7 Killer “Become a Freelancer” Resources

  • August 5, 2009 by Corbett Barr


Freelancing is a top choice among people who want to live a location independent lifestyle. If you haven’t been a freelancer or independent consultant before, the thought of getting started can be daunting. There are plenty of important topics to understand when freelancing, including branding, service offerings, marketing, contracts, customer relations, pricing, legal and taxes, just to name a few.

Luckily, there are a number of great sites out there dedicated to making life easier for freelancers. If you’re just getting started (or are already in business but want a refresher), you should check out some of these 7 essential articles about how to become a freelancer.

  1. 30 Days to Become a Freelancer (Skelliewag)
  2. Skellie has laid out a great step-by-step plan in this article for getting started as a freelancer. Follow her plan, and at the end of 30 days you’ll be well on your way to a successful freelancing career.

  3. A Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Freelance Career
  4. The title says it all. This truly is a comprehensive guide to becoming a freelancer. It includes advice on branding, quoting and estimating, finding work, billing, delivery and everything else you need to know to turn freelancing into a full-fledged business.

  5. How to Become a Freelance Web Developer (Nettuts+)
  6. I know, I know, these first three articles are written for sites that are all part of the same Envato network. What can I say, they really know their stuff about freelancing. This article is focused on becoming a Web Developer, but much of the advice is really applicable to any type of freelancing.

  7. 101 Reasons Freelancers Do it Better (HR World)
  8. This isn’t so much a guide to becoming a freelancer, but it provides 101 excellent reasons why freelancers enjoy a better lifestyle.

  9. 5 Must-Have Qualities to Become a Top Freelancer (Freelance Folder)
  10. How do you know if you have what it takes to become a top freelancer? Glen Allsopp of PluginID talks about the key “soft skills” you need to have to make it.

  11. The Roadmap To Becoming A Professional Freelance Web Designer (Smashing Magazine)
  12. You’ll notice that several of the articles listed here like this one are focused on becoming a freelance web developer or designer. That’s because it’s probably the most popular type of freelancing job. This is probably the longest and most detailed of all the resources in this list. It especially goes into the branding, design and marketing elements of freelancing, just as you would expect from Smashing Magazine.

  13. 53 Steps to follow if you want to become Freelance Web Designer/Developer (60+ Resources) (Speckyboy)
  14. 53 steps may sound a little daunting, but they are presented here in an easy-to-digest list form. Plus, some of the steps are easy to tackle, and all of them are important. Each one comes with some additional resources you can click on to learn more.

I hope this list will help you if you’re hoping to launch a successful freelancing career. There’s even more great stuff out there, but this should be more than enough to get started. If you have other tips or questions, please share them in the comments below!

photo by foundphotoslj

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.

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Sean August 5, 2009 at 10:48 am

Corbett, Some really good resources here. The very first piece of advice in 30 Days to Becoming a Freelancer is to pick one thing and go with it, rather than trying to do everything, and this is what I am currently trying to do. Hopefully over the next few months I can use some of these sites to build my business! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow in PDX.

Corbett Barr August 5, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I’ve heard that same advice about picking one thing from most successful freelancers. It’s easier to pitch your benefits to a business if you’re very specific about the services you provide. It also helps you to focus and create a repeatable offering. Likewise, I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at Chris Guillebeau’s meetup!

Alan August 5, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Great list of resources here. Calculated and quite useful. Keep it up with the solid posts!

J. D. Bentley August 5, 2009 at 12:11 pm

I’m pretty sure I’ve read through all of these at some point in my 2 years as a freelancer and I wouldn’t have gotten very far if I didn’t. Great post, Corbett.

Also, it seems like all these lifestyle design types are in or near Portland… I feel so left out. Haha.

Corbett Barr August 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Thanks for the validation, J.D. About Portland, I actually live in San Francisco now, but am visiting friends and family in the Portland area (I grew up here). It’s a really great place if you haven’t been before.

Rasheed Hooda August 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Great list of resources. Thanks for all your hard work in helping everyone.


Joanne Maly August 6, 2009 at 6:13 am

Thanks for the encouraging words for freelancers. I took the consulting leap about 15 months ago and the freedom to be creative, work in a functional environment, and service clients with standards that match my own scrutiny… has been perhaps one of the most rewarding times in my career. It is not easy and at least for now, I seem to work all the time. Your list of tips will help. Thanks much.

Joanne Maly, Lincoln Maly Marketing, Cincinnati, Ohio (Blog: Simply Said)

Herbert August 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Corbett: What a collection! I’ve actually just begun my freelancing journey and am working on Skellie’s 30 days to becoming a Freelancer. It’s progressing slowly, but I think it covers most of the process pretty well. Thanks for sharing.

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