As we wrap up 2016, this fitpreneur interview about blog finances is coming at the perfect time!

Fitpreneur Interview with Sarah Waninger: Tackling and Tracking Blog Finances and Performance

 

The lovely Sarah Waninger from Creating Better Tomorrow is joining me again today (she was one of my very first blogger/fitpreneur interviewees) and – if you are a blogger – you are going to want to read this post!

 

Sarah and I participated in Nicole Culver’s 90 Day Profit Challenge Membership Group together these past few months and it has been incredible! Nicole’s programs are amazing and I totally recommend them to any health/fitness/food bloggers or business owners. And Sarah is pretty amazing too – she has really transformed her blog and business in the past few months and has some super exciting stuff coming up!

 

Sarah recently re-designed her website (and it looks so very fresh and clean and professional). She started a blog finance post series (and is posting all about tax deductions for bloggers on Monday, December 26th – so be sure to check back because some of the things we can, but probably not not, deduct is actually very interesting!). Oh and she just released her first low-priced product.

 

{Side note: Low-priced products are a great opportunity for bloggers and businesses to offer an affordable service or product and totally WOW their customers. Once someone buys from you, they are much more likely to buy from you again – and even more likely when they had a chance to see how you totally over-delivered on the last thing they bought from you!}

 

Fitpreneur Interview with Sarah Waninger @CreatingBetter - Tracking Blog Finances and Performance Share on X

 

Finances, numbers, and Excel sheets certainly are not the exciting and glamorous things when it comes to blogging.

 

But, the reality is, if you are doing sponsored posts, making money on affiliate links, or selling anything on your website, keeping your finances in order will save you a ton of time and headaches down the road.

 

In the interview below, Sarah and I dive into how she came up with the idea for her product, what documentation bloggers need to keep for paid opportunities, and the importance of having a system!

 

Sarah @ Creating Better Tomorrow


Where to find Sarah:

On her blog at CreatingBetterTomorrow.com

Twitter: @CreatingBetter

Instagram: @CreatingBetter

Facebook: Creating Better Tomorrow

Pinterest: Sarah @creatingbetter

 

Her product: Blog Finance and Performance Tracker

 

 

Question:

Can you tell us a little about your finance background and how you got into blogging?

 

Answer:

I went to college for accounting – which many don’t know about me!

I graduated and began working right away in public accounting at a local firm – where I focused my work on audit of not-for-profit organizations.  It was a fantastic job… I got to help causes using my professional expertise.

Then I wanted to make a transition for more balance (AKA less hours 😉 ) and I left my public accounting career and went onto work as the assistant controller at a Goodwill of Central Indiana.  I can honestly say I loved my time at Goodwill.  The people, this mission, the everything – it was a great job.

But then I found out we were having twins!  I know my God calling is to be mom and wife – so when our boys arrived, I left my full time job to be a mommy and entrepreneur in my own pursuits.

So, where is the blogging in the picture?

I actually started my blog right at the time I started my job at Goodwill.  I really began blogging as a release for myself and for ‘therapy’ – but it quickly became a serious passion and now has become a serious entrepreneurial dream.

On my blog, I talk about my favorite ‘F’ words – faith, family, fitness, and finance!

Yes, finance is the newest addition and it might seem a bit out of the lineup but it is what makes me ME – I am an accounting expert and I cannot deny I have an addiction to spreadsheets.

 

Question:

What documentation do bloggers need to keep in regards to paid opportunities? And how long do they need to keep it?

 

Answer:

This is a great question and one I get from many small business owners and bloggers.

The rule of thumb for the IRS is to keep any and all documentation for 7 years after that tax return is filed. The great news is that the IRS doesn’t care if it is paper documentation or electronic documentation. So, if you have a paid opportunity for sponsored posts and you trade emails back and forth with the details – keep those. If you (which I highly recommend) have a signed contract with the sponsor via email – keep that.

I tell clients and fellow bloggers to keep ANYTHING that documents terms of the project or payment. When in doubt keep it!

I keep most of my documentation within Google Drive and in my Google email in folders. You’ll want to create a system that works for you!

 

Question:

What is the best way to organize your blog finances and records?

 

Answer:

The best way to stay organized with blog finances and records is the way that you can consistently complete.

 

Stay organized with blog finances w/ @CreatingBetter #bloggingtips #blogfinances Share on X

 

Some people like hard copies and paper documents in folders labeled by month – that’s not my style but it isn’t wrong. However, it is wrong if you are not consistently organizing and tracking your records.

I recommend folks take time every month to track all financial activity for their blog. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to an hour each month.

I have put together a total system and video tutorial on my site.  This is the EXACT system I have used and still use for my own business.

Blog finances and performance tracker

Question:

If you had to pick one thing to outsource when it comes to managing your blog, what would it be?

 

Answer:

That’s a tough one!!!

I am not the best with photography and graphics…it is not my forte to say the least. We all know that images can make or break a blog post and it’s future success. So if money was no object, I know one of the first items on my list would be image and graphic development.

 

{Other Sarah here: Every blogger and every business is different. It is important for bloggers to recognize what they are spending too much time on or are just not extremely great at doing – and either stop doing it or, if you are in a position to be able to, pay someone to do it for you.

Your time should be spent on tasks that require YOU and YOUR expertise – creating content, interacting with your followers, spending time in similar blog or business groups, developing products, reading personal development material, etc. If you are spending hours a week scheduling social media posts or trying to take decent pictures (that was totally me before I found some amazing lady boss stock photographers!), then you should figure out what will move your blog or business forwards and FOCUS ON THAT!}

 

Question:

How did you come up with this new product and why would a blogger need it versus just using an Excel sheet?

 

Answer:

Over this past year, I’ve worked with Nicole Culver as a business coach and mentor. She just kept asking what I was an expert in and I always focused on motherhood and fitness. Then it dawned on me – I went to school for 4 years and worked as a CPA…ding ding ding. Nicole said nothing else, just to think on that.

I did and thought through what other people might not love to do. My husband hit it home for me when we were sitting at the dinner table talking about a spreadsheet project he was working on (oh, yeah he’s a CPA too). The excitement we both were getting over this spreadsheet was humorous… he said that’s it – you need to show them how to make a system within a spreadsheet!

 

Why this blog finance and performance tracker?

I’ve done all the setup for you!

 

You don’t have to worry about any formulas, formatting, anything – you just set aside a little time to input your numbers and BAM, it’s finished.

And the product isn’t just a spreadsheet. You actually get a monthly email reminder through 12/31/17 to go update your tracker. So you cannot forget!

I also know that just having the system in place might not be helpful to those who have never worked inside documents like this. So, when you purchase the tracker ($10), you also receive a video tutorial that can be referenced at any time throughout the year.

And finally, I know I don’t just track my finances, I track my blog growth, my social media growth, and my email list growth – so I added those tabs in too! You just input your stats each month and see where you want to grow more and where you already have grown!

 

* * * * 

Other Sarah here again. 🙂

This is super valuable stuff, ya all! I have to admit – when I first read about Sarah’s product, I thought – well I could just do this myself in Excel. In fact, I asked her in one of my questions above… what makes her product so special?

As a busy blogger, business owner, and mom, DONE-FOR-YOU products like this that can save me time are truly, truly valuable! I am all about that!

I am also all about supporting my fellow bloggers and mamas, and am so grateful to be able to buy a GOOD product from a hard working, small business owner like Sarah.

Let’s Chat

How do you keep your finances in order?

Do you deduct blogging related expenses on your taxes?