While many bloggers work based on e-mail or spoken agreements, issuing an invoice is crucial for several reasons.
First, making an invoice sorts out legal questions both for you and your client, as it provides a paper trail of your income and expenditure. Furthermore, sending invoices might help you get paid quicker.
Some bloggers prefer sending their invoices before the job is done, to prevent unpleasant surprises about your charges.
Most common components of an invoice
Before you make and send your first invoice, let’s see what are the usual components of an invoice.
- Contact information. The first thing your invoice should contain is your first name, address, and email/phone number information.
- Your client’s information. Another field that’s mandatory for every invoice is the recipient’s information such as name, address, and contact information. By including this info, you’re formalizing the verbal agreement you had with your client and making something that has legal value.
- Invoice number. An invoice number is something that will help you track your payments, and manage them more efficiently.
- Invoice date. Every invoice should contain the date that will indicate when it’s sent.
- Due date. Most invoices contain due dates, as it is the perfect reminder for clients to make the payment.
- Description. The description is an integral part of every invoice as it will help you list all the services and details about the services you provided to clients.
- Price. Price is probably one of the most important parts of an invoice, as it states how much you worked and the total charge for your work.
- Vat. If you’re a VAT registered company, you’ll also have to include your VAT number and how much VAT is due on each service.
How to deal with late payments?
Many businesses and freelancers struggle with late payments. Using these tactics can minimize the time you wait for the invoice to be paid:
- Introduce late payment fees. Usually, one of the best ways to get paid on time is to let your clients know they will be charged extra if they miss making the payment on time.
- Make the payment process seamless. Before blaming your client, make sure to think about the payment options you provide and do they suit them. We advise you to discuss payment methods before you begin working for the client, to avoid late payments issues later on.
- Send email reminders. In case you’re facing a late payment, the first thing you can do is to remind your client by email. Crafting a “late pay” email can be tricky, but you can always send a follow-up email checking if your client was happy with the service and if they’ve seen the invoice you’ve sent them.
- Add incentives. Incentives are the opposite of charging fees for late payments. Discounts on early payments will motivate your clients to pay for your services before the invoice is due and save you the time and effort you’d put into “chasing” them. The range of incentives you can offer can vary – it can be a discount on the invoice’s total, a discount for the next blog post you’ll write (which is a good idea to keep them coming).
- Send customized invoices. Sometimes, clients won’t pay you on time simply because their invoicing process is different from yours. That said, the best idea would be to always ask your clients what they need on their invoices. Even though this might be a more time-consuming task, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run, fixing mistakes and gaps in the communication you made the first time.
- Automate things. After your blogging business takes off, you can minimize the time you spend making invoices and sending late payment requests by subscribing to invoicing software services. Invoicing software can help you automate invoice sending and late payment reminding process, as well as help you manage and organize all your invoices.
How can you market your blogging services?
Blogging is a competitive niche, and finding new clients might prove to be a tedious and time-consuming task.
That said, creating your website can be a great tactic for attracting new clients. Having a website will allow you to introduce yourself to the clients, look more professional, and showcase your existing portfolio.
Having a website can, also, help you become more visible in Google’s engine. If you maintain the blog section on your website, you can rank for specific keywords relevant to your niche, and attract more clients who wouldn’t know about you otherwise.
There’s not a single reason why you shouldn’t have your website, especially since there are many CMS solutions that will allow you to make a professional-looking website without any coding experience or knowledge.
Plus, you can now add a blog extension to your one-page website seamlessly, by copying two lines of code into your website. BlogHandy will adjust your newly-added blog section to match your website’s style and design, without any prior coding knowledge.
Managing invoices can prove to be a tedious and time-consuming task. However, it’s a responsible step that will help you build a reputation among your clients, leave a better, more professional impression, and manage your finances in a more organized way. Now, it’s time to send your first invoice away!