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Have you been making money from your blog? Have you earned $$ from affiliate marketing? How do you track your blog income and expenses?
I’ve earned a few $$ from my Pinterest Templates and also from affiliate marketing. I started to earn more income from working with brands on sponsored posts. But, how I keep tracking my blogging income & expenses?
Why You Should Keep Close Track On Blog Income And Expenses
If you consider blogging as a business, you should treat it like one. There is no business that makes money without spending money – and blogging is no different.
When you first step up your blog, you need to invest in some tools or resources that worth it for your business. You need to buy your domain and hosting plan. Then you may purchase stock photos for creating graphics.
As you get serious about making money from your blog, you may spend money to learn more about blogging, you may join in courses or buy an E-book to learn about affiliate marketing for bloggers or how to drive traffic from Pinterest.
When you start making any kind of income from your blog, it’s really important to start tracking the income that’s coming in and the expenses you’re spending to keep your site operational. Why? You’re going to pay taxes on your income – you’ll need to be making regular estimated tax payments during the year.
I realized that bloggers may have a love-hate relationship with writing income reports. It takes too long to gather all the data together (comparing numbers and measuring the blog’s successes or failures) and it’s their privacy. Most bloggers do track their expenses and everything in between.
So, I think it is of no surprise to see that most blogging income reports don’t really show us their detailed income and expenses. Because most bloggers consider this process of creating blog income and expenses report extremely time-intensive, as they need to combine all their reports to analyze.
How To Track Your Blog Income And Expenses
We are all about efficiency. We like to spend less time on the small stuff and more time creating content and making decisions that increase our bottom line.
I write down my income and expenses every time I make income from affiliates and my own products. So, it makes the most sense to record them in one location that will be useful to me in my future analysis, rather than on a random document that I will later forget about. It will save me a lot of time in the long run.
With the Blog Income and Expenses Tracker for Bloggers (freebie), creating an income report literally takes a minute. All the data is in one place and all that is left for us to do is to fill in the source of income/expenses, the time period, taxes, and profit.
This tracker works with all versions of Microsoft Excel (the one that I used is 2013). If you have an older version of Excel, you will still be able to use the tool to aggregate your data.
When it comes to tracking your income and expenses for your blog, there are a lot of ways to do it. Today I just thought I’d talk about what has worked for me.
What Things Should I Track?
One thing that I try to figure at first when tracking my blog income and expenses is that what types of things I should be keeping track of when I do make note of income and expenses.
On the income side of the equation, I would just say to keep track of pretty much everything.
On the expense side, it will usually only make sense to track things that are going to reduce your tax bill or count to reduce your taxable income. To be safe, I track just about everything just in case.
As a blogger or freelancer, here are some expenses you can track (as always consult a tax professional to confirm they can be claimed in your situation):
- Web hosting: website hosting can be claimed as a deduction on your taxes, so keep it in your “expenses” folder.
- Domain names: If you bought or renewed domain names, you can claim them on your taxes.
- Premium themes: Premium WordPress themes can be claimed as expenses.
- Advertising and design: If you had a custom theme designed or a banner created for use on other sites, you can claim it as expenses.
- Internet access fees: You can deduct internet access fees.
- Software and blogging tools: If you bought a custom plugin to use on your blog, claim them!
- Computer equipment: If you bought a new laptop or digital camera to use mainly for work, you can claim it.
- Paid stock photos: Claim the membership fees if you pay for a stock photo service to use their photos on your site.
- Stationary: Business cards, stationery, etc can be claimed.
- Refunds and discounts to customers: If you give discounts on your products or give special pricing for package deals, you may be able to claim them as a deduction.
- Email management: If you use an email management service, you can claim it as an expense on your taxes.
Have your own favorite ways to track your blog income and expenses? I’d like to hear them, tell me in the comments!