I love blogging about money. It’s opened up hundreds of opportunities to work with brands, meet other amazing bloggers and has helped me earn the money to afford my first home. If I’d have known about the world of possibilities that blogging can open up I would have started blogging sooner.
I’m sure most bloggers agree that there are an abundance of skills that we learn and develop from blogging such as content creation, SEO, graphic design, web management and negotiation. But there’s also the niche specific knowledge that you learn from researching and writing about your blog niche.
For me, my blog niche is all things money. When I began blogging about money almost 5 years ago I was mostly sharing my experience of saving, finding freebies and entering competitions – very basic concepts. Over the past few years I’ve learned lots and now blog about a much broader range of money-related topics. Here’s some of the lessons I’ve learned while blogging.
The Important Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging About Money
Earning Money as a Blogger/Influencer
I had no idea about the income potential from blogging when I created my first blog. And when I talk to people about my blog they’re always shocked to find out that you can actually earn money as a blogger. But there are lots of ways to monetise your platform as a blogger or influencer. Here are some of the common ways I earn money from my blogs:
- Affiliate marketing – earn a commission for sales that are made when your readers use your link or promo code to make a purchase. You can sign up to an affiliate network or with a brand directly.
- Sponsored posts – a company pays the blogger an agreed amount in exchange for a post that promotes the company or links back to them. The most established your blog is the more you can earn.
- Ads – placing a banner style ad on your blog, usually in your sidebar, footer, or within the content of your posts. You can sign up to ad networks or negotiate with a brand directly.
- Selling your own products – diversify your income by creating your own digital or physical product to sell and shouting about it on your blog.
Influencer marketing is gaining momentum with almost every brand actively working with an influencer. In todays social media obsessed world influencer marketing is being used by brands to raise awareness of everything and anything including sustainability, fast fashion and reusable alternatives.
Taxes when Self Employed
During my time as a blogger I’ve had to register as self employed and complete my own self assessment a fair few times. Previously I’d only ever been employed and my employer would take care of my taxes, national insurance contributions and anything else finance related for me. I’m glad that I’ve had to learn about taxes (it still shocks me how many people don’t fully understand their taxes). Here are some aspects of tax that I think everyone should know about:
- Personal Allowance – in the UK tax system, we each have a personal allowance. This is the threshold above which you begin paying income tax. If you earn less than your own personal allowance (£12,570 2021/22) in taxable income in a given tax year you do not pay income tax; otherwise, you pay tax according to how much is earned above this level.
- Trading Allowance – your trading allowance is a tax exemption of up to £1,000 a year for trading, casual or miscellaneous income (brilliant if you’re just starting out in a new side hustle). If your side income is over £1,000 a year, you will need to register with HMRC, but you can use either the trading allowance of £1,000, or your actual business expenses to work out your profit (and how much tax you owe).
- Self Assessment – the system HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) use to collect Income Tax from you if you are self-employed or have earned more than your trading allowance in a given tax year. It’s fairly straightforward, you just need to create an account and complete your tax return in the given time frame.
Work Smarter Not Harder
Like many people, I spent my early working years with the ‘work hard’ mentality – which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would take any old job for minimum wage, working as many hours as possible and I’m glad I did because working like that taught me a lot. But now I’m a little older and I’ve been blogging about money for a few years I’ve learned that the most productive thing is to work smarter, not harder.
When researching for articles to feature on my blog I’ve come across many passive income streams such as affiliate marketing, investing and selling digital products. The idea of earning money with very little effort is a completely new concept to me but one I intent to keep learning about. I’ve also learned about section 75 protection, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Conduct Authority.
I also think there are lots of smart moves you can make with your money to protect yourself and your future. I’m a big advocate of building an emergency fund (to help you cover the cost of unexpected costs and keep you out of debt). And then there’s saving for the future by contributing to your pension. I recently discovered PensionBee and can’t recommend them enough (you’ll also get £50 added to your pension balance if you decide to switch).
What niche specific learning have you had while blogging? I’d love to know what lessons you’ve learned as you research and write about the topics for your blog.