50 Tips for Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Image: Drea Knufken

Freelancing ain’t easy.
Ask any freelancer, and they’ll tell you all about the challenges inherent to manning your own ship.

What you won’t learn so quickly is how to make it in the freelancing world. Besides having the right contacts, you need to build repeat clients, constantly promote yourself, keep your books straight, and, oh yeah, do excellent work while you’re at it.

We’ve compiled 50 tips on how to be the freelancer you always dreamed of being. You know, the kind who makes money, enjoys the work, and manages to live life, too.

General Freelancing Tips
Here’s some all-around wisdom that every freelancer should know.

Are you charging enough for your work?

5 YouTube channels for general small business advice.

Got a blog? See what 5 major hurdles are stopping you from getting revenue.

The ins and outs of freelancing as a business.

Learn to freelance without clients.

Obstacles you are likely to face on the road to bigger clients.

75 big ways to market your business on a small budget.

Building Your Freelance Reputation
In the freelance world, reputation is everything. Here’s how to cultivate yours.

5 stellar ways to promote yourself.

5 ways to build your followings on top social networks.

How quality backlinks can improve your website’s reputation.

Building an empire is building a community.

Your business should be about relationships.

Staying on Task
Tips on focusing through the infinite distractions that face every freelancer.

201 ways to arouse your creativity.

How to sleep your way to the top.

Plan less, succeed sooner.

Are mental demons crushing your freelance income?

Feel like you can’t leave your work? Take back your lunch and transform your day.

If you’re stuck, here are some great tips on getting unstuck.

Inspired? Here’s how to turn that inspiration into skill.

If you’re a freelancer with a family, here’s how to balance things out.

Promoting Yourself
As much as you want it to, your work rarely speaks for itself. Instead, you speak for your work. Here’s how to do it well.

5 tricks for getting twice the marketing done in half the time.

Build your freelance business with Twitter.

4-step guide to the magical influence of content marketing.

Use LinkedIn as a Facebook for professionals.

If you’re looking to pitch your services in the blogosphere, here are 5 dos and don’ts for getting blog coverage.

Market your services–and brand yourself as an expert–by creating a free report.

You can use Yelp to market your business or personal brand. Here’s how.

50 of the best Twitter applications and resources for small business owners.

How to use social media to market your B2B or niche service.

How much is your Facebook page worth?

Keep potential clients’ interest with specificity.

Precise email subject lines are like diamonds.

10 ways to get attention online.

Get heard with email newsletters.

Little Things That Help
More useful tips, from the horses’ mouths.

How to protect your creative work online.

How finishing projects ahead of schedule can hurt you.

Despite the hype, eBooks aren’t liquid gold.

Tips for Freelance Writers
Writer-specific help.

Thursdaybram is a nice source of ongoing info, tips, and news for freelance writers.
How to become a niche writer.

5 ways to refresh
your freelance writing career.

Tips for Freelance Designers
Here are some add-ons to help make your work more efficient.

100 seriously useful Firefox add-ons for web designers.

Where to Find Freelance Jobs
Some excellent resources for freelance jobs.

Try Indeed.com’s job postings to find a gig.

Smashing Magazine also has freelance jobs.

So do Authentic Jobs and Freelance Switch’s job board. There’s also iFreelance, Get a Freelancer and Greatlance.com.

If you’re a freelance writer, try Writing Bids and Freelance Writing Gigs.

Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.