Accounting Tips for Bloggers

When you start blogging, you might hope to make some money one day, but for many, that’s not the priority. Their blog is a hobby and a way to learn new skills, any money they make will be a bonus. Most bloggers also have either full or part-time jobs, at least in the beginning. This means that accounting isn’t something many bloggers worry about.

This can be a mistake. As soon as you earn a penny from your blog, you need to make sure that you are registered as self-employed and looking after your accounts. In the beginning, this can all seem a little overwhelming and many bloggers considering hiring an accountant.

However, accounting doesn’t need to be difficult, so you could save an awful lot of money by doing it yourself. Here are some tips to help.

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Remember Your Other Income

One mistake a lot of people make is thinking that because they are in employment, they don’t have to, or can’t register as self-employed. This isn’t the case. If you are earning money from your blog, even just a little pocket money from advertising, you need to register as self-employed and file this income on your tax return. Speak to your employer about a 1099 tax form, which will help you to keep your income organized and be helpful when it comes to filing your returns.

Set up Spreadsheets

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As a blogger, you can earn money from a huge range of different sources. You could make money working with brands, from sponsored content and adverts and from social media promotions. You’ll also receive these payments in different ways. Some people may pay by PayPal, others by direct bank transfer and some companies may even pay with gift cards and vouchers for smaller jobs. This all counts as income and needs to be recorded.

Setting up simple spreadsheets on a program like Excel can make it easy to track your income. Then, just make sure you save or print all of your invoices and recipes. You need to include the invoice number (just to make it easy to find), date and amount paid. Make sure you fill your sheet in every time you get paid or send an invoice, to keep on top of things.

Learn About Expenses

If you are self-employed, you can save money by claiming back your expenses. Put simply; this means that you can claim the tax back on anything that you buy for the business. This can include meals with clients, stationery and utility costs if you work from home.

Gifted Items Count

As bloggers, as well as cash payment you quite often receive items to review. Sometimes, this counts as income. It can be a little confusing, but as a basic rule anything that you keep afterwards, is income and its value must be recorded. So, if you are sent a food item, which you then eat to write your review, it no longer exists, you get no long-term reward from it, and it doesn’t need recording. If you receive a dress, which you then keep afterwards, the value of that dress is income.

If you are really struggling, an accountant could be a good idea. But, why not have a go yourself first?

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