When’s the Best Time to Send an Invoice to a Client?

Not sure when the right time to bill is? This article will help you to decide when to invoice your clients.

Running a blog for profit is a great business strategy. It’s the perfect side hustle, and if you get it right, it can become a full-time job.

The beauty of running your own blog as a business is that it’s relatively low cost to get started—unlike most other business ideas. You don’t even need to pay for a web domain and hosting to begin with. Of course, if you really want to go professional, you do need to look into getting a custom URL and a great website design. SEO is another major consideration where you might want professional help.

You’ll also find that it takes a bit of experimentation to build an audience base and get your blog to the point of being profitable. Once you’ve got that momentum going, you’ll find that you can ride the wave to becoming a full-time blogger.

Different Ways Of Making Money On A Blog

There isn’t just one way to make money—or monetize—a blog. In fact, many successful bloggers use a variety of methods so that they aren’t putting all of their eggs in one basket.

These are the most popular methods for making money on a blog:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Selling eBooks and Courses
  • Operating as an Influencer
  • Public Speaking and Workshops
  • Consulting and Coaching

Affiliate marketing and selling online products is often the easiest way to get started earning an income from your blog. They’re passive strategies that you can simply leave in place once set up.

The other income streams will come once you build a following and prove to the outside world that you’re a thought leader within your niche content topic. These streams will also require a bit more paperwork in terms of contracts, quotes and invoicing.

Deciding On Your Invoicing Strategy

The most important thing to remember is that your blog isn’t just for fun. It’s a business. All of your interactions with suppliers, customers, and your audience should be professional.

Additionally, if you want your blog to become your business, you need to treat it as such. This means focusing on your financials—income, expenses, tax, etc. A key area to get right is your invoicing, otherwise, your business will never grow.

A common question that bloggers and other freelancers face, especially when starting out, is when to send out their invoices. Here are the most common invoicing strategies:

  1. Payment Up Front

With this strategy, you will have your initial meetings with your clients and agree on the scope of the work. After that, you send them the invoice and only start the work once that invoice has been paid.

Doing things this way round ensures that you don’t get left in the lurch because the client can’t withhold payment after the job. This is quite a common strategy for speaking jobs and public appearances.

  1. Deposit And Balance

The big problem you might face with a payment upfront strategy is that the clients don’t feel protected. They have paid you with no guarantee they’ll see what they’ve paid for. The deposit and balance strategy gives both you and the client peace of mind.

Essentially, you break the total amount up into two or more payments. The initial deposit must be paid before work starts. The remainder can either be paid after the job is complete or in installments, with the final payment coming after the work is done.

This strategy works really well for big jobs that will take months to complete because you don’t have to wait until the big payday at the end. It also keeps both you and the client accountable.

  1. Payment Upon Completion

Possibly the most common invoicing strategy for freelancing is to submit an invoice once the job is complete. You have provided your service or product, and the client pays you for the work.

This strategy is safest if you’re working with a client you know and have worked with before. If you’ve built up a trusting relationship, they know what kind of work you produce and you know that they pay on time.

It’s also the most common strategy that advertising agencies insist on. If you’re operating as an influencer for an agency campaign, they will likely dictate the terms of payment. Generally, you’ll invoice at the end of the contract and you’ll know upfront how long the payment cycle is.

  1. Regular Retainer Payments

As a professional blogger, you may find that you set up retainers with brands to promote their products or services, as well as with companies in need of a consultant. An ongoing retainer is an ideal setup for any freelancer because you can bank on the same amount of money coming in every month. It also means that you can easily create an invoice template that you simply update for every billing cycle. 

For retainer clients, it’s important to set the rules up before work starts. In these rules, state what day of the month you will invoice and how long the client has to pay the invoice. Common practice is to invoice on the 1st, 15th, 25th or final day of the month. Payment cycles can be anywhere from one week to one month.

In this type of strategy, it’s also good to build in a clause for the cancellation of the retainer. One month’s notice from either party is usually sufficient to protect both sides.

Stick To Your Strategy And Stay Professional

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your invoicing strategy. The best way to do it is to figure out what works for your blogging business and the clients you interact with. 

However, once you’ve set up a strategy, it’s important to stay consistent so that you know when payments are coming in, what your capacity is, and what your monthly income will look like.

Then, remember to be professional in your quoting, contracts, and invoicing. Consistency and professionalism will always win out whatever your business model is.

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Adam Roger

CEO and Founder of Magetop. A friend, a husband and a dad of two children. Adam loves to travel to experience new cultures and discover what is happening with ecommerce all around the world.

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