Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Get paid for your writing

It sounds simple enough, but getting paid for your writing is not as easy as it sounds. Sending money by wire transfer internationally presents major headaches and significant costs, so most people make use of an online banking facility or "internet wallet". There are two free ones that stand out, and these are PayPal and Moneybookers.
Okay, so you've written your first SEO articles through GetAFreelancer, and your client wants to pay you. Chances are they will pay you straight into your GAF account, but they might offer to pay you via PayPal or Moneybookers. Either way, to withdraw money from your GAF account you must have one of these payment facilities.

I use Moneybookers for one main reason: they serve South Africa. Paypal is just as fast, and probably more widely supported, but they give you major hassles if you do not have a US bank account. You can check if your country is supported for withdrawals here. Moneybookers supports withdrawals wherever you are, and it is much easier to ad bank accounts, credit cards and debit cards than it is on PayPal. So to sum up the pros/cons of each:

Moneybookers - Withdraw wherever you are; easier to use/Used by fewer of your clients; slightly slower than PayPal.

PayPal - Used by almost everyone; instant/no withdrawals to many countries; more online merchant-oriented.

Both of these will take a few days, and charge a little bit (Moneybookers charges a flat rate of just over $2 per withdrawal) to send money to your local bank account, and both are more suited to spending money online than receiving it. Although, I find PayPal to be irritatingly consumer-driven while Moneybookers at least maintains the image of a professional financial service.

Things to remember:

  1. Your first GAF transfer will take at least 15 days, and will go through on the Mon/Tues after this waiting period.
  2. Withdrawals from Moneybookers/Paypal will take a few days, and cost some money. It's a financial service - learn to pay for these.
  3. These facilities are entirely secure, and both of them are tighter than Fort Knox
  4. You will need your bank's SWIFT code to add your account. Find your SWIFT code here.
  5. GetAFreelancer will charge you $0.75 per withdrawal, and $5 per bid won - it's their cut and good for them for making money I say. Make sure you leave enough in your account to cover these fees or they will delay your payment until you have a positive balance!
Remember, be patient. It takes time to get started as a writer, and the money can be the most frustrating part in the beginning. My advice: don't start freelance writing with an empty bank account. It can take up to a month after completing your first project before you actually see the cash in your hand. Good luck and enjoy getting paid!