Let’s Talk About Disclosures

I’m sure you’ve seen disclosures on blogs. They tell you that there are affiliate links, or if it’s a sponsored post, things like that. They’re very important to have and can help keep you out of legal trouble. Bottom line is you always want to be open and upfront with your followers.

In the spirit of disclosures, I have to tell you that I’m not a legal expert in any way. All that you’ll see here has come from various places, including here. I give that blogger credit for the title of this as well.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees consumer affairs and has laws in place to protect us from false, unfair, or misleading advertizing. With the explosion of blogging, YouTube, etc, they want to make sure everyone is playing on a level playing field. That means you want to be sure you’re not doing anything wrong, or that anyone could assume you have more authority than you do. That’s just part of it, but it’s a start.

Since many people actually do  make money blogging now, the FTC released .com Disclosures. How Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising in 2013 and endorsement guidelines in 2009.

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You always need to use disclosures if for no other reason than it’s the law. I think that’s a pretty good reason, don’t you? You need to let your readers know That you’ve gotten paid or have some vested interest in a product. That you’re not just excited to tell them about something you’ve tried.

Put your disclosure near the ad or at the beginning of your post. Especially if it’s a sponsored post. You want people knowing right up front. If you have affiliate links in your post, make sure you mention that somewhere near the link.

This is a very brief discussion of disclosures. For a more in depth view, visit the link in the second paragraph. Jackie does a great job of explaining it all!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Big things are coming very soon!

~Nancy

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Yes,You Have to Pay Taxes on Your Etsy Shop

Thinking about opening an Etsy shop along with your blog? Or even separate from that, for that matter. Well, don’t think you’ll get away from the government wanting their share! Etsy is a small business and as such, it provides income. Income=income taxes!

I know taxes evoke fear in the hearts of the strongest of men (and women) but it doesn’t have to be a scary thing.The first thing you need to do is to be sure you keep good records. The most basic way would be an old fashioned ledger. Track what you spend on your materials, as well as how much you make per item. An Excel Spreadsheet would do the same thing, just higher tech. From there you could try any number of financial apps or websites. Since I’m just starting my shop, I’ve been looking into this. I came across a site that looks interesting and I plan to check into it more. It’s Craftybase. Worth checking into. No, that’s not an affiliate link. It’s just a suggestion. No money being made right there!

The following is just information that I’ve learned. I don’t guarantee it. I’m not a financial professional in any way. The main thing I’ve seen in my research is just about everyone suggests you find an accountant to handle your taxes. This is one place you don’t want to cut corners, especially if your shop is making some serious money.

The Nitty Gritty

First off there are Federal Income Taxes. You know about those! Your Etsy income is considered ‘self-employment income’ and therefor you will need to file a Schedule C: Profit or Loss From Business. You may also be subject to self-employment tax and required to file a Schedule SE Self Employment Tax. Don’t let all that scare you. The IRS website is very user friendly. Just as your employer pays your taxes throughout the year, you will also need to do this. Check out Estimated Taxes on the IRS website for more information and help with keeping your small business tax-legal with the fed. Also, there is great advice in the seller handbook on Etsy. That’s been a great help to me so far. State income tax and the rules and requirements vary by state so check your state department of taxation for your specific area.

You’ll also need to deal with sales tax, of course. Generally, you need to collect sales tax from buyers who live in the state where you have a presence. For example, I live in Ohio. I will need to collect sales tax from any buyers who live in Ohio. For more information on this, you could check out Sales Tax Institute. Also, another good place to find sales tax info specific to Etsy is the Etsy sellers handbook. I can’t say enough about that. There’s a lot of information there.

I didn’t delve into a lot here but I hope I helped you out some! Remember, I’m not a financial professional so I don’t want to steer you wrong! None of the links on here are sponsored or affiliate links. I received no payment for any of them.

I would love to hear from you! I’m planning to talk about disclosures on your blog as my next topic. Please give suggestions on what else you’d like me to cover!

The next few days will be spent crafting new items for my shop as well as a baseball game on Saturday! Yay summer! I’ll be back on Sunday! Happy weekend everyone!

~ Nancy

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How Not to Set up Your Blog

Oh the past week has been so fun! Sense the tone.I found out a week ago that my blog isn’t hosted on Host Gator, like I thought it was. And like I paid for. I called them to try to get that straightened out and they advised me I needed to contact WordPress. Nothing against WordPress. It’s the best there is. To contact them you have send an email. I wasn’t the least bit happy about that. I’m a ‘talk on the phone’ kind of person. Anyway, I emailed them and heard back really fast. Totally impressed. What I didn’t realize is that when you purchase a domain you can’t move it to another host for 60 days. That’s not a WordPress rule. It goes for every domain host. WordPress advised I could ‘point my name server’ to Host Gator. I tried that. It didn’t work. I’m not sure why exactly but here’s my theory. I’m posting this here so that you can avoid this in your quest to set up a blog.

When setting up the blog, I went to WordPress.com and purchased a domain name. I then went to Host Gator and signed up for hosting, not knowing about the 60 day rule. I went through the process of setting up a WordPress blog on Host Gator. It was a few days later that I realized the two things were not linked and the domain name had nothing to do with the blog on Host Gator. (Are you still with me?) I think this is why I wasn’t able to point the domain name there. It was already there. Half set up.

So, I pointed the name servers back to WordPress and that’s where I’ll be for another 4 weeks or so. Live and learn, I suppose! The bottom line is my web address won’t change.

So, that’s the blog side of my business! In the meantime, I’ve been playing around making things and planning what will be sold on my Etsy store! Check it out here! There is very little there so far but more to come soon, I promise! I’ll have a lot of nice gift items for home, children, and babies, too! Please favorite my shop so you can check back easily.

In the meantime, is there any part of setting up a blog and an Etsy business that you would like me to address here?

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Moving right along…

This morning I’m working on my logo (which you’ll see on the front page) for this site as well as Etsy. I’ve gone back and forth between just the name and the name with a thumbprint. So far, I’m sticking with just the name. All the articles and books I’ve read have said simple is better. It is easy to read and understand. Easier to remember. Think of Nike, Apple, etc…they’re simple logos  you’d recognize anywhere.

This is a much more daunting process than I expected. I want to do it right. Take my time and set this blog and my Etsy shop up to succeed. I’ve heard of people getting their wares on Etsy and barely being able to keep up with the orders! I hope that happens soon after ‘official launch’!

In the meantime, check out mgthumbprints on Etsy!