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11 Free Online Courses and Ebooks for Freelancing

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There’s no such thing as knowing too much when you’re a freelancer. 

Learning can be expensive, though, and who has money now? Fortunately, learning online can actually be quite economical – and often even free.

The free online information that’s out there can teach you a lot – maybe even all you personally need to know – about how to freelance. There are many free online courses which contain very generous amounts of info and advice about a lot of different freelancing topics. 

Online courses come in various formats – usually video and/or written lessons. There are also free e-books which will teach you quite a lot about many different aspects of freelancing. I learn from online courses and e-books all the time.

No matter what you’re good at – whether you’re a creative person or a techie, whether you’re good at administrative work or you’ve got great typing skills – there are online courses and e-books that can teach you how to earn money as a freelancer with your gifts and skills.

These courses and e-books can give you insight into everything from the basics of the freelancing genre to knowledge about how to earn money in specific freelance careers.

I’ve compiled several free online courses and e-books for you right here. Whether you want to learn more about exactly what freelancing is or you’re interested in learning a specific freelancing skill, these courses and e-books will help you out.

11 Free Online Courses and
E-books to Learn Freelancing

Fix your money problems - learn how to freelance with these free online courses Pinterest iamge

How to be a Freelancer – It can be really hard to start something new, especially when it’s a new career or a new lifestyle. In the video course How to be a Freelancer, freelance art and design consultant, Jeyda Deyna Elsässer gives you a look inside her own freelancing journey, so you can see what it’s like to be a freelancer.

Jeyda talks about the rise of freelancing as a career choice, freelancing versus working the traditional 9:00 to 5:00, the benefits and challenges of freelancing, how to handle difficult clients, a day in the life of a freelancer and lots more. She also shares common sense, first-hand advice.

Instructor: Jeyda Deyna Elsässer
Lessons: 44
Duration: 1 hour 1 minutes

You can get the How to be a Freelancer course for free here.

Insight into Freelancing Lifestyle – Transitioning into freelancing from the 9:00 to 5:00 world – or any other type of work situation – can be a bit challenging.

The free video course Freelancer Lifestyle – Start Your Career in the Freelance World gives potential and beginning freelancers an overview of what you may experience when you’re a freelancer. Topics include how to market yourself, how to handle your workspace, and how to be productive.

Instructor: Matt Schmidt, professional career coach
Lessons: 41
Duration: 1 hour 42 minutes

You can get Freelancer Lifestyle for free here.

Creating a Business Plan – As a freelancer, you may want to create a business plan to map out the journey to your goal. The free course Creating a Business Plan and Making Your Idea a Reality will show you how. You’ll learn how to identify your goals, define your product and your market, and create a plan of action to ensure you meet your goals.

Instructor: Cynthia Palmer, certified professional coach and business consultant
Lesson: 6
Duration: 30 minutes

You can get Creating a Business Plan and Making Your Idea a Reality here.

Freelance Programming – Programmers write code for computer programs and apps. Knowing how to code can earn you money, and it can also save you money by not having to hire someone to handle advanced work on your own website.

The Programming for Entrepreneurs JavaScript course teaches you how to code with Javascript. By the end of the course you will know the basics of coding, and you’ll get there by building an interactive prototype of a dating site from scratch.

Instructor Pablo Farrias Navarro will teach you how to code with Javascript. By the end of the course you will know the basics, and you’ll get there by building an interactive prototype of a dating site from scratch.

Instructor: Pablo Farrias Navarro
Lectures: 39
Length: 2 hours 43 minutes

You can sign up for Programming for Entrepreneurs here.

Blue hardback book on top of 2 other books with a tablet on the right side with a charging cable leading from the tablet to the blue book

Freelance Writing – There are so many writing niches in the world. From writing novels to writing sales copy, to website content writing to B2B writing. If you have writing skills, you can earn money as a freelance writer.

The Recession-Proof Freelancer: A 12-Point Plan for Thriving in Hard Times (from a freelance writer who’s been there) is a free e-book by freelance writing guru Carol Tice. Through reading about how Carol built a thriving freelance career through the worst of times, you’ll learn how you can do it too, with confidence and no fear.

Author: Carol Tice, freelance writer

You can get the Recession-Proof Freelancer here.

Freelance Illustration – A freelance illustrator is an artist who creates images for companies to use, or to sell themselves.

The free video course Building a Career in Illustration: Explore Print On Demand, will give you an overview of what it’s like to work as a freelance illustrator, from beginning a sketch to creating your final product. You’ll also learn some marketing techniques, how to identify what your best sellers are and how to capitalize on momentum.

Instructor: Cat Coquillette
Lessons: 7
Duration: 24 minutes

You can get Building a Career in Illustration here.

YouTube Video Creation– YouTube doesn’t just provide entertainment and information. It provides income to a lot of people.

Create compelling YouTube videos, grow your audience, and you can earn money on YouTube.

You’ll learn quite a bit about exactly how to do this with the Complete YouTube Mastermind – How to Grow a Channel Audience course. This free course teaches you how to start a YouTube channel, get it filled out and looking professional, correctly upload videos, generate traffic, and earn money with AdSense, affiliate links, potential deals and more.

Instructor: Bryan Guerra, entrepreneur and marketer
Lessons: 10
Duration: 1 hour 55 minutes

You can get the free Complete YouTube Mastermind course here.

Blogging – Creating and maintaining a blog is a lot of work but can be a great way to earn freelance income in a variety of ways.

How to Start a Beautiful WordPress Blog for Beginners is a free video course that will teach you how to create blog posts, write an About page, design a home page, add images and videos, build a fan base and grow your community.

Instructor: James Stafford, webmaster
Lessons: 5
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

You can get How to Start a Beautiful WordPress Blog for Beginnners here.

Man's hands on laptop keyboard taking free online courses

Freelance Transcription – Transcriptionists type up recorded audio files into text documents. This is a great freelance career for people who are good typists and good listeners. Transcriptionists are very much in demand.

Transcription isn’t something you can really start doing yourself. You really should take an online course to learn not only how to become a transcriptionist but how to become a well-paid transcriptionist. Online transcription courses can be quite expensive, though, so you don’t want to just dive in. Taking a free mini-course first is a very good idea. A free mini-course will give you all kinds of information about the career of freelance transcription as well as insight into what it would be like to take the full transcription course. Transcribe Anywhere has a great in-depth free 7-day mini-course that you can sign up for free of charge right here

Freelance Scoping – A scopist is a freelancer who creates final transcripts of trials, depositions and other legal matters which are typed onto a steno machine by a court reporter.

You definitely have to have training in order to work as a scopist, as the software is pretty involved and people’s lives can depend on what is in the transcripts. Scoping courses are very expensive, but there is an introductory scoping course which you can take for free. The Free Intro to Scoping Mini Course will teach you what exactly scoping is, how big the demand for scopists is, what skills scopists need, how to market yourself, what the earning potential is and more.

You can get the Free Intro To Scoping Minicourse here.

E-commerce Website Development – When you buy things on the internet, you are engaging in e-commerce. It’s not just companies that sell things on the internet, though; individuals can sell things too. It is totally possible to create an e-commerce website and sell items on that website. You just need to learn how.

A free four-hour video course called How to Create an E-commerce Website with WordPress 2018 by Darrel Wilson, a WordPress designer and digital marketer, will show you how. Although this course was created it 2018, it is still completely relevant and useful today.

No prior experience is needed. No coding skills are required. Darrel promises by the end of this online course you should be able to create your own e-commerce website from scratch.

Instructor: Darrel Wilson
Lessons: 19
Length: 4 hours

You can get How to Create an E-commerce Website here.

These free online courses and e-books, as well as thousands of others out there, will teach you a huge amount of information – possibly even everything – that you need to know in order to earn money as a freelancer.



Images by Felix Lichtenfeld and Cytonn Photography 

Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.

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