Freelancers, writers, and small businesses often ask me what products I recommend. In the past, I’ve been unprepared and just mentioned whatever resources come to mind.
This page lists tools and resources that I’ve found helpful. My thought is that this page will be a resource to writers and freelancers as well as small business owners. I intend to keep adding recommended resources to this page as I find them–so check back often.
I’ve already reviewed a few of these resources on the main blog and I’ve linked to those reviews within the list. If I get the time, I may also feature additional longer reviews of some of these resources on the main blog.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, although I am not an affiliate for every product listed. Affiliate links are as marked. These recommendations are published in a random order.
Here are some excellent sources for classes:
- LinkedInfluence. (Affiliate link) A friend recommended this course to me several years ago and I’m glad she did. I’ve gone back and reviewed the modules (which have been updated since I originally purchased the course). Even though I didn’t finish all the modules, the portion that I did finish has made a great difference in how I use LinkedIn. A 2014 personal goal is to go back and review the modules again.
- Only72. (Affiliate link) This is a fabulous concept. For 72 hours you can purchase a bundle of resources for one low price. The resources offered are different each time there is an offer. I’ve used this twice now and I have to say I’ve not been disappointed. This deal is not always available, but when it is it’s generally a good value.
- Authority (from CopyBlogger). (No longer an Affiliate link) This is the third program I’ve purchased through Copyblogger. I also purchased a license for the Genesis Framework WordPress Theme (see below). I’ve found this to be a great resource. My usage has centered around the e-books, several of which I’ve read and re-read. There’s also a community here.
- AWAI. (Affiliate link) Several yours ago I was given access to one of the AWAI courses so that I could write a review. My impression from the lessons I completed was positive. You’ll have to save up for a course here and make sure that you set aside enough time to learn. I have several AWAI courses on my own wish list. Read the longer review here.
Here are some tools that I use often in my freelancing business:
- Copyscape. If you publish anything at all, this inexpensive resource is a must-have. More than once I’ve discovered that so-called “original” guest posts sent to me by a third party were actually stolen from another source.
- Quote Roller. (Affiliate link) I use this tool to create professional-looking proposals and estimates for clients and prospects.
- Osmosis. This tool can also create proposals, but what I really love about this is the questionnaires. Use the questionnaires to weed out tire kickers and others who aren’t serious about a project. There are templates for many types of freelancers that can be modified, or create your own questionnaire. (Disclosure: I have done consulting work for this company in the past.)
- Genesis Theme. I’ve recently upgraded to this theme, which I’m loving so far.
- JetPack WordPress Plugin. So far I’m loving this plugin. It has solved a number of problems for me and allowed me to upgrade my blog with some items from my wish list. One example of a great feature is the addition of statistics right onto your WordPress dashboard. Another is the ease with which you can add a contact form onto your blog.
- Bluehost.com Webhosting. (Affiliate link) I’ve used Bluehost web hosting services for over seven years now. In that time, I’ve only had a few minor problems and they’ve also helped me solve a few major issues. If you’re looking for a web hosting service with polite, helpful customer representatives, this is it.
Here are some active communities you may want to consider joining:
- Freelance Writers Den. (Affiliate link) This is a fabulous community as well as a resource. In fact, it’s one of the first places I refer writers who are starting out. Not only does a membership get you access to a lively writer’s community, but you also get access to many, many archived training courses. (Disclosure: I have been featured in a webinar at this site in the past.) Read the longer review here.
- About Writing Squared. This is a great, friendly community. I’ve found this forum to be very helpful. I really love the responsiveness of the participants here and feel that I’ve built and strengthened friendships here even though I’ve not participated as much as I’d like to.
Find Writing Work
Are you a writer looking for work? Here are a few resources to help:
- Contently. Contently matches journalists to publications. They also offer a free portfolio for writers, which is a tremendous benefit. Not only can you use the portfolio to link to your stories and posts, it also tracks social mentions for each link. I’ve had at least one client mention that they were impressed by my portfolio on Contently. Read a longer review here.
- Ebyline. Ebyline matches publishers and writers. Most of the jobs pay professional rates. I actually was matched with a publisher in 2013. My goal for 2014 is to seek out a few more assignment through this site. Read a longer review here.
- 70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business. (Affiliate link) This is a great roundup from Brent Jones of how various freelancers get clients. There are plenty of ideas here and best of all, they’ve already been tested by other freelancers. There’s also an upgrade that takes about pricing. Definitely worth a read whether you’re just starting out or have been freelancing for a while.
I love to read, so I’m pretty sure that this section will grow. Here are some books that I find myself returning to often:
- The Well-Fed Writer. (Affiliate link) This is one of the first books I read as a freelance writer. In fact, it is one of the things that finally convinced me that I could actually have a freelance writing career. If you’re a freelance writer and you’ve missed this basic book, you’ll want to add it to your own library.
- The Wealthy Freelancer. (Affiliate link) This is a classic for freelancers. Whether you’re an experienced freelancer or just starting out, you need this in your professional library. It deals with some basic freelancing problems and gives very real, actionable steps.
- Confessions of a Professional Blogger. (Affiliate link) I recently acquired this book by colleague, Miranda Marquit, and was pleased to finally read something real about freelance writing. Rather than being a how-to book, this book chronicles the author’s real experiences as a professional blogger–some of which are similar to my own experiences.
This doesn’t fit into any specific category, but I really like the following children’s book that I recently got a chance to edit:
- Garden Super Hero Tales. (Affiliate link) If you’re looking for a way to get your kids to eat a healthier diet these stories may do the trick. (Disclosure: I have done consulting work for this author in the past.)