The global freelance market is projected to reach $9.2 billion by 2027.
But when starting as a freelancer, the idea that you could support yourself by freelancing can seem impossible.
There’s much to consider, keep track of, and do.
You’ll learn quickly that freelance writing is more than just being able to write well. You are essentially running your own business, and your one commodity is you.
That’s why it’s so important to find the right resources and tools to help you get the information you need and tick off the items on your daily to-do lists.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the fifteen most essential resources for freelance writers.
15 Essential Resources for Freelance Writers
- Peak Freelance
- Writer’s Work
- Google Drive
- Help a Reporter
- Contact Out
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1. Peak Freelance
Price: $49/month or $499/year for unlimited access
Peak Freelance is a great resource and community of freelancers that aims to help you begin and scale your freelance business.
Elise Dopson, Brooklin Nash, and Michael Keenan pass on the lessons they’ve learned to help other freelancers bypass the mistakes and ‘shit gigs’ that they had to suffer through when first starting out. $49/month will get you an All Access membership to everything Peak Freelance offers.
- Courses to help you become a successful and better freelancer and writer
- A job board with high-value writing gigs
- A blog full of articles that offer helpful writing tips and know-how from full-time professional and successful freelance writers
- A podcast with interviews and discussions to help you scale your freelance writing business
- Templates for contracts and emails to help you gain new clients and get those gigs
- An active Slack community of fellow writers and Facebook network that help you get freelance work, potential clients, and advice on how to maximize your freelance writing career
- Periodic live events that tackle topics about how you can make a living writing
2. Writer’s Work
Price: lifetime plan is $94 (but permanently discounted to $47) or $15/month
Writer’s Work is considered a job board for freelance writers. It regularly compiles requests for copywriting, general content writing, blogging, and even social media posts. It also has a blog with helpful articles to help you get your freelance writing career off the ground.
On average, Writer’s Work cites freelancers earn anywhere from $25-65/hour through its job board. For beginners, using a writing resource like Writer’s Work can make the job search much more manageable and help you start your writing career immediately.
Price: Free 14-day trial, $29/month
When you start your own freelance business, you’ll wear many hats. You’ll need to be your own marketer, HR team, customer service department, accountant, etc. That’s where software like Harlow is a real lifesaver.
Harlow is an all-in-one tool for freelancers. It has a client management system (CRM), project management tools, accounting software, time tracking tools, and even contract and proposal templates all in one place. Whether you’re a brand-new or veteran freelancer, this is a must-have resource for your toolkit.
Price: Free plan available.
Every writer needs a good editor. Thankfully, proofreading is easy with programs like ProWritingAid. You can download it as an extension for Chrome or upload documents to your account and it will edit it for you.
That means no more run-on sentences, misspellings, and grammar mistakes. You can also adjust the settings for ProWritingAid to add words to your personal dictionary and adjust language and writing preferences.
Price: From $12/month. Get a free 30-day trial using this link.
When you pitch to clients, one of the first things they’ll ask for is a portfolio of your work. Rather than sending them separate documents or a bunch of links, it looks more credible if you have your work all in one place neatly organized. That’s why Authory has made the list of essential resources for freelance writers.
Aside from creating a stunning portfolio, Authory allows you to:
- Automatically add content to your portfolio when the software detects your byline is used
- Track analytics for your client work, including social shares
- Create back ups of published work–you’ll always have a copy if the original piece is taken down
- Curate collections for every niche or topic you write about
Learn more: How to Create a Freelance Writing Sample
6. Semrush SEO Tool
Price: Free 7-day trial, $119/month to $449/month
Every content writer needs an SEO Tool. Whether you’re a ghostwriter or have thousands of bylines, your value as a writer is directly related to how many people click on your article.
We’ve chosen the Semrush SEO tool because it’s comprehensive. It can do everything in terms of SEO and tracking. However, it’s pricey and there’s a steep learning curve. So, if you’re just a part-time writer, or new to the freelance business, more affordable and simpler options might be something like KWFinder or Woorank.
Price: Basic is Free, then starting at $59/month
When writing content, your article is only as good as your research. Without data and facts to support your claims, your writing will have no credibility.
One of the best resources for data is Statista. Statista has insights and facts for 170 industries in more than 150 countries if you need studies or statistics on brands or trends.The site’s free plan allows you to see most topic and study overviews, but if you want detailed breakdowns, you need to sign up for their starter plan.
8. Google Drive
Price: From $6/month. Free trial available.
You’ll need a storage option as your portfolio expands and you take on more clients. Rather than using bulky external hard drives, cloud-based storage options like Google Drive will store your work, backup your files, and even allow you to send sensitive documents securely.
Cloud-based storage options allow you to share documents with clients and collaborate with your team easily.
Price: Free, then starts at $4/month
As a freelance writer, you are your business, and every business needs an online presence. The easiest way to create that for yourself is to have a website.
WordPress is a quick and easy way to create a website that explains who you are, what you do, and why people should hire you. Unlike a simple portfolio, your website can show off your work and personality, and feature glowing reviews from past clients.
WordPress is very user-friendly, and you don’t need to know any programming to start. Its widgets and plugins allow you to customize almost everything about the look and feel. And If you’re just starting, you can use WordPress’ free plan. Then, as you gain more clients and traffic to your site, you can choose one of its paid plans.
Learn more about How to create a Freelance Writing Website
Price: Starts at $15/month.
Once you write a piece and turn it in to a client, it’s time to ensure you get paid. Tools like Freshbooks help makes the billing process painless. You can easily create and format professional invoices.
Freshbooks automatically tracks your clients’ payments and you can set up automatic reminders and automated invoices for recurring projects. It’s perfect for beginner freelancers and individuals who want to get paid to write.
Another source of research is case studies and scholarly articles. Unpaywall is a nonprofit that seeks to make scholarships accessible to all. You can search through Unpaywall’s databases and pull peer-reviewed articles, research papers, and case studies from open-access sources worldwide.
12. Help a Reporter
Price: Basic is Free, then plans start at $19/month
Help a Reporter connects writers to sources.Sometimes there isn’t a lot of research on a subject yet. Another way to strengthen your writing is to get quotes and opinions from experts and sources in the field.
All you have to do is fill out the online forum request and Help a Reporter reviews your request, sends it to its forum’s network, and posts it on its social media pages. Then it sends you a compilation of all the responses.
Some forums are subject specific like Help a B2B Writer, which specializes in ecommerce and marketing topics.
Price: Free, then starting at $29.99/month
Part of freelancing is constantly marketing yourself to potential clients and potential collaborators. And with any marketing strategy, an important aspect to include is social media marketing. LinkedIn is the largest professional online network in the world.
You can use LinkedIn to research the clients you want to be hired by, expand your network, and market yourself. Even six-figure-earning freelance writers like Elna Cain have a LinkedIn page and regularly post and interact with others through LinkedIn.
Price: Free, then starts at $5/month
When you’re a freelancer, your most valuable commodity is your time. A task-tracking tool like Trello will help you remember everything you need to do and budget your time efficiently. This way, no projects will fall through the cracks, and you won’t be over or underestimating how long a project may take you.
Trello is easy to read and set up, and you’re able to track projects from multiple clients. Another cool feature is, as your team grows, you can invite others to view, edit, and contribute to your Trello boards.
15. Contact Out
Price: Free, then starts at $29/month
When you’re starting as a freelance writer, it’s challenging to find the right people to contact along with their contact information. Contact Out is a Chrome extension that works with LinkedIn to help you find the contact information of your potential clients.
Using Contact Out will save you time and energy and give you a chance to connect with the sorts of clients you really want.
Use these freelance resources to grow your business
All these resources will help you manage your freelance business, but something that is often overlooked is the need to be a part of a community. You are not alone in this; there are millions of other freelancers who have gone through or are going through the same things as you.
Being a freelancer can be hard, so why not make it a little easier for yourself? Together you can help each other with your own experiences, refer clients to one another, and even be an understanding ear if you get discouraged.
Don’t miss out on the wealth of knowledge and support that you could get from being a part of a community like Peak Freelance’s free Slack group. Join today!