For years, Miranda relied on email-based “handshake” agreements for freelance work. It worked really well — until it didn’t.
Here’s the thing. Technically, your email agreement is in writing, and it can be legally enforced. However, it’s much harder to get a client to take you seriously when you don’t have an actual contract or, at the very least, a statement of work.
While many clients are likely to have their own agreements, it can help to have your own template that at least makes it easier for you to get paid. When you have an “official” agreement, clients are far more likely to take you seriously — and pay you on time.
When putting together a contract (or statement of work), there are a few things to include that can make your relationship with the client clear. Naturally, you need to have a section that identifies you and the client with addresses and other contact information....
One of the keys to becoming a better writer is to practice, practice, practice.
While there are plenty of tips that can help you improve your writing, your best bet is to write every day to practice. But, how do you find the time to write each day if you don’t have clients yet?
Here are some ideas to help you carve out the time:
When setting rates, you’ll have to figure out how you should charge: hourly, per-article, or per-word.
Whenever possible, as a writer, we prefer avoiding hourly rates. Like the plague. One of the advantages of freelance writing is that as you get better and faster, you can make more money in a shorter amount of time. When you work for an hourly rate, you can’t make more money. Instead, you’re limited by the hours in the day.
It’s one thing to accept an hourly fee for editing, research, or other similar projects. But as a writer, it often makes more sense to focus on per-article vs. per-word pricing.
The advantage of per-article pricing is that you don’t have to worry about an editor cutting your word count (and paying you less). However, it’s important to limit your articles to a range, such as quoting a price for articles of between 900 and 1,200 words. The idea is that you get paid regardless of word count.
On the other hand, with per-word...
One of the best things about freelance writing is getting paid. The right invoice can increase the chances that you’ll get paid on time and in full. Here are three things to keep in mind as you create invoices.
A good invoice template provides consistency and looks professional. Your template should include:
You should also set up a format you use to identify ongoing invoice numbers and identify clients. Each month, all you have to do is just fill in the info.
Invoicing can be even quicker with Quickbooks. You can create your template in Quickbooks, set up your clients, and then ask for money when necessary. Quickbooks also makes it easy to help you keep track of payments and offers various payment options for your clients.
Plus, if you’re connected to your account, it just shows up, making accounting easier,...
Many freelance writers struggle with putting together a schedule that works for them. Not everyone works the same way, but there are some basic things you can do to put together a schedule that works for you.
Depending on your situation, you might be better at working in the morning, afternoon, evening, or even at night. Think about when you’re most productive and able to focus. Consider getting your most important or challenging assignments done during that time.
One way to get more done is to batch similar tasks. For example, Miranda tries to batch a lot of her writing on Mondays, early on in the week. She often chooses Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to interview sources. Lumping similar tasks together can help you stay on task and focus, without the need to task switch as much.
Kat spends time on Sundays looking at what’s coming and outlining the coming week. You can also look at a rolling...
One of the questions we’ve been getting a lot lately is this: How do you maintain focus as a freelance writer?
This can be a tough one, especially if you have ADHD or some other attention issue. Both Miranda and Kat experience ADHD/ADD, so they know how tough it can be to focus sometimes.
Here are their top three tips for staying focused as a freelance writer:
Both Kat and Miranda use Sundays to map out the next two weeks. Take a look at what articles are due, which need interviews/sources, and when you have scheduled interviews.
Because the schedule changes week-to-week, this also provides a chance to make tweaks. Perhaps you build in a re-set day or set your personal due dates ahead of client due dates. Dedicating time to planning in advance and setting a schedule can help you stay on track.
Find a routine that works for you. Miranda likes to batch writing on certain days and blocks out time in the morning to get that...
We’ve all been there. Writer’s block is a real scourge for just about every writer at some point in time. As a freelance writer, though, it can be especially frustrating because, my goodness, deadlines.
If you ever suffer from writer’s block, there are some things you can do to get beyond it. Before you try any of this, though, a good rule of thumb is to plan your freelance writing schedule so that you’re working on assignments at least a couple of days before they’re due.
You might need time to work through the writer’s block and trying to force it half an hour from when you’re expected to turn in the assignment can be a problem.
As a freelance writer, one of the most important things you can do is build a good relationship with your editors. And it’s not just because it makes for a more pleasant professional situation.
Editors move publications — and there are even freelance editors who work with multiple publications. Miranda has worked with one particular editor on three different projects, at his request. She is currently freelancing for Forbes because another editor brought her along when he started working there.
So, how do you wow your editors? You might be surprised at how simple it can be.
When you can be counted on to turn your work on time, that goes a long way with most editors. If you know you’re going to miss a deadline, let your editor know ASAP. Good communication combined with turning in most of your stuff on deadline (or even a little early) can make a huge difference and move you to the top of the list.
Do a little proofreading...