Last Updated on April 26, 2021 by Melissa S.
4 Smart tips on Bookkeeping for Bloggers
Blogging can be a viable and lucrative business model.
The income possibilities often come as a surprise to those who’ve always considered blogging a hobby activity. In fact, it can be exciting when you realise that just writing about something you love can make you some serious money.
Serious enough to become a full-time income. It doesn’t just happen though.
Like any business, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that your blog visitors will never realise. You might struggle with it too. Far beyond attractive photos and appealing layouts, blogging for business purposes means making a bit of a mindset shift.
Here are four things to think about:
Have a Business Bank Account
Taking hobby expenses out of your standard bank account is perfectly fine, but once you’re in business a separate bank account is a real help.
It will make your accounting easier because all your transactions are recorded in one place, both income and expenses. Many banks offer a free banking period for new businesses, and some will also assign you a business mentor who might be able to offer some advice – but don’t rely on this.
Once you have your bank account for business, use it exclusively for business. It’s important not to mix personal and business expenses for a couple of reasons:
- Mixing the two will mean you have to wade through two lots of figures to find business transactions. It’ll take longer and increase the chances of errors creeping into your accounting.
- It’ll lower your accountancy bill if you use professional accounting services since they won’t have to sift through irrelevant information.
Register Your Business
As soon as you start making money outside regular employment, you’re in business, and there are some legal obligations.
You must register with HMRC, and you’ll need to fill in a self-assessment tax return each year and pay any taxes owing by the legal deadline. This applies whether you’re working your blog full time or as a professional sideline alongside traditional employment.
As there’s quite enough to think about in just maintaining a blog, creating or curating content, keeping up with social media, engaging with your audience and organising your PR, you might want to consider accountants for freelancers right from the start.
They can take a weight of legal burden off your shoulders, so you can just get on with maintaining a flow of business for your blog.
Track Your Blogging Expenses
If you decide to go it alone, at least to start with, regarding keeping your business records, set up as simple a system as you can.
Options include keeping your own manual records in a spreadsheet (you could even use a notebook if you like physically writing things down), or you could use online accounting software. There are several to choose from, including QuickBooks, FreeAgent, and FreshBooks.
Shop around to find which would suit you best and try not to get bogged down in features you don’t need. As a freelancer or sole trader, you probably don’t need Payroll services for instance, so don’t sign up for anything that demands those details.
Get Professional Help
Since up to date and accurate books are a legal requirement for every business, even small ones, having a professional bookkeeper or accountant at your back can be very reassuring.
There are various ways of getting professional help, one of which is to hire a freelance bookkeeper once or twice a month to bring your records up to date. He or she would make sure everything is ready for an accountant, who you may then use to draw up your year end reports and submit your self-assessment tax return on your behalf.
As you can see, there’s plenty to think about when you take your blog to the next level. But don’t let that put you off. It’s still one of the most exciting and dynamic ways to earn a living from your own creative business platform.