Our February meetup was all about the language of love and money. Speaker Eric Nisall gave us accounting tips for bloggers, while Junior’s Restaurant and Cheesecake offered a free taste of their menu and Valentine’s desserts. Talking about money is definitely sweeter with a side of cheesecake!
Accounting Tips for Bloggers by a Blogger
What’s better than getting tips from an accountant? Getting them from one who’s also a blogger. Yes, Eric has been a finance blogger since 2009 and knows all about #bloggerlife.
This was great for us as we could ask him all of those questions only a blogger could ask. Here are a few of his answers…
If we partner with a brand, do we have to count any free product they give us as income?
The short answer is yes. Everything you get from a partner in exchange for a post or review is income, whether it’s cash or non-cash. Just find out how much it would cost for you to buy that product and use that as the income amount.
What can we deduct as a blogger expense?
Anything related to our websites (hosting, etc.), banking fees (only business-related fees), professional services (such as a virtual assistant or social media person), Facebook ads (as a marketing expense) and even home office space (only if it’s exclusively dedicated to your business – not space on your dining room table or co-working space).
If I’m a fashion or lifestyle blogger, can I deduct the cost of fashion, makeup or activities?
If it’s something you can also use in your personal life, no. For example, if you buy a handbag or clothing and they’re not branded with your business logo, meaning you can use them in your personal life as well, then you can’t deduct their purchase.
He suggests hiring a fashion stylist or makeup artist for photo shoots. If they provide your clothing, accessories or makeup for the shoot, you won’t have to bear the cost. And a stylist can expense clothing purchases as part of their business where you can’t. Of course, this removes the fun of buying the latest designer bag for ourselves, but it’s less expensive in the long run.
The same is true for lifestyle bloggers. These activities are considered “entertainment.” If you take your family to a local attraction and blog about it, you can’t deduct the ticket cost as an expense – only under certain circumstances.
Some of Eric’s recommendations:
- Having a separate business checking account makes it easier to track income, expenses, fees, etc. You don’t have to be incorporated to have a business checking account.
- There are advantages to being incorporated, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Ask an attorney or legal advisor about the best legal structure for you.
- If you earn income from your blog, make sure to pay estimated taxes. When you work for an employer, they set aside money each paycheck for your taxes, but as a blogger, you have to do this yourself. Make estimated tax payments, which are done 4 times a year.
Eric has more tips and information available online. He even put together a page of links just for us! Visit the Ftl Bloggers page on his site and be sure to follow @ericnisall on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Valentine’s Sweets at Junior’s Cheesecake
Junior’s Restaurant and Cheesecake in Boca Raton gave us VIP treatment. They served up a sampling of almost their entire menu and tables full of sweet treats. Everything was delicious and their service was top notch. A big thank you to Junior’s for sponsoring and hosting us that day!