I blog here, and you blog there. Here a blog, there a blog, everywhere a blog-blog… Every-bo-dy has a blog, EeieeiOH!
So you have a blog. Big deal, right? Everyone and their mother has a blog these days. It’s not a business though: really, you’re just getting free shit to write a few lines here and there. WRONG!
The truth is, the minute you accept free shit to review and / or giveaway, you – yes, YOU – are in Business! Congratulations! You are an Entrepreneur, and the TAXMAN wants a piece of it!
Received a brand-spanking-new appliance to review? Income! Received a 2nd one as a giveaway? Income! Gave that 2nd one to a contest winner? Expense! Gave ad space in exchange for product? Income! Yup, that $10 cover-up you got, because you’re worth it, is income.
Hell’s bells in a hand basket… Now what? You’re in business Girlfriend! Time to start wearing those shoes you never wear – because you’ll need the shoebox to store all your crap receipts. We’re talking advertising, shipping, home office expense, gas, and %*&$ THIS all the ‘fun’ stuff that comes with being in business. What you need is a system.
Huh – see, now you can tell your husband you’re actually working! Start with a spreadsheet and keep a tally of all items you received and their retail value. Also, if you receive any real money in exchange for ad space, track that as well. Everything from the restaurant vouchers to secrets you share with a lady named Victoria to all-expense-paid vacations should be tracked as income. From an income tax perspective, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you earn – you MUST claim it.
Honey I’m not wasting hard-earned money… this is a business expense. Shipping and printing and use-of-home OH MY! That’s right – everything from business cards to expenses relating to your home should be tracked as a business expense. When you get around to doing your taxes the government wants to know how much you spent and on what. It also wants to know the TOTAL you paid for home expenses, and WHAT PORTION was for business; same for your car. What constitutes a business-use-of-home expense? Check out this post where this is covered in more details.
Bottom line? Be organized – or at the very least, organized-ish. Have a look at the Statement of Business Activities from your income tax forms; that will give you an idea of what expenses you need to track. Put everything in the same place, download your bank statements to your computer, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, get some help. You can’t be an expert at everything.
The business-end of things can sometimes make you feel like you’re going about it ass-backwards – but don’t let that take away from the joy that is the creative process of blogging.
Are you monetizing your blog? What do you think? Let’s hear it!
* Post originally published at http://www.multitestingmommy.com/