Recently I sat up straight in the morning and said, out loud, “Did I ever get paid for that (publication redacted) gig?”
In early March I delivered an assignment to a freelance client who pays via direct deposit. Checked my account and nope, the payment never showed.
When I brought this up (politely, via e-mail), the very-busy editor was a very-embarrassed person. The result: an apology, and a slightly higher payment than usual.
There’s a lesson here for me, and for you.
It’s essential to keep your own books. Don’t expect that every client will have you and your needs uppermost in mind. Keep a running total of what you’ve written and when (or whether) you were reimbursed.
You can’t get paid to write if you don’t know what you’re owed.
Keep track, get paid
Use a spreadsheet, an organizational tool like Trello, a Word document on your desktop, or just pen and paper. Do whatever works. Just do it.
Obviously I fell down on the job this time, since more than a month went by before I realized I hadn’t been paid. Now I’m back to my old-school list, on paper, of who owes me what.
Keeping track of your assignments is especially important when you’re contributing guest posts to other people’s blogs. To be clear: I’m not implying that bloggers are out to stiff you. It’s just that many of them have day jobs and/or families, and keep plenty busy with admin chores and, usually, writing their own content.
The person who forgot to pay me was a full-time editor, whose job (in part) requires cultivating and paying freelancers. Yet the assignment somehow slipped through the cracks. Had I not spoken up, I would not have been compensated.
Don’t let that happen to you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Make sure you’re getting paid to write.