Freelancer’s Guide to Getting Paid Online

The gig economy has been in full swing as of late. There are 59 million people freelancing. See a freelancer guide to getting paid online.

Updated on July 25, 2022
Freelancer’s Guide to Getting Paid Online

The gig economy has been in full swing as of late. As of 2020, there are 59 million people doing freelance work in the United States, and this number is likely to grow over the next decade. In this article, we’ll share a freelancer guide to getting paid.

If you plan on freelancing or your business is already in full swing, one of the first things you need to figure out before signing a contract is how you’ll be paid. After all, freelance work isn’t “free.” Fortunately, there are several ways you can receive what you’ve earned online.

Freelancer's Guide to Getting Paid Online

How to Get Paid as an Online Freelancer

Getting paid as a freelancer is similar to how you’d be paid as an employee, except you can’t go into the office and accept a paycheck. However, you can learn how to make pay stubs online if you want to print out your earnings. You’ll need paystubs to take out loans and open an account.

Checks

You can’t cash checks without a bank account, so keep those pay stubs handy. Accepting checks is one of the easiest ways to receive payments as a freelancer, and you often don’t have to pay any fees to cash them. This alone could make checks an attractive option.

Unfortunately, you have to wait for the check to arrive and clear it in your bank account. If you need money quickly, you could try one of the other five options on this list.

Credit Card

You can accept credit cards as a freelancer, although freelancers who use this option usually get their clients to pay in advance on their website. You need to buy credit card processing equipment, including terminals, a merchant account, and processing software.

If you don’t want to buy equipment, you can take credit card payments using an app like Square, Wave, Quickbooks, Google Wallet, and PayPal.

PayPal

PayPal is the most common eWallet freelancers use, and for a good reason. Opening an account is free, and it’s easy to figure out the fees you or your clients have to pay. What’s more, money appears instantly in your wallet, and you can easily transfer your funds to a bank account.

While the fees can be steep (2.9%-3.9% per invoice plus $0.30), most clients are already familiar with PayPal and can use the platform without much help.

Freelancer Getting Paid: Accounting Software

Some accounting software can help you track your income and also facilitate payment collection. QuickBooks and Freshbooks do this, but other lesser-known financial software and websites allow you to create invoices and send overpayments to your customers and clients.

You may want to use accounting software to handle payments if you have a lot of clients. Since you’ve already paid for the software, you won’t be charged per email or invoice. 

Electronic Funds Transfer

An easy way for your client to send over funds quickly is by using electronic funds transfer or EFT. Payments will effortlessly move from a client’s bank account to yours. It can take 2-4 business days to receive your money because the bank must accommodate the request.

However, once the funds are in your account, they stay in your account. You don’t need to transfer between wallets. Still, the fees for EFT can be quite costly, ranging from $10-$20.

Freelancer Getting Paid: Cash App

Cash App is similar to PayPal, but instead of moving between multiple wallets, Cash App puts your funds directly into your account. Unlike PayPal, it can take several days before the funds appear in your checking account. Or, you can pay extra for an instant transfer.

It’s a better idea to use a Cash App for personal transfers rather than for business. Still, if you’re working on a single project for a client, Cash App might be the best option.