Sample Invoice for Writing & Editing Work

by Anne Wayman

how to invoice for freelance writingSending an invoice to clients when you’ve completed your work is the best way to get paid for your freelance writing work.

Putting one together is really quite simple. The one to the left is the invoice I use – it’s a Word document. I developed the logo awhile ago and you don’t really need one. Your name, company name and contact info at the top is enough.

I file all my invoices in a folder called invoices. I keep one called template and when it’s time to generate a new one I open that, save it under client’s name and make the necessary changes… it’s truly easy.

When it’s easy it makes billing clients easy too – which means I get my invoices out promptly.

What to include

When you invoice for your freelance writing and/or editing you want to include:

  • Your name, contact info including address and email
  • The word INVOICE centered so it’s clear exactly what this document is
  • The complete contact information for the person/company you’re billing
  • The date of the invoice
  • The work you did, the date you did it if it isn’t in the last week or so, and the amount charged.
  • The total due
  • A statement about when payment is due – on presentation or some other term like 30 days.
  • Instructions on how you should receive the money – PayPal, check, etc.

Send it off, by email or snail mail – more and more invoicing is done by email these days.

If you’re sending lots of invoices develop a system so you know when one is late and you can send a reminder.

Invoice Tips

  • Make up a blank invoice and save it. When it’s time to invoice open that file and use save as with your client’s name, then just fill it in and you’re all set. I include the date sent in the file name.
  • Make a note in your calendar about when you expect to receive payment… that way, if it doesn’t come, you can take action to collect.
  • If you’re writing assigned magazine articles it’s totally acceptable to attach an invoice along with the completed article. Or you can ask the editor in advance if she wants one.
  • Invoice promptly. I invoice when the work is complete – if I put it off for even a day it tends to get lost and I find myself embarrassed when I finally remember to send it several weeks later.

Free for you – download an invoice form in an editable Word file – make your own template, add what you need to, easily.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Susie Klein April 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I send invoices to my clients through PayPal. It keeps a nice record and organizes it for me. Is that a less-than-professional way to do it?
Susie
http://susieklein.wordpress.com/
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annew April 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Absolutely not! It’s totally professional. I use PayPal to invoice too – although not all clients are willing.

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Susie Klein April 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Thanks so much Anne, glad to hear it. I’ve only been a freelancer for 2 yrs and figuring it out as I go…like everyone else. Ha! I appreciate you and your tips and help along the way so much! Susie
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annew April 4, 2014 at 7:30 am

:You’re more than welcome… link to me if you’d like… it helps.

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Pinar Tarhan September 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thanks, Anne. This was exactly what I needed for a client. I saved the template and I stumbled this page so other freelancers can take advantage.

P.S. I appreciate the other users’ suggestions as well.
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career counselling August 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

I use zoho application to make invoices, Its a very good application and it automates most of the part
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annew August 26, 2010 at 9:24 am

Is that http://www.zoho.com/invoice/index.html? How much does it cost?

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jorgekafkazar December 4, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Nice, Anne. Very specific. Very sparse. I have one or three suggested tweaks for your readers:

Reader-san: I like to put my business name and logo at the top left. Sometimes I use a photo, too. I think it helps build identity with the client. The name in big letters makes it easier for them to file, too, but see below regarding larger clients, who usually file by PO Number.

Anne’s invoice is very simple and would work for most writers. However, many businesses are not expecting something that plain. For that reason, I use a downloaded msword-based sample invoice. In msword, select the Office Button (top left gizmo), then Word Options (bottom right), Resources (left, at bottom), then “Go to Microsoft Office Online.” Or use this link:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx

There, select the Templates tab (top bar), then “All template categories” (left, near top), and scroll down to Invoices (or anything else you want). There are 130 sample invoices. Go nuts, guys & gals. Download the one(s) you like.

Any unnecessary fields or information can be deleted, but be cautious. Some fields you should retain are PO Number and Invoice Number. A big company won’t pay until they can associate the invoice with an outgoing Purchase Order Number AND a Project Number, where applicable.

When in doubt, just leave unused fields blank. Some forms will do the math for you. I typically don’t take advantage of that feature, unless it’s an Excel form. I do make my invoice number tie into the date, e.g., INV09-02-29A.

‘Nuddah ting, very ‘portant: Nevah, nevah start filling out an invoice before you save the blank (or template) file with Save As, using your invoice number for the file name. Open the sucker and immediately Save As, exactly as Anne said above. If you’re worried that you might overwrite a previous invoice, give every client his own directory folder, and copy your template into each folder when you start the job. Open, insert the client data, then close. Setting the template files to Read Only is another option, though I’ve not done that, yet. That can be the subject of another post.
.-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Tenirax, Ch V =-.

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Anne December 5, 2009 at 10:58 am

I actually do have “letterhead” I designed in color – no pix of me – that’s on various websites. But bare bones will work. And yes, save under a new file name before you fill it out for sure!

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