As a blogger you know that that your work isn’t done until you’ve created an invoice and been paid for your services.
But, let’s be honest, invoicing isn’t always a priority. Despite it’s importance, invoicing can be a headache-inducing task.
However, it doesn’t always have to be that way if you follow these amazing invoicing tips.
Know What You’re Worth
This is hands down the most important consideration as a blogger.
Because you want to make sure that you are getting paid fairly for your writing. However, you also want to make sure that your prices are attractive enough to secure bids or projects – even if you think you are asking for too much.
I have personally found that if you do outstanding work, clients will not have any problems with paying you what you’re worth.
There are also a couple of other things that you have to keep in mind when establishing your rates. These include:
- How do you charge for your services? Are you paid hourly, by the word, or a flat rate per article?
- Do rates change when writing sponsored posts?
- Have you factored in ad rates or giveaway posts?
Projects vary depending on the assignment or the client, so it’s alright if your rates change accordingly. However, you should write down how much you charge for different assignments or clients so that when a job opportunity presents itself you can inform your client how much you’ll be charging upfront.
Agree on Terms
Now that you know how much that you are charging for your services, the next step is to have clients agree on the terms. The last thing that you want is not to get paid because there’s an issue involving how much you charged a client for a blog post or article. The client needs to be aware upfront on how much your work will cost them and agree on the deal.
Another part of agreeing on terms is letting them know exactly when you are to paid and how you’ll get paid. For example, do you expect to be paid within 30 days? Also, you don’t want to invoice them through PayPal if they don’t have a PayPal account of their own.
If you’re just starting out and want to build a portfolio it’s completely acceptable to offer a percentage discount – maybe even a couple of free articles – to any friends or family members that could use your help. It’s an effective way for developing your skills as a writer and getting your name out there.
Even if you are an established blogger, you can continue to offer a discount to friends and family, but charge a higher rate for new customers.
Let’s say that you’ve been writing for a company since day one, but you have now increased your rate. It wouldn’t hurt to keep your relationship solid by not increasing your rate for the people who have supported your work since the beginning.
Something that most bloggers aren’t aware of is the fact that they are considered self-employed – which means that they are required to pay taxes. This means that you may have to set aside money to pay taxes each quarter.
Additionally, you may have to collect taxes depending on your location – which means that you would have to include this on your invoice. You should consult an accountant to double-check if there are any taxes that you have to pay.
However, it’s not all bad news when it comes to taxes. There are also deductibles that you should be aware of as a blogger. For example, did you know that PayPal and many other company fees and other expenses are considered a tax deduction?
Use Invoicing Software
It’s not exactly difficult to create an invoice template through Microsoft. However, services like PayPal, FreshBooks, Invoice Ninja, and Due.com save you the time of creating an invoice by providing invoicing templates.
All you have to do is just fill in the work that you’ve done, along with the hours spent on an article, and email the invoice out. It honestly just takes a couple of minutes, especially once you are set up.
Common Invoicing Components
You know your value and the client has agreed. Now it’s time to send out that invoice for your writing work. But, what exactly makes up the invoice? Here the most common components of an invoice:
- Contact Information – Your invoice should include your name, address, and contact information. You also should include the name, address, and contact information of your client.
- Invoice Number – Including an invoice number makes it easy to track your invoices, like which ones have been paid and which ones have not. Most of the time a simple numeric system, such as 001, 002, works just fine as a reference.
- Invoice Date – This is the date that you sent the invoice.
- Terms – Your terms were already discussed, but also include this information on the invoice. This would also include the due date, or when you expect the invoice to be paid.
- Description – This can include the titles of the blog posts that you have written.
- Unit Price – This was also take care of earlier, but you need to include this on your invoice. If you charge $15 per hour and a blog post took you 2 hours to write, the unit price would be $30.
- Amount Due – This would include all of the blog posts that you have written for this client from the last invoice to the current date.
Here are a couple of other helpful invoicing tips that every blogger should remember when invoicing:
- Invoice Immediately – This doesn’t mean that the invoice has to be paid at that moment. It simply means that you send out an invoice following a project. It’s just an effective way in making sure that you get paid for your work. You could include an invoice with each article to make it easier, if you wish, or on a timeframe for example, like every Friday.
- Follow-up – Don’t wait until an invoice is past due. It’s easy for an invoice to be overlooked, so don’t hesitate to send out a friendly reminder. For example, “A friendly reminder: All invoices due on Tuesday the first.”
- Be Polite – FreshBooks has discovered that by using terms like “Please” and “Thank You” can increase your chances of getting paid 5 percent faster.
- Check For Your Errors – Avoid any delays in payment, or misunderstanding regarding an invoice, by double checking for errors. This could include anything from checking spelling errors to adding your charges correctly, to making sure that your invoice is being sent to the right client.
- Guide – Here is a really good guide to invoicing.
If you’re a blogger, what are some invoicing tips that you’ve learned along the way?
Writer on Laptop Photo via Shutterstock