Being a freelancer has huge benefits, but it also comes with a lot of challenges. Freelance offers you the freedom to work on any kind of projects that you prefer and earn as much as you prefer. It also allows you to choose your own workplace and work hours. Becoming successful, though, takes more than a decision to do contract/freelance work. A freelancer still needs to possess certain qualities to accomplish work in a timely manner and to maintain consistency. Freelancing takes patience and the willingness to take risks and to work with clients that would serve as reputation builders.
In freelance, reputation holds a lot of credibility. To be able to contribute to better quality outlets and to attract higher quality clients, one needs to establish a solid reputation. You can start your own website to promote your services and to create a long-lasting portfolio. WordPress is one of the most convenient ways to start a website and is one of the easiest ways to host a portfolio website. To help you get started, explore some of our freelance WordPress themes and our collections of freelance marketplaces and job boards for technology experts. At Colorlib, we respect freelancers because we are freelancers ourselves in many ways.
Once you get your WordPress portfolio up and running, it is time to adjust your blog to suit your freelance tasks. We are thinking of freelancers who are in the fields of writing, development, design, and other online-related freelance activities that would require a single and independent platform for managing all your freelance-related tasks. Invoices, editorial, contact forms, and other forms can become part of your WordPress installation with the help of specific plugins.
Freelance writers have to deal with extensive amounts of information and to meet deadlines to keep their track record straight. WordPress in this regard is a wonderful platform as it allows anyone to create unlimited content. You can manage it directly from a single web page. However, WordPress isn’t the ultimate solution when it comes to editorial calendars and general editorial editing. To meet deadlines, freelancers need to get on top of things with a calendar. Luckily, there is one precise solution out there called Editorial Calendar.
The Editorial Calendar is a plugin that will allow you to schedule and maintain content on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It’s the one-stop solution for all things related to content publishing. It will in the process help you create a more structured workflow to publish your content in timely manner. The plugin features a drag-and-drop interface for easier management if there’s ever a need to move a post a few days forward or back. You can also use the quick-edit button to change important aspects of the content, including the content itself. It’s a plugin that takes a little bit of practice to master, but the benefits are invaluable.
Security is a growing concern, not just for bloggers and freelancers. Content has a high price these days, and a new batch of hackers is emerging. They aim for an easy access to your blog’s content to use it to their own advantage. Most commonly, this means that hackers will try and hide that they have access to your blog. In turn, they will manipulate your content with backlinks and content pieces that point out to their own websites. It’s becoming a very common practice these days, and one of the most successful ways to protect yourself against such attacks is VaultPress.
With VaultPress, you can also back up your content frequently to give you peace of mind in the wake of a disaster. This plugin carefully monitors user logins and actions. You can further setup alerts to keep yourself notified of any malicious activity.
As a freelancer with your own website, you will inevitably need to create pages that consist of forms. Your potential customers can use plain contact forms or full-scale forms to gain a quote from you. WordPress has no native form builder, although the plugins directory will happily give you a selection of free form plugins. They are not suitable for professional freelancers, though. Besides, many of these form plugins only offer lite versions.
To solve the problem of creating forms, one particular plugin has managed to stand out from the rest. It has a successful track record of being reliable, secure, and versatile. It’s called Gravity Forms, an advanced WordPress form plugin suitable for freelancers, brands, and small businesses, as well as bloggers. Use it to create the most versatile forms to collect important details about people reaching out to you.
Email marketing on WordPress can prove to be a somewhat terrible experience. There’s isn’t a single standalone plugin that can take care of majority of email marketing tasks within a single dashboard, at least not until now. Drip is quickly changing the way WordPress users are marketing themselves and their content. It is a marketing automation tool for WordPress and targets brands, business owners, bloggers, and freelancers who feel like they could benefit from populating their email list with hot leads. Drip features a selection of widgets that can be used to capture visitor email addresses. This includes a live-chat-like widget for capturing leads directly, an embeddable widget that can be put anywhere on your site, an exit-intent widget to try one last time to capture a subscribe before they close the website.
Automatically categorize all subscribers into specific sections within the scope of Drip’s widget. You can use Drip to create email courses or on-boarding emails that would go from talking about a product all the way to acquiring a customer for it. All this automation saves you an insane amount of time compared to having to do all these marketing tasks on your own.
Processing an invoice means that the freelancer has accomplished his or her work and that it is time to get paid! Those who work online regularly are familiar with the process of sending and receiving invoices. There are many invoice solutions available to freelancers and WordPress bloggers. Sprout Invoices, in particular, offers a free WordPress invoice plugin to anyone who needs an in-built invoicing platform.
Clients can choose to pay for your work through numerous payment methods. You can create the invoices the way you want them to look. Also, the in-built client management allows you to stay in touch with what each client is giving back to you.
There are many more cool features to explore. If you’re a freelancer using WordPress and a different invoicing solution, please talk about it in the comments. We would love to hear about it.
WP Job Manager
The uses for a job board are many, and this WordPress job board plugin has found home on 50,000+ blogs. That’s 50,000+ active installations today. The job board lets the job page visitors to create a new job and advertise in front of your audience. This is particularly helpful if you are a freelancer looking to create your own digital marketing agency. This is also useful if you want to streamline new workers through your own site. Manage all jobs into their categories. All job contents are searchable using WordPress search. The job postings can also feature both a website and an email address for an easier application process.
Q2W3 Fixed Widget
The widget area of your blog is where you can put all kinds of appealing widgets and snippets. This could include a widget about yourself and your services or perhaps a widget full of your social network icons. It’s also possible to use an email marketing widget on your site. This would be the most appropriate fit for the Q2W3 plugin. It makes a particular plugin “sticky.” This means that even when a user scrolls past the widget container, the sticky widget will continue to scroll with the users, exposing the widget more clearly. The chances of making extra subscribers and extra contact emails are actually rather high. So, a plugin like this is worth testing and experimenting with.
MailChimp for WordPress
Email marketing can help you keep in touch with your existing clients and your content fans. For freelancers, one of the best email marketing platforms is MailChimp. It offers a lifelong free plan that lets you create an email list of up to 2k people. You won’t have to pay any money to send emails to these people. You still get access to all premium MailChimp features as well.
MailChimp allows you to integrate with your MailChimp email list with a single click. This then allows you to create new forms that can be put into widgetized or content areas of your blog. The plugin also happily integrates with other popular WordPress software. An example is Gravity Forms discussed earlier.
How will a freelancer benefit from tables? Well, tables are all about data, and freelancers tend to deal with quite a lot of data. Tables can generally complement existing content or new content that you are writing about. TablePress allows you to easily create and manage beautiful tables. You can embed the tables into posts, pages, or text widgets with a simple shortcode. You can edit table data in a spreadsheet-like interface, so no coding is necessary. Tables can contain any type of data as well, even formulas that will be evaluated.
Copyright information for freelancers is essential. You don’t want to have your work being handed out left and right without your permission, and needless to say — sometimes when people do copy your work, it can bring in a lot of new opportunities if the proper credit has been given. The Copyright Proof plugins is going to give you a digitally signed and time-stamped certificate of content of each wordpress post (for proof of copyright). A specific features will guard you against content thieves and protect all of your WordPress content from being easily copied elsewhere.
WP Project Manager
Editorial Calendar is definitely useful for managing content for the site that you are writing for, but what’s even more strategic is a project management tool that can help to juggle multiple projects at the same time, even assign multiple members to a project to make it more streamlined. This is one of the best WordPress project management plugins out there, it has all the features that a project management platform will need, and it could potentially take your freelancing work to the next level by having a more concise idea of what each project needs. You can create unlimited number of projects with this plugin (more than three thousand people already are doing so), and then manage different parts of the project: discussions, to-do lists, comments, files, and milsetones.
Reviews help you gain more exposure, reviews help others understand how your services work, and how qualified you are for a particular job. WP Review is one of the best WordPress review plugins, with nearly 100,000+ downloads and active installs already. This is a native WordPress plugin that won’t mess around with the performance of your blog, instead, it will allow anyone to leave feedback about yourself and your services on the pages that you decide to put the review form on. The plugins features are very rich: a star rating system that will also shows stars on Google search results, it’s fully mobile responsive, you can change the appearance of the review form to fit your theme, the reviews themselves are structured for friendly display so your readers don’t get confused, supports popular WordPress cache plugins to increase performance, and tons of other great features.
Smart Slider 3
You can’t really grasp the full potential of a content slider until you start using one yourself. That surely has been the case for many bloggers, but also freelancers who know how to use sliders to better promote their most important services and products. A slider is like a billboard on your website, and if you put it as the number one thing in your container grid, new visitors are definitely going to be attracted to the visual appearance of the slider, and instantly explore what you have to say or offer.
Smart Slider 3 has grown to become one of the most advanced and modern free content sliders for WordPress, and packs a pretty punch of features: drag and drop interface, works seamlessly with all WordPress media, responds to all device types, dynamic content slides for WordPress posts, content slider background animations, variety of layers to make super-rich sliders, optimized for SEO, and much more.
Social Share Buttons by Supsystic
You will probably not be landing new clients every day from social media, but if you don’t at least try, then you won’t see any new clients from social networks at all. And what better way to get your existing freelance work out there on social media, if not through added social sharing buttons to your blog posts and pages. We recommend Social Share Buttons by Supsystic because these guys let you create social buttons with the kind of style that is going to work with any WordPress theme there is. And what is the most important aspect, to make social buttons easily accessible, and visually appealing.
Premium WordPress Plugins for Freelancers
So there we have it, a lean rundown of the best WordPress plugins for freelancers, and freelance related agencies and businesses. You have everything you need to help you create content, promote your content, and keep your content actively engaged. And when we say content, we don’t just mean blog posts, but anything that you may be doing as a freelancer, including online courses, graphic design, or traditional business services. That was it for the free stuff, now we invite you to explore some premium plugins that freelancers who use WordPress can also greatly benefit from. Wonderful to have all these choices in one place.
Nuntium Newsletter Generator
With all those email marketing tools that we learned about, we surely are going to need a plugin that will help us create and generate authentic and beautiful email newsletters. Well, here we are. The Nuntium Newsletter Generator is going to save you from an endless hours of designing to come up with a good newsletter template. This plugin will give you everything you need to create mobile-friendly and most popular email services friendly newsletters there are. Many great themes to choose from.
Freelancers need to tap into the potential of video marketing. Potential customers are going to be much more interested in your services if you present yourself within a video, where the customers can see your body language, and thear the passion run through your voice. Leadeo is a very special plugin in this regard, this plugin will let you create a video and capture leads/customers directly from the video itself. Users who watch your video will be able to contact you, share particular parts of the video in social media, share the video with their social networks, act upon Call to Action calls, and much more.
Live chat plugins have exploded in popularity, but also in availability. There are so many great live-chat platforms to choose from these days, and while many are aimed at standalone websites, a lot of the plugins support WordPress too, and we want to introduce a more direct live chat experience from the Uber Chat plugin. This is a live-chat plugin that has been built only for WordPress, and only does one single thing; helps to establish a live chat widget on your blog. It’s so much more convenient for your customers to jump on a live chat with you than it is to wait for email replies, and general email processing. Now you can get all your clients to communicate with you directly, without losing any additional momentum.
Easy Slide-In is another marketing tool for enabling ‘slide-in’ widgets on your blog. These widgets can range from a simple HTML message, to opt-in forms, to related posts, and technical sidebar widgets. You can create a slide-in to promote anything and everything that your freelance services are all about. These plugins too, have gained much more exposure in the recent years, and are being recommended by the most seasoned WordPress users as essential tools for growing your business.
Many freelancers depend on Google Organic Results for attracting new customers, and gaining exposure to their content, but Google has made it particularly difficult to keep track of specific rankings, and so many developers are taking their time and knowledge to create Google-independent tools that can help with monitoring particular keywords, allowing WordPress users to better grasp the process of how a keyword goes from ranking on page 10, and how it makes it all the way to page 1. Rankie is not only a wordpress serp tracker plugin but also integrates a powerful keyword research tool that generates huge lists of valuable keywords you can target. These keywords are generated by catching Google suggestions for your specified keyword by appending all language characters one by one to the main keyword.
WordPress Mobile Website Builder Plugin
You can’t forget about all those mobile users who come to your website! You need to give them a version of your website that is going to function just like you desktop website would, but some like to take a step further, some like to make their mobile websites into a unique individual experience of its own, which is what the WordPress Mobile Website Builder Plugin is going to help you with. The drag and drop interface lets you quickly create an authentic mobile experience for your WordPress blog that can be customized in unlimited amounts of ways. It’s one of the most easy to use WordPress mobile builder plugins on the market, and is well worth the price.
DW Question & Answer Pro
Your customers, your readers, your website visitors come to your website with questions, because your content is providing them with answers, but what if you took this one step further and integrated in your WordPress website a Questions and Answers platform that would help you to be more specific about your knowledge, and allow you to connect with your fan base more directly, perhaps in turn generating you a little more business exposure, not to mention all that extra exposure on search engines.
Your website is your business portfolio. If your website doesn’t live up to modern standards, then there is a likely chance that nobody is going to be interested in your services, but if your website does look somewhat modern and appealing, people will naturally take you more seriously, and this isn’t just because someone said it would be so, this is a pattern that has evolved alongside modern web development, where shiny colors and patterns instill trust and security into people’s minds. That’s just how things work on the web, and with STYLEZ you can ensure that your pages are using the latest CSS technology to look modern, appealing, and professional.
But it’s not just about the visual appearance through CSS, it’s also about the way you structure each of your website elements and widgets to create an authentic experience. Your homepage is going to be the one page where you will need to put in some extra effort to make sure that once the user is finished scrolling down to the footer of the page, they have full understanding of what you do, how you work and what kind of services you are able to provide.
The most popular WordPress plugin for building professional pages is of course Visual Composer, undeniably the most successful premium WordPress plugin that has ever been built, with thousands of new purchases every single day. We at Colorlib are no strangers to Visual Composer, it is our own choice of a plugin to use for building great pages, and we have published content about Visual Composer in the past, such as the roundup of websites who use Visual Composer and the kind of results they have achieved with this extensive plugin.
Join us in making this list the best one out there. Recommend to us the plugins you use in your daily freelance workflow.