Employee Vs. Contractor: The Costly Issue of Employment Misclassification

Many legal issues can arise from the nuances of business and employment law. It is common for companies just starting out to have more contractor relationships since it means you do not need to provide benefits like vacation, holiday, or sick pay. It is also true that you are not required to pay certain taxes and insurances associated with regular employees nor are you responsible for overtime pay rates.

Other ways an independent contractor (IC) differs from an employee

  • A contractor is considered self-employed
  • ICs are not provided certain protections that employees receive under the law
  • They only have rights as a supplier
  • ICs may or may not retain the rights to their work product
  • Income is reported to the IRS via a 1099 (not a W-2)

Misclassification of Workers

The biggest issue arising from employment law in this area is the failure of the organization to accurately classify their workers. The Department of Labor recently issued an interpretation of the FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act to say that it is the nature of the relationship that matters, not the title and not the contractual (paper) specifications. In other words, if you treat your independent contractors like employees, they will be considered as such, under the law.

The IRS is another government entity which is concerned with the misclassification of workers, particularly since there are specific payroll obligations such as withholding requirements and contributions to FICA and Social Security. According to IRS

3.4 million employees are classified as independent contractors when they should be reported as employees.

In addition, there are state government labor laws that can impact the rights of employers and contractors.

Serious and Costly Penalties

The ramifications of misclassifying a worker can be costly. If the IRS, DoL or state agency receives a complaint, they will conduct an investigation. If they find misclassification did occur they will seek to determine whether it was intentional/ fraudulent or unintentional.

Penalties for Unintentional Misclassification (In addition to state penalties)

  • $50 fine for each Form W-2 the employer failed to file
  • Penalties of 1.5% of the wages earned
  • 40% of the FICA (Social Security plus Medicare) taxes that were not withheld from the employee
  • 100% of the matching FICA
  • Interest accrued on these penalties is assessed from the date of each violation
  • The penalty for failure to pay equal to 0.5% of the unpaid tax liability for each month (up to 25% of the total liability)

Penalties for Intentional or Fraudulent (Not including state agencies)

In addition to the above fees and penalties, the IRS can impose additional criminal penalties, in the case of fraud.

  • $1,000 per misclassified worker
  • 1 year in prison
  • Personal liability for any amount deemed uncollectible from the business entity.

What IS the Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor?

Because it is such a serious offense the DoL and IRS have sought to thoroughly define the relationship standards it uses to differentiate an independent contractor from an employee. They have designated three categories in which the criteria for an employment relationship is established.

Behavioral Controls

  • Employees – must follow instructions given by the employer as to when, where, and how they perform their work.
  • ICs – set own hours, decide how to perform their job, or complete the project. The business reviews the finished project.
  • The more detailed the instructions are that are given to the worker, the more the relationship resembles that of an employer/employee. This is seen as an exercise in control the business has over workers.
  • Less detailed instruction, therefore, reflects less control. This indicates that the worker is more fits the role of a contractor.
  • If an evaluation system is in place to measure the details of how the work is being performed, this indicates an employer/employee relationship.
  • If the system for evaluation is just the end result, then you could be either an IC or employee.
  • Employees attend classes, meetings, and may be closely supervised during on-the-job to training.
  • Independent contractors are able to perform the work as they choose to complete the job.

Financial Controls

  • Employees are generally not required to invest in the facility and do not supply equipment.
  • ICs invest in their own workplace, equipment, and supplies.
  • Independent contractors are more likely to have unreimbursed expenses than are employees.
  • Employees may also incur unreimbursed expenses, however, on a more limited basis.
  • The P&L of the company doesn’t change the regular pay that its employees earn.
  • ICs can experience profit or loss based on factors such as time spent working on the project.
  • Employees, in general, have one employer.
  • Independent contractors may provide services to an unlimited amount of companies consecutively.
  • Employees are paid with regularity at specific intervals and may be reimbursed business expenses.
  • The independent contractor and business determine how payment is to be made as part of a contract for services. Expenses may be paid for by the business or unreimbursed.

Type of Relationship

  • A contract itself is not enough to determine the status of a relationship.
  • The IRS may not follow the contract which states the worker is an independent contractor and responsible for paying self-employment tax — if the relationship bears otherwise.
  • The working relationship of the parties is the single determining factor when deciding whether a worker is an employee or contractor.
  • Employees receive benefits including insurance, pensions, vacation days, sick days, and disability coverage.
  • While independent contractors do not typically receive these benefits, the lack of benefits does not mean the worker is an IC.
  • Employees have ongoing employment.
  • ICs are hired for a specific project. When that job completes, so does the working relationship.
  • Often an employee provides services that are a key aspect of the business, which gives the business the right to direct or control the worker’s activities. This is not typical of a contractor relationship.

For many businesses, hiring independent contractors is an attractive and common sense approach. However, don’t make the mistake of believing it to be a simple way of avoiding certain costs. The government has made it clear that it takes enforcement seriously. Violations can be costly, even devastating to your business. Because this is an issue regulated by several agencies, it can be very complex. It is important to accurately classify your employees and independent contractors. The best practice is having separate approaches to the management of both these valuable asset types. Keep in mind the differences and follow the guidelines for reporting income to avoid the pitfalls that can sideline your growing business.


Why Content Works and How to Include it in Your Marketing Strategy

Pamela Shows – Darn Fine Copy

One of the main questions most business owners ask themselves about daily is, “what type of outreach will allow my business to stay relevant and thrive?”

When you think about the constant flood of ads and marketing consumers are exposed to, it seems almost impossible to draw attention.

According to one market research study, every person online is exposed to more than 5,000 advertisements each day!

By year’s end, global advertisers will have spent around $600 billion. In the U.S., this amounts to $189 billion in advertising;

Yankelovich estimates that three decades ago a person living in a large metro area saw around 2,000 ads a day. When compared to the 5,000 that are seen today, it is no surprise that most consumers feel advertising is out of control.

And now, due to technology like ad blockers, traditional advertising methods are largely useless. A 2015 report co-authored by PageFair and Adobe, an estimated $21.8 billion, was lost in ad revenues. Here in the U.S., that loss will reach $20.3 billion this year.

But, for most of us, this isn’t really shocking.

Traditional marketing campaigns tend to focus too much on the consumer purchase. And today’s consumers are suffering from The Three Stooges of Marketing Fatigue: Leery, Weary, and Woe.

People Want Helpful Information on Their Own Terms; This is Why Content Is King

So, this begs the question, what is there left to do? How do you reach your targeted audience at precisely the right moment to stand out from the crowd? And more importantly, how do you combat consumer cynicism?

First, you go where your consumers are. You seek to inform and serve them in a quietly persuasive way. Now, more than ever, it is important for brands to provide quality, helpful content that strikes a relevant audience and communicates who they are as a brand.

Dharmesh Shah says, “Instead of interrupting, try attracting.”

Article Writing + SEO Done Right

It is easy for readers to dismiss a pop-up add when trying to read solid informative content that they search for, is relevant to their journey. That is attractive.

Whether you go indie and hire your very own copywriter or use content platforms like BlogMutt to help you create custom content —from ideation through collaboration with great writers, you must make content an integral part of your strategy.

Finally, after you’re done producing this amazing content, it’s time to push it and take it viral. Marketing automation platforms like Hubspot are a powerful way to make inbound marketing a breeze.

Quality content is a crucial part of a successful marketing strategy.

The Bottom Line

Consumers are avoiding interruptive advertising like never before. Content marketing, including article writing and SEO, allows you to engage with your audience in a way that offers them value upfront. Promote your brand through quality, relevant information consumers desire —no strings attached —and you will win their business and their loyalty.

What Exactly is Inbound? And How to Make it Work for You

I’ve just been introduced to a friend of a friend when he asks me the obligatory, “so what do you do for a living?” Instead of just saying “marketing” or “freelancing” I reflexively answer, “inbound marketing.” The puzzled look on his face says it all.

I am always surprised when people —business owners and even marketers— do not know what inbound is or are, at the very least, unsure. The good news is, it prompted me to really think about a few things, that to be honest, I hadn’t thought about in a while; things like what my definition of inbound marketing is, how it began, who is leading this ship, and where is it headed?

What is Inbound Marketing?

First, I believe it is, hand’s down, the best way to turn an information seeker into a loyal customer (and your company’s biggest cheerleader). Technically, though, it is a business approach to reaching customers at any stage of the buying process by providing them with relevant content and information that helps to support their ultimate decision-making process. Therefore, it isn’t interruptive and salesy but rather focuses on their needs. Unlike other types of marketing, inbound helps clients find you through more engaging mediums like blogs, social media, and of course SEO.

Outbound marketing, which still has its place, reaches out to customers and must vie for their attention. As the “click open” rate of traditional email marketing decreased, marketing through the inbound channels increased.

The following five elements are included in most inbound marketing strategies:

1. High-value Authority Content.

Whether you create a white paper, essential guide or ebook, make this content available in exchange for an email sign-up. This in-kind exchange is the beginning of transactional relationship building.

2. Newsletter Content.

Another transactional relationship where in exchange for permission to e-mail your client you are providing valuable information, as well you are building trust —by promising to keep their email address and personal information to yourself.

3. Selective Keyword Optimization.

Many argue that keyword SEO is not as important as it once was, however, it cannot be ignored as part of a sound inbound marketing strategy. The key is to focus on fewer keywords that are most valuable to your goals. Create special pages on your website that highlight those keywords specifically, with quality well-written content.

4. Incorporate Social Media.

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Periscope, and Snapchat are just a few of the many social media channels —and the list grows weekly. Know where to find your target audience and engage them there. One of the biggest mistake brands make is not interacting with their customers via social media.

5. Content Content Content.

Blog posts, authority content, guest posts By creating content that addresses the specific pain points your customers are experiencing, you have the potential of not only winning their business but creating a real relationship, where your role is that of a trusted advisor. This type of content brings authority to your brand while building confidence and credibility.

Quick History of Inbound Marketing

The term “inbound marketing” was first used circa 2006, by HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan. However, Seth Godin first wrote about a type of “permission marketing” that included a lot of similar processes way back in 1999. I’m happy to let those guys duke it out for credit.

If you want to know the truth of the matter, in the late 1800s Sears and Roebuck did something that certainly bears a resemblance to what we think of today as inbound marketing. Each year the company sent out catalogs mostly to farmers that included tips, homespun advice, and best practice guides all the while tempting them with ads for farm implements, tools, clothing, and homesteading products they knew would be helpful and appealing.

As I stroll down marketing memory lane, need to mention the contributions of Regis McKenna; who is known for the popular adage, “marketing is everything.” In his 1999 book, “Relationship Marketing: Successful Strategies for the Age of the Customer,” he posited that an organization’s focus should be on satisfying its customers. This he assured would create lasting relationships over time. Many companies attempt this with a “customer is always right” policy, but fail to take it to the next level by facilitating those relationships.

Inbound Marketing Influencers & Thought Leaders

So, in addition to the pioneers, there are several more luminaries we look to when considering the current state and the future of inbound marketing.

Dharmesh Shah – The MIT grad and co-founder of HubSpot has said,

“Customers are usually very good at identifying their problems, not so much the solutions.” @dharmesh

I believe this is the very essence of inbound marketing. You must be equal parts empath and problem solver. In addition to his ongoing role at HubSpot, he is active in helping entrepreneurs and startups achieve success through his blog, www.OnStartups.com. Here, he actively addresses the pain points of his 500,000 followers, or as he calls them “community members.”

Neil Patel – He is one of the most sought-after consultants in marketing today. Luckily for us, we can gain from his valuable insights at his website, neilpatel.com, where he shares his process for “turning ice cold prospects into valuable customers,” you guessed it, through inbound marketing. One piece of advice I liked was,

“All content is not created equal. Some content will go viral, generating tons of hot traffic to your blog, while other content will be lost in the archives. If you want more of the first kind, you’ve got to put your readers first.” – @neilpatel

Rand Fishkin – CEO of the SEO mothership, MOZ, Fishkin hosts a jargon-busting videocast segment called Whiteboard Fridays. Here he explains the complexity of search engine optimization and marketing strategies in terms we can actually understand. He talks openly about his personal failures and successes, giving us an often humorous glimpse of the realities of modern marketing.

“I’ve come to recognize that SEO will always carry a rough reputation, much like ‘used car salesman’ or ‘wrongful injury attorney’ or ‘member of Congress. ‘” – @randfish

Guy Kawasaki – If you have ever heard of the term “evangelism marketing,” this is the guy responsible. No surprise that he got his start at the tech cult, um company, Apple, where he, in fact, held the position of “Chief Evangelist.” He now holds the same position at the company Canva. As well, he represents top brands like Mercedes.

“When you enchant people, your goal is not to make money from them or to get them to do what you want, but to fill them with great delight.” – @guykawasaki

Gary Vaynerchuk – Marketing guru, CEO, investor, serial entrepreneur, YouTube personality, and influencer are just of the few adjectives I can use to describe this guy. He started working in his family’s small wine business at the age of 14, and by the time he graduated from college he had grown that same business into a $60 million dollar enterprise.

“The incredible brand awareness and bottom-line profits achievable through social media marketing require hustle, heart, sincerity, constant engagement, long-term commitment, and most of all, artful and strategic storytelling.” – @garyvee

John Jantsch – He is like your favorite uncle who gives the best advice, ever. Always humble, he bills himself as “the world’s most practical speaker.” In reality, his NY Times bestselling book, “Duct Tape Marketing,” is packed full of actionable tips and real-life experiences that highlight the importance of building relationships and taking the time to know your customer, deeply. He takes the concept of inbound marketing to the next logical step, inbound selling.

“For companies to succeed, moving forward they not only have to be able to produce content but personalize it, turn it into stories, add insights client by client and deliver extreme value along the journey from awareness to referral.” – @ducttape

Inbound Marketing is Evolving

Things change so fast in this business; sometimes it is hard to determine which came first: the disruption or the egg. The fact is that whether consumers are driving technology or technology is driving them, we as marketers and business owners have to be agile and ready to adapt.

One factor that I haven’t actually mentioned is the silent third-party relationship you have with your customer. While Google and other lesser demons recognize the importance of content and in the “post-Panda” world, have somehow learned to acknowledge and reward quality content, they are still businesses. I hate to sound cynical, however, when organic SEO efforts fail, it may be time to consider paid SEM or Search Engine Marketing as a viable addition to your inbound marketing strategy.

This approach seems to be more and more necessary if you want to reach people with your message. We know our customers’ problems, we even feel their pain, we can help —respectfully with their permission. But not if they can’t find us. Fortunately, there are strategies available to extend your reach.

For example, it has been noted that frequency and freshness of content matter almost as much as its quality. I know what you are thinking —”I hardly have time to keep up with my measly one-blog-post-a-week schedule.” Me too!

Marketing automation platforms are a new technology that may be the perfect solution for reaching your target consumers wherever they are, with relevant content at precisely the right time.

As you continue to learn about all the components of inbound marketing and the ways it can turn a reluctant consumer into your company’s biggest fan. I hope you will reach out and let me know what you think. Is paid or sponsored advertising the next logical step? I’d love to hear your story and learn what your experience has been with various forms of marketing.

Bio: Pamela Shows is an inbound marketing strategist and freelance copywriter based in the Southeast United States. She has an extensive background in healthcare and business. You can connect with her at her website Darn Fine Copy.

Why Influencer Campaigns Work & How to Build An Influencer Persona

Research has shown that 87 percent of businesses plan to execute at least one influencer marketing campaign this year. If you aren’t quite sure whether this type of marketing is right for your business or if you aren’t even sure what it is, we encourage you to continue reading.

What is Influencer Marketing and Why Does it Work?

An influencer campaign is something between a review and a product endorsement. Generally, these campaigns feature users —who have a large number of fans, happily and successfully enjoying your product or service. Due to their subtle nature, they fit nicely with your inbound marketing strategies.

Traditional marketing is suffering due to increased consumer cynicism toward pushy outbound methodologies, the ability tune out traditional advertising. Consider the fact that 47 percent of online customers regularly use ad blockers to understand the power behind this strategy. Influencer campaigns offer social proof, something that is increasingly important to today’s consumers. Studies show that:

  • 88 percent of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a business, product, or service
  • 39 percent of consumers regularly read reviews
  • Only 12 percent of users do not utilize reviews
  • Who are the Influencers?

An influencer can be anyone from a celebrity, a social media icon to a thought leader, or expert in your field. They have often worked extremely hard to build their own personal brand and regularly use that brand to generate various streams of income.

How to Pick the Right Influencer for Your Business

We recommend building out an influencer persona. Similar to a buyer persona, this tool will help you discover the type of influencer you should be targeting. The key elements to consider when you are developing a persona are:

Define Context 

It is essential that the influencer you choose is a match to the context of your business. For example, if you are a clothing designer, you need someone who has an interest in fashion. If you own a software as a service company, you need someone who is a thought leader in your industry or in tech. Don’t worry if you have an obscure niche, there are influential insiders in every sector.

Discover Reach

Consider the amount of people you hope to reach through your influencer. You should take into consideration the number of followers an influencer has across all social media channels. These include, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, SnapChat, and others.

Establish Reputation

You must consider both yours and theirs. This is increasingly important because you have worked very hard to cultivate your company’s image, its culture and to maintain its reputation. Consider past behavior as an indicator of future performance.

Evaluate Potential for Engagement

How many social shares, likes, views, and comments would you like for your influencer to have? This is important for establishing both a primary and secondary market. The most influential personas are able to engage with their audience and regularly share content that goes viral.

A well-run influencer campaign will foremost increase awareness for your company. In addition, it can improve engagement, facilitate trust and also drive sales to impact your business’ bottom line.

3 Resources to Help You Find Top-Quality Guest Bloggers

You have optimized your website for SEO, you have an active social media presence are growing your audience, but you still need increased exposure your business, then perhaps guest blogging the next avenue to explore. By connecting with thought leadership, experts, and bloggers in your industry, you not only improve your reach through new alliances but you have the opportunity to build more authority with your own readership. The important thing is not to have all the answers but finding someone who does.

The following are a few ways to expedite your guest blogging outreach. These include networks that were specifically created to help bloggers connect, best practice guides for guest blogging, and other methods of letting others know about your guest blogging opportunities.

My Blog Guest is a well-developed and active community of freelance journalists, bloggers, business leaders, influencers, and thought leaders. The idea is to form mutually beneficial relationships, in which the value proposition is not financial-based. The concept is simple and works like this:

An author writes an article and submits it to a blogger on the site

If the article fits the blogger’s needs, an agreement is made to publish it as a guest blog or guest post with byline credit given to the author.

Additionally, cross promotion is arranged.

My Blog Guest offers free registration and provides a complimentary course aimed at helping members best utilize the site.

Guest Post connects bloggers with available influencers. The tagline is “connect, pitch, get exposure,” indicating its services offer value to both the guest and the blogger. The site also maintains a list of blogs and websites that are currently accepting guest posts. There are other features that are helpful with tasks like idea generation, submission tracking, and pitching.

Kissmetrics: The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging is an invaluable resource. It explains the benefits (SEO and otherwise) of guest blogging, best practices for using guest blogging as a strategy, how to find quality and relevant guest posters. And even how to pitch a guest blog opportunity.

As you begin to develop and implement a guest posting strategy, you should consider the many resources within your own network. Create a wish-list of thought leaders and rising stars in your industry and reach out to them with a highly polished pitch. Even without a big budget, you may be able to achieve the goals you have set through simple blogger outreach.

Can You Make Money Blogging? How to Succeed and What to Avoid.

Pamela Shows Darn Fine Copy

Turning your passion or hobby into a business is for many the epitome of the American Dream. But what if you don’t have the funds or desire to start a brick and mortar business?  Many have found a way to offer their expertise as a service —through blogging. According to industry expert, Jeff Bullas, 14 percent of all bloggers make a salary from their blogs. However, to operate a successful blog, you’ll need to have a business mindset.

Understanding How Blogs Make Money

First of all, until you are an established authority in your industry, your income will not come from writing blogs. Blogs make money through various revenue streams. Depending on the type of blog you operate, some or all of these may be viable options.

Place Advertising

This method is the most passive way to make money from your blog, meaning that you do nothing except provide great content and focus on delighting your readers. Advertisers will be drawn to your blog via an ad network. Choosing the ad network is up to you. Google AdSense is the most widely used ad network. Other notable ad networks are BlogHer, Blogads, Federated Media, and Sway.

It is worth mentioning here, that once you are an established blogger, and generate a significant amount of organic traffic, you will be able to woo some private advertisers. Partnerships that cut out the middle-man are beneficial to both the blogger and the advertiser. Plus, you maintain complete control over the ads that are displayed to your readers. After all, who better knows what your followers want or need than you?

– The Caveat

Creating an ad network account is pretty easy. However, it is recommended that you have an established blog with several months of posts and have developed at least a small (but devoted) readership or following. The type of content you write and the keywords you use will determine the advertisers. Since you will make money based on the “click-through rate,” it is essential that the ads placed on your blog are products or services that your readers will find interesting. Having your blog loaded with junk ads is a major turn-off, it diminishes your credibility, and as a result, you will lose readers.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketers promote the products or services of another. Today’s biggest influencers use affiliate marketing techniques like videos and product reviews posted on their blogs to create massive incomes. To become an affiliate you must meet certain criteria. Once approved, you will be issued a unique link which will earn a commission when the terms of your agreement are met —this may be an action like a “click,” or a conversion, like a sign-up or a sale.

– The Caveat

In recent years, Google has cracked down on affiliate marketing. They regularly penalize blogs that are heavily affiliate marketing oriented. While this can be a part of your blogging strategy, it should not be the whole of it. Also, because today’s readers demand transparency, you will need to be upfront with them when using an affiliate link. Most professional bloggers commonly utilize a disclaimer such as “this post contains affiliate links” either at the beginning or end of the article.

Create a Digital Product

Blogs are an excellent way to build authority in your personal brand. As you accomplish this be aware of the topics that resonate with your readers. These will be posts that have a high amount of engagement, like comments and social media sharing. However, don’t continue to write blog posts, instead channel your efforts into creating an information product like a webinar, course, or an eBook. You can also use your blog to promote digital products created by others. This is similar to affiliate marketing. Therefore, the same best practices apply.

– The Caveat

When you decide to sell a product on your blog, you are crossing a threshold from information marketing to sales. Understanding the difference is important to your success. Selling products requires a great deal more time and effort in the areas of promotion, payment processing, and customer service. There are many solutions available to help with these, however, they do not come without a price.

Offer a Service

As you develop authority in your niche, there will often be opportunities to offer your services to others. You may consider becoming a consultant, helping others in your field achieve their goals and dreams. Selling a service is a great way to monetize your blogging efforts because it requires little to no start-up costs and no need to carry and inventory. Online accounting service sites like FreshBooks makes keeping track of your time and sending invoices easy and inexpensive.

– The Caveat

Services are not scaleable. Unlike creating a digital product, advertising and affiliate marketing that create endless streams of passive income, your time is limited to the time you have available. Therefore, you must set your rates accordingly.

The Business Mindset

We all grew up hearing, “If you build it, they will come.” That, unfortunately, is not the case in the business of blogging. To be successful, your blog will require constant attention. As a business owner, you have to wear many hats. Here are the five major roles you will take on as a professional blogger.

– The Writer

You must be able to write clear, informative and helpful content. Even for an experienced writer, the skill set of a blogger is quite different. Your writing style, for example, may take some time to develop. It helps to always speak directly to your reader. Seek to understand their persona, background, their desires, and dreams —then delight them with your content. If you are not a professional writer, take online classes to help develop your writing chops.

– The Authority

Being an expert in your field is paramount. You have to be knowledgeable. Use others to fill in and provide insight into areas you aren’t well versed in. Partner with other bloggers to offer any additional content your readers request. Remember, an authority doesn’t always have the answers but always knows where to find them.

– The Influencer

In this business, it matters what others think of you. To influence others is an art. It means knowing what you are good at, what you’re not, and sharing your journey to improve. Be transparent about your successes and your failures. To motivate others, you must be self-aware and open to listening to what they have to say, even when it is harsh. When you take this journey honestly, your readers will follow you anywhere.

– The Marketer

Your website design, content, monetization efforts, and social media presence are all part of marketing your personal brand. You need to understand the ins and outs of the technical aspects of marketing such as SEO, lead generation, advertising, inbound and content marketing, social media automation, email campaigns, and mailing lists. All of this can be overwhelming for a beginning blogger, so it is crucial to utilize technology to make your life simpler. Author and blogger, Amy Lynn Andrews has shared an extensive and helpful list of tools she uses in blogging —marketing and beyond.

– The Brand Manager

Your personal brand is so much more than the colors scheme you chose for your website or the set of carefully selected typography; it is more than your logo and your business name. For a blogger, your personal brand is your voice, your image, and your character. Maintaining your brand’s image is a 24-7 job, in itself.

– The CEO

Ultimately, having your own blog means you are the chief executive of your personal brand. You must take responsibility for the content you publish, the alliances you make, and the advice you give. To build a profitable blogging business, you have to think like a CEO too because the buck literally stops with you.

To make money blogging, you have to have ingenuity, creativity, and a large amount of hustle. You should also know when you’re reaching your limits; operating a successful blog is really hard work! It requires devotion and a high energy level. And to stay relevant, you must continuously develop in all of your many roles.

To avoid burnout, take time each day to reflect on the things you love about being your own boss. In her article, 4 Reasons I Love Being My Own Boss, freelance editor, Casey Cline reminds us that having “the power to make things better,” can be just the incentive we need to push through when things get tough.

Pamela Shows is a freelance content writer and inbound marketing strategist. Connect with her through DarnFineCopy.com