Creating an invoice as a freelance writer

Once I’ve finished some good, hard freelance work, it’s always satisfying to get to the final step: sending in the invoice. I’ve heard that for some, this step can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be because you’ve already done these things:

  1. Agreed on your pay rate
  2. Kept track of your hours
  3. Your final work has been approved/accepted

Now all you have to do is put it together and send it along. Hopefully, the payment comes back shortly and your bank account is a little richer (until tax time!).

freelance-invoice-exampleIf you agree on pay rate based on project then the invoice is super simple as it will be one line item: ‘this is my project that I did for you and here’s how much we agreed I would be paid’. Send that in. Get paid. Fist pump!

I recently did a project where my contract was hourly. This was a first for me so I had to figure out a different way of writing up my invoice. I used Excel because: free! Obviously, if you have software for your accounting then you can figure out how to use that for an invoice. My Excel template took a little bit of finagling to calculate the dollar amount based on hh:mm in the time column, but once I had that set up, I could track my rate down to the minute. If that’s not in your wheelhouse, then feel free to download my template example and set it up for your own needs: Lauren Elkins’s Hourly Invoice Template. You’re welcome!

So how did I know to the minute how much work I did on each day? I use a really simple (and free!) time tracking tool: TopTracker. With it, I track both my hourly and project work. I don’t need it for invoices with project work, but I do want to know if I’m getting better with managing my time so that I’m making more per hour or minute with each project. That’s how I make more money, which is just one of my many goals as a freelancer. Once I’ve completed a project, I can use TopTracker to generate a csv file with my tracked time each day. Then I write that up in my invoice and send it along.

I also enter information into Quicken to keep track of my books using that software, but I despise their invoices. Hence creating my own in Excel.

Hope this was helpful for you. Now, go and freelance your way to riches and power!

One Comment on “Creating an invoice as a freelance writer”

  1. Pingback: How to rock at good content writing – tips from this freelance writer to you! – Lauren Elkins

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.