Advice for New Bloggers: What You Really Need to be a Money Making Business
I remember when I first decided to try to make some money blogging. I devoured everything I could find on blogging, all the advice for new bloggers I could find.
What to write about, social media tips, how to start an email list, content marketing. There is a ton to read about and I spent hours thinking about blog posts and page views.
When you are a new blogger it is easy to imagine writing a blog post and then the money rolling in, but once you get started you see it isn’t all guest posts and figuring out what you are going to be blogging about next. It’s real work.
Why is it work? Because if you want to be successful you are having to run the business side of your blog too. You can’t ignore your cash flow or the taxes that accompany it and expect to succeed.
There is a lot that goes into all of this, but for new bloggers, I have 5 big tips to help when you really start to turn your blog into a business., and 2 things you don’t need to do to be a real business.
Business Advice for New Bloggers
Whether your goal is to make a full time income or you hope to just make some extra cash writing about something you love, there are a few key business points you need to remember.
These are blogging tips for beginners to succeed as a business.
1. You Need To Decide To Be a Business or Not
I’ve heard a lot of people ask how they know if their blog is a business or not. Well, the answer is surprisingly simple.
Do you think you are a business?
If you think you are, then you are. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else says about you.
In fact, one to the tests the IRS uses to determine if you are a business or a hobby is your attitude towards your venture. That means if you are treating it as a business and acting as a business, even new blogging attempts can be considered a business, regardless of how much money you make.
(Learn how to decide if you are a business or a hobby: Business or Hobby, Which Is Your Blog?)
You will want to put some thought into which business entity is best for your blogging, but even if you do nothing at all you can still default to a business as a sole proprietor. (Learn more about blogging business entities: Business Entities for Bloggers: The Ultimate Resource Guide)
How you treat your blog will help shape how others treat you and I think it is a predictor of success.
So you need to decide. Are you a business or not?
2. You Need To Track Your Cash Flow
Tracking the money is an important part of being a money making blogger. When you first start blogging it is easy to overlook this a little bit. It can take time to generate income. And in the excitement of a new blog, it is easy to forget about writing down the expenses you incur.
But if you want to be a real business you need to take the time to keep up your financial tracking.
There are many systems you can use for organizing your bookkeeping. I recommend a super simple system for my bookkeeping clients.
It can be hard to know what to keep track of and what not to. There are a lot of misconceptions about what counts as an expense and what is reportable income. But when in doubt, write it down.
Here is what you need to be tracking. It is a little overwhelming, but if you start early when your expenses are small and infrequent, it is easy to get into good habits.
3. You Need To File Taxes on Your Earnings
For some reason, there can still be doubt as to whether or not you need to report your blogging income on your taxes.
Yes, you do. Whatever you hear to the contrary, assume you need to report any income made from your blog.
There are some thresholds to be taken into account. And you might not receive tax forms like 1099 Miscs on all income you earn. But it is by far safer to assume you need to report everything.
If you have only ever been a traditional employee, learning how to file as self-employed can be a bit confusing. This will help: How To File Taxes as a Blogger.
Talk to your tax professional to decide how best to handle your filing.
4. You Need a Business Plan
I know a lot of people start a blog because they just want to write or they just want to see what happens. But if you want to make money, you need a plan. A business plan.
A good plan helps you outline your goals and how you are going to achieve them. What is your real intent? How are you going to reach people? A plan will help you set your prices and set a marketing strategy.
Overall, a business plan gives you actionable steps towards your goals.
This plan doesn’t have to be fancy and you can find templates online. But take the time to really think things through and make smart goals.
5. You Need a Budget
Blogging is a great business to start up because the start-up costs are pretty low. You don’t need merchandise or an office. You need your computer and blog.
But there are some initial expenses. Domains, hosting, themes, any courses you want to take, etc. All this costs money.
Let me tell you it is easy to blow through money quickly, especially when blogging is new and exciting. You can quickly sink a lot of money into your blog before you know it.
Having a budget will help keep you from wasting all your money before you’ve made any. It is common for a business to take some time before they start making money. So take the time to plan out how much you are able to spend early.
You Control Your Business
Being a new blogger is exciting and the best way to make money is to treat your blog like a business. Have a plan, track your cash flow, file your taxes, and stick to your budget.
This advice for new bloggers will help you succeed as a money making blogger.
Here is more to help you out!