21 March 2009

Blogging Tips : The Unlimited Freelancer [Ebook Review]

unlimited-freelancer-book.jpgI recently asked my followers on Twitter how many of them were currently looking for more work. The response was overwhelming with many expressing that they were looking at different types of freelance work.

Today Jade Craven from the Prolific Writer reviews an ebook by the name of The Unlimited Freelancer which is designed to help freelancers grow their businesses.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably heard of James Chartrand. He’s one of the killer writers behind Men With Pens. He started out by producing great content and networking prolifically. He now writes for Copyblogger and has created a business that brings in over $200,000 in revenue every year.

James has joined Mason Hipp - editor of Freelance Folder - to create a resource that promises to “take your freelancing to the next level and turn it into a full-fledged, thriving business you can enjoy for years to come.”

In this review, I will examine how you can apply to principles from The Unlimited Freelancer to grow your blog to the next level.

The e-book covers three main topics.

  1. Systems, Software, and Automation
  2. Building a Freelance Team
  3. Revenue-Generating Assets

Lets look at each in turn.

Systems, Software, and Automation

The Unlimited Freelancer cover processes for:

  • Managing Projects Using Systems
  • Automating Your Accounting
  • Systematizing Your Communications
  • Marketing Automation and Systems

There are the specific topics I felt would be of most use to bloggers – they do cover many more. They detail:

  • Programs to use for project management. Bloggers could use this to plan a blog launch or when developing a specific aspect of their site
  • Ideas to automate the accounting: You can learn ideas to use should you need to pay affiliates or content writers.
  • How to systemize communications and marketing. Outside of the blogosphere, you may need to communicate with customers, potential customers, businesses and vendors. This section gives you a framework so you can focus your attention on building your business.

Building a Freelance Team

This chapter details how freelancers can leverage their time to get more results. The idea is to outsource simpler tasks to other members of your team so you can devote more billable hours to your clients.

This includes:

  • Outsourcing tasks to other members of your team, who get paid less per hour due to handle some of the easier, routine tasks
  • Partnering with those who have skills that compliment your own, so you have a larger share of the market.
  • Cross sourcing with other freelancers when you have a heavy workload.

Both their sites are examples of expanding their team. The Men With Pens team have expanded to include two additional freelancers. Mason Hipp regular hires other contributors who bring their unique knowledge and experience with over 10’000 RSS readers.

This chapter also applies to the new bloggers. If you don’t have the money for outsourcing, you can partner with another blogger and exchange your writing skills. As your blog grows, you will need to focus on the work that brings you the highest return on investment

Revenue-Generating Assets

Much of this chapter would be quite familiar to seasoned Problogger readers. Fortunately, instead of examining each asset in minute detail, they concentrate on how freelancers can adopt a business-like approach to creating a product. They discuss:

  • How to find the right asset for your business.
  • How to build an asset
  • Resources for creating and selling your products

This is relevant to bloggers because we often create the free content first, before creating a paid product. As this chapter demonstrates, it is often worth developing a revenue generating asset at the start so you can focus more of your time on unpaid projects.

Combine Strategies for Unlimited Potential

The final chapter details how you can put the core information together to create a self-sustaining business

As a freelance blogger, this chapter was my favourite. It really unified the previous chapters and gave me an insight into the minds of successful freelancers. It really demonstrated that if you want real success, you should treat your freelancing - or blog - as a business rather than another form of self employment.

Would I recommend it?

I would highly recommend this ebook to anyone who create a business based around their blog. Bloggers are exchanging their time for money but unlike freelancers, they are exchanging their time for anticipated income. Its value packed offering 200 pages of information for $29. I’ve paid a lot more for products that offer much less value. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody.

This book isn’t for:

  • Those who are expecting extensive blogging advice. The book focuses on business advice for writers, and those looking to hire writers.
  • Those who want their hand held. The authors do their best to provide a solid framework but there is only so much you can say in 200 pages. They give the comprehensive advice needed to make individual business decisions.
  • Those who are just hoping for success, rather than planning for it.

If you aim to monetize via services, or have plans to expand your blog, then you should read The Unlimited Freelancer. If you can’t justify the expense you can check out the great content at Freelance Folder and Men With Pens.

Over to you

I offered to review this e-book because i felt that the Problogger audience could gain a lot from the authors experience. I know however that people can be reluctant to buy a product based on just one review.

Have you read the Unlimed Freelancer? Did it help you change your blogging or freelancing goals? Let us know in the comments.

Learn more about this resource at The Unlimited Freelancer.

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