10 Must Read Freelance Resources

Self-education is one of the most vital and fulfilling aspects of being a freelancer.

The only problem is that learning can be a big drain on your budget.

To help you learn and save, we've collected some of the best free resources from across the web.

Every one of these books will broaden your mind and improve your freelancing skills. So dig in!

1. 20 Creative Blocks (And How to Break Through Them) (eBook)

Author: Mark McGuinness
Length: 114 pages
Publication Date: 2011

What's it about? Unlocking your creative potential when you feel blocked.

How does it help freelancers? If you're someone who gets stuck on creative projects, this book will become your bible. Covering all kinds of blocks from fear to procrastination to money to kids, this eBook is sure to help you find a way through.

Favorite quote:

When you embark on a creative venture — whether a work of art, a client commission, a new business or any other kind of innovative project, you are by definition attempting something new, difficult, untried. No wonder you get stuck sometimes. It would be a bit weird if you didn't. If you never get stuck, you probably aren’t picking a big enough challenge.

Download your copy of 20 Creative Blocks here.

2. Twitter for Freelancers (eBook)

Author: Joe Dawson
Length: 17 pages
Publication Date: 2013

What's it about? Joe Dawson covers ten simple techniques freelancers can use on Twitter.

How does it help freelancers? You'll learn how to use Twitter in a way that shines a spotlight on your freelance business.

Favorite quote:

Try to tweet to specific people: those you know are influential in your field, or perhaps more importantly, those who are decision makers employed by potential new clients. Use Twitter's lists feature to manage this.

Download your copy of Twitter for Freelancers here.

3. The Complete Guide to Fearless Freelancing (eBook)

Authors: Lydia Pawlowsky and Sean Minogue
Length: 31 pages
Publication Date: 2013

What's it about? Setting up shop as a freelancer can be daunting. This eBook acknowledges the fears around freelancing and offers a helpful guide to dealing with those fears.

How does it help freelancers? You'll learn how to consistently produce creative results, how to be a good boss to yourself, and how to deal with difficult clients.

Favorite quote:

Routine [...] is not about making creative work dull or boring, but simply recognizing that some structure is necessary for success. Routine is supportive, not stifling.

Download your copy of The Complete Guide to Fearless Freelancing here.

4. The Busy Person's Guide to the Done List: The Science of Small Wins (eBook)

Authors: Janet Choi and Walter Chen
Length: 40 pages
Publication Date: 2014

What's it about? Being more productive by focusing on small wins.

How does it help freelancers? As a freelancer, you manage your own schedule, so knowing how to be productive is vital to achieving your potential. This eBook shows you how to stay motivated every day.

Favorite quote:

The quiet yet powerful act of reflection is an often overlooked practice for productivity and happiness, because it often looks like you’re not actually doing anything. Yet your brain needs time to contemplate and muse if you ever want to go beyond merely doing stuff to doing stuff really well or doing what matters most.

Download your copy of The Busy Person's Guide to the Done List here.

5. Holistic Learning: How to Study Better, Understand More and Actually “Get” What You Want to Learn (eBook)

Author: Scott H. Young
Length: 27 pages
Publication Date: 2007

What's it about? Learning new skills, concepts, and ideas.

How does it help freelancers? Freelancers are responsible for their own training and development. That's exciting, right? But it does mean you need to be willing to teach yourself new skills.

Favorite quote:

Holistic learning is basically the opposite of rote memorization. Instead of trying to pound information into your brain with the hopes it will simply fall out when you need it, holistic learning is the process of weaving the knowledge you are learning into everything you already understand.

Download your copy of Holistic Learning here.

6. The Creative Aid (eBook)

Authors: Nicole Smith and Richard Tapp of Kooroo Kooroo
Length: 114 pages
Publication Date: 2013

What's it about? An in-depth guide to fulfilling your creative potential.

How does it help freelancers? If your work feels like a drag, this is the book to relight your fire. It's beautifully designed and draws on a wealth of sources – from Zen Buddhism to yoga to music psychology.

Bonus: The art from this book is available as a free vector download from the authors' blog.

Favorite quote:

If you find yourself staying up until 3am stuffing yourself with salmon, memorizing all the lines of your hand, and not sure anymore if you're in a dream or reality, don't worry. Studies have shown that simply being tired can help bring on creative thoughts.

Download your copy of The Creative Aid here.

7. Using the Social Web to Find Work (eBook)

Author: Chris Brogan
Length: 19 Pages
Publication Date: 2009

What's it about? Using social media, LinkedIn in particular, to find work.

How does it help freelancers? You'll learn how to present yourself professionally on social media and how to use social networks to connect with potential clients.

Favorite quote:

The first horror show I see when reading other peopleʼs LinkedIn profiles is that theyʼre written completely dry, as if robots are the only thing that will read them. Though one should write with robots in mind, this is still a human network, so write as if you want someone to actually read your profile.

Download your copy of Using the Social Web to Find Work here.

8. The Guide to Guerrilla Freelancing (eBook)

Author: Mike Smith
Length: 22 pages
Publication Date: 2010

What's it about? The pros and cons of being a freelancer and how to start a freelance business on a shoestring budget.

How does it help freelancers? This book's ideal for newbie freelancers, but even old hands will learn a trick or two. The "dreaded buzz kill phrases" are especially helpful.

Favorite quote:

Starting your freelance business doesn’t require you to have multiple client projects under your belt. If you like a specific type of design, writing, illustrating or programming, spend a bit of time building things that play off your strengths and use these as your base portfolio. You won’t be getting paid for them, but you also will have the creative freedom to make it your best work ever.

Download your copy of The Guide to Guerrilla Freelancing here.

9. 52 Headline Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Blog Posts that Go Viral (eBook)

Author: Jon Morrow
Length: 55 pages
Publication Date: 2012

What's it about? Writing headlines that get attention.

How does it help freelancers? Whatever services you provide, you need to be able to get attention for your business. Jon Morrow provides 52 hacks for getting noticed thanks to the words you use.

Favorite quote:

If you write for any serious purpose, you learn very quickly that you can't afford to spend months or years dreaming up a daring new approach for everything you write. No one has that kind of discipline. The only way to survive is to write quickly, and the only way to do that is to take a page from the playbook of guys like Shakespeare, Jefferson, and Wilde – copying from others not because you lack genius, but because true genius is clothed in the ideas of others.

Download your copy of 52 Headline Hacks here.

10. The Design Funnel (eBook)

Author: Stephen Hay
Length: 12 pages
Publication Date: 2008

What's it about? Showing designers how to stand out from their peers by following a specific design process.

How does it help freelancers? Although ostensibly about design, this book actually provides a system all creators can use to make their ideas stand out from the crowd. It's accessible enough for anyone to read, yet inspiring enough that everyone will find it useful.

Favorite quote:

One technique I love to use is to look to other industries for ideas. Just looking at old books, architecture, and work from realms of design other than your own can give you an endless supply of surprising ideas.

Download your copy of The Design Funnel here.

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Written by David Masters

David Masters helps businesses find their sweet spot of creativity, productivity and making money. He's been earning his bread as an online business writer since 2008.

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