Getting Paid: Blogger Accounts Receivable 101

Professional blogging is a dream career, but the reality for many bloggers who are in it for the creative freedom is that the money aspect can be intimidating. Money itself isn't my favorite thing in the world to deal with. However, it's the gateway to many necessities like groceries, shelter and to generally have a nice life.

 

Successfully handling accounts receivable makes a huge difference in the success of your business. It's both a small and a large part of building relationships with your clients, as you want your clients and partnerships to feel like they're getting the most value from your relationship, but you don't want them to feel like it's ‘all about the Benjamins'. That's a very fine line.  I've worked for several years as a freelancer and for the past three years as a professional blogger, while not all my financial transactions had gone over smoothly, there are a few things that have helped make things easier.

 

1. Determine the Payment Terms and Schedules in Advance

From my years as a freelance graphic designer, I have found that most of my clients knew nothing about how a graphic design project was supposed to unfold. They just wanted a finished project. The same is true in blogging. It's always best to let your clients know in advance what your process is, what the projected timelines are and tell them about the payment schedules. For long-term projects, I often requested a 50% deposit and a 50% upon delivery so the clients were equally as invested in the completion of a project as I was. But you can only do this if you outline everything in advance.

 

2. Familiarize Yourself With Your Client's Payment Schedules

Many companies have varying billing cycles – some are one week, some are 9o days. Going to point one, if you need the funds in advance, it's best to determine that before you start working. However, check with your local laws to familiarize yourself with the laws for payment upon issue of an approved invoice; many states give clients 30 days to pay. You want to give your clients that cushion before you start asking for payment (unless previously agreed you require earlier payment terms).

 

3. Send a Friendly Reminder for Past Due Payments

I haven't really had to go beyond sending a friendly reminder, but be sure to check in with a client if their invoice has gone past due. They may have forgotten, they may not be responsible for cutting checks or they may have their own reason for not getting the cash right away. Whatever the reason, be sure to ask about the payment once it's past due or past the time they said they would pay.

 

4. ALWAYS Say ‘Thank You'

Follow up and gratitude is key in terms of getting the next job from a client or not. A little thing like not saying thank you when payment has been received could stick in the mind of a client when they are deciding who to work with next. Saying ‘thank you' goes a hell of a long way in terms of building a lasting relationship with your clients, what's more, is it takes one second to type.

 

Resources:
INC.com has a great archive of articles on accounts receivable for freelancers and small businesses, from screening out deadbeats before you work with them to how to successfully collect debts

 

Image by Alex Bellink

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17 Responses

  1. AsheMischief

    This is so good, and it’s something I’m really glad you’ve addressed! As a blogger, if you’re working regularly it’s easy to become dependent on funds–whether from Amazon, Adsense, freelance writing or more, but you need be smart and aware of when you’re going to get paid too…

    Reply
  2. Lelia

    I’m still in the full time job realm, but articles like these make the task of incorporating blogging into my income much easier. Thanks IFB!

    Reply
  3. Aquila

    Thanks so much for this! I am dealing with tackling this issue right now, and these tips are fantastic!

    Reply
  4. Tali

    Great article!
    Everything mentioned here should be concidered and I cannot stress enough the importance of the first point. It is VERY important to know what your client means by “good job”. It can be something totally different from what you think in terms of scheduale and communication. Everything should be agreed on in advance. Well, as much as possible, at least.

    (I’m working now with a client who has NO idea what so ever about projects, plan or scheduale. Horrible)

    Reply
  5. anonymous

    thanks for talking about this! i’m just so confused on how to calculate what is appropriate for my blog in terms of how much money i should be stating i want. isnt there some kind of chart..lol? i have no idea what is appropriate. i know it all depends on traffic, amount of unique visitors, comments, followers, content etc.. someone please help! i was contacted recently for an ad but turned it down b/c they offered me something (nothing special) and i didn’t think their ad and my blog would represent each other in a genuine way. i know i made the right decision but i want to know what to do now in the future. i want to sound confident and have rates and everything else ready to give potential sponsors.

    Reply
  6. nicky

    I’m at the stage now where I need to monetize my site in an ethical and economical way. I have never taken any money nor got involved in any of the offers that have been sent to me as I’m just not sure what is safe and what is not. Do I look for advertising and if so what to charge? or do I choose another method. All advise would be welcome.

    Reply
  7. Jayla

    I have been trying to make a sustainable income with ads on my blog and found myself doing blogvertise. Doesn’t pay much! I need to build a bigger audience. I have a giveaway so please check it out!

    Reply
  8. Tymbre Armstead

    Wow great story!! Very helpful, with the IFBcon and all the insightful articles a lot of us will know how to deal with things to come!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Lyka Ricks

    Getting paid is one of the motivations in blogging craft. It is good to know that you have post a very informative issue. Others are hesitant to take a splash on this world as they might be ending to nothing.

    Keep it up!…

    Reply