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Managing clients who pay for freelance writing online
Whether you are being paid on a per word rate, per hour rate, per article or a fixed monthly rate, there is an easy way to keep a track of your earnings from your freelance writing work online. Here is a helpful step by step guide on how you can manage all your clients who pay for freelance writing in one simple Excel spreadsheet. And when the time comes to invoice your clients, this spreadsheet will be god sent.
Before we start
Here are a few basic assumptions that you should prepare for before we start going into the intricacies of how you are going to keep a track of your periodical progress.
- Client A pays you a rate of $ x per word
- Client B pays you $ x per hour
- Client C pays you $ x per articles
- Client D pays you $ x per month or a stipulated period
Open a new Excel spreadsheet and make 4 tabs for the 4 different clients and payment types that we are going to discuss. You can color code the tabs if you wish.
1) Clients who pay a per word rate
If you are working with a client in ghostwriting capacity, you may be getting paid on a per word basis. This scenario is the most difficult when it comes to tracking your earnings from your freelance writing work if you don't have a proper method in place. The key is to tie all numeric data to one variable, which is the word count for all your submissions. Here's how.
- You will need 4 basic columns namely Date, Topic, Word Count and Amount.
- When you make your submission for your writing work, enter the date, the topic of submission and the word count. You can easily get the word count by simply opening the document in Microsoft Word and looking at the bottom left hand corner of your window where it will say "Words: xxx"
- In column D, click on cell number D2 and type in the following, x being the rate per word that has been agreed upon.
- The above formula will simply multiply the number of words in column C by the rate per word and give you a dollar value for the article.
- For your next submission, simply enter the details again. For column D, simply click on cell D2 and click on the copy button or the keyboard shortcut ctrl+c. Then click on cell D3 and click on the paste button or the keyboard shortcut ctrl+v. Excel will automatically copy the formula that we had entered in D2 and paste it in D3, taking appropriate row for the calculations.
- Once you have entered all the submissions for the period, say a month, you can simply put a total to the Amount column to get your total receivable for Client A for the month. Here's how.
- Click on the cell just below the last number in the Amount column.
- Click on the Formula tab on the top of your Excel window and the click on AutoSum
- Your final spreadsheet for Client A should look like the one below. Once you are comfortable with managing your way through this spreadsheet, you can add you own column and formatting that appeals to you.
2) Clients who pay a per hour rate
Freelance writers can also work on an hourly basis. If you are one of them, here is a very effective method to maintain a log of the hours you spend writing for a client. All numeric data is tied to one simple variable, the number of hours. Everything else can be auto-filled, typed in or simply copied from the above cells.
- You will need 4 basic columns namely Date, Topic, Hours and Amount
- When you make your first submission, enter the date, the topic or the title of the submission, and the number of hours you spent writing it.
- In column D, click on cell number D2 and type in the following, x being the rate per hour
- The above formula will simply multiply the number of hours in column C by the rate per hour and give you a dollar value for the article.
- Follow the same step that we did with Client A to copy the formula in D2 to D3 and repeat for all further entries.
- Once you have made all entries for the period for Client B, put an AutoSum like we did above to get your total payable.
- The final spreadsheet for your freelance writing work for Client B should look like the one below.
3) Clients who pay a per article rate
If you are writing freelance for Client C who has agreed to pay you a fixed sum of money for each article or submission that you make, accounting for the same will be pretty straight forward.
- Simple start with the 3 basic columns namely Date, Topic and Amount.
- There are no formulas for this tab.
- When you enter your data, you can manually type in the dollar value of each article as you go.
- Your final spreadsheet for Client C should look like this.
4) Clients who pay a fixed monthly rate
Clients who pay monthly or periodic rates to freelance writers are my favorites. Do you know why? Because this generally involves a long term commitment on a particular project. Typical projects involve working remotely as a part of a team involved in a website restructure, storyboards and more. There will be little reporting or accounting involved on the part of the freelancer because the work will be coordinated over conference calls and the payment is a fixed sum of money.
It is up to you whether you want to maintain a spreadsheet for Client D. Personally, I am a strong believer in keeping things organized whether it is keeping a track of monies or keeping a track of my writing ideas.
For client D you need only two columns namely Date and Topic. There will be no calculations or any formulas involved. The reason why maintaining the spreadsheet is important is because you can keep a track of all the documents that have gone back and forth. In case of a discrepancy later, you can simply refer to this spreadsheet and grab out the necessary files from their respective folders on your computer.
Advice for freelance writers
- The above methods to account for your varied freelance writing work are simple and straightforward. Once you have the basic columns in place, you can tweak these spreadsheets and make use of Excel's extraordinary analytical tools.
- These spreadsheets will be extremely helpful when it is time to do invoicing at end of month. Believe me, copy-pasting from one spreadsheet to another is much easier and quicker than flipping pages of a physical notepad.
- Whether you are an established freelance writer or one who is still learning the ropes, it is great to have methods in place that will help you find more time to write.
- If you have any questions regarding the same, feel free to ask. Click here for Princesswithapen's contact details.