Being, or becoming one, 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 the place you are working from, and the hours that you wish to spend working. Though, becoming successful takes more than the decision to do contract/freelance work. A freelancer still needs to posses certain qualities that would ensure that work is accomplished in timely manner, and that consistency is maintained. Freelancing takes patience, and the willingness to fail, as well as 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 generally attract higher quality clients, one needs to work hard to establish a solid reputation. As such, starting your own website to help promote your own services is a wonderful way to begin creating a long-lasting portfolio for yourself. WordPress is one of the most convenient ways to start a website, and also one of the easiest ways to host a portfolio website. To help you get started, explore some of our freelance WordPress themes, and also our collections of freelance marketplaces, and job boards for technology experts. At Colorlib we respect freelancers, because in many ways we are freelancers ourselves.
Now, once you get your WordPress portfolio up and running, it is time to adjust your blog to be better suited for doing and completing 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, all can become part of your WordPress installation with the help of specific plugins, one’s that we are going to count down for you now. Freelancers, we ask that you join us in making this list the best list out there, by recommending to us the plugins you are using in your daily freelance workflow. We want to add them to this list.
Freelance writers have to deal with extensive amounts of information, and have to meet important deadlines to keep their track record straight. WordPress in this regard is a wonderful platform, as it allows anyone to create unlimited amounts of content, and manage it directly from a single web page. But, 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, and 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 hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. It’s the one-stop solution for all things content publishing, and will in the process help you create a more structured workflow where your content gets published, but also done, 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 it has been recognized that a new batch of hackers is emerging who aim for an easy access to your blogs content to use it to their own advantage, most commonly this means that a hacker will try and hide that they have access to your blog, and in turn 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, a WordPress-developed security plugin that will monitor everything important and sensitive on your WordPress installation. With VaultPress, your content is also going to be backed up frequently, to give you a peace of mind in the wake of a disaster. User logins and actions are all carefully monitored, and you can setup alerts to keep yourself notified of any malicious activity.
As a freelancer who has his own website, you will inevitably need to create pages that consists of forms, whether they are plain contact forms, or full-scale forms that your potential customers can use to gain a quote from you. There isn’t a native forms builder in-built in WordPress, although the plugins directory will happily give you a selection of free forms plugins, which we don’t really think are as suitable for a professional freelancer as they might seem, besides — many of these forms plugins only offer LITE versions. To solve the problem of creating forms, there is one particularl plugin that has managed to stand out from the rest with a successful track record of being reliable, secure, and versatile — it’s called Gravity Forms. An advanced WordPress forms building plugin suitable for freelancers, brands, and small businesses, as well as bloggers. You can use Gravity Forms to create the most extensive and most versatile forms that will help you collect every important detail about the people who wish to reach out to you, and that is so important for freelancers too, to be able to gather as much detail in a single email as possible.
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; because Drip is quickly changing the way WordPress users are marketing themselves, and their content. Drop is a marketing automation tool built for WordPress and is targeted at 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: 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. All the subscribers can be automatically categorized in specific sections, according to the actions they have taken 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, especially categorizing and analyzing each subscriber, which Drop does automatically.
Starbox – the Author Box for Humans
Author boxes can seem as insignificant parts of a WordPress website, but everyone eventually learns that this is the part of a blog where new opportunities can arise from, and also helps readers to introduce themselves to the author who is writing the post. So, how is this a freelancer plugin? There are many reasons, but most important one — Starbox allows you to create a universal Author Box that will include everything in relation to making yourself more known in the blogging universe: author photo, author description, author website and links, and author social media information. Starbox also has a feature called Latest Posts, so users can quickly navigate the latest content you’ve shared, directly from the end of the post. Wonderful! Starbox integrates Google Authorship and Rich Snippets automatically, saving you a lot of coding and testing time. There are a number of Starbox themes to choose from, so you’ll always be using a style that best suits the theme you’re already using.
Freelancers love to reach the point of invoice, this means that work has been accomplished, it has been reviewed and approved, and now it is time to get paid! Those who work online regularly, will be accustomed to the process of sending and receiving invoices. An invoice is a business paper that helps to conclude a particular sale. There are many invoice solutions available to freelancers and WordPress bloggers, and we’re choosing to mention Sprout Invoices, because these guys are offering a free WordPress invoice plugin to anyone who needs an in-built invoicing platform in their WordPress blog. Clients can choose to pay for your work through numerous payment methods, you can create the invoices to look just like you want them to cool, and there’s in-built client management to stay in touch with what each client is giving back to you. There are many more cool features to explore, so we will let you do that now. If you’re a WordPress freelancer, or a freelancer using WordPress, and you use a different invoicing solution, please talk about it in the comments, we would love to hear about it.
WP Job Manager
You might not be a freelancer yourself, or perhaps you are someone who manages other freelancers. The uses for a Job Board are many, and this WordPress Job Board plugin has found home at more than 50,000+ blogs. That’s 50,000+ active installations today. The Job Board will let anyone who visits the Job Page to create a new job and advertise in front of your audience. This can be particularly help if you are a freelancer who is looking to create his own digital marketing agency, and you’re looking for a way to streamline new workers through your own site. All jobs can be managed and put into their according categories, all job content is searchable using WordPress search, the job postings can feature both a website and an email address for easier application process.
Q2W3 Fixed Widget
The widget area of your blog is where you can put all kinds of appealing widgets and snippets that could further help you with your freelance career. This could include a widget that talks about yourself and your services, perhaps a widget full of your social network icons, but it’s also possible that you are going to be using an email marketing widget on your site, which would be the most appropriate fit for the Q2W3 plugin. The Q2W3 sticky widget plugins lets you make a particular plugin ‘sticky’, so that even when a user scrolls past the widget container, the widget you have made sticky still continues 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 experiment with.
MailChimp for WordPress
Email marketing is a big topic in this plugin list for freelancers. Indeed, email marketing can be helpful in keeping in touch with your existing clients, your content fans, and those who wish to stay in touch with you themselves. For freelancers, one of the best email marketing platforms is going to be MailChimp, and the reason is quite obvious — MailChimp offers a lifelong free plan that lets you create an email list of up to 2k people, without having to pay any money to send emails to these people, and you still get access to all premium MailChimp features. That’s a deal you won’t be able to say no to. So, if you’re looking to get that email list growing, take a look at this WordPress plugin that has over 400k active installations already. It will allow you to integrate with your MailChimp email list in a single click, which 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, such as Gravity Forms that we mentioned earlier.
How will a freelancer benefit from tables? Well, tables are all about data, and freelancers tend to deal with quite a bit of data, if they care to analyze and learn more about their freelance performance, but also — tables can generally compliment 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. Table data can be edited in a spreadsheet-like interface, so no coding is necessary. Tables can contain any type of data, even formulas that will be evaluated.
Hire Me Status Widget
You can create a custom Text widget for your blog where you talk about your skillset, and mention that you are available for hire, but changing the text back and forth can consume your productivity, and also it’s one of those things that can easily be forgotten, whereas a separate widget only requires of you to select from the dropdown — whether you’re available or not. This simple Hire Me status widget is going to help you gain clients as soon as you have new openings, because it is going to be clear to them that you’re clearly available. You can also specify whether it is you as an individual available for hire, or is it a team of people that is available for hire.
What should we write about next
Freelancer bloggers can run out of steam quickly, but only if they are not being careful. Dumping idea after idea can truly be draining on the mental mind state, but a careful selection of topics and ideas can help in the process of keeping the flow of content continuous. And this plugin can help too, it is a plugin that is going to encourage your readers to leave feedback about your content and give you more ideas to write about. Hearing from your very own readers about the topics that you should write about, gives you a better idea of what is missing out there in the market, and you can use those opportunities to position yourself as a thought leader. A wonderful way to generate new ideas, and eventually new work.
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.
Business Deal Countdown
Freelancers are often seen doing promotions on their work through the use of social promotion and similar plugins, but this is a more universal countdown plugin that lets your visitors and customers know when a particular offering is going to run its course. Maybe you’re doing a freebie promotion and need to let people know its only going to be available for a certain amount of time, or perhaps you want to promote special prices on your writing for a limited period, whatever promotion you are running, this is a great countdown to use so that your offers are taken advantage off when they are running, and not before its too late.
BigContact Contact Page
BigContact has put in a lot of work into this contact form plugin, and it’s so much more than just a contact form too. This is a professional solution for freelancers who need a contact form thats accompanied with a calendar, working hours, team member emails, a schedule and more. You decide whether you want to create just a plain contact form, or a way for others to book an appointment with you. You can display all your business information within a single page when using BigContact. Your forms are also protected from spam automatically.
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.
Best WordPress Plugins for Freelancers
We can already tell that you will have a lot of time to spend to explore these plugins individually, and perhaps you will need to go as far as putting together a collection of plugins that you are most definitely going to start and use, but we also understand if some of these didn’t seem like freelance plugins at all, that’s the beauty of individuality — where we all create our own personal workflow and choose to work with that works for us.