Tips To Keep In Mind Entering A Freelance Writer's Contract

Working as a freelance writer can offer a lot of freedom and flexibility, allowing you to work when, where and how you want to. However, sometimes this flexibility can come with a bit more uncertainty than working a 9-5 job, especially when it comes to thinking about legal obligations, for both the employer and the employee. Here are some vital tips to bear in mind when you enter into a freelance writer’s contract.

  • Read absolutely everything
  • It may be boring, and it may be obvious, but reading the entire document - all the terms and conditions, all the small print - is a vital part of preparing to enter it. Without knowing exactly what you are getting into, it can be very tricky later on when you miss an example, for a deadline, and end up not getting paid. You need to make sure that you have read and understood absolutely everything. If you do not understand something, just ask! Usually, if you have a good employer, they will be happy to explain something.

  • Do not be afraid to open up discussion
  • Your employer and you, as a freelance writer, are in a position to change the fine print of your legal agreements. You are not working for a faceless conglomerate, necessarily. If you are working for an individual, it is much easier to ask them to change a part or some of the parts that you do not think necessary or feasible. You just need to be confident enough to start a dialogue with your contracted employer. Remember, you are one very important half of two parts of this agreement, and it has to suit you, too!

  • Compare it to other, earlier contracts
  • If you have never had a freelance writing job before, make sure you find some examples of other contracts for similar jobs. There are plenty all over the internet. Try, for example:

    1. An internet search on a general search engine.
    2. Looking at specific forums.
    3. Going to freelance writing work websites.
    4. Asking other friends who do similar work.

    Make sure that the terms and conditions of your contract do no directly contradict the ones in the other examples you look at, or that they do not seem outrageous in comparison. For example, if your current employer is making you agree to $0.01 per word, compare this to other rates.

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