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Check or PayPal for Freelance Writers?

If you are a freelance writer, one of your jobs is to make sure that you get paid the amount you are owed on time. Of course, things do not always work out this way, but it should be your goal. But when it comes to collecting money, what method do you prefer?

Generally speaking, freelance writers have two options when it comes to getting paid. This is not to say that there are no other options, but these are definitely the most popular.

First off, you could opt to be paid by check. The main benefit of this is that you do not have to rely on an online payment system in order to facilitate the transaction. Additionally, unlike PayPal, when you receive your funds via check you never have to pay a fee. For some people, this is reason enough to collect all their money this way.

In my case, the magazines and other print publications that I write for always pay via check. This is fine with me, and I usually cash checks within a couple days of finding them in my mailbox.

The only real drawback of a check, when compared to PayPal, is that you have to rely on the mail to deliver your money. Even if things go as planned, you are going to have to wait for a couple of days at the least. For some freelance writers, getting paid quickly is the most important factor. After all, bills need to get paid, and waiting is never a good thing.

This brings us to why PayPal is beneficial to freelance writers. As soon as you complete and turn in your assignment, your client can send you funds via your PayPal account. This means that you could have your money in your account within five minutes of completing a job. Talk about quick service!

As mentioned above, the main downfall of PayPal is the transaction fees that are taken out of your payment. To give you an idea of how bad these can get, I paid nearly $2,000 in these fees last year. Now can you see why PayPal makes so much money?

Since I have several jobs that pay out on a regular basis, some of them as often as three to four times per week, being paid by check is not an option. Sure, I could have them tally everything up at the end of the month, but I prefer to receive payment as soon as possible. This ensures me that I will get what is coming to me; even if I have to give PayPal a small percentage of it.

Although check and PayPal are the two best payment options for freelance writers, you may want to consider others. For instance, I have one client that pays each month with a wire transfer. All they needed was my checking account number, routing number, and bank name. While this is a great way to get paid because of the quick service, keep in mind that you may be charged a service fee. I give up $13 on each payment from this client so that I can get the money wired to my account. Why do I do this, you may ask? Well, since the check is usually for a couple thousand dollars, it seems to be the best option. I would rather get that amount of money as quick as possible as opposed to waiting for it in the mail.

As a freelance writer, consider receiving payments via check and/or PayPal. You should be able to find a happy medium that suits the needs of most your clients.

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6 Comments »Freelance WritingJuly 23rd, 2007

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