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Blogging can be a brilliant thing. It’s a great way to express yourself, to learn new things, to carve out a potential new career, to try new things and to meet new people. It really can change your life. But, there’s a lot to remember. Bloggers generally spend a very small amount of time creating new content, and then hours and hours promoting it, engaging with followers, working on designs, editing photographs and reading up on new techniques to get noticed. It’s hard work, and so it should come as no surprise that bloggers forget things. In many cases, the same things. Here’s a few of them to help you remember.
Most bloggers start as hobbyists. Often around their jobs. They don’t think about things like registering as self-employed or recording income as they rarely expect to have any income. Then, one day they make a little money from advertising, or a brand approaches them with an offer of paid work. They still don’t think about registering, surely that small amount of income doesn’t count? Some even think that they are unable to register as self-employed if they’ve got other jobs.
As soon as you earn a cent from your blog, or working for yourself in any way, you are self-employed. You must register as a sole trader and start recording your income ready to declare at the end of the year. Remember, if you’ve got another job, your income may be above the tax threshold, so your blog earnings will be taxed. Do this as soon as you start, even before earning, so that you are ready.
Goods Have Value
Even those bloggers that do remember to register as self-employed often forget that goods count. Even new bloggers are often asked to review products. These goods count as income if they are kept afterward. Food and other consumables, which no longer exist after the work has been carried out, do not need to be recorded. But, for anything that you keep afterward, you need to record the value of the item.
Depending what kind of blog you run, and what goods or services you offer, you may need either small business insurance or liability insurance. Even if this isn’t relevant, you might want to add any expensive equipment that you use to your home insurance and update your policy if you begin to work from home full-time.
If you are filing a tax return and declaring income, you can also claim expenses on certain goods. If your blog earns money, and spent on it is a tax-deductible expense. This can include things like utility bills, web hosting costs, equipment like cameras and laptops, ingredients for recipes, clothing for posts, scheduling costs, travel to meetings or events and stationery. When you start recording things and putting it together, you may find that you spend more on your blog than you think.
Many bloggers fail to realize the importance of guest posting. They write content and promote to their own audience. But, they are already your audience. You need to get out there and find new readers. Guest posting is the best way to do this. Look for other blogs and websites in your niche and send them a pitch.