When I started blogging back in 2011, I quite honestly never expected it to take off the way that it did. I wrote like no one was watching, and that was because for a time...There really wasn't anyone reading! Somewhere in the last 6 years that has changed somewhat, there are times that I quite honestly gasp when I see how many people have logged on, and have been reading about my family and in more recent years, my health and fitness goals.
Regular readers will know that in the Summer of 2015, my blog went from being a hobby that I spent my evenings and spare time working on, to actually becoming my job. Was that my intention all those years ago? No way. I was just as shocked as you were when this became the reality of my little space on the world wide web.
As with any small business (because that's what this is, my own little independent business!), I need to make sure that I am keeping a record of what I earnt and when I earned it. I also need to make sure that I keep a record of who has paid and when they paid. Sometimes it feels like I can spend far to much time chasing payments that are owed to me, and as this is now my only income, it can sometimes be disheartening when a company allocates work, you complete it and then they go off the grid with £££ owed.
I have bills to pay just like everyone else, so when a company does not stick to the payment terms that were laid out, it can understandably make my life that little bit more difficult. Direct Debits do not wait until the money is there, and it can make an already stressful situation, that little bit more...well stressful.
I have recently been looking into options that can help me get a faster turn around on payments that are owed to me, because I genuinely feel that small businesses like myself need to be vigilant and have measures in place that can enable us to keep our income regularly circulating and of course help us keep our heads above water.
My top tips in order to keep your blog ship above water are as follows:
- Create a monthly spreadsheet with what you need to earn in order to pay your bills and live your life.
- Set weekly £££ targets and tick them off as you achieve them.
- Create a database of contacts (Companies that you have worked with in the past) and keep in touch with them, as more often than not, they have future work available for you.
- Agree on a price and a deadline for the work that you are going to carry out for the company.
- Make sure you stick to your agreed time frame to get the post together.
- Create an invoice. I usually use PayPal so that I can keep up to date on who has paid. Once a payment comes through I tick it off on my monthly spreadsheet. Another good system is Market Invoice which aids you in turning your invoices around.
It is incredibly important to keep track of all your payments, not just so you can chase them up when delays and the unforeseen happens, but because if you are self employed like I am, then you need to complete your tax return annually. This is something that I will be doing at some point this month, so I want to make sure that I have closed all of my accounts from the last financial year.