Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Notes For Bloggers Who Go On Vacation: Use Your Blog To Turn A Vacation Into A Business Expense.

First I want to make it clear that this IS NOT professional financial, legal, or even useable information to ALL bloggers. Your state, country, or content of your blog may not allow you to take advantage of the following:

Recently I went on a vacation to Walt Disney World In Orlando Florida.

From the very start of planning (which was very last minute) I had planned to take notes while on my vacation so as to post a review here on my website. For what reasons?

1) I found that not many reviews of Disney World or vacation planning were personal ... they are all set up to bring in hits to sell something (like a $19.95 Guide to Disney) on their website.

2) I felt like I would have a unique point of view concerning my trip ... I hope you got something different out of my review/guide to Disney (see below if you have not read them).

3) I knew that a review would bring me a heavily Googled "keyword" (Disney) that would appear in my ADsense bar - thus spiking ADsense revenue and draw in hits. (I'm not trying to make money off of the reviews, but none the less it does generate revenue and hits)

4) I made my review topical to this blog which covers eBay & Apple drama in a collective op-ed kind of way. I made note of the Apple Keyboard at the HP Sponsored ride; Mission Space at Epcot and the Apple PowerBook 145b (shown as a vision of the future in the year 2010) on Spaceship Earth.

5) While I bring in next to nothing in revenue for this blog - the revenue does get reported on my taxes. Any review that I do or subject that I talk about (that was of expense to me) is a legitimate business expense. (* see note above) I was actually paid to go on this trip and I actually performed a service while on this trip; that of babysitting and as vacation planner and tour guide. I have my taxes set up as two businesses: My Apple Consulting/Sales/Service business & A business called Phil's Services. Phil's Services covers the revenue I receive from odd jobs that I do. I consider this blog (because it does bring in revenue) an odd job. I am also paid for babysitting at other times during a tax year for my brother and friends (including dogsitting / boarding). This too is considered revenue and ANY expense I incur while performing these services is a legitimate business expense.

Now ... I can't take off most of the expenses from a trip, but I can take off things like parking, gas, some food, and other expenses that relate or are similar to other expenses that I itemize on my taxes.

I also discuss my business, my blog, and Apple Computer/eBay regularly with just about every one ... so realistically I consider SOME of those expenses consulting and or business / strategy planning just like some CEOs take a day at the golf course off their taxes.

If you do go on vacation - it is best to go with a group (friends/neighbors) and it's best if you are going to be writing about it to have the group use you as a clearing house for all funds during the trip. Also, if you can work out a payment as a vacation planner, a babysitter, or a tour guide - this also helps legitimize your purpose as doing a job while you were on vacation. It will also give you some additional substance for your review.

Here is a great article about what to do with your BLOG while on vacation with tips like having a "Guest blogger" in your place while gone or "making advance posts" or having a "look back".

What To do With Your Blog When You Take A Vacation

Remember, if you compensate a guest blogger this could also be a legitimate business expense / tax deduction.

My review of DisneyWorld Florida can be found in these 3 posts:

Doing Disney! The Ultimate Review & Tip Guide To All Things Disney World! Part I: Tickets!

Doing Disney! The Ultimate Review & Tip Guide To All Things Disney World! Part II: Budgeting Your Time, Money, & Psyche!

Doing Disney! The Ultimate Review & Tip Guide To All Things Disney World! Part III: Observations.

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