31 Free eBooks for Digital Nomads & Location Independent Entrepreneurs
In an age of startups and freelance gigs, location independent work isn’t just a crazy dream (check out our list of 51 Digital Nomad Jobs if you don’t believe us). But educating yourself is essential. We cut through the bullshit to find 31 current, legitimately useful –and free!– eBooks to help you strike out on your own:
Freelancer Lior Frenkel talks about the all-too-common dilemma of clients who don’t pay. He covers how to deal with these situations, red flags to watch for and how to protect yourself in the future. Recommended reading for any new freelancer.
A detailed guide on how to save and make money for full-time travel from blogger Brendan Lee. He’s an accountant who escaped from the 9-5 grind, and this combination of personal experience, plus his detail-oriented accountant’s mindset make for a truly useful book.
Craft & Vision’s two eBooks provide some great beginner to intermediate photography tips with tons of gorgeous photographic examples and clear explanations. Note that even though they’re free, you do have to complete a checkout process with your e-mail, name and address.
This exceptionally well-written book (technically a web book, but you can download a pdf version as well) by Jeremy Keith provides history and context that both new and experienced designers will appreciate, as well as his approach for resilient web design.
Adam Schwartz offers up easy to read explanations of some of the “magical”, but often confounding aspects of CSS in this web book. Best for those who already have a basic grounding in CSS, but seriously enlightening if you’ve been struggling with any of the concepts he covers.
Anyone with even a smidgen of interest in passive income has probably already heard of passive income guru Pat Flynn. His free eBook goes in-depth on how to publish and sell your own eBook, drawing back the veil on a model that’s been a large part of his success.
Marketer and Michele Pariza Wacek offers a practical guide to making money while doing what you love. The short book doesn’t go in depth, but provides a nice outline that will help potential entrepreneurs to ask the right questions and sharpen their focus.
Through case studies, concrete examples and short exercises, writer and artist Candice Rose Rardon guides other writers through an often ignored career factor: branding. She actually has 3 other free eBooks available at the link above, including the intriguing Travel Sketching 101, which we could easily see a talented nomad parlaying into a successful blog or Instagram.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits blog shares his core philosophy and practices for avoiding distraction and achieving a more productive and mindful life. Vital habits for the self-employed to master, but useful for nearly everyone.
A helpful guide to design best practices, with clear visuals. The book covers everything from broad topics like accessibility to the details of color profiles in Photoshop. Essential if you’re getting started as a designer, or find that you’re wearing the “designer” hat in your small business.
Seth Godin provides insight and inspiration into bootstrappers– people who start and run big companies on small budgets. You’ll also find some of Seth’s other free eBooks available at the link above.
Fevered Mutterings makes the case for promoting and branding your business, large or small, through storytelling. With tons of examples–often from unexpected sources–and advice, this is well worth the read.
No, sorry, you’re not actually looking at zero hours a week anytime soon. But Jonathon Mead’s premise is that getting paid to do what you love can feel barely working. The eBook provides guidance to get started and case studies of entrepreneurs.
Anyone who has a website should be concerned with design, and indeed, you don’t need to be a full-time designer to appreciate this collection of essays from Jarrod Drysdale. The eBook addresses topics ranging from design principles to practical aspects of working as a designer.
Yes, this eBook from Unbounce is in part meant to promote their services. But it’s free and provides a nice breakdown for anyone wondering what A/B testing is and how to implement it on their website.
In an age when everyone with a couple thousand Instagram followers brands themselves an “influencer”, Neal Samudre explore the true meaning of the word, and lays out a path that doesn’t involve endless networking. Neal is also offering an interesting guide on selling your online courses through webinars.
Invoice Berry offers an easy to understand introduction to business finance, covering useful definitions and explanations of vital financial reports. Whatever accounting and invoicing software you’re using, this can help you to better understand the lay of the land. We haven’t read them all, but they have quite a few more free business eBooks available if you scroll down to the bottom of the landing page.
Geared towards beginners, Shutterstock’s guide covers everything from packing to gear and planning your shoot. While some of the specific gear recommendations may be a little out of date in the year since the eBook was published, there’s an abundance of helpful information for new photographers.
James Clear writes about “habits and human potential”, and it’s not hard to see how the concrete, applicable insights in his two eBooks might extend well beyond your personal life.
Anyone with a web presence should have a basic understanding of search engine optimization, and Moz’s guide is a great place to start. Somewhere in between an eBook and an in depth article, it’s organized by chapter and introduces you to how SEO works, and how to get started optimizing your site.
This free eBook from Adspresso by Hootsuite explains why social proof is so important for ecommerce and beyond. They’ve included plenty of great examples that should be easy to apply in your own niche. You’ll find a number of other social media focused eBooks at the link above.
Many nomads finance their travel by teaching ESL, but what about teaching entirely online? Jack Askew offers advice on how to get started with an online English teaching business in this free eBook. His website is also worth checking out for the blog posts on teaching ESL, and a newer (paid) video course on the subject.
Timo Kiander’s useful collection of intuitive productivity tips to stay organized and on-task, whether in the office or working remotely. Bonus points for stressing the importance of getting enough sleep!
Godaddy’s overview of taxes for the self employed focuses on ecommerce, though the majority of the information will apply to other small online businesses. If you’re new to self employment, this is a good place to start.
This free eBook covers all the basics of getting started on YouTube, along with tips to grab attention, produce professional looking video, and utilize SEO.
An overview of what User Experience is, along with advice on getting started in the field. UXPin has many other free eBooks on UX topics if you scroll down the page at the link above.
5 ideas for making money online–affiliate marketing, podcasting, freelancing, self-publishing, and blogging– with tips for getting started in each niche. We like this one for its realistic, actionable recommendations.
Scott Steinberg’s free eBook provides a wealth of tips and questions to ask yourself when launching a crowdfunding campaign. We like the analytical style, which provides readers with the tools to carefully conceive their own crowdfunding project.
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