I talked a bit last week about my journey to self employment. So today I’m sharing some tips for becoming a self-employed blogger. I’ll include a list of things you need to do, and also some suggestions which will help you get started.
Tips For Becoming A Self-Employed Blogger
I first started getting offered paid jobs back in about 2015. I wasn’t registered as self employed then, so turned them down. If you want to earn an income from your blog, you MUST register as self-employed with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).
Whether you earn £1 from affiliate links, or £10,000 from sponsored posts, it all has to be declared.
Registering As A Self-Employed Blogger
The actual process is done online and is pretty painless. I did it in about 10 minutes, and didn’t need to look for any information, other than my National Insurance number. You then need to submit your earnings once each year, via a self assessment tax return. Following this, you’ll have to pay any required tax and national insurance.
Tax And National Insurance Costs
Your first £12,500 earned is tax free. (This is a combined amount of all of your sources of income. So if you get a £10,000 a year wage from your day job, your first £2500 blogging earnings will be tax free – assuming you have no other sources of income.
National insurance costs £3.05 per week if you earn between £6475 and £9501 per year. If you earn more than that, you’ll pay 9% on profits between £9,501 and £50,000, and 2% on profits over £50,000.
If you receive Universal or Tax Credits, you need to notify them immediately too. This counts as a change in circumstances and may affect your payments.
Keeping Track Of Your Earnings
Personally, I find it easiest to keep track of my earnings using these spreadsheets. Which you can download and use for free. I record all of my income on one spreadsheet, my expenses on another and my net profit on a 3rd. It’s honestly really easy to keep on top of, too. Doing this makes filing my tax return so easy.
Blog Income Sources
There are lots of different ways people make money from their blog…
If your blog has lots of traffic, ads can be a great revenue source. I don’t use in-post ads personally, as I feel they make blogs look cluttered and ugly, for a tiny return. I do sometimes include an occasional banner ad, but they bring in pennies per month rather than pounds.
- Affiliate Links:
These are special links issued to you via an affiliate network which track any sales they make from your blog. You can expect to earn anywhere between 1-10% commission on most sales tracked via affiliate links. You can get some very good promotional deals too. Personally, I like Awin best. I get decent conversions on Thorntons, Haven and Nintendo links across my 3 blogs.
- Sponsored Posts:
Sometimes called advertorial, guest posts or link inserts, these posts almost always contain a link, which is what the person requisition to work with you really wants. Before you agree to these, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the law around paid links. Also, what is legally required vs google’s policy as a lot of people get the two confused.
- Social Media Promotion:
If you have a good social media following, you can also get paid for featuring certain products and services on your channels. Tribe is a great iPhone app which allows you to do just that.
Advice For Those Considering Monetising Their Blogs
If I could turn back time and begin this process all over again, I’d tell myself not to set unrealistic goals. Also, when it comes to tips for becoming a self-employed blogger… Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. The reason I am writing this post on this blog and not my first monetised one is… I realised my entire income would disappear if anything happened to my first blog. So I set up two more. This increased my income further and helped reduce my worries in the process.
Finally, I am linking this post up as my day 7 #Blogtober post, which has the prompt “turn back time”.