Freelancing? Get A Contract!


Recently, I started offering some specialized services (search engine optimization, performance enhancements, customized themes, etc) to blog owners. My first customer was a friend who needed me to build him a blog for his travel agency.

He previously hosted a “company website” through Yahoo, but wasn’t happy with the results. So we decided to use the power of Social Media and Web 2.0, and built a company blog where he could post about last-minute deals and specials.

Because he’s a friend, I didn’t make him sign a contract, and I didn’t collect an up-front deposit. The site went live in early March, and he asked if I could wait until April 1st for payment. I had no problem with that.

April 1st comes around, and I get an e-mail from him asking if I could wait a few more months, as he’s having some cash-flow issues!

Sadly, I’ve seen this happen all too often. Now, I’m not worried about my buddy, so I’ll give him time to pay me back. But if this were a total stranger, he could have taken me for a ride, and I’d have no recourse.

Morale of the story? If you want to get paid, make sure you’ve got a contract in place!

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