Blogging & Securing Payment
There’s an unwritten universal law that states bloggers will encounter a larger percentage of difficult clients than agreeable clients. Speaking from lots of experience, the scenario goes a little something like this. First, you agree to the workload and you highlight your fees. This will typically be done via email or social media. The person at the other end fails to sign off, which puts you in a difficult position. You wait half a day and you follow up with another email asking for confirmation, and you receive some sort of non-committal response that undermines you, something like “Yeah sorry should be fine, Greg will handle the payment so he’ll contact you once we’ve looked over your work”.
That’s the kind of message that makes every bloggers’ teeth grind together. You now have a choice. Complete the work and trust that you will be paid. Or stand your ground and ask for confirmation that fees will be paid. Neither option is especially conducive to a positive working atmosphere. If this sounds familiar, there is something you can do.
Blogger Invoicing to the Rescue
Invoicing sorts the major players from the bloggers that get messed around (see invoice templates from freshbooks.com for more info). Where you have a professional invoicing template set up and ready to go, you can cut your correspondence right down. Send an invoice confirming the fees for the agreed workload. No bartering over prices and no confusion over what must be paid and when. It’s all there. In an easy-to-understand document.
Your invoice can include a small paragraph about late fees (this is actually enforceable by law in some countries, so always check your legal rights and include any legislation that may help deter clients from failing to pay).
Without invoicing, you are dependent on the good word of your client and potentially the good nature of the person who happens to be at the desk when you call to settle an overdue bill. Don’t leave things to email trails. Always back yourself up with robust invoicing software that can help you to track your business transactions and hold your clients to account.
(when the situation calls for it, you must stand up for your company)
Bloggers love to blog. They didn’t become bloggers because they found they had a spare 20 minutes outside of their lives away from the keyboard. No. Bloggers are usually more at home with a laptop and a good internet connection than they are out in the world. And that means confrontation is seldom a strong point.
The only problem is that business minds are often strong-willed, and you could find yourself in at the deep end when it comes to settling payment disputes. If you have an agreed invoice, there shouldn’t be too many issues, but be prepared for clients who claim the work isn’t to their liking. Always be ready to explain how your work fits the brief, and don’t back down from people trying to get away with ripping you off. Be forthright without sinking to their level – learn how here.