Ah, the joys of being a freelance writer–the ability to make your own hours, work from home, and be selective with regard to the work you take on.
One of the more important but less glamorous aspects of freelance writing is the financial management component. Managing your budget against a generally unpredictable and fluctuating income can be a challenge, and then of course there is the quarterly tax exercise one has to endure.
One of the financial benefits, however, of being a freelancer, is that much of what you spend money on can be written off when it comes time for doing your taxes. Sometimes the tracking of these expenses can be a little bit challenging, though, and as a result, many freelancers lose money because they forget about expenses they are able to write off.
Since keeping receipts for every single item can seem cumbersome, what we propose in this article is the idea of keeping a separate credit card for your business expenses.
Here are a couple of great reasons for doing so.
Use your cash for personal expenses.
One thing freelancers don’t typically have is the luxury of a regular biweekly paycheck as full-timers generally do. Payments from customers can be erratic, which has a freelancer managing his/her cash flow more closely.
By getting a separate credit card for business expenses, you can save your cash on hand for things that are important to your personal life like paying your rent in a timely manner and buying your groceries. With the credit card, you can take clients out for lunch, buy office supplies, and pay for other work-related expenses like gas and your cell phone bill.
Itemization of expenses is easier at tax time.
Freelancers have to do their taxes with greater frequency than a full-time employee at a company does. Every quarter, when it’s time to do taxes, it will be far easier if you have an already itemized list of expenses on your credit card if you use your credit card for business expenses.
Using it only for business expenses ensures that no errant charges get included when you go to do your taxes–it is far easier to keep these expenses separate than to have to cull through the credit card charges every month and determine which expenses were personal and which were business-related. You then also don’t have to keep a mound of receipts around.
In general, it absolutely makes sense to get a separate credit card for your freelance business. You can reserve your cash flow for high priority personal expenses like food and rent, and can much more easily track business expenses. This will come in quite handy when at the end of each quarter itemization becomes important.
Of course, this all rests on your having credit that is strong enough to obtain a credit card, so be sure to pay off those monthly bills in a timely manner, and check your credit score before trying to obtain a new one. Alternately, if you have more than one already, you could always just designate one of the cards as work-only.
This method of expense tracking will only really work if you are a solo freelancer, if you decide to expand or start your own business you may need to look at software like Workday’s financial applications.
Cara Aley is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of topics, from analyzing gutter styles to digital marketing strategy.
Listen to Pro Bloggers
I received a pitch from a stranger a few days ago. The entrepreneur offered me free file space – I think; I forget, among the thousands of pitches I get – in response for a review. I think. Genuinely, I do not remember. Why? Thousands and thousands of strangers try to pitch me stuff or ideas. Strangers want valued space on Blogging From Paradise. But strangers have nothing of value to offer me. So I ignore their pitches. If I am not too busy, I offer help, so these folks experience more success and make more money. Alas, my pro blogging advice often falls on deaf ears. Because if you program yourself mentally to fail, you WILL fail by ignoring successful advice. Guaranteed. Every time.
Look at the featured image for this post. Said pitcher offered me free storage or something. Never heard of her. Never heard of her site. I know she is awesome. Site solid, too. Nothing personal. But the second I see a cold pitch, I lose trust in the individual and in their business. If business were TRULY booming, ALL business would flow to you and you ain’t cold pitching strangers. Real talk. Anyway, I suggested she buy my eBook:
because she obviously struggles, following the amateur blogger approach of blindly cold pitching strangers. Of course she has no interest in buying and reading my eBook. Successful advice evades bloggers who think, feel and act like unsuccessful bloggers. I believe she is awesome. But I share this real world experience to teach, to inspire and to wake up bloggers with the truth. Listen to pro bloggers. Pay close attention to pro blogger advice. We teach you how to blog the right way. We teach you how to succeed. If this person bought my eBook, read it, and followed my advice, she would place her guest post and business links on hundreds of respected blogs, over years. She would gain serious trust. She would make a bunch of money for her business. But alas! Since she ignore my successful advice she will keep following her failing advice, and, will fail, cold pitching strangers, never building strong bonds with pros, burning out, and failing.
Are you completely blind to pro blogger advice? Observe your blogging career. Do you struggle? Struggling bloggers blind themselves to pro advice because fear clouds your mind. I advise new, struggling bloggers routinely. Being filled with fear, most foolishly question my advice. Why? Obviously, you are a new, inexperienced, struggling blogger. Your strategy sucks. Now it’s time to follow a new, successful strategy. Pro bloggers succeed. Pro bloggers teach you successful strategies to succeed. Listen to them. Buy their eBooks. Follow their advice. Position yourself to succeed.
I am not right. Struggling bloggers are not wrong. But I know what works and teach what works. Do not be a fool; if a pro teaches you what works, buy the eBook. I instantly saw the thousands of hours and years of struggle this entrepreneur faces because she has zero interest in spending $7 to get excellent blogging advice. Ego errs because ego sees illusion. Ignore it. Be humble. Listen to pro bloggers. Succeed.
Cheapies Never Go Far in Blogging
Someone wrote me a few moments ago. I quoted my sponsored post price. He replied asking for my best price. I told him all prices are final. Literally, I told him kindly but clearly to take it or leave it. He replied, asking me to accept his offer for $10, which is absurdly lower than my $11 sponsored post rate. I am joking; just seeing if you pay attention LOL 🙂 Anyway, his $10 offer is MUCH lower than my sponsored post fixed price. PLUS I already told him twice my fixed price, and to take the price or to leave the price. I *also* mentioned how all prices are final. Of course, I immediately labeled his email “spam” so all future emails, barterings and silly cheap-ness flow directly to my spam folder. I will never see him or his emails again. Nothing personal. But I have no time or energy for cheapies because if you are so filled with the fear of poverty that you completely ignore my emails, I cannot respect you as a blogging business partner.
This is why cheapies never go far in blogging. Imagine this lost blogging soul. He ignores my emails to ask for a ridiculous price on a sponsored post. I label his email “spam”. After 10 or 20 more pro bloggers label his email as “spam”, every single email he sends to bloggers winds up in the blogger’s spam folder. Almost all bloggers never check their spam. Most delete all spam emails without checking the emails. Imagine sending 500 emails to spam folders daily? That marks 499 to 500 emails no blogger will ever see, only to be deleted immediately.
Pay Up to Play Up
Moving up in blogging circles requires you to invest more money into your blog. From paying for your domain and hosting, to paying for your theme, to paying for your blogging education, to investing in sponsored posts advertising your business, the bigger money and greater traffic awaits in higher blogging circles, where money flows freely. Prospering people who buy your products and services without hesitating meet you through friends in higher blogging circles. Same thing happens offline. Jeff Bezos does not do business with someone who cannot afford my $7 eBooks. He does business with serious entrepreneurs who freely invest money in mutually beneficial ventures. Life works that way. Birds of a blogging feather flock together. Imagine if the $10 sponsored post cheapie paid my full price instead? I place the post, his business gets greater exposure in front of prospering eyes and he nets more sales and profits. He makes $100, or $1000 or more, earning more money to boost his sponsored post budget and to move him out of poverty. But the mental illness of poverty prevents him from seeing beyond “I HAVE NO MONEY! I NEED TO ***ONLY*** PAY $10 FOR EVERY SPONSORED POST I PLACE!!!”
He may place a few $10 sponsored post on terrible quality blogs with broke readerships. Truthfully, he should just donate the $10 to bloggers who place his sponsored post for $10 because said bloggers have either 5 daily readers or readers who cannot afford to spend $1, let alone, $100 or $1,000…or perhaps, both. Yikes. Pay up. Play up.
Multiply your blogging success. Buy my eBook:
How Much Confidence Do You REALLY Have in Your Blog?
Watch this video I recorded in Brooklyn Heights today:
Sweet view, eh? I made a powerful point too. Bloggers sometimes boast of their confidence and clarity. Puffing themselves up, they believe deeply in themselves and in their blog. Critics? Who cares? These dynamos seem unstoppable. Belief! Success is on the way, right? Awesome. Then, after mentioning their blog in front of a parent or sibling or cousin, their loved ones make fun of “blogging”, telling these idiots to “get a real job”. OUCH! Like a balloon being popped, your loved ones took a pin to your ego, deflating you. AND showing how you genuinely have little confidence in your blog. Turns out, you feel filled with doubt and pure uncertainty about your blog AND in yourself, blogging-wise. This is a good thing. Critics trigger and unearth deep fears you need to face, feel and release, to reach the next stage of your blogging career. So…how much confidence do you REALLY have in your blog? Talk about your blog to friends and family members, or to strangers. You will find out. Fast. Because these folks are non-targeted and often highly NOT interested in blogging.
I recall mentioning my blog to my fam about 10 years ago. Before doing this, I believed I felt super confident about my blog and self. I BELIEVED in myself! Wild-eyed, ignorant, deluded newbie blogging excitement covered up the fact I doubted myself and my blogging abilities, horribly. After that little chat – even though no family member seemed terribly critical – I felt like crap. Awkward, and lost, my family’s questions triggered deep fears in me. I doubted myself. I doubted my blog. In truth, I had no idea what I was doing because I refused to learn from pros. Bad idea. Naturally, I gained confidence after this session – eventually – because I faced and felt doubts eating into my blogging confidence.
The quickest way to gain blogging confidence is to discuss your blog and what you do with anybody on earth, from friends, to fam, to strangers. Never try to convince or influence or convert folks, because doing so shows your lack of confidence. Let people live their lives and make their choices. Your job is to see how shy or clear you feel discussing your blog. Shy bloggers feeling awkward chatting blogging with folks simply feel filled with fear. Blogging fears need to go for you to succeed. Speak about blogging in public. Broadcast live in a public spot. Record videos in busy spots with heavy foot traffic, as I did above, in Brooklyn. Face, feel and release self-conscious fears that need to go for you to reach the next stage of blogging growth.
One way to be a smarter and richer blogger is by facing your blogging fears routinely. Speaking to or in front of fam or strangers about your blog certainly unearths some of those deep fears. Do it. See where you are at, confidence-wise. Being straight with yourself is hands down one of the quickest ways to accelerate your blogging success. Relax, share your blogging exploits and honestly assess how you feel, to increase your blogging success.
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging3 years ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Blogging1 year ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Reviews3 years ago
LeadNetwork Pays Big Bucks for Payday Loans
Blogging13 years ago
CoComment – The new way to track blog comments
Blogging3 years ago
6 Tools For Boosting Content Marketing Results Over The Holidays
Search Engine Optimisation3 years ago
7 SEO Analysis Tools Every Blogger Needs to Know
Blogging2 years ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging10 years ago
In Search Of A Storytlr Replacement