As a business owner I’ve made so many mistakes which I’ve written about on my personal blog here and here. I’ve had everything happen from angry clients, clients who didn’t want to pay and clients who weren’t the right fit for me in other ways.
A lot of the lessons I’ve learned as a business woman can be applied directly to running a blog so I thought I’d share along with a few extra tips.
Always Have A Contract
When working with a brand you have got to have a contract. As an entrepreneur I learned this the hard way when I got shafted by a few clients. No matter how weird or awkward it might seem or how excited you are to work with a blog you’ve got to have your ducks in a row because when it’s time to pay you companies might get weird because they don’t view you as a business. Believe it or not brands think you should give free reviews. You shouldn’t once you’re getting a good amount of traffic to your blog.
Always Keep Good Records
Keep your contracts in a safe place along with receipts. Depending on how popular your blog is you may want to invest in a program like Quickbooks or at the very least hire an account. I had this problem when I first started my business where I’d lose receipts and have papers scattered around. Now I have a box where I keep monthly folders that have everything I need. When tax time comes I’m always a-ok. No scares like the first time….
Do Your Taxes Properly
With all that being said please do your taxes. I’m not even attempting to do mine alone anymore but if you are please make sure you’re prepared. No one like surprise bills from Uncle Sam and if you make more than a certain amount of money. Here is a table that breaks it all down.
There are a lot of other things you should keep in mind when it comes to taxes like whether or not you can receive certain tax credits. So don’t skip tax day even if you make less than is required.
Have A Disclosure
If you’re accepting money for product reviews you the law requires that you tell your readers. It’s really simple actually, don’t try to lie or mislead your readers.
Have A Media Kit
A brand can’t decide to work with you until they know how you can help them. That’s one of the first rules of business. You should have a media kit once you’re ready to work with brands. Here is a tutorial and templates from Being Reese and Her & Nicole. Both Brown Girl Bloggers.
What are your tips for bloggers who want to treat their blog like a business?