Review: Out of Thin Air – The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Finding Work When Bills Are Due

by Ali on November 19, 2010

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I met Alli Boyer at BlogWorld (and got mistaken for her a few times!) I’m a wee bit envious of her gig with BlogWorld, so when she offered me the chance to get the inside scoop on her secrets, I jumped at it.

I knew this was Alli’s first product , so I opened it up with that in mind. But I was hugely impressed by the quality here: Out of Thin Air is engagingly written, nicely designed, and packed with very specific advice. It’s the sort of ebook I’d expect from someone with a string of products behind them.

Here’s what’s inside…

Overview

Click to go to the Out of Thin Air sales pageOut of Thin Air: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Finding Work When Bills Are Due is a 47-page ebook from freelancer Alli Boyer.

It’s aimed at helping you through a cash-flow crisis, and Alli emphasises that the tips here aren’t ones which you can use sustainably over the long-term.

The price

$21 – good value for such focused, instantly-implementable advice.

What’s included

Out of Thin Air has four major sections to help you get some cash in your bank account fast:

  • Making Money Quickly with Current Clients
  • Make Money Quickly with New Clients
  • Making Money Quickly with Your Blog
  • Making Money Quickly with the Bidding Game

Along the way, Alli includes “Notes in the Margin” sections to highlight key points. She also has several “Confessional” stories where she talks about what she’s done wrong in the past.

Good stuff

There’s a lot of good things to say about Out of Thin Air; this has to be one of my favourite ebooks from the past few months (and I read a lot!)

Honest and Open

I was especially impressed by Alli’s honesty. We’ve all made mistakes in the past – including tough choices which we regret. Freelancing can throw up some thorny ethical dilemmas, especially when money is tight – and Alli is very open about how some of her decisions left her with regrets.

Packed with Ideas

There’s an absolute wealth of ideas here. Several of Alli’s techniques are ones which I’ve used myself, but she also gave me a lot to think about. Although her tips are designed for short-term cash flow, there’s still a lot to learn here about good freelancing practice in general.

I’ve come away with plenty of thoughts about future promotions and some ideas about new markets to tap.

Fun to Read

Perhaps this should go without saying, given that Alli’s a freelance writer, but Out of Thin Air is a really good read. It’s informative without being at all dry, and feels like having a good chat with a knowledgeable friend.

Bad stuff

I don’t have anything negative to say about Out of Thin Air: I was that impressed by it. The one downside I can see is that freelancers who’re looking to make some money quickly don’t tend to have much to spend.

Having said that, $21 is a small investment (freelance writers can easily make twice that from one blog post) – so if this ebook resulted in just a couple of extra jobs for you, it’d be well worth your money.

Verdict

If you’re a freelance writer (or even planning on freelancing) go and buy Out of Thin Air now – don’t wait until you hit a tough spell. There’s tons to learn here, whatever stage you’re at, and you’ll know you’ve got a back-up for any trickier times.

(NB: I’m a proud affiliate for Out of Thin Air. You can read my review policy here.)

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Todd@PhitZone November 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing some freelancing. This may be just the ticket to push me in that direction. Thanks Ali… and Alli. Oh, and anything by anybody with the last name of Boyer is going to be quality–count on it. :)
.-= Todd@PhitZone´s last blog ..Body of Water =-.

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Ali November 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Go for it! Alli’s packed in loads of ideas for finding work quickly. You’ll find that not everything applies to you if you’re not already freelancing, but there’s still a ton of valuable advice. :-)

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Zac November 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

What a great resource, and just in time too! This is exactly what I was looking for…I’m glad it’s also not $39.97, at $21 it a fair price and sounds like a good value for the content being offered.

Thanks for sharing!
.-= Zac´s last blog ..When Was The Last Time You Took A Risk =-.

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Ali November 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Awesome! I think it’s a great price – there’s some really in-depth info here, and lots of tips and ideas that I’ve never seen elsewhere (and hadn’t come up with myself, either!)

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Alli November 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Thanks you so, so, so much for reviewing it! I really want to help people who are new or struggling, and it means a lot that you recommended it.
.-= Alli´s last blog ..FeelGooder and the Dangerous “Right Away” Lifestyle =-.

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Ali November 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Hey, thanks for writing it! Awesome ebook, it’s really good to see such quality. :-D

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Guru Talks November 20, 2010 at 6:24 am

Thanks for the book; your new design is good, just commenting to let you know, it is — v.good.
.-= Guru Talks´s last blog ..All details- truth &amp mystery of previous birth- yes- past life! =-.

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Ali November 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Cheers, glad you like it. It’s thanks to Charlie from Charfish Design – http://www.charfishdesign.com/

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Archan Mehta November 20, 2010 at 9:22 am

Ali,

Thanks for the book review.

I’ve read some of your other reviews, so this is what I expected–it’s all good.

The author’s tips and techniques should help those who are tired of the rat race and want to blaze a new trail and forge ahead in life.

Freelancer’s tend to be notoriously quirky, so such books enable us to look at work-life through a new lens rather than having to work for the man.

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Ali November 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Yep, I only review stuff which I like. I’m picky. :-)

It’s definitely a great book for new and established freelancers.

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Lauren Ashley Miller November 21, 2010 at 3:01 am

I am so tempted to buy this, as I’m focusing my career more on writing (freelance and ghostwriting) and less on social media marketing as far as where my daily bread comes from. My only concern is that the sections don’t seem to be directed toward new freelancers – are you sure it will be useful for a poor newbie to the freelance game?

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Ali November 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

Good question, Lauren. Some of the sections won’t be for you right now (e.g. about using your existing clients — unless you can target some of your social media marketing clients who’d want writing help?) but there are plenty of tips (e.g. the section on “the bidding game” which covers elance and similar sites, and the ideas on where to find new clients) which should be applicable to you.

If you’re looking for something more general about freelancing, I can give you some pointers, but they’re not writing-specific ones.

Alli offers a money-back guarantee, so if you buy it and don’t find it useful, I’m sure she’d give you a refund. She’s very lovely!

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farouk November 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

very interesting review Ali, detailed and in the same point clear and to the point :)

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Dia November 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thanks Ali for the review. The book sounds interesting
.-= Dia´s last blog ..How to deal with Stress =-.

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Spaz November 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

Sounds like a way for you two to make money off desperate freelancers.

Farouk – no the review was not detailed. There were no details in that review. Not one single example of anything useful in the book. You just commented to try to get people to link to your site.

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Ali November 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I’m sorry you feel that way, Spaz. If you leave your real email address, I’d be happy to email you about Alli’s ebook and answer any questions or concerns you have.

Where would you have liked more detail in the review? I try not to give lots of information on specific techniques and ideas (because that’s not fair to Alli – it’s her information), and I try not to make reviews so long that they get overwhelming either!

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Alli January 3, 2011 at 1:42 am

Spaz,

Considering that I offer a refund if you aren’t happy and just sponsored a “pay what you can” sale for Christmas where people could download the book for free, I have to disagree with you. Last year, I also gave away free consulting to the first 10 people who emailed me, which covered a lot of the information I later released in this book. I’m a freelancer myself and would never put something on the market that I think was taking advantage of other freelancers. But I also won’t apologize for making money on something that I spent years creating. It’s a solid product that I really do stand behind 100%. If you have any questions about the ebook, you can feel free to contact me via After Graduation and I’d be happy to answer them.
.-= Alli´s last blog ..I am a Failure Thank God =-.

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