Take a look at the book shelves at any Borders or Barnes & Noble and you’ll find a great many titles by the usual suspects who write about freelancing, the craft of writing and other relevant topics. Take a look in Amazon’s Kindle Store for freelancing titles and you’ll find electronic books like One Year to a Writing Life by Susan M. Tiberghien, plus a few of the other usual suspects you find on the bookshelves…but not all. Not nearly.
But that’s changing, surely as Kindle, Nook, iPad and other digital platforms are slowly becoming a more standard part of consumer culture. You’ll start finding many more of the usual suspects available digitally.
What does this mean for freelancers in general? More than a few freelancer sites in the writing and editing disciplines are woefully behind the times when it comes to design, presentation and functionality. In the design, photography, and video editing worlds this isn’t as prevalent, but one thing is for sure–those who ARE behind the times have some serious catching up to do.
But that’s not as daunting as it might seem. Sometimes it just takes the right kind of tutorial or learning experience to open the doors of understanding. The most important thing any freelancer can do–especially those trying to catch up to the latest trends in digital freelancing, publishing, etc–is to find a savvy friend to get some pointers from. Barring that, a simple no-BS tutorial is a very good thing indeed. A very good place to start is at WordPress.org, which features some great introductory material on blogging in general, using WordPress and much more.
Another good resource is Problogger.net, which is required reading for anyone who wants to make money as a blogger. And yes, these resources may seem to be blog-centric, but when you read these you’ll be absorbing much more than just what it takes to set up a blog and start writing one…you’re also absorbing the mindset of a whole different subset of potential readers, audience members, and customers. You definitely want to understand this mindset going forward, as it fairly rules the digital realm for freelancers across many disciplines.