Freelance Writing: Collecting Your Payments on Time

As is the case with other types of contractors, most freelance writers see their income fluctuate from month to month and are unable to depend on regular paychecks. Unsurprisingly, these circumstances commonly breed financial insecurity and persistent economic anxiety. However, while many freelance writers are powerless to control how much – or how little – work they receive in a given month, there are numerous steps they can take to ensure that they’re compensated for their services in a timely manner. Writers who are interested in making late payments a thing of the past can benefit from the following pointers. 

Decide on a Payment Date before Beginning Work

A lack of proper communication is among the most common reasons for late payments. In many instances, writers and clients have wildly different understandings of when payments should be processed. You can effectively nip this issue in the bud by making your expectations clear from the get-go. If you expect a payment to be processed by a certain date, it behooves you to inform your client of this before starting work on their project. This will ensure that you’re both on the same page with regard to the payment date, thereby preventing any confusion on this issue down the line. 

Be Prompt in Sending Your Invoices

If you want to be paid for your services ASAP, don’t wait for your clients to request invoices from you. Instead, take the initiative and submit your invoices within three days of completing your assignments. This will give clients enough time to look over your work and determine whether any revisions are needed. When putting together your invoices, it’s important that they exude an air of professionalism. As such, it’s recommended that you use a good invoice template and create your invoices online at

Adhere to Deadlines

While strict adherence to deadlines may seem like a no-brainer, a surprising number of writers have no qualms about blowing past due dates. Not only is such behavior liable to result in late payments, it will also make clients think twice before enlisting your services in the future. If you don’t complete your work by a deadline that you agreed to, it’s unfair to expect a client to adhere to the original payment date. With this in mind, make a point of treating deadlines as sacrosanct, and in the event that you require more time to complete an assignment, inform your client of this as soon as possible. Additionally, requesting extensions on a habitual basis is unlikely to endear you to many clients.

As any seasoned freelancer can attest, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your work in a timely manner. By completing an assignment by an agreed-upon date, you’ve upheld your end of the bargain, and it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that clients will do the same. Unfortunately, many fledgling freelancers don’t realize how easy it is to collect payments in an expedient fashion. If late payments have been a consistent problem throughout your freelance writing career, don’t hesitate to put the previously discussed tips to good use.