Often enough to surprise me, writers ask me about invoicing. The questions fall mostly into two categories. The simplest to answer is the ‘how do I create an invoice?’ Or ‘what should an invoice look like?‘ As I show in those two linked article setting up a freelance writing invoice is actually easy.
Setting up a business account with PayPal, which is also simple, will allow you to easily send invoices to your clients. The advantage of this is they can pay you with a single click, entering their credit card number even if they don’t have a PayPal account. Yes, PayPal does charge a fee – about what you’d pay if you had a merchant account to take credit cards. The biggest difference is you won’t be saddled with a monthly fee.
The other questions fall in what I’ve come to call the I’m-not-sure-I-deserve-to-get-paid category. The typical symptoms include failing to invoice in a timely manner and failing to re-invoice when payment isn’t received.
These 6 steps to a freelance writing invoice
- Understand that you truly do deserve to get paid for your writing and editing work. If acceptance of your real worth as a writer is a major problem get help to solve it.
- Make sure you have a written agreement about the nature of the work, the amount of pay and the payment terms.
- Set up a regular time to send invoices and put it in your calendar. How often you send your itemized bill will depend on the nature of your writing business, but will range from once a week to monthly. You’ve got to get the invoices out if you want to get paid.
- Develop your own template, or use a program like Quicken or FreshBooks to keep invoicing simple and get it done.
- If you have a late payment charge, and you probably should, include it on every invoice as a way to politely encourage payment.
- If you haven’t received payment, re-bill!
As a freelance writer it’s up to you to make sure you get paid. Invoicing is a powerful tool that’s easy to use and effective.
How often do you invoice? What invoicing system do you use?
Write well and often,
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