Best Websites for Keeping Up with the Freelance Writing Industry in 2017

With Google AI beginning to exceed human intelligence, it’s no wonder search has become more intuitive and helpful than ever — meaning even the average Googler can find really fantastic resources for writers online with a quick search. There are job sites, portals to online courses, tools for project management and tax preparation, along with inspiration and humor.

Still, there’s a lot out there, and Google isn’t a bonafide freelance writer with years of experience working in this varied industry. You could spend hours perusing what’s out there — or you can start with TNF’s twelve websites we believe you can’t live without as a modern freelance writer.

1. Content Marketing Institute – Want to feel like you know absolutely nothing about copywriting even after years of doing it? Go read some CMI articles. In seriousness, CMI is great for staying up to date on trends in writing as it pertains to marketing, advertising, and SEO. These people are at the forefront of what’s happening in the world of digital content, so you can trust that their info is the latest and greatest.

2. The Write Life – Clean, crisp, and on-point, I love everything about this website. With five simple but interrelated post categories (freelancing, marketing, blogging, publishing, and craft), I think this site is a good pick for writers of all levels.

3. Upwork – The only freelance job site that made my list, I’ve chosen this one for several reasons. First, it’s the only legitimate online job platform that has connected me with serious copywriting clients rather than hurried companies looking for a bargain. That’s anecdotal, which some might say is no evidence at all, so I’ll add that this site has amassed millions of clients all over the world, so if your work is highly specialized you’re likely to find work here. The catch? You have to play the game, meaning do everything you can to get “Top Rated” status as soon as possible, otherwise the best opportunities will be hidden from you.

4. Thumbtack – Though it may not be the best place to find writing jobs, it’s an excellent resource for connecting with local professionals. Freelancing is lonely, so why not scour your immediate area when it comes time to partner with a tax professional, photographer, editor, or graphic designer? I used Thumbtack in Colorado to find a graphic designer for one project and a photographer to shoot my professional photos, and they both did excellent work.

5. Trello – If you’re working on a team or dealing with a project with many moving parts, Trello is an extremely user-friendly organization tool. I’ve used it to juggle multiple deadlines at once, and I’ve also used it for streamlined collaboration with many other remote workers. The checklists (and their changing progress bars as you tick each item off) are so utterly satisfying.

6. Mediabistro (full disclosure: Amanda Marie has contributed to this site). The free site is good, but the real payoff with Mediabistro is joining their Avant Guild program, which gives you access to regularly-updated articles detailing exactly how to pitch leading publications like Glamour, Parents, Afar, Family Circle, National Geographic, and so many more. They offer courses and helpful blog posts on a variety of hot freelance topics.

7. Contently Blog – Technology company Contently offers writing opportunities and advice that’s both focused and specialized for serious freelancers. In addition, they provide writing opportunities with competitive pay.

8. Writer’s Digest UniversityWriter’s Digest is much more than a resource for fiction writers, and now this household name has its own e-learning platform with over 100 courses with topics ranging from copywriting to advanced blogging. The cost is a bit steep at $100-$700 per course, but don’t forget — these are expenses you can write off at tax time, and they’ll certainly pay off when you land that $3,000 project.

9. LinkedIn – Before you write this off as just another mindless-scrolling social media distraction, know that this popular professional networking site has flourished into so much more than a simple social network. Now, it’s a blog platform, a prospecting tool, and even a place to find freelance work opportunities. Optimizing my profile on LinkedIn has gained me a number of awesome clients in recent months. If you’re ready to commit to a badass LinkedIn presence, start with Wayne Breitbarth’s book, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success.

10. ClearVoice – This site is part job platform, part matchmaker, part software solution. It’s cool because it vets freelancers before allowing them into their database, ensuring their top-notch brands only get paired with equally awesome freelancers. They even have their own blog, chock-full of advice for newbies and experienced writers alike.

11. ProBlogger – It’s a job platform, blog, podcast, and collection of eBooks on blogging. It has some serious internet tenure, having been around since 2004, and it’s widely known to be a comprehensive resource for writers who are serious about making money blogging.

12. Freelancer’s Union Blog – The Freelancer’s Union hooks up freelancers with health and dental insurance, disability, retirement, and all that other stuff that’s tough for we solopreneurs to obtain on our own. They conduct the fascinating “Freelancing in America” report each year, and provide news and well-written advice.

Want more writing advice like this? Amanda tells it like it is in The New Freelance: A Book for Writers

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