Tax Tips & 10 Deductions for Bloggers

 

I spent all day Saturday doing taxes for the family, something that I have been doing for years, however, I think this may be the last year of flying solo with Turbo Tax.  I think the time has come for me to have a professional handle them.  Not that I don’t have time nor the patience to do them, I just know there are many deductions that I am missing because I didn’t keep accurate records. 

 

However, now that I am officially working my business full time, I need to make sure that I enter all of my expenses as well as income in a timely and accurate manner.  I currently use Wave Accounting for these entries because it’s easy, however, if you know of a better online accounting package, please leave a comment below.

 

Speaking of expenses and deductions, there are several tax tips and deductions that all bloggers should be aware of and below are the top ten I found on Lifewire.com.

This post is not tax advice and is not intended nor written to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer.

 

 

 

 

1. Internet-Related Expenses

keeping-books

 

As a blogger, you may be able to deduct your internet-related expenses. For example, you may be able to deduct:

  • Hosting fees for your blog
  • Domain name registration fees
  • Internet access fees
  • Blogging software fees
  • Image or music downloads for your blog

2 . Computer Equipment

 

You may be able to deduct:

  • Your computer
  • Upgrades such as memory upgrades
  • Laptop computer
  • Wireless router
  • New keyboard, mouse, and monitor
  • Software (for example, photo editing software, accounting software, tax preparation software)
  • Web camera
  • Digital camera

3. Communications-Related Expenses

 

Many of the communications-related equipment and tools you use to run your blog could be deductible, including:

  • Second phone line for your business or fax machine
  • Fax machine
  • Cellphone calls
  • Long distance calls
  • Smartphone

4. Office Equipment

 

Traditional office items can be deductible such as:

  • Desk
  • Chairs
  • Lights
  • File cabinets
 

5. Supplies and Stationery

 

Little supplies can add up quickly. Keep track of the receipts as these items may be deductible:

  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Paper clips
  • Staplers and staples
  • Paper
  • Post-its
  • Folders

6. Advertising, Promotion, and Design

 

Most bloggers invest in design, advertising or promotions each year. Remember to deduct applicable expenses such as:

  • Blog design (custom blog, header)
  • Advertising design
  • Logo, letterhead design
  • Advertising placement
  • Contest prizes
  • Promotional giveaways
  • Paid site submissions
  • Search engine optimization services
 

7. Travel and Entertainment

 

If you attend blogging conferences or meetings, you can most likely deduct those expenses:

  • Conference fees
  • Hotel charges while away on business related to your blog
  • Dining charges while away on business related to your blog
  • Entertainment for clients you take out related to your blog
  • Transportation when it relates to business for your blog
 

8. Professional Association Memberships and Periodicals

Many bloggers belong to professional associations related to the topic of their blog or to blogging itself. Professional dues may be deductible. Similarly, periodicals and books that you purchase to help you learn and grow could be deductible, including:

  • Professional association dues
  • Books, magazines, online subscriptions
  • Professional website memberships

9. Office Space and Related Expenses

 

If you work out of your home to conduct your blogging business, you may be able to deduct the rent for your office space from your tax return. Alternatively, if you work from your home, you may be able to deduct a portion of your household bills for that space if you use that space solely to conduct your blogging business. Expenses in this category could include:

  • Rent
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Natural gas
  • Security
 

10. Miscellaneous Other Expenses

 

There are a multitude of little out-of-pocket expenses that you may be able to deduct as a blogger. Consider the following as you prepare your tax return:

  • Costs to reuse photos or images owned by another person or entity
  • Headshots used on your blog, website or marketing materials
  • Postage
  • Post office box if you use one solely for your blogging business
  • Safe deposit box if you use one solely for your blogging business
  • Fees for professional services such as a lawyer or accountant

 

Let’s Chat > Do you do your own taxes?

Basic Blog Designs

basic-blog-design-layouts

Basic Blog Designs

 

Regardless of whether you have chosen to have your blog hosted or are self-hosting; are using a free or premium template, there are several elements to all blog layouts.

 

Home or Landing Page:

This is the page everyone sees when they first come to your blog or website. Keep it clean and uncluttered so that your targeted audience can navigate quickly without being overwhelmed with a lot of links or options.

Profile or About You Page:

This page should include a clear or professional head shot, also a statement or the purpose of your blog. You can actually create two “About” pages, one can be about you the author, and the other can be about the blog.

 

Posts:

All blogs have posts, these are the the entries you write and publish, with the most recent post being displayed first. At the bottom there are clickable links for “older posts” or “previous posts” so that readers can navigate through your blog.

Comments:

Comments are what makes your blog interactive, they are what helps you understand your audience’s reaction to what you have written. It shows that you value your readers and their opinion. You can turn off the ability for people to leave comments, however, if you do, you may turn off readers.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t initially get a lot of comments, stay committed and over time you will.

 

basic-blog-design

 

Categories:

Categories or labels are great ways in which to identify your posts and it also helps readers find others in the same category, i.e. family, recipes, health and wellness.

 

Sidebar:

Most blogs have more than one column, and the most included information on a blog’s sidebars are your picture, contact info, social media icons, subscription info, categories or labels, links to your archives, links to recent comment or popular posts as well as ads.

Try not to clutter up your sidebar, less is more, unless you have started monetizing your blog.

 

Archives:

This helps readers find older posts and are divided by year or month.  Archives are useful for search engine optimization (SEO) because every post you ever wrote will be available for years.

 

DelBlogger-Header

 

Header:

Your blog’s header is similar to a newspaper’s masthead. It covers the top of your blog and usually includes your blog’s name, slogan and logo or an image. You can create your own header or hire a designer but it’s what distinguishes your blog from the millions of others.  

Your blog’s header appears on every page so it becomes very recognizable and just a unique as you are.

 

Footer:

The footer spans along the bottom of your blog and may contain the following information: Copywrite or Disclosure Statements; Terms and Conditions or Privacy Statements; your email address; contact information; links to other resources; feeds from other blogs you may be following.  

Not everyone will scroll down to the bottom of your blog so keep critical info in the sidebar or in the header especially your “follow me” social media icons.  

Check my Youtube channel for more information on this topic or check out my website to sign up for a FREE 30-minute blogging consultation. 

 

Let’s Chat: What are your “must haves” when designing your blog?

 

ABlakeEnterprises-Social-Media-Management-In-Delaware

ABC’s of Blogging

 

ABC’s of Blogging

Always Be Creating

 

 

abc's-of-blogging

 

As a blogger you are constantly writing, but how do you capture and keep your audience’s attention, what do you need to do to keep them coming back for more? Start by learning your ABC’s – Always Be Creating.

 

“Woman Gives Birth To an Alien Baby”

 

Have you ever stood in a grocery store line and read a headline such as this in one of those magazines or “newspapers”? Did it capture your attention, or perhaps the picture of an alien baby peeked your curiosity to read further. Well that is how you have to think when writing a new post, no, it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as alien babies but it should make your readers want more.

 

Tips To Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More

 

Build Excitement

Grab the attention of your readers by creating fun or exciting titles for your posts. Sometimes it helps to write the title after you’ve written the post. The sum of the post can spark a more interesting title after it has been written.  Once you have written your post, read it aloud which may trigger a titillating title.

 

Bye-Bye…Go Outside

The best posts are inspired from real life, leave the house, leave your laptop or computer. Go for a walk, take a road trip, attend an event, ‘live life’. Read books and magazines, talk to friends, get out in the real world you never know what will spark a post idea.  Don’t forget to take a camera to capture moments to get your juices flowing!

 

little-boy-laughing-outside

 

Do Something (DIY)

Show and tell. People love learning something new and enjoy watching it even more. Create a YouTube or Livestream a Facebook video showing an experience or provide a tutorial then write about it.

 

interview-cartoon

 

Interview

While you are out and about living life, perhaps there is someone out there you can interview? Is there a new restaurant or hot spot opening? Is there a sporting event or play happening at the local high school or college, maybe even an author or entertainer is in town for the weekend. If you can grab an interview or a get a testimonial it will definitely add credibility to your blog.

Have Fun

Everyone likes a good joke or a funny cartoon. Show your personality with something light, we all need a means of escape every now and again if only for a few minutes.

Quotes & Inspirational Messages

Read something inspirational, a quote or poem, share it with your readers, again, we can all use some uplifting words in our lives.

 

history-books-in-library

Little known Facts

“This day in history” can spark ideas for great posts and they are fun. Share a little known or inspiring historical fact, make sure to fact check them first. You can also write posts about “what life would be like without….” an invention or an event.

Sharing is Caring!

Blogging isn’t a competition, it’s about sharing information, stories, ideas, and inspiration so recommend other blogs. Care less about your numbers and more about your reader, they will thank you for it and stay loyal longer.  My blogging friend, MadamTooMuch has some great sites that she loves to share so go over there and check her out.

 

Let’s Chat > How Do You Keep Your Readers Coming Back for More?

 

 

To learn more about my blogging services, please head over to ABlakeEnterprises.

 

3-P’s of Blogging: Passion, Purpose & Perseverance

BLOGGING-TIPS

3-P’s of Blogging

Passion, Purpose & Perseverance

 

blogging-tips

 

PASSION

When choosing a topic or niche, whether it’s crafting, pets, DIY, travel, cars, sports, foods, or fashion it must be your PASSION. Your passion is what drives you to share your blog with the world. It is what you will be writing about for months or even years from now.

 

“Passion is what drives you to share your blog with the world”

 

Niche Blogging – when choosing a topic, start broad then narrow it down to a very specific topic. For example, if your passion is PARENTING, narrow it down to “parenting children with special needs” or “parenting multiples” or “parenting bi-racial children”.

If your interest is high-end fashion, narrow it down to just shoes or purses. The smaller the niche the more targeted your audience becomes and the competition pools gets smaller making it easier to get noticed. These are samples of niche blogs.

www.seaofshoes.com

www.purseblog.com

Passion in life is good but we all know that it can sometimes cause tunnel vision so be flexible, engage your readers, respond to their comments and value other’s opinions. Depending on your topic or niche there will be some that don’t always agree with what you have written but you can diffuse them with “I appreciate your opinion” response or simply delete those negative/spam comments.

 

blogging-tips

PURPOSE

What is your purpose? Are you blogging to educate, entertain, or inspire others, or are you blogging just share the daily activities of your family, hobbies or pets? Once you make that decision, the next thing you want to think about is HOW OFTEN WILL YOU POST?

Will you be posting daily? 1, 2, 3, or even 7 days per week, taking into account that you can spend an average of 2-3 hours per post depending on the topic/niche. You can always be flexible in your posting schedule but you must be consistent.

As you gain followers, they will be looking for new content and if you are sporadic in your postings eventually they will lose interest and move on to another blog. In your writings, be honest, cite your sources if using other’s material, posts or images, and write using your voice as only you can – “Do You Boo Boo!”  

 

 

BLOGGING-PATIENCE

 

PERSEVERANCE or PATIENCE

When starting your blog you may want to start small, but not too small and stick with it even if no one is reading it. When I created DeDivahDeals.com, the first published post was a small picture of a bottle of nail polish, there were no words, captions or links and there were definitely no “likes.” As a matter of fact not one of my blog posts received a comment or even a “like” for 3 months and I was posting every day sometimes twice per day.

 

 

Finding and sharing deals was my passion so I didn’t give up, I just kept posting, reading, commenting and following other blogs until I got noticed with that first “like” – and you never forget your first and it’s icing on the cake if it comes with a comment!

When first starting out, read and follow other bloggers as this will help you when writing your own posts. You are not reading these blogs with the intent of copying them, but rather to learn from them. If you have a question or need assistance with something, reach out to them as most active bloggers are honored to be asked, so don’t be afraid to do so.

 

To learn more about my blogging services, please head over to ABlakeEnterprises.

Do you have any other blogging tips to share?

How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog

How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog

 

How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog from the Delaware Blogger 

 

The blogosphere is filled with millions of blogs and millions of bloggers who are competing for readers, advertisers, and recognition.  As a new blogger you are competing with many well-established bloggers but if you are passionate about a specific topic then you may want to become a niche blogger.

Niche blogging is the act of creating a blog with the intent of using it to market to a particular niche market. 

If you want to make money blogging in a reasonable amount of time then you should pick a niche with a good audience.

 

 

Niche blogging focuses on a specific topic.    Before starting a niche blog think about what area(s) you are most knowledgeable in, what is your level of expertise and where does that passion lead you. It could be cooking, shopping, crocheting or even skydiving.  Readers enjoy blogs written by people who are not only knowledgeable in a subject area but ones who are equally as excited about sharing it.

Hobby bloggers make great niche bloggers because they write what they love doing and sharing comes naturally to them.  Readers can feel the enthusiasm and passion which makes niche blogging very popular.  As a niche blogger you don’t have to have a degree or official credentials in your topic, but as your blog grows so will your knowledge base as you find yourself seeking out more expert information to share with your readers.

 

Networking is very important for niche bloggers because you’ll need to find others with the same interests especially if it’s not a common topic. Find online groups, sign up for Google Alerts, invite others in the same niche to write guest posts, comment, share and join forums to help grow your blog and increase your audience.

 

 

 

Over time it may become more difficult to come up with creative content for a niche blog, but there are several ways in which to do so. Stay focused because you don’t want your readers to get confused if you start posting about other subjects. Finding related subjects to write about is possible, try a few of these methods to keep your content current and exciting to your readers:

  • Posts with lists, i.e. Top 10 Tips for….
  • Posts with polls, people like giving their opinions
  • Posts of How-To’s, including videos
  • Posts of “Do’s and Don’ts’
  • Posts with questions
  • Review posts
  • Links to other sites with relevant material
  • In the News topics
  • Trends on the subject
  • Interviews
  • Guest posts

There are many advantages of niche blogging, including having:

  • loyal readers
  • less competition
  • better SEO
  • recognition and exposure
  • targeted advertising

However, there are also disadvantages of niche blogging:

  • lower traffic
  • smaller audience
  • fewer advertising opportunities with lower CPC rates

Regardless of the disadvantages of being a niche blogger, if you stick with the subject you love, and have fun doing so, you will be successful. 

 

 

Let’s Chat: Are you a niche blogger? 

To learn more about my blogging services, please head over to ABlakeEnterprises.

Check out this old video as it may give you more ideas.

 

Page 1 of 3
1 2 3