April 20, 2009 by Tamara Rice

We’ve scoured the internet for the 100 best blogs for freelancers, and we think you’ll appreciate the results. There’s something here for every remote worker, whether you specialize in animation, software development, or anything in between. We divided the blogs into categories. (When in doubt, we deferred to the categories covered in each blog’s archives.) Enjoy!

TOP FREELANCING BLOGS:

  1. Freelance Switch This extremely popular blog–over 35,000 subscribers and multiple writers–includes advice, news and opinions for freelance workers, such as this insightful post on nurturing relationships with clients you’d like to keep. Also on Freelance Switch: forums and podcasts.
  2. Freelance Folder This site has a much-loved blog (almost 12,000 subscribers) in addition to its forums. The blog has over 20 contributors and contains useful posts like this one: “Why a Blog Is Important to Your Freelance Business.”
  3. Guerilla Freelancing Someone “from the trenches”–aka Mike Smith–offers up great resources and helps for freelancers, even as he tells it like it is with this post: “15 Drawbacks to Working Freelance.”
  4. Escape from Corporate America Career coach Pamela Skillings dishes work-at-home advice for freelancers, and even the occasional rant, like this one: “I Miss Sick Days.”
  5. Web Worker Daily Blog of wisdom from multiple writers for those who utilize the internet for work from home. A must-read: “Office Space? Mind Space!”
  6. Freelancing Blog This blog contains tips on working freelance (from proofreading to web design) from a team of writers. Among the best posts: “The Ethical Freelancer.”
  7. Artic Llama Blog The goal of this blog is to build bridges between freelance workers and those who hire them, but some of the best posts are those like this one, advocating working on your laptop at a coffee shop.
  8. Seth Godin’s Blog This one–with great stuff for freelancers, like this post about your profile picture–seems to make every blog list on the net. As for who he is? The only thing certain is that he’s the author of a lot of books, like The Purple Cow.
  9. Roberto Alamos Freelance and business (on the internet) advice from Roberto Alamos, including “10 Tips for Effective Freelancing.”
  10. Podcast for Freelancers Despite the name … it’s also an advice-heavy blog, with posts like “Procrastination: You Can Overcome It.”
  11. The Berkun Blog This Scott Berkun is a real hot shot hero to the technically inclinced, but check out the archived blog entries–there’s stuff here for nearly every creatives freelancer, especially this lesson from a Dr. Seuss book.
  12. Essential Keystrokes Though it’s written by a web designer, there is something on this blog for every freelancer, such as “13 Ways to Move Big Files on the Web.”
  13. Anywired Self-employment advice from Skellie (of #10 in our Top Freelance Blogging Blogs) with plenty to offer freelancers–like this entire archived category of posts.
  14. Self Employed Blog Blogger Eartha shares the things she’s learned in her own journey working through the internet, such as when to answer phone calls and e-mails.
  15. oDesk blog We’re not gonna lie to you, we think our blog is pretty great. Just click on our “Freelancing Tips” archive, and you’ll know why too.

TOP BLOGS FOR FREELANCE DESIGNERS:

  1. Fuel Your Creativity This incredible and fast-growing blog from multiple contributors has built a readership of almost 10,000 in just barely more than one year, has special tips for freelance designers and tons of freebies.
  2. CMD+Shift Design Blog On this blog you’ll find plenty of design talk and freelance advice from Liz Andrade, including her post “15 Must-Have Books for … Freelancers” (hint: a lot of these books’ authors have their own blogs right here on our list!).
  3. The Design Cubicle Hints, free stuff and wisdom can all be found at Brian Hoff’s graphic design blog, including a whole archived section of freelance wisdom.
  4. Outlaw Design Blog This site is packed with freelance advice from graphic designer Danny Outlaw–like archived tutorials and a discussion of contract design and the economy.
  5. Fudge Graphics Freelancers can find plenty of graphic design resources, freebies and inspiration from Franz Jeitz’s blog.

TOP BLOGS FOR FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGN PLUS … BLOGS

  1. David Airey This blog highlights David Airey‘s work and methods for logo design and, thus, marketing is also heavily covered in this very popular graphic design blog with over 10,000 subscribers. His November 2008 take on the economy and contract design work encourages and inspires.
  2. You the Designer With nearly 10,000 readers and plenty of freebies, this blog by Gino Orlandi even has its own forums. Of the best posts: “5 Ways to Optimize Your Portfolio for Local Traffic”
  3. Designers Who Blog As the name suggests, multiple designers share guidance and ideas, but also simply review other designers’ blogs in posts. In other words, this blog is a portal to a hundred other useful blogs and some cover more than just design.
  4. My Ink Blog This helpful graphic and web design advice blog, created by freelancer Andrew Houle in 2008, includes the post “5 Things Every Freelance Designer Should Do.”
  5. Brian Yerkes This site covers a lot of territory including design, blogging, marketing and freelancing, all with posts from the blogger himself, Brian Yerkes. The must-read is a post offering the 50 characteristics of freelancers who won’t succeed.
  6. Graphic Design Blog Freelancer Tara’s blog gives tip on contract graphic design, illustrating and web design–and is growing in readership. Don’t miss her regularly scheduled and insightful interviews with other freelance designers.
  7. All About Freelance This very helpful blog covers tools and tips for freelance graphic designers and web designers, and was written by one of their own.
  8. I’mJustCreative In this blog, Graham Smith offers his readers logo inspiration and creation tips, marketing savvy and social media discussion.
  9. CrazyLeaf Design Blog Here, multiple authors share concepts and tools for both graphic design and web design, with many tutorials archived.
  10. Method to the Mayhem Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios gives his thoughts on design, marketing and promotion through this blog, especially in his recent post about branding yourself through Twitter.
  11. Design O’Blog Here you’ll find tools from Niki Brown, plus 216 posts about graphic design. Her tips for success and inspiration are worth your time, but she also happens to cover web 2.0, design ethics and more.
  12. Design for Users Blogger Kristi Colvin speaks to design, marketing, social media and more. However, her message to designers (which is “get a mobile web site“) really shows her freelance savvy.

TOP FREELANCE ILLUSTRATION & ANIMATION BLOGS:

  1. Animation Tips & Tricks The senior animator of Industrial Light and Magic, Shawn Kelly, hosts this beautiful blog that guides animators (even while selling AnimationMentor.com) through topics like how to proceed after you’ve been given the storyboard (by Nick Bruno).
  2. Chewing Pencils Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Matt Glover doles out great advice for others, such as “The Isolation of the Freelancer.” He should know, Matt is one of many contract animators who works alone.
  3. Coghillustration Cartoon illustrator George Coghill offers advice, not just his work. Freelancers can enjoy this entry which answers the looming question “Can a Solo Freelance Artist Make a Real Living?”
  4. Illustration Castle This is a great blog of advice for illustrators from talented Canadian artist Heather Castles. One of many topics is how to use iPhoto to catalog your illustrations.
  5. Character Design This artist interview and gallery blog is a must for animators, complete with the Character Design Forum where members can share ideas, critique each others’ work, etc.

TOP BLOGS FOR FREELANCE SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS:

  1. Joel on Software Developer Joel Spolsky has blogged over a 1,000 times on the topic of software management, including “The Absolute Minimum Every Developer … Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets.” This blog has a discussion group and many articles have been translated into other languages.
  2. Computer Zen Learn software development news–along with nearly 40,000 other subscribers–and “programming life” from Scott Hanselman. His blog includes 168 entries on bugs, as well as his HanselMinutes podcasts.
  3. Code Better Brendan Tompkins and Darrell Norton founded this very popular blog (with nearly 30,000 subscribers), which has multiple contributors. All are in the business of teaching developers how to (what else?) code better and there’s a little freelance advice as well, in Jeff Lynch’s entry “Finding Freelance Work.”
  4. Code Monkeyism With 1500 loyal readers, Stephan Schmidt’s regularly writes his programming blog, which is all tech and very little fluff. While he has a hefty focus on Java, he also has a lot of entries on general software development.
  5. Warren Seen Australian software developer Warren Seen has been dishing out how-to’s on his blog since 2006. Besides his how-to’s for programming, he has a great post from 2007 for every freelance developer called “Why I’m Assertive With My Clients.”
  6. Eric.Weblog On this blog you’ll find software engineering advice from Eric Sink of SourceGear, who even throws in an entry perfect for freelancers about becoming your own boss.

TOP BLOGS FOR FREELANCE WEB DESIGNERS:

  1. Smashing Magazine This blog of web designer innovations and issues is based out of Germany–but don’t worry, it’s all in English–and has almost 99,000 subscribers, a forum, and tons of advice posts like “75 (really) Useful JavaScript Techniques.”
  2. Noupe News and helpful information for web designers from the best of the best, and they have nearly 22,000 subscribers. A sample of the blog’s advice? “10 Ways to Automatically and Manually Backup MySQL Database.”
  3. Vandelay Design Almost 13,000 web designers subscribe to this blog, perfect for freelancers, especially with posts like “77 Resources to Simplify Your Life as a Web Designer.”
  4. Wake Up Later You can’t go two links in the work-at-home web-design blogosphere without someone mentioning Samuel Ryan’s blog, which features free resources and tips for freelance web designers, like where not to use Flash.
  5. DevSnippets This blog is a brainchild of Noupe, where members submit web design and development codes as posts, like this one about navigation menu techniques.
  6. Six Revisions This blog offers information and helps for web designers and developers, from Jacob Gube and others, and it’s full of archived freebies, like these 20 denim textures.
  7. Full Frontal Freelance This unique, short-form blog (tumblelog) gives advice for freelance web designers by pulling links from all over the blogosphere. It’s like a million blogs in one. Intrigued by a post title, like “How Not to Write Like a Designer”? Click on the link and wake up in a whole new freelance or web design blog.
  8. CSS-Tricks Blogger Chris Coyier leads this blog, a popular community for web designers, with a forum of 1500 members. It should be no surprise the site gains popularity every day, with great posts like “So Your Client Has a This Idea … and You Think It’s a Bad One.”
  9. SitePoint At least ten different bloggers have had their work spun into one here, with topics like web design and development issues for freelancers, like “5 Rarely Used CSS Properties.”
  10. I Design Studios Web designer Selene Bowlby blogs her tip for freelance web designers here, like her post on the essential web development tools.
  11. StylizedWeb This web design trends and tutorials blog from Ross Johnson gives away a lot of freebies, and discusses the future of blog design in this post.
  12. Bokardo Blogger Joshua Porter’s tips for website design and development, along with posts like this: “Who Cares How Pretty Web Sites Are?”
  13. Best Practices This freelance advice blog, written for web site designers, features great posts like “Stripping HTML Tags From User Inputs.” It also includes a lot about how to handle your clientel.
  14. Woork This new-in-2009 blog offers good advice for web developers, like useful scripts for platting charts and graphs on a site, and is run by Antionio Lupetti.
  15. Regular Geek Internet design with a healthy dose of social media tips thrown in by the blogger himself. Thinking of learning a new programming language? Read this first.

TOP FREELANCE BLOGGING BLOGS:

  1. Pro Blogger Advice for successful blogging–including freelance bloggers–from Darren Rowse. Subscribed to by over 75,000 readers, it was a clear choice for the top blog, even if it didn’t already have insightful posts like this one on better SEO.
  2. CopyBlogger This blog–with almost 55,000 subscribers–teaches copywriting, marketing and social media along with blogging best-practices, and was created by Brian Clark. (Check out the tricks to writing a post in 20 minutes by contributor Jim Estill.)
  3. Daily Blog Tips This blog is written by Daniel Scocco, and won “Best Web Development Blog” category in the 2007 Weblog Awards. Over 17,000 subscribers love it for posts like: “Create a Functional Footer for Your Blog.”
  4. Men With Pens These four writers–one does happen to be a woman–offer freelancing tips, including tips specific to blogging, and even have a forum. Freelancers will appreciate this deadline discussion.
  5. Blog Design Blog Just like the title says, Vinh Le gives web design advice specifically for blogs, and it’s always excellent–as in his post “37 Ways to Design the Comments Form.”
  6. Remarkablogger How-to’s for those who blog, from Michael Martine, including this post on video blogging and five free WordPress themes.
  7. Lorelle on WordPress This blog–daily guidance from Lorelle VanFossen on WordPress blogging–took third place in the “Blogs on Blogging” category in the 2007 Blogger Choice Awards.
  8. Blogging Basics 101 Blogger Melanie Nelson gives tips on SEO, making money and blog maintenance, including a whole archive of content writing advice, such as the key to writing a successful post.
  9. Inkwell Editorial Though Yuwanda Black won’t blog again until Fall 2009, hundreds of helpful old blog entries will do, like “9 Useful Tips for Bloggers.”
  10. Skelliewag A source of blogging advice from one who knows. Skellie has two of them (see #13 Anywired in our Freelancing Blog list above).

TOP BLOGS FOR FREELANCE WRITERS:

  1. Bizzia As it was once The Golden Pencil, Bizzia has an entire archive for freelancers, as well as how-to’s like this gem: “How to Find Photos for Your Writing.”
  2. The Renegade Writer A blog of freelance best-practices from the authors of the book by the same name. The must read post? “The Freelance Writer’s Bill of Rights.”
  3. Freelance Zone Editors Joe Wallace and Catherine Tilly share freelance writing advice on this blog, such as “The 5 Freelance Writing Mistakes That Will Make You Look Like a Noob.”
  4. The Urban Muse Freelance writing tidbits from Susan Johnston have been on this blog since 2006. One of the latest nuggest is one of the best. It’s about how to be frugal as you freelance. (Writing White Papers named it one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers last year.)
  5. Get Paid to Write Online Freelance writer Sharon Hurley Hall’s blog shares how she built her successful career, with a few necessary rants along the way, like this one.
  6. The Writing Journey Freelance internet writing advice from Bob Younce, whose April 6, 2009 post explains why internet writers need to have a specialty.
  7. Ink Thinker Writer and editor Kristen King’s blog is a must-read for freelancers like her, but one of the best posts was written by a guest. This post tells all writers how to be nicer to their clients.
  8. Bad Language Blog author Matthew Stibbe offers PR, interviewing and freelance advice to writers, such as “How to Make Money Writing for the Web.”
  9. The Writer’s Blog Blogger Dana Prince dishes on her freelance writing journey, even her experience using Copyscape.
  10. Freelance Writerville Though her home was once Adventures in Freelancing, freelancer Yolander Prinzel’s took her writing savvy to this new blog where contract workers will find wisdom in posts like this one.
  11. The Writer’s Manifesto This resource is Monika Mundell’s blog, full of tips for freelance writing, such as “The Dangers of Multitasking” while you write.
  12. Fab Freelance Writing Blog Australian blogger Angela Booth teaches freelancers how to make money, and even has a great podcast.
  13. Allena’s Freelance Writing Blog This is About.com’s writing blog from Allena Tapia, and she even has a forum. Don’t let the fact that it’s from About.com scare you, it’s a great resource.
  14. Chris Blogging Blogger Chris Bibey shares the keys to his freelance writing success and deals with related topics, like deadlines.
  15. Freelance Tips A blog with freelance writing wisdom and leads, this post teaches freelancers to write a business plan for themselves.
  16. Daily Freelance Writing Tips This blog contains practical advice for freelance writers from Chesley Moldonado–such as how to build up confidence.

TOP FREELANCE COPYWRITING & MARKETING BLOGS:

  1. Micro Persuasion This is a blog of marketing talk–with over 50,000 daily readers–from Steve Rubel. Marketers, especially the freelance variety, will appreciate posts like “5 Digital Trends to Watch for 2009.”
  2. Writing White Papers If you are a freelance copywriter/marketer, you should know Michael Stelzner’s blog is as popular as his book by the same name. In fact 20,000 get his newsletter and you can tell by the comments that his posts–like this one about dealing with unresponsive clients–are all the buzz.
  3. Copywrite Underground Freelancer Tom Chandler explains the ins and outs of the marketing business and–in this post–freelancing in this economy.
  4. Freelance Copywriters Blog Freelance copywriter Sally Ormond’s tips for freelancing, such as these “10 Tips for Dynamite Copy,” are exceptionally helpful for contract writers and marketers alike.

TOP FREELANCE LIFESTYLE BLOGS:

  1. Zen Habits Uber-popular blogger Leo Babauta–over 100,000 people follow his blog feed–offers advice freelancers can live by, like the posts “Purpose Your Day” and “How to Accept Criticism.”
  2. Experiments in Lifestyle Design Author of the bestselling book The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss blogs his smart thoughts on what you need in an office chair and how to save your weekends.
  3. Dumb Little Man Tips for Life Not geared for freelancers alone, this blog–created by ordinary guy Jay White–contains nuggets of wisdom to increase your productivity, like “13 Effective Time Management Tips for Web Workers.”
  4. Rock Your Day Get your life in order and freelance better with Dave Navarro (not that Dave Navarro) as you live purposefully The can’t-miss inspirational post? “Why You Should Always, Always Keep Planting Seeds.”
  5. Freelance Parent Two freelance writers–Tamara Berry and Lorna Doone Brewer–discuss the ins and outs of raising kids while working from home.
  6. Just Loving Life This blog has many things, but most importantly, it has an archive of advice for getting the most out of working from home. (The blog is written by friends Wanda and Paula.)

TOP FREELANCE SOCIAL MEDIA BLOGS:

  1. Mashable If you have yet to master social media to further your freelancing career, this blog is for you–and their other 205,000 subscribers will tell you the same thing. The contributors to the blog keep readers updated with the latest advances and advice regarding all forms of social media, such as the post “The 7 Ways to Approach Twitter.”
  2. Social Media Explorer It’s no Mashable, but over 4,000 subscribers look to blogger Jason Falls for social media best-practices and strategies through his blog. Posts like “Persistence: The Key to Social Media Stretegy” are why he has built a fan-base in less than a year and a half.

TOP SPECIALIZED FREELANCE BLOGS:

Note: These last five blogs are not ranked, merely numbered. Pitting these particular blogs against each other would be like comparing apples to oranges.

  1. 1001 Freelance Travel Writer Tips This blog is full of specific advice for travel writers (David of Bizzare Places is only on #92 to date), such as #61, which tells readers to avoid overusing I and me.
  2. Anti 9 to 5 Guide Author of the book by the same name, Michelle Goodman, gives freelance advice targeted to women on her blog. (Check out this interview, comparing the differences between the sexes when it comes to freelancing.)
  3. Freelancers Union This union resource blog deals with the ethical and labor issues of contract work–including these thoughts on whether or not freelancers should lower their rates just because their clients are struggling.
  4. June Walker She’s been advising the self-employed on their taxes since 1979, and answering their questions through her blog since 2006. Of particular interest: “Bloggers, Designers … : Three Ways to Expand Business Deductions.”
  5. The Ace Your Interview Blog Certified career development practitioner Fiona MacKay Young gives expert advice for interviews, including dealing with illegal questions even contract workers shouldn’t answer.
  6. Undress For Success Advice and resources for working from home.

In Closing …

Did we miss one of your favorite freelancer blogs? Tell us about it in your comments!

Tamara Rice

Freelance Writer and Editor

Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.

  • David

    very useful article,
    Thank you for sharing the information.
    internet việt nam

  • http://www.biginterview.com Pamela Skillings

    Hi Team oDesk – thank you for mentioning my Escape from Corporate America blog. While I still do a lot of writing, most of it is now on Big Interview at http://www.biginterview.com/blog