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Usually, the writing agreement that freelancers sign with their clients contains several clauses. However, not all clauses carry the same weight. Some are more important than others. As a freelancer, it is your responsibility to develop a knack for identifying the must-include clauses in your agreement. Otherwise, you would be setting yourself up for a bit of disappointment. What is more, your entire consultancy may go up in flames once some of your clients realize your mistake. Avoid sending the writing agreement to clients until you study it with surgical precision.

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What are the most important clauses in your writing agreement? Find the answers below.

1. Clauses on milestone payments

Freelance writers who have worked or are working regular jobs are accustomed to regular pay at the end of the month or week. However, once you opt to go freelance fulltime, you should be ready to forego such privileges. Instead, your life will now be defined by irregular pay. Mostly, clients will pay you an upfront fee (or deposit) before settling the balance later once you complete the job. As you may have recognized, such an arrangement makes you too vulnerable for comfort. In such scenarios, your saving grace would be the milestone pay clause.

Through this clause, you would be protecting yourself from exploitation. More importantly, you would be entitled to a partial payment every time you deliver a portion of the project. That way, the client will remain with a very tiny portion of your pay, which would be to your advantage in case some customers decide to take off before settling the balance. Get yourself up to scratch by studying as many writer agreement samples as you can find. Read different milestone clauses from fellow writers to improve your knowledge regarding them too.

2. Clauses on kill fees

The clause regarding kill fees is just as important as any other that appears on the freelancer’s writing agreement. Kill fees come into effect anytime clients decide to cancel a project that you were discussing with them. Without it, clients would be legally free to walk off at any time before you submit the article you were working on without paying you. However, the presence of this clause protects you. Once clients see this clause, they realize that they can’t just take off. Instead, they have to compensate you first for the work you have done thus far!

Where kill fees are concerned, you should remember to set them reasonably. Otherwise, you may set the fees too high only to burn the bridges with some of your clients. Additionally, the fees should not be standard throughout the duration of the project. Adjust them depending on where you have reached with the project. On top of that, it pays to give clients a brief period just after the two of you sign the writing agreement when they can walk away without paying kill fees. The aim is to protect yourself without hurting your relationships with the clients.

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3. Clauses on usage rights

How can clients use your articles? When should they start using those articles? Where will the articles appear? These questions represent the few that should always form the basis of the clause regarding usage rights. Otherwise, your articles might appear on websites or platforms with a horrible reputation thus damaging your standing as a freelance writer. What is more, failure to include this clause could also render you helpless in case clients opt to take your words out of context. Such issues shouldn’t matter to you only if you work as a ghostwriter.

Therefore, writers should learn to include these crucial clauses in any writing agreement.

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