Welcome to Day 4 of Freelance Writing Week II!
So far we’ve covered:
- How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?
- Should Freelance Writers Ever Write for Free?
- The “Right” Pay for Freelance Writing Jobs
Next up is some information about how and when freelance writers can expect to be paid.
How do freelance writers get paid?
Freelance writers usually get paid in one of three ways:
- Check: The client sends you a check and you have to cash or deposit it.
- Direct Deposit: Funds are deposited by the client directly into your bank account; usually only an option if you work a lot with a client and under contract.
- Paypal: Hands down the most popular method of payment for online writing gigs. Fee for accepting money but you can transfer it to your bank account without paying a fee.
Some clients give you the choice of how you’d like to be paid, but many only pay one particular way; be sure to know how they intend to pay you before accepting work in case you cannot accept their payment method.
Special Payment Considerations for Expat Freelance Writers
For those of you who are expat freelance writers, PayPal is probably going to be the easiest way to get paid as you can then transfer the money to your bank account (unless you can get someone to deposit checks for you in the United States).
But if you open an account at PayPal.com, your bank account *must* originate from the United States. There are different PayPal sites for other countries, though, and by using them, you can link your foreign bank accounts (but not your U.S. bank account!) to your foreign PayPal account. See the list of countries for which this service is available at PayPal Worldwide.
For instance, I have a PayPal account with PayPal.it (Italian site) hooked up to my Italian bank account so I can transfer money between them. And for those of you in Italy who aren’t so sure of your Italian, you can also select English as your language of choice at PayPal.it.
When can I expect to be paid?
One of the biggest stresses of freelance writing life is clients who don’t pay or those who take a long time to pay.
Some writing contracts will provide that you will be paid within a certain amount of time (often between 30 and 45 days from the date of invoice), but generally clients should absolutely pay you within 60 days; if they’re paying you through PayPal, you will likely get paid much faster than that.
If the timing of payment is not specified in a contract, be sure to discuss this with the client *before* you start working. This way there can be no dispute later as to when you or the client thought you were supposed to be paid.
And don’t be afraid to send reminder e-mails to clients who are delinquent in paying—you did the work and you deserve prompt payment. Period.
If you do have trouble collecting payment, one of the best writers’ resources out there is Angela Hoy of Writers Weekly. Hoy personally fights for writers who have been stiffed and nearly always (if not always!) gets great results.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for
“How to Know Whether Freelance Writing Jobs are Legitimate!”
Also free free to bookmark, Stumble, and share these posts with friends via email, your blog, and Twitter. The more people we have reading them, the more ideas and suggestions we can come up with in the comments. We freelance writers have to stick together!
Do you have freelance writing payment tales to share?