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How Many Ways Can Your Freelance Writing Clients Pay You?

Freelance Writing for MoneyAs your freelance writing business grows you will probably find yourself with writing jobs for people all over the country and, eventually, all over the world.

The more ways your writing clients can pay you the better off you’ll be.

Of course, if you’re in the United States and other so-called first world countries you’ll probably accept checks.

I’ve found it best only to accept checks from writing clients in the U.S. since this is where I live. Why the U.S. banks can’t figure out how to process checks from England or Australia or even Canada easily is a mystery to me. But I’ve had far more trouble than not, even when dealing with one of the biggest banks in the country. Oh, wait, maybe that’s the problem.

Fortunately there is PayPal. Yes, PayPal charges fees, but so do other payment systems. No, your money is not insured as it is in U.S. banks anyway. But they make it easy to sign up and get paid and to get your money from there to where you really want it. And PayPal has longevity.  You can make payments to many countries and receive them as well. PayPal allows people to pay you with a credit card and you don’t have to pay the monthly fees that are usual for merchant accounts.

I’ve had good luck with 2checkout.com. Here you have a merchant account without the monthly fees. Yes, the fees they charge on each transaction are higher than regular merchant accounts – you’ll have to weigh which works better for you. I use 2checkout for writing clients who are uneasy about PayPal and for some international writing clients.


Cash, of course, also works and I have the occasional local writing client who pays me in cash.

Make it easy for your writing clients to pay you. It increases your reputation as a business person and tends to fatten your wallet as well.

What payment methods do you accept?

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Nopesky. In fact, it was all a bit shady. Actually, it takes about two days for the money from the PayPal account to be credited into our Bank Accounts. All of a sudden, it took more days than ever, and a quick research on the Internet showed us that PayPal had blocked Indian withdrawals. Think about it, under the theoretical situation that if a person uses the Internets just for PayPal (it is impossible, I know, but with me here) they wouldn’t even know what happened!

    After about two months of complete non communication except the ‘We are on it, we are sorry we goofed up’ we finally begun getting our money. To this day, we do not know the exact reason that our money was stuck up, only ‘RBI Regulations’ (Reserve Bank of India).
    .-= Roy Daniel DSilva´s last blog ..Work at Home Tips: A Paid Subscription to a Job Site? Hold that Thought! =-.

  • Moneybookers is another way. PayPal recently took all Indian freelancers to the washers, washed them up, wrung them up, let them up to dry for a good one month, letting the hot sun on their backs, then took them down, clothed them, hugged them, and let them go.

    That was me speaking theoretically. Actually, they just stopped all payments and withdrawals to Indian bank accounts for around a month, saying that they couldn’t allow personal payments. You gotta believe this, but they actually reversed payments, kept money betwixt PayPal and bank accounts, and whatnot – for a good one and a half to two months.

    There was also an instance where my (our) clients were being reversed money, and I lost some money which was paid to me by one off clients. Money was reversed that was paid to me (us) way back in 2008!

    Now, they have allowed just payments for goods and services and require people to have a PAN Card (a Income Tax Assessment Number) to have the PayPal account.
    .-= Roy Daniel DSilva´s last blog ..Work at Home Tips: A Paid Subscription to a Job Site? Hold that Thought! =-.

    • Anne

      Was the lack of a PAN card the reason paypal used to hold up payments? I can’t imagine how awful that must have been for Indian freelancers. How can they reverse payments back that far? Debt accounts?

  • I’ve actually been requesting checks from all clients who won’t cover my paypal fees. I don’t mind driving to the bank for deposits if it means I’m not losing a couple of hundred each month in fees.

    • Anne

      I roughly figure in fees when I make a proposal… although I certainly don’t mind going to the bank either.

  • I had a major Canadian client last year and my bank seemed to have no trouble depositing their check. I have yet to use PayPal…not sure why it’s so popular given the fees. Seems like a great option if your client’s in Senegal or somewhere, where’d you really have no recourse to get the money otherwise…but for U.S. companies, I see no reason they can’t send a check. I do have a couple clients that do direct bank deposit as well…again, no fees.

    I think a lot of writers accept the PayPal fees as part of life…but if you get a substantial client paying you on there, it’s going to add up very quickly to many hundreds of lost dollars over the course of a year. If I do take a client who pays this way, you can bet I’m building the fee into my price quote.

    Carol Tice
    Subscribe to the Make a Living Writing blog

    • Anne

      I’m glad your bank is easier to get along with than mine… my soon to be ex bank – http://moveyourmoney.info/ – if you want to leave a large bank for a more local one or credit union – and as I hinted at above, there really is no reason not to build paypal fees into prices… that’s what happens all over with credit card fees… we don’t have to eat them.

  • I use PayPal for international clients, but most of the people I do business with are local, and they deposit straight into my bank account. Everyone here does this.

    I’ve never had a problem depositing cheques from overseas before, though – and with grandparents in Britain, I’ve had a lot of those over the years 😉 Maybe NZ is just easy to do banking in.
    .-= Lucy Smith´s last blog ..Passion, what is that? =-.

    • Anne

      I would guess NZ is much easier to bank in than the U.S. Geeze, I remember when we knew the owners of banks… that’s how old I am.

  • Which payment methods do you accept?

    Not as many as I should. Checks and Paypal, basically. I’m not interested in setting up a merchant account right now for various reasons, but I have been meaning to set up a few alternate methods just in case I ever experience a PayPal problem.

    Of course, I’ve been meaning to do all sorts of stuff. The list just keeps on growing!

    • Anne

      lol Carson… and I thought you had it all together! Naw, wouldn’t put that on you, I promise… and yeah, the lists keep growing. There’s some choice there I think.

  • Yes, paypal does work well due to international reasons – I’m in Australia but deal with people in the US. Checks are great, but as you say can be difficult. Good post!

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