Freelance Writer Contracts: 5 Things You Need to Include
There’s one thing that all new writers need: a freelance writer contract. A contract isn’t just for large corporations; it’s put into place to protect both you and your client. Let’s look at why all freelance writers need to have a contract and what clauses must be included in it.
Why You Need a Freelance Writer Contract
There are many reasons you’d want to get a signed contract before starting a new content writing opportunity, but here are some of the most important.
It can protect you when a client fails to pay. Most clients do pay up, but in those rare instances where they don’t, it’s good to protect yourself from non-payment.
It clearly states your terms. Imagine this. You’ve been chatting with a potential client on Facebook or on the phone. You agree on the details of the job. You start working and all of a sudden, the client is requesting more words, quicker turnaround, or added services. With a contract, there’s no need for any “he said-she said” back and forth.
It also protects the client. Contracts give clients peace of mind, too. With terms of service, privacy statements, payment terms, and due dates down in writing, contracts also protect your clients.
What to Put in a Freelance Writer Contract
You know you need a contract, but what do you put in it?
The following clauses are great to include for any freelance writer contract. Keep in mind that no matter what you include the language, it should be understandable for both you and your client. While a contract is a formal document, you don’t want it to be overwhelming or confusing.
Scope of Work. This part talks about exactly what you’re going to do for the client. Include information such as hours worked, word count, and any additional items like sourcing images, creating social media images, and uploading to the blog dashboard. You may also want to include things like due dates and whether or not you include rewrites.
Your price. This is a must for any freelance writer contract. Make sure your price is stated clearly in the contract. If you have any extra fees for services such as additional editing or uploading, make sure you include that within your price list.
Terms of payment. Depending on how long the job will take and how much you are charging, you may want to do partial payments, upfront payments, or set up a payment schedule. Include this clause in your payment terms.
Also, specify when you will be sending invoices. For ongoing work, you may decide to send invoices weekly or bi-weekly. Make sure your client is aware of when invoices will be sent, how long they have to pay it, whether or not you charge a late fee, and what types of payment you accept.
Termination clause. This section will cover the terms of terminating the contract for both you and the client. Do you require written notice? And if so, how far in advance do you need to be notified? Will you charge a kill fee for broken contracts? It may seem like a bit much, but this information is important for any ongoing business relationship. It can also protect you in case you need to terminate your own contract because the client turned out to be a nightmare.
Rights to the content. For most freelancer/client relationships, the client owns the right to the content. This means you will not reuse the content elsewhere or sell it to anyone else. However, you should state that you still own any rights to the content until the work is paid for.
Freelancers should have a contract for any work, no matter how big or small the job may be. A freelance writer contract not only protects you as the writer but also protects your client.
Create Better Working Relationships
Having a thorough freelance writing contract on-hand will help protect your rights and foster a more constructive and professional working relationship with any client you take on.
Read our blog more insights on what it takes to be a freelancer, content writer and creator.
Corinne is a writer and blogging strategist, who specializes in finance and online business. After earning her BA in English, she began working in the fast-paced finance industry. After 6 years, she left it all behind and turned to her first love, writing. Focusing on valuable content that not only teaches and inspires, Corinne uses words to help businesses get the visibility they deserve online. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and two kids.