When I first started to freelance write, the idea of a freelance invoice was a new concept for me. But now I’ve mastered the art! If you’re getting into freelancing yourself, then here’s what you need to know.
The past few times that I’ve published my freelance work on the blog, I’ve been receiving a few questions via email.
- How did you get into freelance writing?
- What should be my first step if I want to do the same?
- What topics do you write about?
- Why do you freelance write instead of just guest posting?
They are all incredibly beneficial questions if you’re thinking about diving into the world of freelancing, but that’s a bit too much for one post.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about freelancing, please comment below or send me an email to let me know what would help you out the most. I’d love to be a resource for you, but I want to make sure that anything I create fits your needs exactly.
To me, one of the most fun parts of blogging has been jumping into the world of freelance writing. It is such an honor to be asked to write on behalf of another brand, knowing that they feel your content is a quality high enough for them to publish to represent their name.
But this world is essentially 100% opposite of the business world of my previous 9-to-5s in Marketing, Finance, and Project Management. Pitching topics can sometimes feel similar to Sales, but other than that it is much more like running a small business, where you become responsible for every step of the process.
When you run your own business, either on the side or full time, you become responsible for the research, creatively pulling together high quality content, editing content prior to sending in (I typically am sending in to an editor, but what I send in is a representation of me, so I’m therefore committed to quality), and, last but certainly not least, you become responsible for billing / invoicing.
To start off the conversation about freelancing, I’ve decided to touch on the #1 question I typically receive on the subject: How do you invoice?
When I started freelancing, I somehow thought that invoicing was a very structured process in all businesses. In my mind, there was a very technical form to be filled out by all parties involved, either that or something that looked like a government document was going to be sent to me to be filled out. But this is not the case at all.
Rather, the most technical that you’ll get is filling out a W9 form for some new clients, but then the actual invoicing is 100% on you.
For most businesses you’ll work with, you’ll have two options –
- Invoice for each individual article
- Invoice at month end
Personally, I prefer sending my invoices in to each client at month end, rather than invoicing for each individual article. This helps to keep me organized and saves me time from having to send invoices multiple time in the month.
If you are planning to take the leap into freelancing with a similar approach, just confirm with your client’s payroll department that they’re comfortable potentially being invoiced for more than one article at a time. In all situations I’ve been a part of, they’ve said yes, as long as it’s within the same month as when I’ve submitted my articles.
Below is a sample of what my final invoices look like. I created a template similar to the below in Microsoft Word and just adjust it each month accordingly.
(All of the information above is fake, including pricing)
I created this as a simple, user-friendly format that can be interpreted by all parties involved. Some clients request a specific format, which works for me, but the above is my default if I do not hear otherwise.
Pieces to note:
- Your Tax ID is your Social Security Number (some businesses require including it, some don’t – it’s a fair question to ask either way)
- I choose to number my invoices for my own tracking purposes. Whether you choose to number your invoices or use some other tracking method, I recommend planning some way to track your invoices ongoing because it will help out a lot in the long run.
My Step-by-Step Process
- Agree to terms with the partner
- Write my piece according to the agreed upon terms and send for approval
- Once approved, send invoice prior to the publishing date
- Pending terms, I typically allow pay within the month of the piece being submitted and approved (note, not published)
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