So you started a blog – now what?! Well if you want this blog to be a legitimate side hustle (or FT job) there’s a lot of things you need to think about from a financial and legal perspective – yep, a blog is more than just writing and taking pretty photos! There’s so much more that goes into it! Here are the top 5 thing you should do from the getgo – trust me, it will make your life a lot easier down the road!
Create an LLC
So what’s the point? Really there are a lot of advantages to set up an LLC – mainly, you’re protecting yourself and your personal assets; in the case of legal matters, your business assets are separate from your personal assets so you can’t lose your house, as an extreme example. You’re protecting yourself so its absolutely worth it. You will be given a FEIN that you use for payment purposes too.
The easiest way to create one is to go to your state’s website, and google LLC formation. For Pennsylvania, I registered here:
Track your Income and Expenses
I cannot stress enough how important this is – and the necessity to do it from the get-go! You will regret it if the end of the year comes around, and you are struggling to think back 9 months ago and what expenses that you have. If you’re totally lost on this one, I have your back! Here is a simple, m, easy to use google sheet I set up to track, by month, your income and expenses.
Just save a copy to you google drive and you can edit it!
Plan for Taxes
Yep, if you’re a blogger you need to pay taxes! Shocking, right? If you owe taxes of more than $1,000 or more for the year, you actually need to make estimated payments, too. I know, it can be confusing! Luckily I have an entire post dedicated to breaking down taxes for your blog for you here!
Open up a PayPal Account
You don’t have to go through the process of opening a separate business banking account if you don’t want to for your blog. I have found that my payments and my expenses are easily managed through PayPal! Plus, at the end of the year, you can export the activity monthly so you can pop that right into your income and expense tracker. My best advice though, would be to try make sure you’re using the account for exclusively business purposes, so it doesn’t get convoluted with your own personal expenses.
Learn how to Create Contracts and Invoices
Getting things in writing is essential to the success of your blog – it holds you responsible and it holds the company you are working with responsible for deliverables and payments. Luckily, there are so many free templates and for-purchase templates on Etsy that you can utilize to do this. Invoices also help you keep track of your payments for your income statements. Now, not ALL companies are going to require an invoice but its still good practice to provide them. Additionally, some collabs can be handled via email, and technically as long as you have it in writing, it is legal binding – but contracts make it harder to argue in case there is a disagreement.
I hope this helps you feel better about having your blog be a legitimate business! As always, you can consult an attorney or CPA for more specific advice.