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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.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. There are so many free articles about freelancing that I have been reluctant to buy an ebook. However, I think sometimes buying one can be the best choice because it puts all the info in one place.

    Thanks,
    Nate

  2. Well I like the team part and here I am bit weak and choosy as well. I am always believe in delivering quality service and quality contents to my clients and my visitors respectively.

    So I have always doubt whether those people whom I will hire would come on my level or not.

    So I am really curious to develop such skill.

  3. Josh says:

    Thanks for this recommendation. I’ve been getting my feet wet in freelance writing hoping that I can change from creating “free content” to “creating a paid product.”

  4. Looks like an interesting read. I’ll have to check it out!

  5. Nice review Jade. Kinda disagree with you slightly though.

    The advice can be applied to any freelance career, they use writing as examples because of their respective backgrounds.

    I also seem to recall some advice on why time = money is ultimately wrong (I could be mistaken I’ve read Men With Pens and Freelance Folder for so long the lines are beginning to blur :)) and how you can break out of that mindset.

    I bought the book when it was released and I do think that the advice Mason and James provide is extremely valuable. So much so that I consider it a must have book for anyone that’s serious about a freelance career.

    At $29 the book will easily pay for itself when you start implementing the authors’ advice.

  6. Jason says:

    I’m sure this book will pay for itself

  7. Ed OKeeffe says:

    This looks great – when’s the print version coming out?

  8. Eric says:

    Well I have yet to purchase an ebook. perhaps now is the time…

  9. Added this ebook to my wishlist…

  10. Fouad says:

    When ever I go through these books, I always find that almost all of them are presenting the same material over and over again. The internet is filled with so many articles and ebooks today that one doesn’t have to pay to find some good material about how to set up an online writing or blogging freelance business. On my website http://www.askbajwa.com, I am compiling my experiences with online freelancing and am posting my thoughts. Wouldn’t it be crazy to just pick all of those, edit them and put them into a book and then offer that as a price whereas they can all be read on the website?

  11. Amol says:

    Since Darren of Problogger is recommending an ebook to read, there must be really useful stuff in that book.

    I am going to read that book and apply it’s teachings for my blog.
    Hope that it proves very useful.
    Thanks Darren

  12. Wow, thank you very much for the review. I’m glad it made it here, because I know so many freelancers and online entrepreneurs read PB on a regular basis. I hope it helps, honestly, because we’re living in a crazy world these days!

    The book isn’t geared only to writers. It’s geared to freelancers at large – marketers, designers, writers – and to business owners, even if there’s no freelancing involved.

    And one correction. I’ve added a third person to my team :)

  13. Eddie Gear says:

    Looks promising.

  14. Jade Craven says:

    Marc – I do agree my review was flawed in that respect.

    My problem was I was trying to show what bloggers can get out of it. I’m involved in too many communities online – I’ve found that there are seperate groups like the designers, general freelancers, writers, consultants etc. And yes, all of them would get a lot out of the ebook.

    The Problogger readership is so vast that I tried to cater it to the writers. I’d read Darrens previous tweet about bloggers looking for work and tried to target it at them.

    But when thinking about it – there are also many bloggers that are working as part of a freelance team. Adii and Woothemes comes to mind. DIY Themes is another. Oh gosh – and the fact that Men With Pens also do freelance theme customizations!

    I tried to cater the review to a specific audience. I have more understanding of the writing niche than designing. In the future, I’ll definitely try to cater to other audiences.

    Again – totally appreciate the feedback (both on here and twitter). I think my nerves got in the way. I got a few negative comments on my previous review and tried to show how this product changed my mindset.

    Do continue to provide such feedback. It may help the people that I’ve ignored in the review make a more informed decision.

    On a sidenote – I bought this product after reading about it on your blog. I’m the type of blogger that will purchase products from my friends aff links. I would have bought through yours if you had a link up at the time of purchase :)

    Steven – do check it out :) I’ve been reading your blog for a while and think you could get a lot out of it.

    Nate – yep. There are many free articles about freelancing. I put off purchasing this ebook because of them. I was so blown away when I bought it. If you are reluctant to purchase – follow the authors’ work. You can learn so much by observing them. I found though that the $29 price tag makes it so worthwhile to buy. You might not make the money back immediately, but you’ll learn so much that can help you in the long run.

  15. Parth says:

    I like some of the concepts presented in the review. I’ll definitley pick it up sometime soon.

  16. Team Nirvana says:

    This would really be a good read as I have combined with a group of bloggers in my vicinity who are keen on joining the team as freelancers. Soon, we would start a company which offers services which would lend a helping hand for the people who are on the lookout for quality content.

  17. @ Jade – Are you saying there are cliques online? Pssht, now, whatever made you think that? ;)

  18. Yep thats around $17000 PM. Thats really a cool money for a writer …

  19. Ivan says:

    The key is always try to do less of the easy stuff. Spin off as much busywork as possible and do the work most people consider hard.

    A quote from Frank Kern
    Set goals, set deadlines, work hard…

  20. Max says:

    The statement that most freelancers are looking for more work may not be the right question. Most freelancers are not looking for more work they are looking for better paying work.
    Max

  21. Jade Craven says:

    Max – yes, that was incorrectly phrased. I could apply your comment to my own situation. I’m content to guest post to improve my skills but eventually, I want to get paid freelance opportunities.

    Even though I’m not earning much income currently, I’m planning to put many of the principles from the book into practice. One of them is outsourcing my editing, which is a weakness, so I can focus more time on other paid opportunities.

    Thanks for the comment though :) Have you read the book?

    Ivan ,

    Interesting quote. I’ve been hearing Frank Kern everywhere in freelancing circles lately. Have you bought any of his products and have they helped out?

    @James

    I tend to hang out with certain cliques when I’m learning different skills. Currently, I’ve been checking out a lot of bloggers who already have a solid monetization model – you, Dave Navarro, Naomi Dunford etc. Its been fascinating because you see the same bloggers pop up in the comment section and learn heaps.

    Everyone else,

    I hope the review didn’t affect your opinion of the book :) I think its really awesome but was completely focused on how it could help me improve my blogging. If you end to offer services as part of your blogging strategy, this book is a must read. I had to read it in chunks because I was so busy taking notes.

  22. Sarah says:

    While there are many freelancing articles and books in the market, I think that an ebook that captures everything in one place should be excellent enough for any freelancer. It is true that freelancers are not looking for more jobs but then again this book is not about how freelancers can get more jobs but instead it guides new freelancers on how to have a better freelance career.

  23. Viqi French says:

    Very cool! I’ve been planning to do a very similar e-book for freelance writers. I’ll definitely bookmark this one and check into it.

    PS Sure wish you guys would read and review my e-book: “Ebook Immersion.” You can learn about it here: http://ebookstrategies101.com

  24. I have read it and it is a great book.

    Murray