Freelancer’s Nightmare: Not Getting Paid

There’s nothing worse for a freelancer than not getting paid by a client. While most clients send payment, there are those few who choose not to pay for the work they requested. This is frustrating and daunting, but there are ways to ensure you receive the money owing.

Upon completion of a project, always submit a formal invoice to your client. Be sure to include the following information in the statement being sent.

  • The client’s name or business name.
  • A detailed description of the work completed.
  • Remittance information (should also be in the contract)

Give your client a few days to respond to the invoice sent. Remember, snail mail can often take time to reach the recipient. Emails can end up in spam or junk folders, so patience is important. A great way to know if a client receives an invoice is to ask them contact you upon receipt.

Send Out Reminders

Wait approximately 5-7 business days before sending out your first reminder. Start by issuing a gentle note to  your client. It is important not to appear abrupt or harsh, as it could simply be an oversight by the client.

Sometimes a second reminder is necessary, this is the freelancer’s chance to act firmer with their statement. It is essential though, to always remain professional. Include a copy of the contract and invoice with the second reminder. Also, give the client a certain date, in which you expect to receive payment.

File a Complaint

If a client is refusing to pay, there is the option to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Available in both Canada, as well as the United States, filing a complaint with them will not guarantee you receive payment. The complaint will go against the company and hopefully prevent them from scamming someone else.

Some online freelance marketplaces, for example Elance, offers their own methods to resolve financials conflicts between contractors and clients. They offer an option to file a dispute against the client, in which they have two days to respond. From there an arbitrator could be appointed to settle the situation.

Small Claims Court

While this method may seem a little extreme, it might be necessary. Depending on the size of the project completed and the amount of monies owing it could be worth while. Be sure to research the costs involved though, as taking the client to court for a smaller project could cost more than the it is worth.

While most clients are trustworthy, freelancers face the odd one who just won’t pay. This is a potential issue for anyone who is self-employed. Refer to the above methods to help receive the money that is owing.


Leave a comment

Filed under Beginner Writers, Freelance Writers, Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Hints

Freelancers Guide to Getting Paid

The days of relying on a client’s word or a simple handshake to seal the deal are over. This is a sad reality for freelancers, as we must take precautionary measures to make sure we get paid. Most clients will send payment, even if it is late. But, sadly there are a few who won’t. Use this guide to help you get paid for all of your freelancing work.

Prepare a Contract

This point cannot be stressed enough. It is very important for freelancers to have contracts for most of their projects. Include the following details in the contract.

  • Specific details breaking down the work involved.
  • Deadline.
  • Method of payment (paypal, bank transfer, etc.)
  • Amount due upon project completion.
  • Any milestones or retainers.

When both parties are in agreement about the above mentioned items, both should sign and date the contract. Make sure to keep a copy for future reference.

Request a Retainer/Milestone

Some freelance projects are larger than others and  may require a retainer and/or milestone. For large-scale projects requesting such, is not unreasonable. They also guarantee a freelancer receives at least some money for their work, if at the end of the project the client decides not to send payment.

Come to a consensus with the client about the amount of money that will be due before commencing work on the project or half-way through it. The retainer or milestone collected mid-project will come off the balance owing upon completion.

In a world less trustworthy than in the past, it is important to protect ourselves. Using a contract and/or requesting a retainer will help make sure a freelancer receives payment. Once the freelancer establishes a good working relationship, they might choose to work differently with their clients.


Filed under Beginner Writers, Freelance Writers, Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Hints, Promoting Business, Successful Writing

Enjoy Free Publicity!

Thank you so much for stopping by Freelance Writing Hints

Offering free publicity is my way of saying thank you to all of my readers, both new and old. Use it as an opportunity to promote yourself, your business, your passion or really anything you choose (within reason, of course). Not interested in self-promotion, then comment about other sites or services that interest you. This post is all about you!

There are no strings attached. You will not receive an email asking you to download one of my ebooks or subscribe to my blog. It’s simply a way to show all of you my appreciation and nothing is better than free publicity.

Everyone enjoys new visitors, so begin by acquainting yourself with my readers. They may return the favour and shower your site with a little link love as well. Regardless, this will be a great opportunity to meet new people, share insight into what you do or offer and possibly make some great connections.

It’s time for some free publicity!

Share the following information:

  • Start by introducing yourself or business.
  • Promote yourself.
  • Leave a link to your site so others can visit.
  • Who is your favourite author?
  • What are your inspirations?

Encourage others to self-promote by tweeting or sharing this post. And, since we’re on the topic of free publicity, I’d love for you to check out Freelance Writing Hints new Facebook Fan Page!

Thank you again for visiting!!


Filed under Promoting Business

How to Become A Niche Writer

Making the choice to become a freelance writer is easy, choosing which type of writer to become is the hard part. Focusing on a single subject makes you a niche writer, but many freelancers prefer variety. It’s debatable which method is best, as it is really the writer’s preference. Refer to the guide below to become a successful niche writer.

Decide on a Niche

To decide on a topic, niche writers consider subjects they enjoy writing about. This is important as niche writers work on several articles about one topic. It is easier to produce quality content if the subject interests the writer.

It is important to pick a niche that offers various aspects to cover. To be successful niche writers must consistently come up with new material. A variety of quality content on a subject will generate profits.

Become an Expert

Successful niche writers know their niche inside and out. They are essentially experts in the field. The more knowledge they have on a topic, the more valuable they are to their clients.

Niche writers charge more for their services because they are experts on the subject. The medical field provides a great metaphor for this. Specialists can charge more than general practitioners because they offer medical expertise. This applies to writers as well.

Combine Services

Once a niche writer has mastered a topic they can combine services that work well together. Successful niche writers specialize in a service, as well as a topic. For example if producing copywriting material is a specialty, offer clients all the material they need to launch their product.

There is more to becoming a niche writer than selecting a topic. Becoming an expert on a topic takes extensive research and a lot of hard work. Use the fundamentals above to decide if niche writing is the right choice.


Filed under Freelance Writers, Freelance Writing Hints, Successful Writing

3 Common Freelance Writing Mistakes

Freelance writers have the freedom to schedule their own hours, work from home and if successful  earn a great living. It is natural when first starting out to make mistakes, as they learn success takes more than just great research and writing. Avoid these 3 common freelance writing mistakes to help you achieve success.

Rates Too Low

Many new freelance writers initially set low rates intending to raise them later. They do this to secure their first writing jobs and build their portfolio. This is a common freelance writing mistake as increasing rates is not an easy task. Current clients will not suddenly pay more for your services.

Charge appropriately for the time spent on each project. Avoid spending hours on an assignment that pays very little. You are the only one who knows what your time is worth, don’t sell yourself short.

Failure to Market

Failing to market is one common freelance writing mistake that can control whether you succeed in the business. Develop a marketing strategy and be sure to follow it. Determine how much time to spend marketing and be sure to follow it.

Freelancers constantly send out pitch letters. Blogging, cold calling and sales letters are just a few examples of different pitch letters to send out. Consider the pitch letter as your job application, without it, your chances of getting hired are low.

Give Up Too Quickly

Many freelancers make the mistake of giving up too quickly due to their misconception that success will come easy. The reality is success will not come over night. Patience, long hours and a lot of hard work is necessary to reach your goals, but don’t give up they are attainable.

Avoiding these common freelance writing mistakes may not guarantee success but it will help. Learn from your mistakes and enjoy the many benefits of a freelance writing career. Only you control your level of success.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beginner Writers, Freelance Writing Hints