If you’ve decided to turn your blogging activities into a business, you should be prepared to take it seriously. Even if you’re only doing it as a side hustle, for now, a business is a business. You need to treat it like it matters if you want to get anywhere and fulfil your goals. To take your business seriously, you need to make sure that you have all of the official stuff taken care of. From registering your business to setting up a business bank account, you need to not only make your business look respectable but also ensure that you’re following the law.
Create a Business Plan
Before you get going with making your business official, you should create a business plan. It might feel a bit strange to do if you don’t regard your blogging as a “proper” business. However, you need to have a good idea of just what your plan is and how you’re going to start making money. If you don’t have a plan, you might not get anywhere. Even if the plan is for your eyes only and you’re not going to show it to any investors or anyone like that, it’s still a useful tool to have. Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone, though. You can update it as you learn and grow your business.
Register Your Business
Officially registering your business helps you to make sure you’re following the law. As someone who’s just starting out with a blogging business, you’re most likely to want to register as a sole trader. It’s just you, and you’re likely not doing anything too complicated just yet. As your business grows, you might consider choosing a different business structure. There can be benefits to doing that, but when you first start out, it’s unlikely you’ll need to consider it. It’s much simpler to register as a sole trader at first and stick with that for a simple blogging business.
Set Up a Professional Presence
If you want to give your business an official image, you need to consider your professional business presence. Choosing the right name for your business is a good start, as you might want to use something separate to your own name on official documents and elsewhere. Once you’ve chosen a name and registered your business, you’ll want to get a matching domain if you don’t already have one. This will mean you can also get an official business email address, again if you haven’t already created one for an existing blog or website. You might also want to look into getting a business address with a mailbox. The purpose of this is to make your business look bigger and more official. Plus, it means you can avoid having your home address on official documents, and you don’t need to have a separate office.
Get Your Branding Right
A good name for your business is a start, but you also need to work on your branding. If you have an existing blog or website, this is likely to tie into its image. However, perhaps you’re also thinking about a new image for your business. If so, you’ll need to consider how you want your website to look. When you’re working on your branding, you’ll need a logo that you can use on various materials. You might also want to think about brand colours, and perhaps things like tone of voice. You can create a style guide that you can follow, and that you might want to give to other people who could write for you in the future.
Start Organizing Your Finances
You’ll need to get your finances in order to keep your business in check. One of the first things you should do is open a business bank account. This will allow you to keep the money you earn separate from your personal finances. That makes it easier to keep track of what your business brings in and sends out. It also makes it easier to keep the evidence you need for your business when it’s time to pay your taxes. Start keeping track of what you’re earning and what you spend too, such as money you spend on advertising. Remember to get all of your tax information sorted out too. Registering as self-employed is the first step, and you need to know what information to keep and when to file your taxes.
Make your blogging business official before you start getting it off the ground. You want it to look like a proper business, so people take you seriously.
This is a collaborative post.