will be moving too once it's time to renew.
I've been incredibly happy with this company and wholeheartedly recommend them, especially if you have dozens of domain names to manage, like I do. You don't need to wait around on deals or look for coupon codes. And they don't try to upsell you on a million different things before they let you check out (looking at you GoDaddy!).
NameSilo keeps things simple and straightforward, and their regular prices are much lower than what other registrars charge for renewals (they tend to suck you in with a low price for the first year before hitting you with much higher renewal fees).
I love these folks, and I can't imagine looking back. They don't often run sales because their regular prices are so competitive, but they are for Black Friday. Check it out if you're looking for a better domain registration company.
The content management system I've been recommending for years for freelance writer website, blogs, and author websites is WordPress. And when you use WordPress, you'll need a theme (their web design templates).
It just so happens one of my favorite WordPress theme companies is running some great deals for Black Friday.
Elegant Themes / Divi Theme
Elegant Themes is a theme membership site I've been a member of for almost six years. I've used their themes on countless projects, both for my own sites and for clients who I've referred to them.
While a membership gets you access to all of their themes, I'm partial to one of their newer offerings -- Divi.
Divi has become my theme (or framework if you prefer) of choice for numerous projects. My horror author site is built on it. NakedPR was re-built on it. And even the new All Freelance Writing design is built on Divi. The majority of my future sites will be built on Divi -- I'm all-in on this one.
Even better, membership gets you access to some awesome plugins like Monarch and Bloom which handle social sharing and opt-ins.
Speech Recognition Software
One productivity tip I've given repeatedly on this blog is to use voice-to-text software to speed up the writing process. While I often use the built-in functionality with Google Docs, when you need something more advanced, this software does the trick.
Dragon, Naturally Speaking
Dragon is much more complex than simpler apps you can use on your phone or tablet. But it's ideal if you'll use dictation frequently or need more advanced formatting options while you dictate, such as when writing dialogue in a novel.
While it's admittedly not my favorite option because I tend to dictate shorter work on-the-go, I wouldn't use anything else when trying to write books this way.
This isn't technically a Black Friday deal, but they are offering holiday discounts that I'd be remiss not to mention.
Writing / Word Processing Software
When you work as a professional writer, sometimes a basic word processor just isn't enough. If you need something that can keep your organized and focused on your writing, you can't beat this software.
Scrivener might be designed for writing long-form manuscripts, but it can be used for so much more.
I often use Scrivener for blogging, and I've even used it for freelance writing projects (and have released some Scrivener templates in the All Freelance Writing resource section to help you do the same -- like my white paper template). I think all writers should have a copy.
Graphics and More
Sure, there are some decent free photo sources around for bloggers these days. But sometimes you need a little something extra. And that's where this company comes in, with great deals on not only photos, but vector graphics, icons, WordPress themes, e-books, and so much more.
MightyDeals.com offers special promotions for third party creators. I love keeping an eye on this site and have purchased all sorts of things here from icon kits to WordPress themes to infographic templates.
Other things you can find there right now:
- Logo creation kits
- Holiday graphics
- Premium fonts
- Photoshop patterns and textures (great for creating blog graphics)
- Magazine, resume, and flyer templates
- WordPress plugins
- Book mockup graphics (perfect for indie authors)
- And more.
They even have a selection of free deals if you want a better idea of what you can find there before buying. I love this site. It comes in handy for all sorts of projects if you're involved in web development or design in any way (as any writer with a website is to some degree).
Freebies Just for All Freelance Writing Readers
As promised, I've unlocked the few freebies that used to require email sign-ups. I've never been a fan of gated content. I consider it a lousy move from a PR perspective (and good PR has always delivered better than traditional sales and marketing).
I tried it. I didn't like it. And frankly, I don't want you subscribing just for free downloads. I want you subscribing because you find value in the content here. So, gated no more. Here are your new unlocked free downloads:
- 21 Author Blog Post Ideas to Promote Your Fiction
- 15 Ways to Repurpose Your Blog Content
- 38 Blogs & Websites That Pay Writers $100 Per Post (and More!)*
* This is the .pdf version of an online resource from the blog. It was the 2015 edition, and it will be the last .pdf version of this resource. That's because I'm working on moving the entire writer's market directory to a new platform which will allow that post (and others) to be dynamically updated. That means the market lists will automatically change as new ones are added to the broader directory. This doesn't allow for static .pdf versions, but it means you'll have the best information available to you at all times, whereas .pdf market lists can go out of date in a matter of weeks. Just one of many improvements still to come for you on the re-vamped site.
If I come across other offers I feel are worth sharing, I'll add them to this list. In the meantime, happy holidays, happy bargain-hunting, and keep your eye out for even more freebies to come!