As a CEO and small business owner (you knew you were one of those, right? ) the best investment you can make is to invest in yourself. After all, when you improve your skills, you can charge more. Here’s a list of no-nonsense writing and business courses and books I recommend:
Must-Buy Courses & Resources
Every refined writer is out to improve their craft, earn more, and write better. Here’s a collection of tried-and-true resources (free and paid) that can help you do so.
FreshBooks Invoicing and Expensing, Free Trial!I got hooked on FreshBooks early on and I still use to manage all of my clients, invoicing, expenses, and time tracking. It’s truly comprehensive, and it’s my cheapest expense each month.
30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success, $59
If you’re just about to start your writing business, this is a must-read! Gina walks you through exactly what to do to get your business up and running in 90 days.
This course taught me everything I know about copywriting and graphic design. I’ve used these skills as the cornerstone of my freelance writing business.
WordPress Genesis by StudioPress, $60
If you have basic WordPress skills, this set of tools is an excellent way to build your own websites. Be warned: it DOES require coding! It’s not a custom website builder, it just makes it easier to make your website awesome if you’re willing to do the work. If you offer website development skills, this is a must-have set of tools.
If you don’t have the time to commit to a course, here’s some required reading:
The Sweet Spot Guide , $19
Download all the advice I used to find my $59K and $87K “sweet spots” as a freelance writer. Learn how to organize your day, your invoices, and your network to maximize your income and actually have a life.
A best-selling workbook that will seriously revolutionize the way you freelance. If you struggle to find clients or to sell your services at premium prices, SERIOUSLY GO GET THIS. Check the library, but I enjoyed having a copy of my own to mark up.
Big Magic, $12
This is Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book and it speaks to a lot of anxieties and questions we struggle with as writers. If you’re dealing with creative confidence issues or big fear, this will help.
When you’re feeling stuck or intimidated by all of your options, read this book. It single-handedly revived my passion for freelancing and my confidence that even when you aren’t sure where you’re headed, you can get somewhere really exciting.
Free is fabulous! That’s why it’s a miracle that these top-notch writing and business professionals write — for free — on their popular blogs. Here are my favorite:
Learning About Copywriting
- Copyblogger by Damien Farnworth (FREE)>> Integral insight into copywriting for the Internet. Hands-down the best practical advice on writing you’ll see.
- Make a Living Writing by Carol Tice (FREE)>> This blog provides excellent advice regarding finding well-paying niches, improving writing skills, and gaining confidence. Often focused on traditional journalism articles.
- Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli (FREE)>> Another excellent blog that focuses on getting to editors, writing queries, and landing writing jobs. Often focused on traditional journalism articles.
- Men With Pens by James Chartrand (FREE)>> Writing tips based on website design and conversion-focused copy. Excellent advice on pricing and negotiating with clients.
Learning About Freelancing
- Millo by Preston Lee>> Previously known as Graphic Design Blender, this website shares amazing insight into running a freelance business long-term.
- Freshbook’s Breaking the Time Barrier eBook >> This eBook has helped hundreds of freelancers come to terms with charging by project on an emotional and conceptual level.