Freelance Writers: Want to Earn Some Immediate Money? Do This . . .

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably read where I advise freelance writers to track their income. I track mine daily. I may miss a day (or sometimes a week or two), but I always go back and fill in the numbers so that I can see – at a glance – how I’m doing.

My “income tracking” document is very simple; it’s just a table created in Word (see graphic below; click to get a larger view). This document is for my eyes only and comes in very handy at tax time.

FYI, for more than a year now, all of my payments have been electronic, so I can simply log into my PayPal account or bank account and pull the numbers for each category.

Freelance Writers: 3 Advantages of Tracking Your Income Daily

1) As mentioned above, you can see – at a glance – how you’re doing financially.

2) You can see your “money centers;” ie, where the bulk of your revenue is coming from; and

3) Piggybacking on the above point, it tells you exactly where to concentrate your efforts to get some immediate cash.


As you can see from my chart, I have several income streams. But if you freelance and just depend on client income, you can still use income tracking to see where your profit centers are.

For example, let’s say you have six clients. Three of them use you pretty regularly; one does so sporadically, and two of them are basically “one offs” (eg, you do projects for them maybe once or twice a year at most).

Common sense would say to focus your marketing work on the three clients who use you regularly. But, it’s not as simple as this. There are a couple of more factors that come into play, eg: (i) how much each client spends with you; and (ii) how they pay.

Where to Focus Your Efforts to Make Money Immediately

When you need an immediate cash infusion, it’s always best to look at who’s paying you – on time. Many freelancers get caught up in how much money each client spends with them. And this is certainly a factor. But if a client is keeping you busy, yet you have to struggle to get paid, then they could be costing you money in the long run.

When I depended solely on income generated from freelance writing jobs from clients, I always focused on those who kept me busy AND paid on time.

The Difference between Large Companies and Small Ones When It Comes to Paying Vendors (Freelancers)

What many freelancers don’t realize – especially newbies – is that the larger clients usually pay slower than the small guys. I remember back when I operated Inkwell Editorial as a staffing agency. Big clients like Random House and McGraw-Hill almost never paid within 30 days (the invoice terms). They almost always paid anywhere from 45 to 90 days.

Part of the reason many large firms pay late (or on their terms instead of yours) is because: (i) they can get away with it; and (ii) they have systemic invoice procedures that must be followed (eg, getting a certain number of people to sign off on an invoice, then getting it to the right department to be processed, then processing it based on their own internal time table).

Smallish firms rarely have this types of red tape to go through. It may be one or two people who need to give the ok and they cut you a check and/or send you a payment via PayPal within days – instead of weeks or a few months.

So while it’s great to have large clients as part of your roster, it can hurt your bottom line if you have too many of them who are constantly paying late. As an aside, cash flow is one of the main problems that small business owners face.

Smallish firms tend to be great at paying on time. It’s because they know how detrimental cash flow problems can be for the “little guy.”

Steps to Follow to Get an Immediate Cash Infusion

(i) Identify your “steady payers:” Put them at the top of your list to contact.

(ii) Complete projects for them as soon as possible so you can submit an invoice and get paid.

(iii) Ask them for more work at every turn, ie, when you turn in a project.

(iv) Ask them for referrals: Small business owners tend to know other small business owners, so ask them if they can refer you to any of their colleagues.

Some insight on getting referrals as a freelance writer: It won’t occur to many businesses to refer you – UNLESS a colleague asks them directly for a referral, or YOU ask them for a referral. It’s not that a client doesn’t want to refer you; it’s just that they’re too busy running their own business to think about referring you. So get proactive – ask for referrals.

Freelance Writers: One of the Best Ways to Drum Up Business and Make Some Immediate Cash

Bundle services and make an offer to your steady payers (and fresh prospects as well). For example, managing social media accounts is a perfect complement to writing web content. If you already write a client’s weekly blog posts or newsletter articles, it needs to be distributed via social media.

Many clients haven’t even begun to hop on the social media bandwagon. And even if they have, many are sporadic with it. So, why not offer to take over this responsibility for them. For example, you could offer a package where you manage their social media accounts and provide weekly blog posts for “one low price.”

Bundling your freelance services is an ideal way to offer clients a deal, make more money per client and get some immediate cash (if you send out the offer to a few hundred contacts, you’re bound to get a few takers).

How the Idea for This Post Came About

I’m in the middle of trying to refinance my mortgage (boy, what a process these days!). As I was putting together my income statement for my lender, I went back through a year’s worth of data.

As I was digging through the numbers, I realized one thing I need to do – immediately – to increase my income. What is it? Get more of Inkwell Editorial’s ebooks on Clickbank.

When I looked back over that particular income stream, I realized how it’s steadily been growing and how it could be a major player. Only one of Inkwell’s ebooks is on that site – and there are over 50 in its catalog now.

I quickly checked Clickbank’s traffic stats and realized that it receives over 36 million page views – per month! So, it’s a huge outlet for ebook sellers. It’s not like I didn’t know this, but as humans, we tend to get stuck in our habits and not “till new soil.” It’s yet another reminder to always pay attention to your numbers, as my old business mentor used to say.

Share your thoughts? Do you have any “immediate” ways to drum up cash as a freelancer? What have you tried that worked / didn’t work? Please share in the comments section below.

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P.S.: Get the freelance writing opportunity that allowed me to be financially secure …

coverSecure enough to travel, live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life!”

P.P.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please?

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