Category:

Blogging

Mompreneur, momtrepeneur, work-from-hom, mom, stay-at-home

If you’ve recently had a baby, work is probably the last thing on your mind. And that’s not just because you’ve… y’know… just had a baby! Parenthood changes you fundamentally. They don’t say it changes “everything” for nothing. The struggle is real. Motherhood literally alters your brain chemistry and definitely realigns your perspective. Suddenly all the things about the world at work that used to worry and intimidate you now seem like no biggie at all.

The truth is motherhood can actually be incredibly empowering and make a woman realize just how strong she really is. It can make you realize that you deserve better than you’ve been getting from your job and career and maybe your talents and passion were wasted in that old job all along. As such, while there are many women who are happy to return to their old jobs and their old career, there are some who set their sights in a very different direction. You know who you are. It takes balls to forge a new way but many moms do just that.

READ ALSO: How Blogging Changed My Life

In the digital age, more and more women are realizing that they have the tools at their disposal to start their very own businesses, nurturing potentially thriving enterprises even as they nurture their little ones. Some of us become professional bloggers or copywriters, others use e-commerce to sell products that they make themselves. I love Etsy. Some moms become consultants while others become freelance illustrators. The sky’s the limit. We are moms hear us roar!

If you want to make your mark as a mompreneur, here are some things you’ll need…

A USP

Unfortunately, if you want to establish yourself in business (no matter what the nature of your business) a good idea just isn’t enough anymore. People start businesses based on good ideas all the time, but it doesn’t automatically guarantee success. In order to find success (and your audience), you’ll need to have a clearly defined Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Your USP will be what makes you different from all the other businesses out there doing what you’re doing and builds value in the brand you’re trying to develop. Don’t worry if you don’t come up with your USP overnight. Take the time to carry out extensive market research and competitor analysis.

READ ALSO: What Ever Blogger should Know about Blogging

Find the people who will buy your products or invest in your services. See what other businesses like yours are doing well and why customers are happy with them. Then try and identify things that they aren’t doing as well or gaps in the market that they’re currently failing to accommodate.

If you can find a way to do what other businesses are doing better, that’s your USP!

A strong presence on social media

Personality goes a long way in business. This was actually one of the first pieces of advice I was given when I started blogging as the mom of two toddlers. Embarrassingly enough, I had no idea what a “social media presence” was. In my defense, I had been pregnant and having babies for the previous 3 years. But I figured out quickly, people don’t like to buy from faceless, profit-hungry corporations. They like to buy from honest, genuine people who have decided to take their livelihoods and careers into their own hands. These people remind us that the dream works. And supporting them gives us a better form of capitalism.

If people like you, they’ll buy/read/engage with you. Let your personality shine on social media. Find out more about where your target audience spends their time online and approach them on the platforms they use most. Combine your professionalism and commitment to quality with the fact that you’re a real person and mom trying to take care of your target audience in ways that your competitors won’t or can’t.

Maintain an active presence on your social platforms. Engage. Don’t be the person only sharing links. Nobody likes that person. Talk to people about things other than your business. Like what they post. Retweet them. It’s a little thing that goes a long way towards building the kind of personal relationship which is invaluable for small businesses.

A strong brand identity

Your brand is what people say about your business when you’re not in the room. In order for your business to resonate, it needs a strong brand identity. Again, this is what will differentiate you from your competitors and help people to develop a personal relationship and trust you.

You may be reticent to incorporate your motherhood into your brand. I wasn’t. I embraced it. I know who I am. I know my education, my skills and strengths but I also fully embraced that motherhood was a big part of who I am now. Being a mom doesn’t take away from who you were as a career woman before, it adds skills to it. You should see my organization and multipurpose skills now.

You may want people to see you as a businesswoman first, and a mother second, but don’t underestimate the brand appeal of your motherhood. People like Moms. We’re relatable. Everyone has one. People see moms as nurturing, reliable, dependable and compassionate because… that’s exactly what we are.

Online security

The beauty of being an entrepreneur in the (nearly) 2020s is that digital technology has made the world your office. You can check your emails while changing diapers ( though I certainly would not recommend it) and take conference calls in Whole Foods ( been there done that). You can make ecommerce listings sitting in your favorite coffee shop or keep in touch with your social following while breastfeeding.

And while that’s incredible, it can also make you and your business more vulnerable. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have a target painted on their back and cybercriminals may try and target your business and its data if they see a vulnerability. That’s why it’s important to ensure that not only does your laptop have robust antivirus software but all of your devices use a mobile-ready VPN while on the go. Cybersecurity is an important consideration when starting up your own business.

The biggest challenge when juggling your duties as a CEO (because that’s what you are, honey!) with your duties as a mother is time management. Why are there not more hours in the day? As much as possible you need to compartmentalize your time between “entrepreneur mode” and “Mom mode”. This is way easier to do when you have a dedicated working space either in your own home or a rented office. I have a home office but I am loving the new shared spaces available in my town and it may be something I look to soon. Of course, there will be some bleed between the two but the very act of moving into different functional spaces will help you to better organize your thoughts.

A blog

A blog is an extremely important business tool. It is my business. Whatever the nature of your business, it can almost certainly be assisted by having a blog. Remember what we were saying before about the importance of personality? A blog can give your following insight into your personality, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can also establish your knowledge, expertise and dedication to being the best there is at what you do. And that’s a big deal!

What’s more, your blog will also give you a boost in Search Engine Optimization and improve your visibility in search results.

Passion

Finally, the most important thing you can have as a Mompreneur is passion. Passion will propel you through those days where you’ve had 2 and a half hours’ sleep and it all seems a little too much. It’ll keep you going where others falter and keep building value in your brand that will set you on the path to success.

What is your tip for succeeding as a mompreneur?

 

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, cinderella's castle

Wondering what Disney Creator Days is? If you’re an influencer, especially if you’re one who loves Disney, your dream collaboration is to partner with the Walt Disney Company. For years, the most coveted influencer invitation was to be invited to the annual Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, #DSMMC. This year that celebration is on hiatus. Enter Disney Creator Days. But what is it? It’s a new immersive influencer event. It’s not the same as Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

I’ve been very fortunate and been invited to Disney events and, for me, it felt like winning the lottery. We visit Disney World yearly so being invited to Disney hosted events is icing on the cake. Disney World is the first place we visited as a couple (on our honeymoon) and have continued to do so as a family for the past 20 years. 20-year anniversary coming at you this May.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation

READ ALSO: Tips from Disney on how to get Invited to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration

Growing up, my family loved Disney but visiting Walt Disney World was never an option for us. My mom stayed home with us and my father worked a blue collar job. They had 6 kids. Our vacations consisted of saving everything we could to visit grandparents in Tennessee and Mexico. I’m not complaining, we saw lots of states on our drives to these places (in fact, I’ve seen most of the United States and Mexico by car) but Florida was never “on the way.”

Every time I step foot on the grounds at WDW resorts, it feels special. I’m sure it has a lot to do with who I’m with but where I’m at makes it absolutely magical and has secured Walt Disney World as one of our favorite places to visit as a family. Disney is a feeling for me and I know I’m not the only one. Walt Disney World means dreams coming true, in so many different ways, for so many of its visitors.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, Magic Kingdom

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing Your WDW Vacation

When I’ve been invited to Disney events, my whole family celebrates because, for us, it is a big deal. The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was particularly exciting for me as an influencer because not only was I invited, which is an honor in itself, I was able to bring my family along with me. While there, I heard some of the most talented people in my field speak. Not only did my family get to share this experience with me, but Disney also provided me with tools to grow my website and brand. And on top of all of that, I had the opportunity to meet and network with some of my fellow influencers and their families.

This year, when Disney announced that Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was going on a “hiatus” of course I was disappointed because last year’s event was so meaningful to me but, in our field, stopping, reassessing and changing to fit the evolution of social media is what has to be done to stay current. It’s doing what’s best in the long run.

space mountain, #DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation

READ ALSO: Is Disney Vacation Club for You?

When I heard they were hosting an event called Disney Creator Days I had no idea what that was because it’s a brand new adventure but I was excited to find out more. There wasn’t a lot of information out there but there was a lot of speculation. I don’t like to gossip so I did what I always do, I went directly to the source. I asked my contacts at Disney.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, mickey mouse, minnie mouse

What is Disney Creator Days?

Disney Creator Days is an invitation-only event being held at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line in March.  It is a familiarization type experience for influencers to showcase these incredible Disney vacation experiences.   

Disney Creator Days is not the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

It is something completely new. From my research online, reading posts by those invited, Disney Creator Days is a week-long land and sea adventure that will be hosted by Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Lines. It’s a very small event for just a few select influencers and their families. It will be on March 5-11, 2019.

It sounds like it’s going to be awesome and include everything you could ever need for the ultimate Walt Disney World vacation.

  • 4 Days at Walt Disney World including park hopper passes and media Fast Passes.
  • 3 Night stay at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 3 Night cruise with Disney Cruise Line
  • All Flights and Transportation
  • Unlimited internet both on land and sea
  • Most meals
  • Exclusive access, first-looks, events, one-of-a-kind special experiences, and surprises.
  • All of the above 100% paid for by Disney.

It seems to me that the key difference between the Disney Creator Days and Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is that Disney Creator Days is to showcase the Disney vacation experience.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation

Whereas when at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, influencers attend a conference to grow their brand but are allowed time and encouraged to experience the Disney magic with their families in the parks. The focus is different for each event.

Another key difference, when you attend #DSMMC you pay a very reduced rate for the experience including the conference, lodging and parks. Disney Creator Days is 100% paid for by Disney. Either way, totally worth it.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, boardwalk

READ ALSO: Tips to Rock Your Disney World Vacation

Last difference, when you attend #DSMMC there are no clearly defined sharing obligations. Most influencers in attendance share a lot while we are there because the nuggets of wisdom are so great. Why wouldn’t we? Also, we’re are Walt Disney World and who doesn’t love to share family and travel adventures? So when you attend #DSMMC sharing is encouraged. When you attend Disney Creator Days there is a clearly defined expectation to create unique and engaging content about The Walt Disney Company and the experience itself before, during and after on all channels. Each influencer is expected to use their voice to provide a unique and honest perspective on the event. This is typical expectations of any press event with any company.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, castaway cay

The next question on everyone’s mind is how do I get invited to Disney Creator Days?

As I mentioned earlier, those invited were hand selected. Here are the tips that I have gathered over the years from Disney on how to be considered for any Disney press event.

Go to conferences where Disney will be at and connect/network with Disney PR. Write strong, engaging content about Disney and send the links to the WDW PR department.

Qualities that Disney looks for in the influencers they work with?

It really depends on the initiative that they have going on. But it is helpful if bloggers have an up-to-date blog, have great social reach and engagement across the different social platforms, Disney-friendly content on social and their blogs, and a good Travel section.

How does Disney choose who to partner with for press events? Do bloggers need a certain amount of traffic to be invited to hosted events? How important is the audience fit?

Disney does not host very many influencer events so they have to be super selective with invitations. A lot of it is based on a variety of things such as brand fit, reach, audience, specialty, engagement, niche, diversity, quality of followers and whatever product Disney is promoting, etc.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, space mountainThere you have it, everything I know about Disney Creator Days.

 

Disney Creator Days sounds absolutely amazing and I’m thrilled for everyone who got the invite. I can’t wait to follow along on the inaugural event. Who knows, if they continue this event, maybe one of these days I’ll get some pixie dust. Either way, my love for family travel and Walt Disney World will keep my family coming back year after year. See ya real soon!

 

5 comments
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
How to SEO optimize your blog, SEO, SEO Optimization search engine optimization, SEO Tips

Feeling completely overwhelmed by SEO Optimization? Just starting out as a blogger and have no idea where to start with search engine optimization? I am sharing everything you need to know about SEO or everything I’ve learned in the last 3 months of conference sessions at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and Mom 2.0. I’ve been doing this for 9 years and these sessions blew my mind.

The first rule of SEO optimization is to go for the organic traffic.

Algorithms are always changing, put your attention and time into the only thing you control, your blog. Plus, did you know that the pay is better for organic traffic?

READ ALSO: Rise of the REAL

First thing is first when you decide to sit down and figure out your SEO optimization goals and make a plan to conquer those goals, keep these things in mind.

1.User Experience
As bloggers, we base a lot of things on algorithms and the Internet but your audience is human beings. Always keep that in mind. Is your site easy to navigate and find things? If not, people will leave. Also, I know you are tempted to keyword stuff so that Google sees you but then you are spammy and the humans will turn the channel so always make the humans your priority. Google will see you as authentic and rank you better. Keyword stuffing will get you a slap on the wrist from Google and you don’t want that.

2. Answer the questions your audience needs the answer to.
Be a source of good information or entertainment. Give them a reason to come back. I’m a storyteller so I’m not always telling you how to do something. Most of the time I’m sharing how I got through something; the solution that worked for me. It might not teach you how to do it but there is value in being the person who shares with you that you are not alone. It won’t make you any money but I feel good when I make people feel, in a time when they might otherwise feel alone, that I’ve been there. That kind of reach is priceless.

3. Provide useful information.
Make sure it’s useful and not just what they can already find everywhere else. Look for keywords that are highly searched but have low to medium competition so you have a better chance of ranking. Google the topic you want to write about and see what comes up in search. See what articles are ranking in the top 10 and see how you can answer that question more efficiently or more in-depth or more specifically. Or see if you can answer a question that is not being answered.

4. Establish Domain Authority

How to grow your Domain Authority is one of the great mysteries of the Internet. It used to be easy you could check your Google Page Rank and you knew where you stood. I used to have a 6. Of course, that means nothing now, as it is no longer available. But here is how to grow your domain authority authentically.

5. Optimize old content.
Yes, remember how back in 2009 none of us knew what SEO optimization was so most of those old posts are not search engine optimized? Well, that is traffic just sitting there waiting to be activated. My old posts, those awesome evergreen ones about being a mom and raising babies are just waiting to be seen my new audience of awesome millennials.

6.New content research.
Check your reports and see what is working for your site. What are you ranking on the front page for? What low competition words can you be ranking higher for? Do more of that. I’ll share the reports to check all of this next week on a post. Make sure you come back next week. I will also put it in the newsletter this Sunday.

7. Think mobile.
Most of our audience is now mobile. Currently, about 61% of my traffic is mobile so make sure that your site is mobile friendly or people will leave. Nobody has time for a subpar experience. They will leave.

8. Consider your site speed
Same goes for your site speed. If your website takes forever to load people will bounce and go someplace where they can get the information quicker. Make sure that you are doing everything possible to make sure that page loads in a timely manner.

9. Make sure that your images are optimized and compressed.
This is no joke. Make sure that your photos are optimized for SEO to bring the traffic and compressed in size to keep the audience. There is nothing worse than photos that take forever to load. It’s annoying and, if you’re like me, I just don’t have the patience. I don’t want a surprise; I want the info I came to the site in search of. The only thing worse is self-starting video. Don’t do it.

 

READ ALSO: How Mom 2.0 Renewed My Faith in Blogging and In Me

10. Last but definitely not least, run your reports to know where to focus your attention. I heard an amazing speaker at Mom 2.0 and she shared all the information on how to access and use the Google analytic reports, Googe Search Console and SEM Rush and even a secret report that I NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE. Yes, you need all of these to effectively optimize your site. These reports gave me insights into my website that I never even considered before.

Aside from just who my audience is to when they are online, what days of the week they are reading, where they are reading, what social media channels they are accessing my content and at what times. Besides just their demographics, their spending habits and where they live, these reports help me know what they want from my content. That’s not to say that I am going to change what I am going to write but it definitely makes me consider my audience and who I am talking to.

I will provide all of those steps to access those reports in a post next week on this blog but if you want it sooner, I will be including it in my newsletter this Sunday. So if you are signed up, you will get that. If not and you’d like that information sooner, please subscribe to the newsletter.

I’m doing lots of research into SEO optimization, are there any questions that you’d like me to find the answers to in my research?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
mom 2.0 Summit, Langham Pasadena, Blogging, blogging anniversary, anniversary

Today is my 9th blogging anniversary. I can’t believe the TRUTH about Motherhood was started when my baby was only 1-year-old. Where did the time go? Seems like just yesterday that I was writing under the pseudonym Truthful Mommy and you were all my lifeline. I wrote the stories but you guys were definitely my phone a friend. Thank you for being on this fantastic journey with me.

I’m just back from the Mom 2.0 Summit and still really high on all the energy and people that I just spent the last week soaking in. I networked with a lot of solid brands that I love and are a good organic fit for me. I got to rub elbows with the likes of  Kristen Bell, Debbie Allen and Brene Brown. I learned so much at the most amazing sessions. Even after almost a decade of blogging, I am still learning. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to connect and reconnect with all my friends who live in my computer.

mom 2.0 Summit, Langham Pasadena, Blogging, blogging anniversary, anniversary

If you’re a blogger, you know exactly what I mean. If you are not and you actually get out in the world at a time in history when most of us communicate through our tech devices, bravo for you because you are one of the lucky ones. The thing is I’ve made friends who’ve virtually held my hands through some of the toughest and happiest moments of my life and we’ve never met face to face. Things get lost in translation when you are communicating online. There is no tone.

READ ALSO: This Blogger’s Life, Vera Sweeney

However, when you meet someone that’s been there for you and vice versa for almost a decade the transition is almost seamless. I got to meet some friends for the first time ever. I got to hug people who I haven’t seen in at least a year and some even longer (too many to mention but you know who you are and I love you all so much) and I finally got to meet a couple of my blogging heroes, women who write from the heart and put it all on the line.

I met quite a few new bloggers who I’d never read before but now I will because of the amazing conversations we had in the hallways, elevators, the pub and restrooms. I have to say, the IRL interactions with all of these women are what blogging is all about. I even finally got to drive the KIA Stinger and I may, or may not, have gotten In & Out.

KIA stinger, mom 2.0 Summit, Langham Pasadena, Blogging, blogging anniversary, anniversary

But one of the most unexpected exchanges that happened at Mom 2.0 Summit came out of nowhere and bowled me over. It came from one of my former editors and it was as unexpected as a blow to the head at a church service.

As a writer sometimes (a lot of the time) it feels like you are sending your thoughts out into the abyss. You are never quite sure anyone is reading and if they are, you often wonder are they actually seeing you; understanding the meaning of the words you are writing. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing in a foreign language.

For me, writing is fulfilling on a deeper level than most other things and it is truly how I process life. It’s my medium and when you open your soul and share your story, you hope that someone (anyone) is reading and it means something to them. In a lot of ways writing is like motherhood, it is beautiful and soul filling but at the same time, it is often thankless.

I spend most of the time feeling like a failure at what I do and the other half feeling like an imposter. Since people have stopped commenting on blogs like they used to, it really feels like I am shouting out into the nothingness. Some days I wonder why I’m doing this. Then, I remember it is not about other people, it’s about getting my thoughts down and preserving these moments for my daughters. Still, it’s always nice to feel like your words helped someone, even if it is just by making them laugh or giving them the solace of knowing they are not alone.

The thing is this editor came up to me during the party after the IRIS awards. I was standing there in a room full of winners feeling like a giant loser. I was tired and jetlagged and was seriously considering sneaking away but I stayed because the only thing worse than Imposter syndrome is FOMO. I often feel like I need to make my exit before I’m revealed as the imposter that  I am.

iris awards, mom 2.0 Summit, Langham Pasadena, Blogging, blogging anniversary, anniversary

Anyways, this woman who is a phenomenal editor (who edits amazing writers every day) came up to me and told me that it was a privilege and honor to have edited my stories. How these are the moments that made her work feel worthwhile. I was stunned.

She said more but I don’t remember the exact words as I was crying like a baby next to the dance floor because her words moved me. In those few moments, she validated me and made me feel like I was heard and I belonged. I don’t know if she knew how much her words meant to me. I’m not sure that she can.

I tried to convey it, as I stood there with my face melting off as I cried through my contouring but words seemed too small when such a big gesture had been made.

You see, for the past year, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the backend of blogging.  I think many of us are. All that I’ve ever wanted to do was write. Write my stories free of worry about all the things like SEO, keywords, traffic, meta tags, understanding google analytics, pinning to win, facebooking to reach the masses, having the perfect cohesive Instagram, posting at the right times on the right days and writing for the right audience.

I want to write but blogging is my business and to have the honor of doing what I love, I have to learn to do a whole lot of other things that are out of my wheelhouse. This often leaves me feeling like I am on the outside looking in because in the blogging world, traffic equals jobs. Numbers equal traffic not always considering engagement so where does that leave me? Content is no longer king, it is the queen and SEO is the King and I feel like while the queen and I are besties, the King doesn’t much care for me.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that after 9 years, when I was tired and feeling like giving up, feeling like the biggest imposter on the Internet, I went to this Mom 2.0 Summit and I heard all the right things from all the right people. My heart was full. My soul set on fire and my mind could clearly see the direction I need to go. I’m not quitting, I’m rebooting. I’m going back to what I love… writing from the heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to understand the business side of all of it. I have to, it’s irresponsible not to but I’m not letting myself get overwhelmed by it. Blogging is my passion and sharing my stories with you is what fuels my soul. If just one person gets something out of my words, it is all worth it.

Hearing her words reminded me that you never know where your words are landing and how they are touching others. I’m not an imposter, I am a writer and my words deserve to be read just as much as I deserve to belong. I can’t be on the outside looking in because I am the protagonist in my story.

Here’s to being lucky enough to be writing for you in another 9 years. Thank you for reading my stories and sharing yours with me.

Here’s to many more Blogging Anniversary

16 comments
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
rise of the real, how to blog, blogger, blogging, daddy bloggers, women's rights

Rise of the real blogger are the five sweetest words that I’ve ever heard. The most important thing I took away about social media and blogging from Disney Social Media Mom’s Celebration was to just be myself online and trust in who I am as a blogger. The universe not so subtly reminded me to get back to what I’ve always done and trust my gut. Recently, I was told that I was being “too real” when I blog. I’m not even sure how that’s possible but from my understanding, authenticity cannot be manufactured. Real life is seldom perfect and when you present it in a way that is… you’re lying, either to yourself or your audience.

“Rise of the Real, be yourself, Be Authentic, connect with your audience, emotional connections,” these were just a few of the ways I heard the universe telling me to be myself. It is the very premise on which my website was built.

I kept hearing it over again at the Disney Social Media Mom celebration like a whisper following me around. It felt like the universe telling me to stop worrying about what other people were doing. You’ve heard the truth will set you free? Well, I believe it. The moment I started second guessing myself, doubt crept in and it manifested itself in a crippling fear of failure.

READ ALSO: How Mom 2.0 Renewed my Faith in Blogging and in Myself

I saw other people doing it better and getting bigger and I thought, hey, maybe they know better than I do. But doing what they do didn’t feel right for me because writing for me is more than a means to an end, a creative outlet or a career choice. Writing is a big part of who I am as a person and how I move through the world. I tell my stories because it’s how I process and make sense of life.

Rise of the real is confirmation of what I’ve always believed; honesty is the only way to blog and live.

I share with others because I think we are all connected by our experiences and while they don’t all play out the same way, we all experience them. Life is universal, some of us just do it differently than others. We all do what works for our family, for our lives but we all have those moments of failure and success and even though they may be different, the gut-wrenching pulls of failure and the elation of success (whatever the scale may be) is the same.

I’ve always shared my stories because I knew that people could relate on a human level. But then someone told me to think before I “speak” (write) because being too real can be a turn-off. I almost believed it. To be honest, it sent me into shut down mode. I got a terrible case of writer’s block. Turns out that I can’t overthink every single word I write because if I question every single thing I say or do, I’ll never do anything. I’m a leap first, ask for forgiveness person. It’s who I am and I don’t want to change that.

READ ALSO: What Every Blogger should know about Blogging

My stories connect me to you and your comments and responses connect you back to me. So often the online world feels like throwing something out into the abyss and leaving it there but that is not how blogging and social media have worked for me, not at all.

Blogging started for me when I was a new mom, completely disconnected from the outside world. Drowning in motherhood, my blog was me reaching out for someone to throw me a buoy and my readers, those connections/ their stories and ability to relate to what I was going through, they were what kept me afloat. If the stories I share can do that for someone else, it’s all worth it. I know they can because I’ve read the comments and I’ve made the connections with people all over the world through our stories.

A million page views a month may not be in my near future but I have posts that people all over the world have connected with and commented on over and over again. Some of my most personal stories that, if I had used common sense, I would have never hit publish on are some of my most popular because everyone is not perfect. Most of us have a hard time of it. We struggle, we fail and our success, our stories, are in the fact that we keep getting back up. Not that we never fall and never fail but that we keep trying and we overcome.

Someone once told me that people don’t want to read reality because they live it. They said reality is not “positive” enough. I say seeing someone I can relate to triumph through their hard times and succeed in their good times empowers me to do better. It makes me feel like I can do anything and it makes me happy for them. When they are in pain, I cheer for them. I don’t block them from my feed because they are bringing me down. I check in to make sure they are doing okay. My readers and followers are not just names of people I don’t know. We’ve connected. They know my family and in many cases, I know their stories too because they’ve shared in response to my stories. It’s a very organic and symbiotic relationship and I love it.

I get it. Too much negativity is a bummer but life isn’t always unicorns and rainbows and beaches. Sometimes it is. But sometimes it’s ugly cry, raw and hard. But mostly, it’s minutia and daily moments peppered with a good mix of profound bliss and misery. All of those unexpected, uncontrolled moments are what make up a life; beautiful in its glory and agony.

So, I ask you, do you prefer to read about how great someone else’s life is all the time? Or do you prefer the truth? The sometimes amazing beyond anything you could imagine, sometimes horrible and sometimes humorous day-to-day of life. Some days, it’s even downright boring but even in the minutia, it is relatable because who hasn’t been bored in their life? The thing I’ve realized it that it’s not about changing the truth, it’s about the way you tell your stories. It’s all in the narrative.

How do you prefer your blogging, transparency in the blogs you read or a blogger who edits reality to make it prettier?

2 comments
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
Internet Showdown: Professional Sh*t Stirrer Versus Entitled Youtuber

Have you ever heard the names, Elle Darby or Paul Stenson? Me neither until today. Talk about an influencer’s nightmare, I’m not sure it gets too much worse than this. A British Youtuber, Elle Darby, had the “audacity” to privately email a hotel, the Charleville Lodge Hotel, and ask for accommodations in exchange for “exposure” of their property. The property owner, Paul Stenson, clapped back by not only refusing and ostracizing her but doing it publicly on the establishment’s social media channels.  Therein lies the snafu and now, in response to Influencer backlash, he has banned all influencers from his establishment.

Obviously, I am being facetious. If you have worked in this space for any amount of time, at least in the United States, you know this is a common practice. Not necessarily that all influencers cold pitch businesses to ask for product in exchange for promotion. That’s a bold move and to do that, you need to have some serious confidence and influence to back it up. Seasoned influencers know this. We also know if you don’t ask, it’s always a no but there is always a chance of a no and it does not feel good, even in private.

Just to put this in perspective, brands and PR firms have absolutely no qualms about reaching out to influencers on a daily basis and asking us to work for free, for “exposure” (I keep putting this in quotes because I find it simultaneously hilarious and insulting because I can’t feed my children “exposure” and if I am spending my time away from my family working on promoting a brand, I need to be compensated) or for product. I prefer cash because that’s how I pay my bills but if the product/event is something that I am interested in and the value is equivalent to what I charge for work, then I definitely do consider it. Everything is negotiable except for my opinion, which is honest and if not positive, I always give the brand the option to opt out of the post going live. You know, the whole if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all thing.

I’ve been pitched, in the early days, to write positive reviews on products without even being provided the product. Obviously, I didn’t do that because I can’t tell you about or promise a positive review on a product that I’ve never tried. Also, crafting a well-written post, editing photos, creating video and promoting on social media all takes time and effort. No one would expect a marketing executive or an advertising firm to work for free, why would you expect an influencer to work for free?

First, I think a couple things need to be defined in this space. Why does anyone care if I (an influencer) promote a brand? How do I influence anyone? Why does my opinion matter? For any of this to make sense, you have to understand what being an influencer means.

What is an influencer?

A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

Why does this matter?

Using social media influencers in your marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you. Whether an influencer’s audience is small or large, an influencer can reach consumers via their blogs and social networks that your brand may not be able to.

You see while some influencers may have little influence, some have a huge influence. It’s about more than numbers, it’s about engagement, credibility and connecting with your audience. If an influencer has developed a following over time and that audience has become invested in that influencer’s life, they do care what that influencer has to say, in the same way they might value a friend’s opinion over a brand’s commercial. Of course, there has to be taken into consideration the influencer’s integrity. Are they going to give an unbiased review? That really depends on the influencer.

After years of influencers being approached by brands to work in exchange for hosting, attending events and product we know that this is common practice. It is not unreasonable or even rare for an influencer to make this ask in return. In fact, many venues/events have media inquiry pages with forms just for this sort of ask.

I am fully aware that it sounds sketchy and maybe even entitled when you randomly find out about this practice from a salacious story on the Internet about a ghastly influencer who dared ask for something like this. Pay your own way, you think. But that’s because the general population is not aware of these practices in the digital space. I can tell you, and any brand will agree, it is easier to get paid $20000 in product than it is to get paid $1000 in cash but sometimes you don’t want $20K worth of kidney beans or bras or baby toys. That has everything to do with budgets and write-offs for the companies.

Again, if you work in this space, you already know all of this but the average person does not. My brother still doesn’t understand how “the internet” pays me. I think he thinks checks fall from the sky out of thin air. I tried to explain it once but his eyes glazed over and I could see he was hearing the Charlie Brown “Wah wah wah wah” thing. So I gave up but not today, Satan.

Elle Darby, who I had no prior knowledge of before this story blew up was just trying to “live her best life” (Generation Z you make my chuckle) working with what her mama gave her. We influencers know that if a company isn’t willing or doesn’t have the budget to pay us so we can pay for those things we need to live, it’s perfectly acceptable to (what I call) work for food, or in this case a holiday. The end result is the same.

We promote their brand to our audience (which is usually their target audience because we do our research) and in exchange they provide us with a good or service that we would have bought with the money had they paid us. We’re the new pioneers. It’s called bartering. It was the original form of payment. Google it. I’m kidding…don’t Google it. I’m sure people paid for goods and service with rocks or some shit a long time ago in caveman days

The problem is the person who did the clapping back is a skilled shit stirrer. Elle Darby made one fatal mistake and that was of asking the wrong person, Paul Stenson. The wrong person got her email or rather since he is the owner, she should have googled him before she emailed and then she would have known better.

Don’t get me wrong, full disclosure, I went to his blog and Paul Stenson is funny AF and I quite enjoy the wit and honesty, with which he writes. He gives his truth and doesn’t give a flying flick what anyone else thinks, generally, I admire that quality in a human being. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and I think that may be why he was so annoyed by the Youtuber’s gall to ask for this hosting in exchange for her work. I don’t know for sure but his blog seems like a personal blog and maybe he doesn’t work as an influencer for his own blog. After all, he has owns The White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge that I’m assuming his salary is in cash money. Lucky bastard.

Here is where my problem stems from, the message Paul Stenson posted on FB along with his message (both below) were not coming from his personal account but from the business account which was very unprofessional. He could have simply replied with a, “No, thank you.” No harm, no foul.

Had Mr. Stenson did the same thing from his personal account, that would simply be his opinion but as he did it as a representative of the resort and released a private business email then proceeded to chastise Ms. Darby over standard practice on behalf of the establishment, reflects very poorly on his establishment. I don’t think he’s a bad person, I just think he did a social media f*ck up under his business account. He should have hashtagged that shit #hacked.

 

Paul Stenson, Elle Darby, Elly Darby, The White Moose Cafe, Charleville Lodge, Dublin, Ireland, influencer, social media influencer, ban

 

Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),

Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity. 

If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay? The laundering of your bed sheets? The water rates? Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?

Lucky for us, we too have a significant social media following. We have 186k followers on our two Facebook pages, an estimated 80k on our Snapchat, 32k on Instagram and a paltry 12k on our Twitter, but Jesus Christ, I would never in a million years ask anyone for anything for free. I also blog a bit which as far as I’m aware is another way of saying “write stuff on the internet”. The above stats do not make me any better than anyone else or afford me the right to not pay for something everyone else has to pay for.

In future, I’d advise you to offer to pay your way like everyone else, and if the hotel in question believes your coverage will help them, maybe they’ll give you a complimentary upgrade to a suite. This would show more self-respect on your part and, let’s face it, it would be less embarrassing for you. Here is a little video I produced which you may learn from. (just Google it)

Best regards, 

Paul Stenson

P.S. The answer is no.

And Paul Stenson isn’t changing his mind anytime soon. Of course, now that I see this tweet, I feel a little skeptical about the entire situation. Was it all a media stunt for publicity? Maybe the two did collaborate, after all?

 

Paul Stenson, Elle Darby, Elly Darby, The White Moose Cafe, Charleville Lodge, Dublin, Ireland, influencer, social media influencer, ban

 

I do have to say, Ms. Darby’s “over 30” reference left a bad taste in my mouth too but let’s chalk it up to youth.

Either way, what are your thoughts on this situation who do you side with the Elle Darby or Paul Stenson?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
conquer, word of the year, words, how to live with intent

Every year, for the last few years anyway, it has been popular to choose a “word of the year“. A word to guide you, subconsciously fill up all the air around you and permeate your every action and allow you put it into the universe and manifest your destiny. I like the idea because words are what I do. Writing is how I process and move through life. Words are everything to me and predicate everything I do, whether I planned it or not. It’s who I am. I am a writer.

This year, I chose not a word of the year but words because words matter to me and I believe that we do manifest what we put out into the world, whether it be by thought, word or action.

I believe they go hand in hand and where one goes, the others will follow.

This time it wasn’t so much about a word of the year but more of an idea. This year isn’t about resolutions so much as intention. It’s not about black and white, there is no room for absolutes. I have goals and intentions for this year but they are more about the kind of life I want to live and not so much about hard fast boxes to mark off. If that makes sense?

My word of the year for 2018 is “conquer” by my definition.

Conquer: To successfully overcome with intent and purpose.

My supporting words, my words of intent to help me get to conquer in my best possible way?  Grace, bold, brave, out of my comfort zone, growth and abundance.

I picked these words because I want to grow in all aspects of my life and I want to grow abundantly beyond my comfort zone. And all this I want to do boldly with grace and bravery. I need to break my own glass ceiling, conquer my fears and the limitations that I have put on myself and go for it. That’s always been my problem. I put myself in a box. I want out of the box. I put it there, so I believe I can remove these shackles. It starts with changing the way I approach things.

I have always believed that where there is a will, there is a way. I don’t believe in outside factors being able to stop me. They may detour my path but no one else can stop me from getting to where I want to go. It is me; my procrastination, my fear, my self-doubt, my preference for quitting rather than being rejected that has gotten me stagnate. It’s the voice of being undeserving that overwhelms me and freezes me into not pushing past my comfort zone but I want to move past it. What I want lies beyond where I have allowed myself to dream, so I am pushing towards the unknown. pushing through my own fears and self-doubt to get there. Working my ass off to learn what I don’t know and get myself there.

Which leads me to my next decision, if the answer is not a loud siren-like, “Hell, yeah!!!” then I am going to say no. I am tired of bending and pulling my life in 27 different directions, wearing me too thin for things I don’t really care about. I want to put 1000% towards the things that do matter to me and not waste any time or energy on those things that don’t matter to me. In doing this, I want to pay it forward or laterally or however you want to see it, and share opportunities that are not for me on to others who might be everything to them.

I want to work and live with intent. There has to be a purpose for everything, even if that purpose is just pure joy. That is still a purpose but I want there to be intent in all of my actions.

When I first thought of “conquer” as my word, I wasn’t sure because it sounds a bit too aggressive but considering that the first word that came to mind was “revolt” I guess it’s a better choice. The thing is I don’t mind being aggressive in my pursuit of my dreams but I don’t want to be abrasive. There is a difference between being strong-willed and determined and being confrontational for the sake of causing conflict. Life doesn’t have to be hard all the time. I just learned that. Life is beautiful and malleable and can be whatever we want to make of it. Happiness is different for all of us. Conquer is what is going to bring me to my happiness. 2018 for me is going to be the year of the word.

What word of intent is going to bring you to your happiness? What is your word of the year?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
What would anissa do, Anissa Mayhew, Aiming Low, online friends, rest in peace

Yesterday, as I was laying on a beach watching my daughters frolic in the surf , a gentle, quiet happiness settled on my soul. The kind that can only be found in moments of calm simplicity. Those that are so few and far between in everyday life that we hardly even expect them. Then, I glanced at my Facebook page and my joy hit over the head with a brick and left in its place profound sadness.

I read the news that, my friend, Anissa Mayhew had died. I don’t have all the facts. I don’t know what exactly stole this woman that I respected and admired from this world. The point is moot because the result is the same; a bright light has gone out.

You see, Anissa was the first person who ever asked me to write professionally. If you’re not a freelance writer it’s hard to describe so I’ll say it like this, imagine the 1 thing you love to do in this world, then imagine there is someone who not only appreciates it, reads it, comments and tells you that you’re talented but then offers to give you actual money to be able to share your talent with the world! She gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion and chase my dreams, when I had no idea what that looked like or how to get there. She gave to me hope and inspiration like she did for so many others, not with just her words but with what she did.

What would anissa do, Anissa Mayhew, Aiming Low, online friends, rest in peace

Anissa and I met online through social media and blogging and one day, she offered me a place (besides my own site) to be as bold and silly with my true voice as I wanted to be. In fact, she encouraged it. She hired me to write for Aiming Low and it felt like being selected to be a part of the online version of SNL. I was not only humbled by her request, I was honored. Through my time at Aiming Low, I really got to know Anissa and see her for the force of nature she truly was. 

If you are a fellow Aiming Lower, you know what a magical group of people it was and you know it was carefully curated by Anissa; a woman who saw something special in each of us and our voice in this world. She had a knack for telling it like it was and doing it with complete love.

She loved me for my crazy, even when she knew how deep the crazy ran. That’s the kind of person she was. She was good and she was real and she saw that in others. She also had no qualms about calling an asshole an asshole and you have to respect that. She built me up before I even I believed in me.  

She gave me permission to own my funny and all of my stories, no matter how big or small. But more than that she made me part of her magical, insanely kooky Aiming Low family. She gave me the gift of my people and I’ll always love her for that.

What would anissa do, Anissa Mayhew, Aiming Low, online friends, rest in peace

I’m sad. I’m truly fucking gutted. When I was sobbing on the beach, full on ugly crying. I’m sure someone YouTubed it. I’m also 1000% sure Anissa would have loved to have seen that video. She probably would have shared it? Laughed and sent me a message that said,”Debi, stop being such s little bitch!”

I loved Anissa for her giant heart, wicked sense of humor and that smile that only she could give that let you know it was all okay. She taught me that life is hard and so what, get over it. Get your shit together and get through it. There was something special about her way of looking at the world and the way she loved her people. And boy, did she love her people. If you are one of the lucky ones to have been loved by her, you know, she had you back….your front and your side, all the way. 

I hate that the world has gotten in the way and none of us have been as connected as we once were because life and kids and the mundane shit of real everyday life but the love was always still there. I’ll miss Anissa more than words can convey. I hope she’s enjoying all the bacon someplace with really fine men fanning her with palms. I think she’d like that, especially if they smell of bacon.

What would anissa do, Anissa Mayhew, Aiming Low, online friends, rest in peace

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling like from now on we get back to 2009 blogging. When you write ask yourself, what would Anissa do? And just write from your heart, comment like it matters, make connections, talk and care about more than just who will pay you the most to promote their product. Remember what we do counts… the human connections are real and far-reaching. Our words have weight and how we interact/ the way we care/love/laugh that’s part of our legacy. That’s how we’ll be remembered.

Thank you, Anissa, for giving me the balls to continue living my truth even when it wasn’t popular, the friendship to keep going during the excruciatingly hard times and for making all of us misfits feel like snowflakes, even when you had your own shit going on.

I could talk for days about how amazing Anissa was. I know many of us share similar stories and I hope that you will share your favorite moments about/with Anissa in the comments below. I want to reconnect with all of you because one thing Anissa’s passing has taught me is that life is too short.

But mostly, I want to send all of my love and prayers to Peter Mayhew and Anissa’s 3 beautiful children who she loved so very much. You’re in our thoughts.

6 comments
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
Intuit Quickbooks, self-employment, freelancer

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.

Are you self-employed? In today’s digital world, more and more people are working as freelancers, contractors and quite frequently, remotely. Brick and mortar businesses are quickly becoming obsolete dinosaurs. With the Internet, many jobs can be done online from anywhere in the world.

It’s not like when our parents were starting their families. Moms don’t have to stay home with kids (unless they want to) and dads don’t have to leave the house for a traditional 9-5 corporate job because now, almost everything we can do in an office, we can do from home, and it costs less overhead for the company. Not to mention, it’s a savings for the employee because you’ve eliminated the cost of gas, lunch and even a car.

The fact is that today many of us do work from home and with contract work and freelancer gigs, that freedom, has a price. we have to figure out the logistics of the accounting; not only doing the work but filing the invoices, following up for payment, keeping track of receipts and, on top of all of that, we have to make sure that we are setting aside the right amount for taxes. It’s a lot a work but totally worth it to be your own boss.

With a lot of hard work, dedication and a great accounting software, being your own boss doesn’t have to be a dream; it can be a reality. Honestly, who doesn’t want to be their own boss? But you have to take yourself and your business seriously. Just because you are not working in an office, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be professional.

Since I am self-employed and I make most of my income freelancing, keeping track of invoices and receipts for business costs is an absolute nightmare. My secret weapon is good accounting software. Intuit QuickBooks is a game changer when it comes to keeping track of your hard-earned money whether you are self-employed or just want to be in control of your finances.

Why Intuit QuickBooks, you ask? Let me count the ways.

• The Intuit QuickBooks Resource Center has free resources for starting, running and growing your business which is awesome when you are trying to manage running the financial aspect of a growing business.

• There are in depth guides, free tools, helpful articles, and even videos to help you succeed.

• The Intuit QuickBooks Resource center is not just for small/medium businesses, but also the self-employed, freelancers, creatives, like myself.

• And one of my personal favorite resources is A Woman’s One Stop Resource for Starting and Financing a business.

Intuit QuickBooks Resource Center features or articles that can definitely be helpful to you.

a. Free self-employment tax calculator for self-employed people to figure out how much they need to pay for self-employment tax. This is an important one, you do not want that surprise when doing your taxes. Believe me.

b. Article on 10 tax deductions every freelancer needs to know:

c. Users that use the automatic mileage tracking feature can save an average of $7,393 in tax deductions each year.

d. There is also a paycheck calculator for employers to figure out how much to pay their employees.

e. Free income statement (profit and loss statement) template, example, and guide.

If that isn’t enough to convince you that maybe Intuit QuickBooks is something your business needs, here are some quick facts about Intuit QuickBooks to make your life as a freelancer so much easier.

1. Intuit QuickBooks is the #1 accounting solution for small businesses.
2. Intuit QuickBooks users save an average of 11 hours per month.
3. Intuit QuickBooks users find on average $4,350 at tax time by linking expenses and receipts on their phone.
4. Customers agree that Intuit QuickBooks gives them peace of mind their books are accurate.
5. Customers are more efficient and productive with Intuit QuickBooks.
6. Intuit QuickBooks Online customers find an average of $4340 at tax time by linking expenses and receipts on their phone.

You work so hard for your money, shouldn’t it be easier to keep track of it? For more information visit Intuit QuickBooks on Facebook and on Instagram.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.

1 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
freelancing, how to file taxes as a freelancer, TaxSlayer, taxes

 Thank you TaxSlayer for sponsoring this post. Get simple pricing with no surprises when you e-file with TaxSlayer this tax season!

The life of a freelancer is one of excitement. Seriously, you never know from one week to the next what your income will be for that day, week, month or even year. You can set goals but sometimes you exceed them and others, you fall short.
Some people might call that nerve wrecking. I call it hustle motivation. I’ve never done anything the easy way. I like forging my own path but let’s not get silly, I don’t like making things harder than they need to be. Though I’ll admit, figuring out how to file taxes as a freelancer was difficult in the beginning.

For me, freelancing was an answer to the dilemma of how to be in two places at once; at work and with my children. After giving birth to our first daughter, I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I knew that I wanted to be very hands-on and, lucky for us, we could survive on one income as a 3-person family. That worked for a minute until we got pregnant again and suddenly, we needed that extra income. Babies aren’t free, ya’ll.

freelancing, how to file taxes as a freelancer, TaxSlayer, taxes

I learned real fast that babies burn through money at an alarming rate and when there are two, they go through it twice as fast. I took a job tutoring college students in English and editing college research papers online. It really was perfect but it reminded me how much I truly loved writing myself, and my daughters provided more material than I could have possibly imagined. It seemed like they were always getting into one thing or another so after a couple years of blogging on the side, I was able to quit my tutoring job and focus on freelance writing exclusively.

This gave me the freedom to work from home while staying home with my girls. I had the best of both worlds. I never had to miss a recital, match, meet or dance. I didn’t get much sleep in those days because work-from-home mom is code for most exhausted woman on the planet but we were all so happy, I didn’t care.

freelancing, how to file taxes as a freelancer, TaxSlayer, taxes

That’s where I am still today, blissfully exhausted doing what I love while getting to spend time with the people that I love. Being a freelance writer is a dream come true in most aspects but it can be a little trying at tax time because when you’re a freelancer, taxes are not withheld from your check. I used to joke with my husband that it was “free money”, you know, like in college when they were handing out credit cards in the quad with t-shirts to anyone willing to take them? Credit card money isn’t real money, right? WRONG!

It’s awesome getting your entire paycheck until you actually do your taxes and realize that you need to come up with thousands of dollars in a short amount of time because you owe the government. Then it’s not so awesome not having taxes withheld. Freelancing is an act of restraint. For me, it took a few times for the lesson to take. I’ve finally learned.

freelancing, how to file taxes as a freelancer, TaxSlayer, taxes

Here are a few easy, practical tips that I’ve learned over the years to make doing taxes as painless as possible so that you can enjoy your life with the people you love;

Receipts: Keep your business receipts in a safe place. Don’t crumple them up in jacket pockets and in car consoles. Have a designated place for those receipts and if you are really thinking ahead, I like to write exactly what I used it for (which post) because believe me on April 14th, they all look the same. If possible, I highly recommend digitally scanning all receipts in ASAP.

Know Your Deductions: As a freelancer, you really need those deductions to off set the amount you will owe, especially with all that “free money” floating around. Remember, you can deduct things like your home office up to 300 feet at $5 per SQ foot, domain and web hosting, telephone and internet expenses, legal and professional services to maintain your website, education (all those online courses that you bought to improve your SEO), office supplies and equipment and even a percentage of business meals and so many more. Oh and don’t forget about these Top 5 overlooked deductions.

Put money in a designated business banking account: My personal suggestion is to have business savings and checking accounts. All that “free money” that should be withheld in taxes, be smart, put it in that savings account and let it gain some interest. Take the rest and put it into your business checking account. Then, not only do you have your business earned money readily available to you, you will have a digital trail of what you spent. You might need that for reference later.

We normally do our own taxes at home. TaxSlayer helps me to navigate my complex freelance tax issues and allows me to file my taxes from the comfort of my own home. With TaxSlayer, you choose your level of service, everything else is included. TaxSlayer offers free live phone and e-mail support to all customers. It’s simple and affordable. TaxSlayer has over 50 years of tax preparation experience. It is the total package. File now at TaxSlayer.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions about how to file your taxes as a freelancer expressed here are all my own.

1 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail
Newer Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More