As a freelance writer, you love what you do. You also need to make sure that your cash flow keeps flowing so that you can afford to stay in business. Getting paid on time is an essential part of running your business, and there are some things you can to so that you can take charge of your receivables and get paid faster. [Read more…]
Have you ever taken the time to look back at your former client list and think about the question, “How much does losing a client cost a freelance writer?” If you are looking at only the lost income that you will need to replace, you are missing the point. There are also hidden costs associated with losing a client that have an impact on your business.
If you have been working as a freelance writer for any length of time, you know that life can sometimes get in the way of work deadlines. All freelance writers should have a plan in place for when they need backup and strategies for how to find subcontractors to work with during challenging times.
Everyone who enters the realm of freelance writing goes into it with the idea of being successful. Some may think it’s as easy as pie. Others may think it will take time. Seasoned freelance writers will know that the latter group is more accurate.
While there is no step-by-step foolproof guide applicable to all writers that will lead to freelance writing success, there are certain principles, which if followed, can help new freelancers reach their goals. Even experienced writers who want to become more successful in their chosen field can benefit from these principles.
Essay Tigers have gathered some data related to the freelance writing niche and created a quick guide for this purpose.
The infographic covers a lot of ground, starting with some statistics about who freelancers are, how many freelancers there are, and so on.
They then give actionable pointers that can lead to freelance writing success. Here’s a summary of the main points.
- How you start – your mindset
- Getting jobs – best practices
- Building a business – taxes, paperwork, etc.
There are very specific tips in the graphic that will point the way for new writers. For writers who have been freelancing for a while, the graphic can be a good tool to get you back on the right track and regain your focus.
Here is the quick guide to freelancing success.
Back to you
Are you new to freelance writing? What have you learned from this infographic? Do you think the pointers will be useful to you?
Are you an experienced freelance writer? Do you think the infographic offers useful pointers, or do you have other “ways” to freelance writing success?
We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Here are more useful articles:
5 Great Jobs for First-Time Freelance Writers
How Writers Measure Success
As your freelance writing business grows, how much thought have you given to the kinds of clients you want to attract? If your goal is to work with larger companies, you will need to start taking steps to create the right image to attract them. Clients at this level want to know that you have the experience to handle larger projects and your business can be depended on to deliver the project on time, and on budget. Here are some tips to help you make your freelance writing business look bigger than a home-based venture so that you can make it appealing to a wider variety of potential clients.
When you first started freelance writing, did you have a contract? If you didn’t, don’t worry. I didn’t either, and I am pretty sure that many other freelance writers have the same experience. While I was – and am – fortunate to have only one negative incident, the smart thing to do is to have a freelance writing contract in place before you start working with a client.
Without a contract, you can be taken advantage of. At the very least, you may have to wait for eons to get paid. Worst case scenario, you might have to take your client to court.
To avoid these headaches, here are some Dos and Don’ts of a freelance writing contract.
Do include rates and payment schedule.
In order to make sure you receive the compensation that you and your client have agreed on, do make sure that this is detailed in your contract. Whether you are paid per post or article, per word, per hour, or a flat fee, the amount should be in the contract.
Additionally, do include a payment schedule. Are you going to be paid at the end of each week? Are you going to be paid once a month?
Last, but definitely not the least, is to include provisions on kill fees or late payments. If a project gets cancelled before you are done, indicate in the contract what the kill fee is. From the other end, if you suddenly drop a project, the client may ask for the right for a fee or reimbursement as well. Also, if you are paid late, indicate how much surcharge will be added to your rate.
Do specify details about revisions and rewrites.
Revisions and rewrites are part of a freelance writer’s job. What’s important is that you do include details about this in your contract. Agree with your client how many revisions and/or rewrites are acceptable.
Do include a copyright clause.
Depending on the specific job, copyright of written material may belong to you even after publishing it on a blog. If you’re a ghostwriter, then you have no rights to the work. Whatever the case may be, but for the former in particular, do include a copyright clause.
Don’t make it complicated.
Fear of contracts usually arise due to legalese and complicated clauses. In most cases, you don’t even have to hire a lawyer to write a freelance writing contract. You can do it yourself using templates and samples found online.
Naturally, you want to tailor these templates to your situation, and when you do, there is only one thing to remember: don’t make it complicated.
Simple is good. That means both parties understand the details and clauses, avoiding potential disagreement in the future.
Don’t be vague.
Your freelance writing contract may be simple, but if you are not specific, then you still are prone to issues.
Don’t be vague.
Instead, for all the “dos” above, make sure you are as specific as possible – with numbers and dates, especially.
Back to you
So where do you stand in regard to freelance writing contracts? Do you require them for each client, or do you not care at all? Maybe you have other measures set in place? We’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever had a client ask what forms of freelance writer payment you accept? Do you list them on your website so that clients know up front which ones are available to them? You have several options available and by offering more choices, you may be able to increase your client base.
Most freelancers have run into the dreaded scope creep at some point during their careers. It occurs when you start working on a project that you think is going to encompass one set of parameters and then what is expected of you starts growing beyond your original understanding. If the client ask for a minor change to something, your first response may be to deal with it and move on, especially if you have had a good working relationship so far. But what do you do when you continue to get requests to “add this” and “change that” and “I wonder if you could….”.
Here’s a scenario that most, if not all, freelance writers who have been working for a while are familiar with: you start communicating with a prospective client and discussing a project. It sounds like something you would be interested in taking on, and you can fit it into your schedule without too much difficulty. So far, so good. Everything seems is lining up really well. Then either you or the client brings up the subject of the budget for the project and how you will be paid. You are asked to give a quote, now that you know the scope of the project – are you better off telling the client that you will be billing by the hour or by project?
Any time the question of freelance writer rates comes up, a heated discussion rapidly ensues. No doubt there are many different opinions about whether it is appropriate to post rates on your website for potential clients (and your competition) to see, or if you are better off inviting your clients to contact you for a quote instead. We’re going to examine different options so that you can decide which will work best for your business.