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 recommended 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 Freelance Writing have been included. Obviously I'm affiliated with those resources wherever you see this site's name mentioned.
Freelance Writing Blogs
Here are 18 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 Freelance Writing
- Be a Freelance Blogger
- Fab Freelance Writing
- Freelance Folder
- Freelancer FAQs
- Freelancer's Union
- Funds for Writers
- LittleZotz Writing
- Productive Writers
- The Well-Fed Writer
- Who Pays Writers? (from Scratch Magazine)
- The Write Life
- 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 Freelance Writing Forum
- Be a Freelance Blogger Community
- 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
- 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 Freelance Writing' Freelance Writing Job Board
- Freelance Job Openings
- 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
- Six-Figure Freelancing -- by Kelly James-Enger
- 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 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
- Call Recorder (for recording phone interviews)
- CamScanner App (for scanning research material)
- Pomodoro Tracker
- 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.
- GIMP -- Free image editing software
- GraphicRiver -- Templates for business and client projects (like brochures, newsletters, and your business cards)
- PixaBay -- Free stock photos
- 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 greatly expanded in 2014, and is periodically updated to remove stale resources and add new recommended resources.