The good news is, your blog is in business. You've got your first project approved by the client, and now what?
You need to GET PAID!
Sometimes business is done with a handshake, but for tax purposes, both for you and your client, having a paper trail is a must. Having your invoice and many times your W-9 ready is important to making sure you get paid in a timely fashion. I personally like to send the invoice before the work commences so there is no doubt about the charges for services rendered. If additional services are needed, then another invoice can always be issued. Card payment machines offer businesses a reliable and convenient way to accept electronic payments, enhancing customer experience.
Even if you haven't gotten a gig yet, it's good to just create one, first of all because it gives some clarity to you as to how you want to bill your services. Also, it puts intentions out into the universe that you will be making money with your blog. That's not a bad thing, no?
The IFB Invoice Download:
Click the image of the invoice to download an Excel version:
Invoice Template: Click to Download
Components of the Invoice:
- Your Information: Be sure to include your BUSINESS name, or whatever name used to deposit your checks. If you've set up a business, then your business name. If you have not done this yet, then your legal name is just fine. I've included tax information, so clients can have this as a reference, because I normally send a W-9 form along with it. If you like, and if you anticipate wire transfers, your routing number and account number can also be included on the invoice.
- Your Client Information: Be sure to include their legal business name, address and contact info (for your sanity). I like to include an invoice number for tracking payments.
- Date: ALWAYS have a the date sent on your invoice. This can come in handy when collecting past due invoices.
- Payment Terms: Many businesses have a 30-90 net on payment, especially bigger brands. They rarely pay upon receipt. I usually like to put in, “Payment upon receipt.” Then follow up if they have not paid in 30 days.
- Project Description: This is where you describe the project. It doesn't have to be long, but, say you are working on a campaign. “Social media promotion for X campaign” is good enough.
- Itemized list of services: The project description may not outline all the services you are rendering. Say you are giving the brand a sponsored post, a dedicated newsletter and a banner ad. This is where you break down the costs for each service.
- Grand Total: This is where you put the final amount you are asking to get paid
- Payment instructions: At the bottom repeat your payment terms and the way you wish to be paid.
- Thank you! Always thank your clients!
My accountant jokes, “If you find $5 on the street, the IRS wants you to claim it.” It doesn't matter if you have reached the $600 threshold, established a business or not, you will have to claim all money made from your blog. Clients will need your tax information to issue payment (so they can write off the money spent on the project). In the US, they will most likely ask for a W-9 form. You can have this filled out in advance, and keep it on hand whenever you need it. I generally send this along with the invoice to avoid delays in getting paid.
Thanks for this! It is quite helpful for anyone new to consulting or pro-blogging!
This is very helpful!! I’m still not to that level of getting paid for blogging but I am saving this information for future reference.
Oh this is really helpful. It’s definitely one of those things that you don’t know you need until the last minute.
So helpful! Thanks again guys! Any plans to do a blogger conference in Australia?
This is a wonderful post! I have been trying to create my own invoices and this breakdown really helps!
Thanks for the great info Jennine! Will definitely reference this when I start working on paid projects!
Very helpful! Does anyone know what kind of tax info we need to supply if we are in the UK?
Love this! I’m just now starting to need invoices!
I have concerns sending an W-9 with a ssn on it over email as email is not secure in any shape or form. Has anyone encrypted their W-9 when sending it to a client who approached you for services? If so what have you used to encrypt the doc or email? Thanks.
Thanks – this is really helpful. I’ve also created a tool if you are looking to templatize the creation of invoices.
Thank you so much for this info! I have done many campaigns in the past but none that required these forms. I just received my first campaign requiring an invoice and W9 and this post saved me from looking like the complete novice I am! Thank you, Thank you!! 🙂
Thank you so much for posting this! Incredibly helpful.
Thanks for sharing this simple, yet very useful template! Will be using it for my first sponspored post this year for my www.pisoandbeyond.com blog! More Power!!
This is perfect, thank you very much for sharing.
This was super helpful. Thanks for the template!
Hey girl! Thanks so much for the template, super helpful. But one teeny little thing is you have receipt spelled reciept on the download in two different spots. Just wanted to let you so you can fix it 🙂
Thanks for pointing that out. We’ll go ahead and fix it!