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.
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.
SUMO Bookings Pro
If you would like to automate bookings and get on board even more clients, SUMO Bookings Pro is a fine WordPress plugin that you should not miss. You can now quickly and effortlessly include a booking system into your website without breaking a single drop of sweat. In your case, bookings are perfect for calls or even to schedule a meeting. Depending on your services, you might consider introducing a booking system for your business and keep things as organized as possible.
The features of SUMO Bookings Pro are loads, ensuring you that everyone gets the most out of the plugin. From Google reCAPTCHA and working hours and holidays to email and SMS notifications, translation ready and 100% customizable, SUMO Bookings Pro is ready for bookings of all kind. Look no further if this is the tool that you are looking for and kick it off in style.
Regardless of your creative nature, Portfolio Designer is a WordPress plugin for freelancers of all talents. Hence the name, it helps you create the niftiest online portfolios which you can use for pushing your works further. As for the end user and potential clients, they can enjoy your photographies, web design and any other art in great detail. Whatever you excel at, Portfolio Designer is ready and set to help you spread the word out.
You can choose between grid, masonry, slider and justify layouts, over fifty enticing effects and even use Portfolio Designer for audios and videos. Moreover, you can customize the layout further and tailor it to your branding regulations. Easily import and export layouts, install the demo with one single click and pick any color you want. The outcome will also be 100% mobile-ready and compatible with modern web browsers.
To build customer loyalty, one of the best ways is to add testimonials to your website. By now, you probably have a few already; why not use them to win over even more business deals? With Testimonials Slider, you can do just that, create a stunning slideshow that will display why others love to work with you. While your professional work will do most of the work, testimonials are icing on a well-decorated cake.
Testimonials Slider treats you to six different layouts that will surely fit your online presence seamlessly. The tool is also in tune with any modern WordPress theme and does not require any coding knowledge to add it to your existing page. You can attach it via a shortcode, widget or even implement it through Visual Composer, whatever the case, testimonials will surely do you well.
Google Related Keywords Generator
One of the ways you are scoring new projects is by utilizing the power of content marketing. If you are already doing a good job with search engine optimization and compelling articles, you can step things up with Google Related Keywords Generator plugin. It is a convenient extension that will help generate related keywords which you can then use in your upcoming content or across your website. For your information, Google Related Keywords Generator works with the Google Suggested Relevance API. In short, you can expect results instantly, with just one click.
The optimization of your page never ends. Help yourself take things to an entirely new degree with Google Related Keywords Generator. Better SEO optimization means higher rankings. And higher rankings mean more traffic what translates into more biz deals.
With FS Poster, you can now distribute your content to different social media channels and increase your potential. If you are not sharing your content on the platforms yet, you better start doing it and get the most out of the online space. With FS Poster, you can automatically share your content, media, services and products on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit and more. The plugin works with ten different social networks, giving you enough options to get more eyeballs on your freelancing business.
Some of the features of FS Poster are post scheduling, re-publishing, URL shortener, proxy support and insights. The interface of the plugin is super newbie-friendly, available to everyone; even those will little to no prior experience. And you can try it out in advance over at FS Poster’s live preview page to get the gist of it.
Inline CTA Builder
To encourage visitors to take action, you need to consider adding call-to-action (CTA) buttons to your page. Instead of figuring out how to do it yourself, take Inline CTA Builder WordPress plugin to your full advantage. When you strategically place CTA buttons across your entire web space, you will for sure increase your conversion rate. And the call-to-action buttons you are about to create with Inline CTA Builder will be stunning and super congruent with your theme.
In the Inline CTA Builder kit, you will get a whopping collection of forty outstanding templates for creating loads of different styles of call-to-action buttons. For instance, you can create simple text, text and image, as well as text and video CTA buttons in a snap. Other goodies are hover effects, Google Analytics support, live preview and drag and drop building technology to name a few.
Accordion FAQ WordPress Plugin
There are a whole bunch of different WordPress plugins for freelancers that we have here for you. Of course, there is no need to utilize them all. However, a few can definitely level up your web space and boost your potential through the roof.
Another excellent tool that you can use for presenting FAQ or other information professionally is Accordion FAQ WordPress Plugin. It includes 22 gorgeous designs for you to create the right style of accordions that will fluently match your look. Other amenities of the plugin are drag and drop ordering, nice typography options and fully translation ready.
What’s more, Accordion FAQ WordPress Plugin is compatible with Gutenberg, customizable to the very last detail and responsive. You also get access to comprehensive documentation and 24/7 support team. Accordions can be a nifty addition to your website where others can learn more about your works and services.
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.
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.