Self Employment Advice For Bloggers
You have started earning money from your blog which is great news but there is very little guidance available if you are new to blogging and how being self employed works. Many of you may have started blogging as a hobby with no real intention of it turning in to a business but once you start earning money then you are officially self employed, even if you have a full time job too.
Here is some handy advice that you can use if you are considering self-employment for your online blog business.
Register As Self Employed On HMRC
When you have received your first payment through your blog, the first step is to register as self-employed on HMRC. The sooner you do this the better, and it is pretty straightforward. All you will need to do is to follow the instructions online, or you can print off a form and send it off by post. Once you have enrolled, you will get a unique taxpayer reference which will be required when you come to submit a tax return, but more on that later.
Keep Track Of Everything You Earn
The blogging industry can get very busy, and there are often months when you will have nothing coming in, and other months when you will have so much work, you can’t keep track. Keep a document of everything you earn and when you have earned it. This can be done simply on an Excel spreadsheet month by month or noted down in a folder or diary. That way you won’t forget anything and avoid any nasty surprises.
Not only is it useful for your taxes but it can also spur you on and motivate you to work harder and even set some personal targets. If you struggle to keep track of finances though, you can always consider getting an accountant, and there are a few packages on https://www.qdosaccounting.com/accounting-packages/ that might be helpful to you.
Look Into Expenses
With being self-employed, you don’t have the luxury of sick pay or holiday leave. You can, however, claim a variety of business expenses which can go towards reducing the amount of tax you have to pay back. This can be travel expenses, equipment you buy that is used for the everyday running of your blog like your camera or mobile contract. Obviously your hosting and any other related costs can be deducted too. Even purchases of online courses are valid expenses.
If you have an accountant, this is something you can discuss with them personally, but it is also readily available online, so an accountant is not really necessary to start with.
Set Aside 20% Of Takings
Unlike a full-time or part-time job, most paid work given to you, will not take off the tax. Therefore, you will be responsible for making sure that you have the money available in your bank account if and when you need it to pay back tax.
A good rule of thumb would be to set aside 20% of each paid assignment or payout you get, as this is the standard amount of tax that is paid, depending on how much you earn collectively per year. This way, you won’t be panicking when you owe a sum of money that you don’t have!
And lastly, remember to file your tax return annually, the deadline tends to be at the end of January. You will normally get an email to remind you of the deadline if you haven’t done one before but there’s plenty of help and advice online if you’re doing it alone. A tax year generally runs from the 5th of April of one year to the 4th of the next but you are given plenty of time to submit your accounts.
Blogging can become a full time income so it is worth doing well, but you do need to ensure you create a system of filing any paperwork and receipts related to your business as it is very easy to get in a mess, making doing your accounts hard and very stressful.
I hope you have found this post useful, if you have then please give it a share on your favourite social media platform.
As ever if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude