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Ten Excellent Freelance Resources

freelanceWhether you are a writer, web developer, graphic designer or virtual assistant; there are more and more online opportunities every day for freelancers who want to work from home–either full time or to supplement their existing income.  Here is a list of 10 excellent online resources that you can use to start and operate a successful freelance career, regardless of your industry.

1. One Word:  Google

You can literally manage your entire online business for free using all the apps provided by Google, including real time document sharing, blogging software, email and an interactive calendar.  Granted, some of the stuff is simple and has limitations; but if you’re starting out and aren’t familiar with a lot of the other apps this is a great “one stop shop” for everything you need.

2. Taxes for Freelancers

A comprehensive tutorial for calculating the taxes you owe, including depreciation on your home office and protecting your losses.

3. Creative Commons

A site which lets you license your photography or graphic designs with various levels of permissions. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization and offers their licenses for free, making it simple to protect your work and share it with others.

4. You Send It

No need to take up space in your email when sending bulky files.  You can instantly send files up to 2GB to your clients using this free service.  They will receive an email with a safe link to download your file directly to their computer.

5. Protolize

Web designers and developers collaborate and rank the best web tools for their work.

6. Form Site

A service with several levels (including a free basic) which allows you to create web-based surveys and forms to gather valuable information or register your clients for services, appointments, etc.

7. Fax Zero

Free internet fax service to send signed documents to companies who require a paper fax.

8. Free Contracts for Freelancers

Includes free templates, how-to articles, and tips for drafting your own agreement, regardless of the type of work you do.

9. Freelance Switch

A massive freelance community that includes a job board and message board for making connections.  Includes an informative blog that will keep you up on the news affecting the freelance market.

10. Zoho

If Google Apps had a big brother Zoho would be it.  This service provides an enormous array of business management tools that Google does not (yet), including invoicing software, document management, presentation software, a database creator, a customizable wiki…and much more.  Pricing is very reasonable starting at $12 a month for up to three users.

Most of the sites listed here are either free or available a nominal cost.  However, for each item on this list, there are at least twenty more similar sites out there with a loyal following.  I would love to hear some comparisons between these sites and the ones you are using.  Do you have a favorite place to search for freelance job postings?  Are you using another form-building site?  Is there something you’ve used that you think everyone should know about?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Michael Mayfair
 

Michael is a writer and personal trainer from New York. In his spare time, Michael enjoys golf. Above everything else though he's crazy about his family and a true dog lover.

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