Being a freelance writer is an incredible experience. You are essentially building your own career on a skill you have probably always had, which is something many try and fail at. The Internet has made this process even easier, with endless opportunities for those who look for them. You can generate an entire income, working as your own boss from home.
Part of being truly successful is working towards honing this skill and improving in all areas. You have to increase your vocabulary and learn to write with efficiency and high quality, which is where most people put their focus. But what about the freelancing part?
From finding work to learning more about the niche you have chosen to immerse yourself in, there is a lot to work at. Which can be made much easier if you have the right tools.
These resources are all very useful, and can help you to improve your freelance writing business.
Tools and Templates:
1. Text Optimizer (Free Trial)
Text Optimizer uses semantic research to extract related concepts and terms from Google search snippets. It directs my whole writing process by suggesting what Google search users expect to find when they are searching for a certain query.
Using Text Optimizer is also the best way to ensure your content is going to rank well.
2. Writing Checklist (Free)
Any time I am writing an article, I make sure to go through this writing checklist religiously. It keeps my writing high-quality following all best practices an standards.
You can download and print the checklist for free or use Zenkit to manage it.
3. Content Marketing Checklist (Free with Optin)
Everyone probably knows about CoSchedule. But you might not know about their really cool content marketing checklist. It offers you a blueprint to follow to conduct research more effectively and promote your work with better results.
Since CoSchedule has become pretty much a staple in social media marketing you know you can trust them.
4. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a marketing tool for people who don’t know anything about marketing. It automates email campaigns, so you can take the above mentioned custom templates and put them to good use.
Set automated messages, manage email contact lists and subscribers, send out drip emails, set up newsletters, and more. It is a lot like Mail Chimp, but somewhat easier to use, and cheaper. They have templates, but I personally prefer the Mosaico ones.
5. SISTRIX (Free Trial)
An awesome toolbar, I use SISTRIX almost weekly. It basically shows you SEO info on any domain.
As you can guess, it is a big help when it comes to competitor research. You can also use it for your own website, so you can make sure your SEO is up to scratch.
I use Sistrix as it is tried, true and easy to use. You get your code and put it into your page… it is that easy. No coding needed on your part, just a simple copy/paste.
Blogs to Follow:
- About Freelance Writing: This blog is run by Anne Wayman, a prolific freelance writer that has been in the business for more than 30 years. While she admits it took a lot of time, she eventually became completely self-sufficient with her income made by writing, and it increases more every year. She has put together a great collection of articles on living and working as a freelancer. She also has a collection of ebooks and audiobooks, a section on setting fees and a page where she updates a list of freelancing jobs from around the web three times per week. You can subscribe via email for these updates in your inbox.
- Copyblogger: One of the most popular freelancing sites on the web, Copyblogger is a full resource for anyone who is looking to generate more traffic to their website or blog, find opportunities for franchise expansion or learn the ways of online marketing. In fact, they currently have an impressive 20 part course completely free on the topic of Internet marketing. If you have been looking for a site that will assist you on improving your copywriting or SEO writing, this one is especially beneficial. But they also have sections on landing pages, email marketing, keyword research, content marketing and more.
- The Write Life: Another site run by people who have really “made it” in the biz, The Write Life is the blog run by Alexis Grant and Jessica Lawlor.
- Freelance Writing Gigs: Any writer will tell you that half the battle is finding work. That is even more true if you don’t have steady clients who provide at least some continual work. Which many freelancers, especially those in the beginning stages, don’t yet have. So where do you turn? A number of sites have lists of jobs, but Freelance Writing Gigs post almost every day with new ones for you to peruse. They are also a lot more thorough, and have a bit of work sent into them by people who wants their ad seen. In addition, they have a grammar guide, a business tools section and more.
- The Savvy Freelancer: There is a lot to be offered on this blog, which is written by the talented Alexis Rodrigo. But of everything on her site, perhaps the most helpful is her amazing 31-day guide to building (or improving) a freelance business. You can either read through each part, or sign up for a daily action guide that breaks it up into a month of lessons. She truly does cover all areas, from assessing your skills and strengths as a writer, to setting your rates. She even has several articles on WordPress plugins that will help your personal site, and tips on competing in a rather highly-saturated marketplace.
There are so many challenges as a freelance writer, which you will probably have seen through experience. But whether you are just getting started or you have been in the game for awhile, there are tools that can help you get past those struggles and be successful in all you do.
What are some of your own favorites that you use on a regular basis? Let us know in the comments.