When you have made the decision to monetize your blog, you have to think about payments. After all, that’s the entire point; if you’re going to put the effort into working with brands and selling advertising, then you’re going to want the reward for your hard work. Bloggers getting paid, how exactly do they do it?
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Sadly, many bloggers have discovered that it’s not getting work that’s the problem– it’s being paid for it. A number of high-profile bloggers have documented their financial struggles as a result of lack of payment, often caused by extremely prolific brands. For example, when Mode Media went bust, it took with it thousands of dollars of bloggers’ money; money they had no chance of recouping.
As a result, many bloggers — especially new bloggers — have questions about payments, how to guarantee you get the money you’re owed, and how the entire system works in general. Below are the answers to those questions, so you can be sure all the work you do is fairly compensated.
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Do I Have To Pay Tax On My Blogging Income?
Almost certainly, yes, though it depends on your individual circumstances. You’ll need to contact your tax office, explain your situation, and how you go about declaring your income for taxation purposes.
What Payment Methods Should I Offer?
. When you send an invoice to a brand, you will be required to stipulate how you are prepared to receive payments. Invoices used to be paid by check, but are now overwhelmingly paid with digital payment methods. If you’re serious about monetizing your blog, you have to be willing to accept payment in the following forms:
The most common and also the cheapest, but it does involve having to hand your bank account details over to a third party.
If the idea of sending your details online concerns you, it’s best to open a second bank account to receive funds. You can then transfer the money into your main account once it’s been received.
Though there are other methods of electronic money transfer, PayPal is still the most popular.
If you’re going to offer payment methods by PayPal, remember that the company will take a fee. Factor this into the price that you quote when first arranging work.
Bitcoin is a newbie to the online payment world, but one that is fast-growing. If you have never used Bitcoin before, then head to https://xcoins.io for a primer on how the system works, and what you can do with your Bitcoin when you have received it.
Bitcoin is particularly useful for bloggers. You can buy your own to add to your earned coins, they can use those funds to pay for your web space or domain name– understandably, digital services have been among the first to convert to accepting the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin simplifies a lot of blogger transactions both in terms of incoming and outgoing payments, so it’s worth offering Bitcoin as a payment option.
Even in 2017, some clients may prefer to pay via check rather electronic transfers, so you should also include this option.
If you’re not comfortable giving your address out online, then you can always hire a postal box and use the alternate address provided.
How Long Does It Take For Brands/Sponsors/Advertisers To Pay An Invoice?
This depends very much on the individual company, but for the most part, you can expect to wait between 30 and 60 days for payments. The company should give you some idea of their payment terms when you invoice.
Some bloggers think that they can ensure fast payment by including a line on their invoice, such as: “payment to be made within 14 days”. You can include this line if you prefer, but it’s not something that you can enforce. A company will pay you when they do their payment run; they are not going to change the dates on which they do this just for you.
If you have not received payment after 30 days, then it’s fine to send an email just checking that the invoice was received and is in the queue for payments.
What Do I Do If A Client Doesn’t Pay?
There is always the chance that a brand will not pay, breaking a contract and leaving you short on cash. It can happen; it does happen.
Bloggers — and most freelancers — have to occasionally accept there will be a payment they’re not able to recover. As https://www.business.com discusses, sometimes, it’s just not worth the effort of chasing a payment. Unless you are owed literally thousands of dollars, it’s not worth taking the client to court to recover the lost income. Clients know this, which is why less-scrupulous ones will refuse to pay, often just cutting off contact, and refusing to respond to your emails.
You can write to the company, sending them to notice that you are requesting payment within 30 days. This is often more effective than an email. You should also spread the word on social media, for two reasons:
- The brand may be shamed into paying you if they are receiving a lot of comment from bloggers. Bloggers tend to bind together and support one another when a member of the community is shorted on a payment, and this combined effort can finally make the client realize it’s easier to pay you than suffer serious damage to their reputation.
- Spreading the word on social media also helps to warn your fellow bloggers of companies that they should not work with.
It is wise to implement a policy of only working for a client once, then not working for them again until you know that they pay for work. It can be difficult to turn down requests for multiple sponsored posts but waiting to check that they fulfill their payment duties can save you a lot of time and money in the future.
Getting paid as a blogger isn’t easy, but you do have tools at your disposal– the community, and your readership. You may occasionally just have to accept the money isn’t going to arrive, but vary the clients you work with to prevent this scenario being catastrophic for your finances.
Hopefully, the above has helped to answer any lingering questions you had about receiving payment as a blogger. Wishing you many clients, who pay instantly, in the future!
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