Freelance Blog by Bonsai

Insights from thousands of top freelancers
on making the most out of your freelance business.
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10 best project management tools for freelancers

Many successful freelancers depend on at least one project management tool to keep everything sorted. Discover the best project management tools for freelancers.

The freelancer’s guide to retainer agreements in just 7 steps

As a general rule, freelancers love retainers. Having your guaranteed attention keeps clients feeling valuable and ensures many months of work ahead!

Most Recent
7 unknowns behind billable expense income for freelancers

Many freelancers sell themselves short. By understanding what is billable expense income and adding it to your invoices, you can get paid what you deserve.

CJ Haughey
The guide to health insurance for freelancers (8 options)

Health insurance for freelancers isn’t always easy. These 8 legit ways to get insurance will make sure your health is protected without breaking the bank.

Ashley Lipman
3 steps to a firm grasp of how to number freelance invoices

Creating professional invoices is the recipe for getting paid on time. Use this guide to figure out your invoice number meaning and how to number invoices.

Ardith Stephanson
The 5 step guide to better time management for freelancers

Refine your workflow in just 5 steps with this guide to better time management for freelancers, and discover 3 popular time management techniques.

Matthew Brown
What is a creative agency? 12 reasons and signs to start one

No freelancer wants to grind forever. Discover what is a creative agency, differences between agency types, and 12 reasons & signs to consider starting one.

CJ Haughey
What is a creative brief? 4 key things you ought to know

A creative brief can help you make sure you and your client are on the same page so you can deliver your best creative project yet.

Megan Elliott
How to build your freelance portfolio website (10 step guide)

Building a freelance portfolio website helps market your services, establish authority, and boost your online presence. Our 10 step guide is here to help you.

Rana Tarakji
7 hacks to asking for testimonials from freelance clients

One way to show your value to new clients is sharing positive feedback. Boost how you ask for testimonials using 7 hacks and a sample request email.

Ardith Stephanson
23 best web apps and tools for freelancers (in 5 categories)

23 best apps for freelancers, handpicked and sorted in categories: time management, organization, project management, finance & legal, and writing productivity.

CJ Haughey
6 facts about branding questionnaires (and 2 templates)

Trying to (re)design your client's brand? Polishing your own? Get all the answers you need for solid brand identity with our 2 brand questionnaire samples.

Megan Elliott
How to identify client needs using 5 sure-fire tactics

Understanding client needs is one of the key aspects of any business, including freelance. Here are 5 tactics to ensure you identify and meet client needs.

Ardith Stephanson
9 tips and tricks for dealing with difficult clients

Knowing how to deal with difficult clients is an essential skill for freelancers. Explore this 9-step guide to ensure you come out on top in such cases.

Annette Young
Automate your Bonsai workflow with Zapier

Bonsai now integrates with Zapier to help you connect with 1,000 other tools and software.

Matt Nishiguchi
How to make a business proposal in 6 simple steps

Wondering how to write a proposal that stands out, persuades and wins business? Here are our 6 easy steps for a winning proposal, every single time.

Megan Elliott
When, why, and how to time block: a 6 step guide for freelancers

Using your time effectively is a key part of being a succesful freelancer. Here’s Bonsai's in-depth guide on how time blocking can maximize your productivity.

Ardith Stephanson
7 steps to launching your digital marketing agency

Starting a digital marketing agency is tougher in 2018, but there is great potential if you have a solid plan and the right team. Get started with our 7 step guide.

CJ Haughey
How to make a timesheet in Excel using 2 easy formulas

If you want to track your time, you’re probably wondering how to make a timesheet in Excel. We’ll give you two easy ways of building one, and another to win time.

Ardith Stephanson
What is a timesheet? 4 things you need to know

Timesheets are a great tool for managing your time - but how do they actually work? Here are the 4 things you should know about timesheets.

Megan Elliott
9 steps to a bulletproof retainer relationship (and a bonus)

What is a retainer fee, and how does a retainer work? We give you 9 key points to ensure a retainer relationship is successful for you and your client.

Ardith Stephanson
10 great ways to make your marketing communications work

A marketing communications plan is so important because it creates the foundation of the business and communication with clients. It incorporates your vision and business ethos.

Annette Young
5 tips on writing invoices for freelance work

Freelance careers can be rewarding, but invoicing is difficult for newcomers to navigate. Check out 5 (often overlooked) tips on writing invoices for freelance work.

Kim Maciejewski
12 key insights into proposals and contracts

Many freelancers and clients don’t fully understand the differences between a proposal and contract. It’s time you learned.

CJ Haughey
How to set up automatic payments for your business

Recurring payments save you time and can help with getting paid on time. Discover 3 reasons to set up automatic payments, and how to do it for your business.

Megan Elliott
How to build an effective marketing pitch in 11 steps

In this article, you will learn what a marketing pitch is, and how to craft one for yourself and for your business. We provide 11 easy steps to start you on your journey.

Ardith Stephanson
10 cold email strategies to secure more freelance jobs

For freelancers, financial stability relies on finding new clients. Use these 10 strategies to master sending cold emails for jobs.

6 steps to writing an event proposal that clients love

​You’re creative and you know how to throw the perfect event. But how do you convince your client? Here’s how to write a winning event proposal in 6 steps.

The why, when, and what of follow up emails after proposals

Your supply of freelance work depends on designing effective proposals, but sending follow up emails after quotations or proposals is equally important.

4 tips to ramp up how you make a quotation for freelance work

Building a successful freelance business means bidding on jobs and making a profit. Here’s all you need to know about how to make a quotation for freelance work.

The 7-step recipe for writing a winning book proposal

Learning how to write a book proposal is a major step in becoming a published author. Use our book proposal writing guide to help you do it the right way.

The 5-step guide to mastering how you respond to an RFP

RFPs are great for landing clients. Looking to improve how you respond to an RFP? Use these 5 tips to make sure you're writing compelling RFP responses.

How to list freelance work on your resume (3 samples included)

Struggling with listing freelance work on your resume? Use this 4 step guide to get you started on the right foot - freelance resume samples included!

Why some creatives rake in big freelance clients while you're always stuck looking for work

Are you a creative stuck looking for freelance clients? Use these 4 tips to take your career to the next level and rake in big freelance clients.

7-step guide for negotiating contracts with freelance clients

How to negotiate a contract that works for both you and your freelance clients? It can be a tricky process, but our 7 tips can help you navigate it all with ease.

7 mistakes to avoid when cold-pitching freelance clients

Cold-pitching (sending cold emails to potential clients) is essential to your freelance business. Avoid these 7 mistakes - draft cold emails that get responses.

How to make a business proposal in 6 simple steps

Wondering how to write a proposal that stands out, persuades and wins business? Here are our 6 easy steps for a winning proposal, every single time.

How to build an effective marketing pitch in 11 steps

In this article, you will learn what a marketing pitch is, and how to craft one for yourself and for your business. We provide 11 easy steps to start you on your journey.

Create a perfect marketing proposal in 10 simple steps

Landing the perfect marketing client requires you to know how to write a marketing proposal. Get your questions answered here.

Learn how to get SEO clients with 12 savvy tips

Grow your freelance business quickly with this big list of ideas for how to get SEO clients. Learn the best ways to find, qualify, and pitch prospects that have the budget for services.

35+ sites to find your next freelance marketing job

Looking for your next freelance marketing job? We got you covered! Check out our list of 35+ sites packed with freelance marketing opportunities.

12 essential skills for a freelance social media manager

This fast-paced career is in high demand by companies big and small. Anyone with a Facebook page or Twitter account will likely hire a social media manager. Those who haven't yet – probably will. Are you up to the challenge?

What are the highest paid freelance jobs? 8 to choose from

The flexibility of working for yourself is one of the reasons people leave their day jobs to become independent contractors. But what are the highest paid freelance jobs out there?

10 places to find your next photography job

Here are some of the most popular – and promising – destinations for finding your next photography job from all over the world.

Learn to Write the Perfect Freelance Design Proposals

Writing a perfect freelance design proposals are the heart and soul of getting new business. Follow Linsey's expert tips on the subject.

50 Top Sites to Find Work as a Freelancer

Finding work as a freelancer can be a painful experience... Discover Linsey's top 50 websites to help you find your next freelance gigs!

How to find new clients for your freelance business

6 critical tips to help you secure more clients for your freelance business.

Asking freelance clients for feedback: a 5-step growth strategy

Asking for feedback from clients may seem daunting, but it can help grow your freelance business. Use this 5-step guide to get the feedback you deserve.

What is a creative agency? 12 reasons and signs to start one

No freelancer wants to grind forever. Discover what is a creative agency, differences between agency types, and 12 reasons & signs to consider starting one.

How to build your freelance portfolio website (10 step guide)

Building a freelance portfolio website helps market your services, establish authority, and boost your online presence. Our 10 step guide is here to help you.

7 hacks to asking for testimonials from freelance clients

One way to show your value to new clients is sharing positive feedback. Boost how you ask for testimonials using 7 hacks and a sample request email.

7 steps to launching your digital marketing agency

Starting a digital marketing agency is tougher in 2018, but there is great potential if you have a solid plan and the right team. Get started with our 7 step guide.

10 great ways to make your marketing communications work

A marketing communications plan is so important because it creates the foundation of the business and communication with clients. It incorporates your vision and business ethos.

How to become an SEO expert in 3 easy steps

Wondering how to become an SEO expert? We put together a step by step blueprint, covering everything from learning and practicing to getting clients.

How to become a freelance marketing consultant in 4 steps

Living the freelance life is becoming more and more common. More job categories than ever before are available to work as a freelancer, and among the most exciting – and good-paying – is marketing!

How much do I charge for a website? 4 questions to ask yourself

What's a fair price for a website? How much is too much? Is it okay to be competitive? Discover how much you should charge for a website!

How to Create The Perfect Design Portfolio

Everything you should know about putting your freelance design portfolio together for the first time, as well as polishing up your existing portfolio for the best possible presentation!

How To Write a Freelance Business Plan to Grow Your Business

Starting a freelance business can be daunting, but having the right mindset and attitude, coupled with the right freelance business plan, will certainly lessen the chances of treading on rocky road.

How to become a successful freelancer (5-step guide)

No specific strategy will work for everyone, but getting the right advice will help you become a successful freelancer.

How to Build your Reputation as a Freelancer

Getting to a steady stream of clients will always start with a good track record of successful projects. Learn how to build your freelance reputation!

Freelancers, do you know your market rates?

Get to know the rates of more than 100,000 freelancers and use that data as an asset when negotiating new contracts.

5 Things You Must Have in Your Design Portfolio

Having a complete, clean, and descriptive online portfolio is key to getting inbound work requests. Here is what to build a stellar one.

How to write payment reminder emails to freelance clients

Do you find sending payment reminder emails to your freelance clients challenging? Use our 3-step process to ensure success.

Writing budgets as a freelancer: The complete guide

Successful freelancers know how to write a budget, be it for their business, or as part of effective proposals. Here’s all you ought to know about writing budgets.

Get your invoicing terms right - the 9 step ultimate guide

Looking to polish your freelance invoicing skills? Or preparing your first invoice? Our 9 step guide to mastering invoicing terms should do the trick.

3 steps to improving how you ask for payment in an email

Wondering how to ask for payment in an email while still being professional? From invoices to overdue payments, here are tips for payment email etiquette.

7 unknowns behind billable expense income for freelancers

Many freelancers sell themselves short. By understanding what is billable expense income and adding it to your invoices, you can get paid what you deserve.

3 steps to a firm grasp of how to number freelance invoices

Creating professional invoices is the recipe for getting paid on time. Use this guide to figure out your invoice number meaning and how to number invoices.

5 tips on writing invoices for freelance work

Freelance careers can be rewarding, but invoicing is difficult for newcomers to navigate. Check out 5 (often overlooked) tips on writing invoices for freelance work.

How to set up automatic payments for your business

Recurring payments save you time and can help with getting paid on time. Discover 3 reasons to set up automatic payments, and how to do it for your business.

How to invoice clients professionally (7 steps)

Freelance done right is professional, and how you invoice clients is important. In just 7 steps, ensure your invoicing is right. You'll have more time for work.

How to send an invoice to your client by email (3 ways)

Invoicing is key in any freelancing business, so if you're you wondering how to send an invoice to your client by email, we got you covered: 3 options to choose from!

How to bill a client in 5 easy steps

When it comes to freelance, billing is as important as any other part of the business. Check out our 5 step process if you're wondering how to bill your client.

How often do freelancers get paid late? It depends if you’re a woman or man

In addition to irregular income streams and projects, freelancers have to deal with clients that don’t pay on time. We looked at data from 100,000 freelancers.

How to plan for retirement on a freelance income (5 options)

If you’ve been freelancing for a longer amount of time, the topic of a retirement plan has probably crossed your mind at some point. Discover your options are.

6 must-know basics: form 1099-MISC for independent contractors

Before you can file your taxes, you must ensure you have all of your forms and records. One of the most essential forms to include in your tax calculations and filing is the Form 1099-MISC. Discover why Independent contractors need it.

8 best tax and accounting software for self-employed & freelancers

It takes both pieces – accounting and tax filing – to ensure a stable financial footing for independent contractors. But what are the best tax and accounting software for Self-Employed and Freelancers?

Freelance bookkeeping: 8 step recipe for success

Discover Linsey's best bookkeeping tips for freelancers of all industries, experience levels, and worth.

Form 1040 instructions for freelancers (7 step guide)

As it's getting close to the time most freelancers dread -- tax time. If it's your first season filing as an independent contractor, you may have lots of questions. Discover the instruction for filling out your Form 1040.

Structuring your freelance business: sole proprietorship vs. LLC

Sole proprietorship vs LLC? Most freelancers need a little time to figure out the best structure for them, and that’s OK. Discover some insights on what might work best for you!

Do I Need an EIN when Freelancing?

An EIN is becoming industry standard for freelancers and is a secure way to share your tax info for reporting purposes. Discover why you do need an EIN.

Form 8829 Instructions: Your Guide to Using This Form

The home office deduction is just one of many money-saving tools available to help you keep more of your income and avoid overpaying on taxes. Discover our form 8829 instructions.

Stripe vs PayPal, which one should I use as a freelancer?

While PayPal is the more widely recognized option, that doesn’t mean you can’t educate clients on the benefits of Stripe. PayPal vs Stripe, discover which one to use for your freelance business.

PayPal fees for receiving money: are they worth it?

PayPal may be the best option for those looking for quick payments from any source, discover the PayPal fees for receiving money through it.

Get the Facts about the Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction

The self-employment health insurance deduction can take hundreds of even thousands off of your tax bill, making it a good investment for many.

What's a 2017 W9 Tax Form & How To Fill It Out

For those who have traditionally earned most income as an employee, you may not have much of an idea what it is for or how to fill out a 2017 W9 form. Follow our tips.

Top Self Employed Tax Deductions That You Should Know

By working for yourself many of your expenses can help you save on your taxes. Discover the top self employed tax deductions that you should know!

4 tips for mastering how to charge late fees as a freelancer

Here are the basics to pursuing collections and how late fees can assist freelancers in the process.

5 personal finance tips freelancers ought to know

Here are 5 financial tips to help you keep your freelance career running smoothly while avoiding common financial hurdles.

9 steps to a bulletproof retainer relationship (and a bonus)

What is a retainer fee, and how does a retainer work? We give you 9 key points to ensure a retainer relationship is successful for you and your client.

12 key insights into proposals and contracts

Many freelancers and clients don’t fully understand the differences between a proposal and contract. It’s time you learned.

The freelancer’s guide to retainer agreements in just 7 steps

As a general rule, freelancers love retainers. Having your guaranteed attention keeps clients feeling valuable and ensures many months of work ahead!

What To Include in Your Freelance Contracts

The biggest points of confusion are always surrounding money. How to buff up your contract to protect you from late, or non-paying clients.

Why You Need a Freelance Agreement

There are many excuses for not using an agreement with clients, but none of them are good. Here is why it's important to always get one.

10 tips for freelancers using subcontractors agreements

Drafting your first subcontractor agreement can be a little nerve-wracking. Discover our top 10 tips that will help you draft your first one.

How to Scale Your Freelance Agency?

Skyrocketing business? Here are some simple ways to quickly scale your freelance agency and support your growth.

Employees or 1099 Independent Contractors?

All you need to know when hiring writers: Should you hire full timers or freelancers?

What's a freelance management system (FMS)?

Managing freelancers shouldn’t be a full-time job. New solutions called freelance management systems are emerging among freelance teams.

The 5-step recipe for writing a perfect design brief

Crafting proper design briefs is the backbone of successful design projects. Discover what a design brief is and how to create the perfect one.

The ultimate 10-question logo design questionnaire

Looking for a smart 10-question logo design questionnaire? Let us help you out and you're freelance logo design project will be set up for success.

5 clever ways to thank a freelance client for their business

Saying thank-you does a whole lot for business relationships. Find out how to thank a client for their business - 5 strategies to boost brand loyalty and more.

How to avoid scope creep in freelance projects (7 tactics)

For freelancers, scope creep is detested… and inevitable. In this article, we show you not only how to avoid scope creep, but how to reverse it.

3 ways to maintain accounts in Excel as a freelancer

Account keeping is a key aspect of managing a freelance business. Use this guide to master how you maintain your accounts in Excel - explore 3 ways to do it!

11 tips on firing freelance clients (and 3 sample letters)

Wondering how to fire a client who demands much and gives little? Explore our 11 step guide and fire your client with ease. Ready-to-use letter samples included!

5 tips to asking for referrals (and a sample referral email)

Grow your freelance business - learn how to ask for referrals in just 5 steps with our guide to asking for referrals. Bonus sample referral email included!

The 5 step guide to successful freelance projects

For a freelancer, delivering successful projects is usually top of mind. Use this 5 step guide to impress clients with your handling of freelance projects.

5 things you ought to know about spec work (and a case study)

As a freelancer, you might be asked for spec work. Discover 5 must know facts, and ways to deal with working on spec.

The guide to health insurance for freelancers (8 options)

Health insurance for freelancers isn’t always easy. These 8 legit ways to get insurance will make sure your health is protected without breaking the bank.

The 5 step guide to better time management for freelancers

Refine your workflow in just 5 steps with this guide to better time management for freelancers, and discover 3 popular time management techniques.

What is a creative brief? 4 key things you ought to know

A creative brief can help you make sure you and your client are on the same page so you can deliver your best creative project yet.

23 best web apps and tools for freelancers (in 5 categories)

23 best apps for freelancers, handpicked and sorted in categories: time management, organization, project management, finance & legal, and writing productivity.

6 facts about branding questionnaires (and 2 templates)

Trying to (re)design your client's brand? Polishing your own? Get all the answers you need for solid brand identity with our 2 brand questionnaire samples.

How to identify client needs using 5 sure-fire tactics

Understanding client needs is one of the key aspects of any business, including freelance. Here are 5 tactics to ensure you identify and meet client needs.

9 tips and tricks for dealing with difficult clients

Knowing how to deal with difficult clients is an essential skill for freelancers. Explore this 9-step guide to ensure you come out on top in such cases.

Automate your Bonsai workflow with Zapier

Bonsai now integrates with Zapier to help you connect with 1,000 other tools and software.

When, why, and how to time block: a 6 step guide for freelancers

Using your time effectively is a key part of being a succesful freelancer. Here’s Bonsai's in-depth guide on how time blocking can maximize your productivity.

How to make a timesheet in Excel using 2 easy formulas

If you want to track your time, you’re probably wondering how to make a timesheet in Excel. We’ll give you two easy ways of building one, and another to win time.

What is a timesheet? 4 things you need to know

Timesheets are a great tool for managing your time - but how do they actually work? Here are the 4 things you should know about timesheets.

100 freelance tips and tricks from top freelancers

A collection of 100 freelance tips from top designers, developers, writers and photographers, to help you build and grow your freelance business.

20 best Sketch plugins that you should be using

If you’re a freelance designer, you’re probably already familiar with the powerful and popular Sketch app. Find out what are our top 20 best Sketch Plugins to use.

How to become a UX designer (5 step guide)

Do you have the creativity, business sense, and customer empathy needed to be a UX Designer? Discover what it takes to become a UX Designer in 2018.

10 best project management tools for freelancers

Many successful freelancers depend on at least one project management tool to keep everything sorted. Discover the best project management tools for freelancers.

How Webflow Helps Freelance Designers and Developers Earn More

Most freelancers can agree that doing more with less time and effort is a constant pursuit. Is Webflow the tool you’ve been waiting for to make it happen?

6 Tips That Every New Freelancer Should Know

Are you making the plunge as a new freelancer? Here are our 6 top tips to help you get started.

Avoiding Isolation as a Freelancer

Often thinking about how you could make your work less isolating? The flexibility of your freelancing status might actually be an asset.