Freelance writers send bills, just like lawyers and doctors do - and it's a good idea to use a standard template with each client (so both the freelance writer and the client can use it at tax time).
Click for a quick tutorial on how to create a freelance writing invoice.
Freelance writers' invoices should always include:
- Freelance writer's name and business logo (if applicable)
- Freelance writer's contact information
- Freelance writer's website
- Client's name and contact information
- Date of the invoice
- A specific list of services rendered - with individual prices listed
- Total due
- Due date
Freelance writer's name and contact information: You need your clients to be able to get in touch with you whenever possible - and providing them with everything on an invoice ensures they have your contact info handy (clients usually have to hang on to invoices for tax purposes).
Freelance writer's website: It's never a bad time to plug your website, blog or other online presence.
Client's name and contact information: You need to have this handy, and it's just good form. This is likely the address you'll use to send a thank-you note upon completion of a project, too - so you've got a quick reference if you need it.
Date of the invoice: The invoice date should be displayed prominently and match the day you completed the project.
A specific list of services rendered - with individual prices listed: A specific list will help your client understand the breakdown of your services. If you've tacked on fees for photography, formatting, research or SEO (hey, some writers do), this is the place to list them.
Total due and due date: It's important that this figure shows up - clients are looking for the bottom line, and while they may not be concerned with the breakdown in your specific list of services rendered, they're definitely interested in the total due. You can include a due date, but your contract should have had stipulations in place to tell your client how soon you need to be paid after completion of a project.
Making your invoice through a program like MS Office is helpful, but some clients don't have the same software you do. Make sure you can convert it to an Adobe file (.pdf) or something similar so they'll be able to open it when you send it electronically.
What kind of invoices have you had success with in the past? Are your clients appreciative of them? Do you include things other than those listed above? Please post your comments and include a link to your own blog or website!