240: Income – Making More Money Without Doing More Work with Bjork Ostrom

An image of coins and the title of the 240th episode on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'Income.'

Welcome to episode 240 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork talks through the ways you can create income without doing more work.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Lindsay Ostrom about the stages of Pinch of Yum. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.


Making more money without doing more work…that’s the dream, right?

Well, now it’s a reality!

Bjork is here today to chat through some of the ways you can work smarter and make more money without doing more work. It’s a really helpful reminder that we don’t necessarily need to be hustling all the time to get our businesses to a new level; some small tweaks in your day-to-day can help get you there as well.

A quote from Bjork Ostrom’s appearance on the Food Blogger Pro podcast that says, 'It's thinking strategically about how the money exists in your business.'

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How business programs work
  • How to track your mileage
  • What purchases you can expense for your blog
  • Why you should consider hiring a CPA
  • When you should do an S-Corp election
  • How you can hire help
  • Why it’s helpful to review your expenses every quarter
  • How home office deductions work
  • How to be proactive and ask for a raise

Listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast below or check it out on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or Spotify:


If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

Transcript (click to expand):

Alexa Peduzzi: Hello, hello. Alexa here. And this is a little pre intro to today’s solo podcast episode with Bjork. And the reason I’m popping in here at the beginning of the episode is because we are in the middle of a deal for Food Blogger Pro and we wanted to let you know because it’s only available for this week. In fact, it ends on Friday.

Alexa Peduzzi: So we love the start of the New Year here at Food Blogger Pro. It’s refreshing, it’s motivating and it’s a time for new beginnings. So if you have some blogging goals that you want to absolutely crush in 2020, whether that be making your first dollar to signing a new sponsor, to hitting a certain number of pages per month, Food Blogger Pro is the place you can go for accountability and the instruction that you need. And with this deal, it’s even easier.

Alexa Peduzzi: So, with this deal you can become a Food Blogger Pro member, a monthly Food Blogger Pro member and your first payment will be just $20. That’s a savings of 15 bucks off of our normal pricing. So the Food Blogger Pro members joined for so many different reasons. They want to start their blogs, monetize their blogs, grow their blogs, learn a new skill and more. And we just really believe that food blogger pro is the best place food bloggers can go to learn and grow.

Alexa Peduzzi: Of course our 60 day money back guarantee still applies to this deal. So this is a totally risk-free way and discounted way for you to see if Food Blogger Pro is a good fit for you. So, if you’re interested in joining Food Blogger Pro as a monthly member for just $20, go to foodbloggerpro.com/signup/monthly and enter the discount code monthly20. That’s M-O-N-T-H-L-Y–2–0.

Alexa Peduzzi: You can join right then and there and start learning the information that you want to learn. One of the most valuable things about Food Blogger Pro in my opinion, is that it’s the one place you can go to get all of the strategies and tips that you need.

Alexa Peduzzi: You don’t need to spend time bopping around to a bunch of different sites between the courses, Q and A’s, forum threads and more on Food Blogger Pro. You’ll find the information that you’re looking for and then some. So in fact, Kristin from veggiechick.com said this about her time as a Food Blogger Pro member, “I feel like I have my very own secret blog world where people understand what I’m going through. It’s pretty cool. I also love that I don’t feel like just a number here. The information and forums are invaluable and definitely something I plan on investing in for years to come.”

Alexa Peduzzi: So if you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email at [email protected], otherwise to get this deal, that URL again is just foodbloggerpro.com/signup/monthly and the discount code is monthly20. All right, onto the episode.

Bjork Ostrom: Hey there friends, Bjork Ostrom here and you’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. It is great to be hanging out with you today in the audio way that we hang out, right? We’re not actually hanging out in person, but it kind of feels like we know each other. Maybe when we see each other, meet up at a conference, we’ll be able to connect because we have spent some time together. You know about me and I would love to learn about you. So if we are ever in the same place at the same time, please come up and say hello. We love to connect with any Food Blogger Pro members. And I say we because it’s not just me, it’s the entire team here.

Bjork Ostrom: Anytime that we can connect in person is great, but for now we will hang out in the audio form and talk about ways that we can make more money without doing more work. And that might sound like a get rich quick scheme, but that’s not what we’re talking about here today.

Bjork Ostrom: These are just incremental things that you can do that have a long-term impact. We talk a lot about this idea of 1% infinity. It’s actually the basis of the parent company that we formed called Tiny Bit, which is all about getting a tiny bit better every day, forever. And that can apply to our personal life, it can apply to our relationships, they can apply to our business and in this case it can apply to the behind the scenes part of the business. The ways that we can optimize without doing a lot of work, but that can have an impact and can make us more money by either increasing the amount of money that we’re making from our business or saving us money in ways that we’re potentially overspending.

Bjork Ostrom: And I have 10 different things that we actually do within Tiny Bit. So each one of the companies, Pinch of Yum, WP Tasty Food Blogger Pro and Nutrifox. We’re doing all of these things within these businesses. And I want to share these with you because I think they will have an impact if you move forward with them. And the good thing is they’re not super complicated. It’s not like these things that you have to spin up a new project and a bunch of tasks that are connected with them.

Bjork Ostrom: They’re usually one time things that will either be a new routine that you do or literally something that might take half an hour or an hour and you could do it once a year. So not complicated and generally smart things to be doing. And these are things that usually we’re doing on a recurring basis. And we have 10 different items that we’re going to talk through. First one, number one, this is something that I love sharing with business owners because most people aren’t actually doing this. And that is asking about business programs at the places that you shop the most.

Bjork Ostrom: Now for us, we have a small team, but we’re purchasing a decent amount of tech-related stuff. That’s the primary thing that we’re buying. We don’t have inventory, right? We don’t have a product that we’re selling. So, the main thing that we’re buying is computers and gadgets and tech-related stuff. And most places that you buy that kind of gear, that kind of equipment will have a business program. The example I’d like to share is Apple.

Bjork Ostrom: So we have a business Apple program or a membership to the business program for Apple. And there isn’t a cost to that, apple just wants to connect with business owners and have a relationship with them and so they have a program for it. You can actually just search Apple business and it will take you to a page that explains all about that. And you don’t have to be this really big business in order to set up an Apple business program membership or to connect your business to the Apple business program.

Bjork Ostrom: What does that mean? How does that work? Well, for us at this point, I don’t know if they have internal markers for what type of stuff they do for certain businesses, but for us we will do, probably once every six months we’ll go in and meet with somebody from Apple. In the twin cities here, they have this really cool meeting space at what is called the uptown location. So we’ll go meet at this little round table and they’ll talk through, “Here are the things that are happening in Apple that might be helpful for your business.”

Bjork Ostrom: Now at its worst, it could just be like a sales meeting. But at its best, and Apple does a good job of this, it’s kind of a consultation. So they’re telling us, “Hey, what are your needs and we’re going to try and help figure out ways that we can help you with that.”

Bjork Ostrom: Sometimes it has to do with purchasing Apple product, but sometimes it just has to do with connecting with other vendors or people who might be able to help. The other very practical thing that it allows us to do is discount on Apple product. And if you know Apple, it’s not often that they do discounts, but if you are within the business program, oftentimes they’ll have a discount, and it’s not huge. It might be five to 10% on purchases that you make. But if you’re buying a new computer or if there’s a new phone that you’re purchasing, you might be able to get a discount on that just going through the business program.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, we buy all of our stuff through their special portal that we’ve set up. And so we’re not actually buying it on apple.com, it’s like business.apple.com or I think it’s eCommerce.apple.com. So that’s just Apple specifically. You might not use Apple, but maybe you shop at Best Buy for all of your stuff. Ask Best Buy if they have a business program.

Bjork Ostrom: The point is, a lot of times these companies that you frequent will give priority features or discounts to businesses. And you are a business, so make sure that you ask about that and don’t be shy about it. Even if it’s just you chances are that if you stick with it and work on it, it will continue to grow and these companies want to be connected with you. So that’s number one. Ask about business programs and a lot of times those come with either additional benefits or discounts for the product that you purchase.

Bjork Ostrom: Number two, this one is also pretty easy once you get the system set up, track your mileage. We’re coming up to tax season here where people are going to be starting to talk a lot about taxes and tax savings. And this is a great one because chances are that for, even if it’s five miles that you’re driving to the grocery store, if you’re going there to purchase groceries for the recipe that you’re going to be making, those are expensable, that’s expensable travel.

Bjork Ostrom: And we use this tool called automatic. And what it is is it’s a little plug, it plugs into a part of your car that is able to read things like if there’s an issue with your car or if something happens, that’s what the shop, the car shop would plug into to get a reading. So automatic plugs into that. And what it does is it tracks your mileage. So anytime your car starts and anytime it stops, it’ll track that.

Bjork Ostrom: And what I do is with the app you can see all of the different mileage, which is just interesting in general to see how you drive throughout a year. But then every time you do a business-related trip, all you have to do within the app is go in and just do a simple swipe to the left and that tigs it as a business trip.

Bjork Ostrom: So, if you are going to expense mileage within your business, what you need to do is make sure that you have a log of that. So you’re actually tracking all the different trips that you’ve done and this does it automatically. So one time purchase, they also have a subscription plan, but we just do the one time purchase, I think it’s maybe a hundred dollars, and then you plug that in and it will automatically sync up and track your mileage. It’s a great little tool and super helpful for us as we track mileage, so I’m not having to keep an actual log and I’m not having to go back.

Bjork Ostrom: And I know friends who have a business and they’ll talk about going back and looking at all the trips they did at the end of the year with their calendar and this just automates it. That’s why it’s called automatic. It’s a really simple way to track your mileage. And that adds up. Those miles are, they have a certain dollar amount attached to them.

Bjork Ostrom: And then if you have, let’s say, a hundred miles. And just to keep it easy, it’s more than this, but let’s say it’s 50 cents that you’re credited for each one of those miles. That’s a $50 expense at the end of the year that you’re not having to pay taxes on that amount because it’s an expense within your business.

Bjork Ostrom: So number one, ask about business programs for the companies where you shop most often. A lot of times they’ll include discounts or cool bonuses that come along with that. Number two, track your mileage if you’re driving places. Number three, this is obvious, but a lot of people forget about this. Make sure that you’re actually expensing items that can be considered business purchases.

Bjork Ostrom: One that I would guess not a lot of people think about who are blogging or in the early stages would be your phone. So a computer, we think of that. Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. We’re using a computer for business. But what about your phone, obviously your camera, any gear that you purchase?

Bjork Ostrom: Now, some of you might be thinking, “Well, that doesn’t really make sense because I’m not really making any money within my business.” Well, it’s important in the early stages that you continue to track this because what will happen is those business purchases will show up as an expense. And an expense within your business means that you have, if you don’t have any revenue or if you’re early stages and you don’t have a lot of revenue and a lot of expenses, it means that your business will have a loss.

Bjork Ostrom: But what that loss does is it offsets some of the other income that you are creating maybe through your day-to-day job or maybe you have consulting that you’re doing. The loss within the business will offset that other income. So, it is still making you more money, or in this case, saving you money by being diligent about tracking those expenses. And if you’re in the U.S, one of the great things about the new tax law that was introduced was that it allows you, depending on how your business is set up, but for the most part, for most people listening to this, you will be able to fully expense any of those purchases.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, to explain that at a high level, previously what happened is you’d have to amortize the purchase that you make over a period of time. And the reason for that is that you’d have to do this over the life of the product. So let’s say that you had a, and it’s technically called depreciation if it’s a product, there’s amortization and depreciation.

Bjork Ostrom: Amortization is the same thing, for the most part it’s depreciation. Depreciation is for like an actual thing that you could hold usually. So a computer or iPhone, something like that. So you’d depreciate that over, let’s say, five years because the idea as you buy a new computer you’d use it for five years. That’s the life of the product. But with the new tax law, you’re able to depreciate things fully within the year that you purchase them.

Bjork Ostrom: So let’s say that you buy a new computer, it’s $2,000 and usually you’d have to expand that out for a certain period of time, but in this case you’re able to fully depreciate it. And that creates an expense that you then aren’t having to pay taxes on. So make sure that you’re thinking through, what are all of the things that I’m using in a day and how could those be applied to business?

Bjork Ostrom: Now, sometimes you’re not going to be able to apply all of it to business like you will for your phone. You might have to split that and say like, okay, it’s 50/50, personal and business. But it’s still an expense within your business. So after talking about a few of these things, number one, looking for those business programs. Number two, being diligent and tracking your mileage and setting up a system around it.

Bjork Ostrom: Number three, actually expensing the items and then you can fully depreciate those within the year that you purchase them. My guess is that number four, you’re starting to think it maybe makes sense to work with somebody who understands some of this stuff at a very specific level. And that’s why tip number four is hiring a CPA. Now, a lot of you will be thinking, “Wait, that’s actually spending money. That’s not making more money.” But I would like to make a case that sometimes when you spend money, you actually make more than you are spending.

Bjork Ostrom: So, let’s say that you spend $100. What does it need to take to make that back? Well, you need to make $101. And if you hire a CPA, my strong belief is that if you are invested in your business in a way where you say, “I’m going to do this, I really want to build my blog as a business, I’m committed to it, and that’s how I’m thinking about this.” It’s not a hobby. It’s not something that I kind of enjoy, it’s not a light side hustle, this is a business and I’m going to be serious about it.

Bjork Ostrom: If you’re in that mindset, hiring a CPA will almost always, in my opinion, earn you more money than you are spending. Not only will you be outsourcing something that maybe you’d be taking on in some way, like doing your tax returns, but also you’ll be working with somebody who will be able to advise you on maybe some of your blind spots. And even just in this conversation and we’re not even halfway through. Even in this conversation, my guess is that you’re starting to think, “Oh, maybe there are some blind spots. Maybe there’s some things that I’m missing and a CPA will be able to help you out with that.

Bjork Ostrom: Also important, as a side note, none of this stuff should be taken as the ultimate truth because I’m not a CPA and I’m not a tax lawyer. I don’t know any of this stuff. Some of it is taxes, some of it is not, but it’s important to point out that there’s another reason why you need that professional. Even with some of these things, you could take to them and say, “Hey, can you help me understand this? Is this right? Does this apply to me? Is this true?” So that’s number four, hire a CPA, a professional to help you with some of these important money-related decisions within your business.

Bjork Ostrom: Number five, once you hire that CPA, ask them about at what point you should do what’s called an S Corp election. Now, this really, there’s a lot of, it depends around this. But most people when they’re starting a small business in the U.S will start with something called an LLC, a limited liability company. It’s just a very simple way to set up a business and you’re able to do that pretty easily within the U.S. But at some point there is an advantage and that point has to do with profitability.

Bjork Ostrom: So at some point within your business, once it reaches a certain level of profitability, you want to do what’s called an S Corp election. Now, I’m not going to get into the specifics of what that is and why it’s important. I’m just going to let you know this is an important thing that you should have a conversation around with your CPA and they can explain why that’s important.

Bjork Ostrom: But the basic idea is you separate out from the business what your income is and you get taxed at a certain level on that, which is higher and then what the profit is with the business and you’re not taxed as high on anything above and beyond the income that you’re producing. You’re still taxed on it but it’s not taxed as high. So, if you’re in the U.S, if you’re running your blog as a business, if you’ve gone through step number four, which is finding that CPA to work with, ask that CPA, “Hey, at what point of profitability within my business should I start to think about doing an S Corp election? And can you explain to me why that’s important to do at some point?” That’s as deep as we’re going to get into it on this podcast, but I wanted to make a note of that so you can jot that down and have that conversation because that’s a really important one as you start to grow your business.

Bjork Ostrom: Number six, this is for everybody out there who has kids and if your kids are at the age where they can help out within the business. And we have a daughter, she’s 16 months, she probably is not at the stage where she could help within the business. So this wouldn’t apply to us, but maybe you have somebody, maybe you have a son or a daughter who is 10 years old and they can start to do a few things. Maybe they can help you prep a recipe or maybe they can help clean up.

Bjork Ostrom: And tip number six is around hiring them and paying them through the business. What this does is it allows you to… I would say it’s kind of almost shifting an allowance. So maybe you have an allowance for your kids and you’re paying that allowance based on chores. Well, maybe you can roll that into the business in some way.

Bjork Ostrom: And now what you’re doing is instead of just paying them after tax money, you are paying them with money that is going through the business. Now, this could also apply to another family member. So maybe you have, it’s your mom or your dad or a spouse, the business could hire them to do some work within the business and you pay them for that time. What that does is that creates an expense within the business and it creates income for that person that otherwise maybe would be happening anyways.

Bjork Ostrom: So think strategically around what are the things that actually need to happen within the business, what’s inappropriate amount to pay for those activities, and then hire somebody within your family to accomplish those. So, that’s number six. Obviously it only applies if you have somebody that can do that type of work and also is interested in doing it and also that you’d need the work within the business.

Bjork Ostrom: But it’s worth mentioning because it’s kind of a win-win. It’s a great way to create income for kids or a family member and it’s also a great way to then create an expense within the business, which shows up against any of the income you create. So the taxed amount isn’t as high within your business. So it’s not necessarily you making more money, but it’s thinking strategically about how the money exists within your business. That’s number six.

Bjork Ostrom: Number seven, this is something that I always dread doing whenever it comes up, but whenever I actually do it, I always feel really… What’s the word? Appreciative. I feel appreciative of the fact that I… Or grateful that I went through the process of actually doing this. And it’s a little bit of a chore to do it, but once I do it, I’m like, “Oh, I’m really glad that I did this because it’s like finding a five dollar bill in your pocket.

Bjork Ostrom: And that is a quarterly comb through. So I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, but the basic idea with this is you can do this both on your personal side and within the business, but to do a quarterly comb through. And what that means is for me it’s pulling up the bank accounts and it’s also pulling up QuickBooks, which we use for the business. And it’s looking through to make sure that every single transaction that we have is a transaction that makes sense.

Bjork Ostrom: And there’s really three things that I’m looking at when I see these transactions that are happening. These are more so be recurring transactions, but also every once in a while I’ll notice something that’s a little bit off and then I follow up on that. So number one thing that I’m looking at, is this something we can cancel? Do we actually need this? And if so, it’s a pretty easy decision to say, “Hey, you know what, I can go ahead and cancel this.”

Bjork Ostrom: Number two, if it is something that I need, it’s often possible that we could downgrade it. So it’s possible that we’re on an account that’s too high or we’re paying more than we need to, or we’re paying for a service level that we don’t actually need. And in that case, we would downgrade. Number three if we actually need it and we need it at the level that we need it, and we’ll need it going forward, what I’ll often do is I’ll say “Maybe it makes sense to upgrade that to annual.”

Bjork Ostrom: A lot of times you can get cost savings. It could be anywhere from 10 to 20%, if you upgrade from a monthly subscription to annual. So those three things cancel, downgrade or upgrade to annual are all things that I’m looking for when I go through that combing process. And it’s a little bit monotonous, not super exciting, and like I said, I don’t look forward to it. But at the end of the whatever amount of time it takes for me, it’s maybe two, three hours at the end, almost every time, every time that I can think of, I’ve pinpointed something and that’s allowed the business to be thriving. To make more money without doing a lot of work.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s just intentionally walking through all the different expenses that we have and thinking, “Do we actually need this?” And then going through each one of those decisions, cancel, downgrade, or upgrade to annual. Related to that, the eighth thing that we’re going to talk about here is calling companies and negotiating. And another way to say that would just be asking for a better deal.

Bjork Ostrom: That could be your cell phone, it could be TV, it could be cable, whatever those recurring plans are that you have, I would encourage you to make a call and just say, “Hey, we’re trying to figure out ways to save money. Can you help us with that?” What are the ways that we can pay less given what we use within the plan and what the current options are?

Bjork Ostrom: I’ve done this a few different times and oftentimes we’ll have success with the agent who says, “Well, let me take a look at it and see what we can do. Maybe we can offer you a better plan or a discounted rate or something along those lines.” A service that I’ve used, this was a few years ago and it worked. I don’t know how it is now, but it’s for those of you who the idea of doing this sounds terrible, we used a program called Billshark.

Bjork Ostrom: And what they do is they call and negotiate for you and then you pay them a percentage of what the savings were. Now, I would encourage you to try and do it on your own, but if you’re super shy about it and hate the idea of doing it, we used Billshark, I can’t vouch for them and say, the current version of what it is, is awesome, but I would encourage you to just drop it in and do some research, look into it, see if it’s something that you think would make sense for you to use.

Bjork Ostrom: We used it, I think Mark Cuban invested in the company and it worked for us, but do your own research on that. But for those of you who hate the idea of doing the negotiation, that would be something to look into. Number nine, a lot of us work at home. We don’t have an actual office where we’re working and it’s possible for you to deduct that space as an expense within your business.

Bjork Ostrom: Now remember, even if you don’t have a huge amount of revenue that’s coming in, you can still look at deducting that space, that home office space as a taxable expense within your business. Now, there’s a few different ways that you can do this and this goes back to number four, which is that CPA, hire the CPA, they will be able to help you, number one, figure out if you can actually do this. There’s some rules that apply to it, like it has to be used just as a home office. It can’t be a home office/playroom/spare bedroom. So it has to be strictly home office to start.

Bjork Ostrom: And then there’s some different ways that you can actually do that in terms of calculating how much it is. But it’s worth mentioning because a lot of us work from home and a lot of us work from a home office.

Bjork Ostrom: And then the last thing here that is a great, it kind of ties into the negotiation piece, but it’s actually on the opposite side, is asking for a raise. So, for those of you who are blogging and working with companies that either do affiliate-related, so I know that there’s a lot of people who are doing affiliate marketing, working with ad companies. This is all about being proactive and saying, “What can I be doing to make more from the places where I’m already creating an income?”

Bjork Ostrom: And it doesn’t mean asking for a raise in the traditional sense. What it means is just calling in and saying or dropping an email and saying, “Hey, I’m trying to…” Maybe it’s the ad network company you work with. “I’m trying to figure out ways to optimize ads on my site. Can you help me understand different ways that I could be making more from my current setup or tweaking my current setup to earn a little bit more?”

Bjork Ostrom: Maybe you have an affiliate partnership with a certain company and you’ve done really well for them. What we’ve done in the past is we’ve reached out and said, “Hey, we’re performing really well and we love the product. Can we get an increased share in the commission we have?” So, you might work with a certain company, promote that product and you do a really good job of it. You can ask for a raise. It’s something that doesn’t often happen, but it’s a really easy conversation to have if you love the product and if you’re doing a good job of promoting it.

Bjork Ostrom: Those companies, those merchants want to keep you around and so they will be open to having that conversation with you. So, this is the opposite side of the negotiation with cell phone companies or trying to save money on a recurring amount. This is, given your exact same setup, trying to make a little bit more from how things are currently structured for your business. So ads, and this could be affiliate, this could be sponsored content that you’re doing, thinking about ways where you’re not having to do more work, but you’re creating more from the work that you’ve already been doing. And sponsored content, that last one that I mentioned is a really good place to focus on for that.

Bjork Ostrom: If you’re doing sponsored content of any type, you should slowly be increasing that amount each year. We’ve done that with Pinch of Yum, I would say every six months to a year we gather around and say, “Hey, it’s probably worth it for us to think about what does it look like to increase our rates?” So make sure that you’re doing that on a consistent basis across the board.

Bjork Ostrom: So those are the 10 ways that… The hope in sharing this podcast episode is that you can find those two, three, four different things where you say, “Hey, you know what? I can implement that. It doesn’t mean that I need more traffic. It doesn’t mean that I need to have more subscribers or followers, but I’m going to be able to apply this pretty quickly to my business and potentially make more money or keep more money in your pocket if it has to do with the savings side of things.”

Bjork Ostrom: So I’m going to do a quick recap. If you have any followup thoughts or questions. If you’re a Food Blogger Pro member, please jump into the forums and leave those questions there. We’d love to help out in any way possible. And my hope is that you can take action on one of these, but hopefully a few more.

Bjork Ostrom: So number one, for any companies that you work with on a consistent basis, for us that’s Apple. As an example, ask about their business programs for the potential to get discounts. Number two, make sure that you’re tracking your miles. That adds up, especially if you’re doing a lot of trips back and forth to certain areas.

Bjork Ostrom: And for that we use a tool called automatic. And it’s a super simple thing that you plug into your car. Number three, make sure that you’re actually expensing those purchases that are connected to your business. Those can show up as a full expense if you’re in the U.S and that applies even if you’re not making a lot of revenue in the early stages.

Bjork Ostrom: Number four, because some of this stuff is complicated, look at hiring a CPA. Once you start working with a CPA or if you already are, ask them about that S Corp election. At what point of profitability within your business does it make sense, if you’re an LLC, to do that S Corp election? Some of you might already be an S Corp or your business is structured in a different way, but most of us start as an LLC and then later on do what’s called an S Corp election.

Bjork Ostrom: Number six, think about ways that you can hire your family to work within the business. If you have kids, you can hire them or maybe it’s somebody else within your family. What needs to happen for that there it has to actually be work that’s happening within the business. You can’t just pay them through the business without them doing work. And what will happen then is the income will go from the business. It’ll show up as an expense, but it stays within your family, so you’re able to pay that person. Maybe it’s an allowance, if it’s your kids or a spouse helping out with something. It’s a great way to keep money within your family, but show an expense within the business.

Bjork Ostrom: Number seven, do the quarterly comb through. So think about either canceling, downgrading or upgrading to annual. Number eight, related to that, call those companies and ask for a better deal. We talked about this program called Billshark, if you’re super shy about it, but for most of us, we can just call and have that conversation. Explain what we’re trying to do and see if there’s ways that they can optimize the bill.

Bjork Ostrom: Number nine, if you work from home, ask your CPA about what would go into deducting a home office and what’s required for that. And number 10, think about ways that you can improve or optimize your income from places you’re already earning an income, sponsor content, affiliate marketing, advertising. All of those areas could probably be optimized. Maybe they’re 50%, 60% efficient right now. We don’t really have a good gauge on that, but I’d be willing to bet all of us listening are not running all of those things at 100%, right? We’re not fully optimized on all of those things.

Bjork Ostrom: So, we don’t need to increase traffic to do that, we just need to think about how can I be strategic about the conversations that I’m having with these companies to see if there’s ways that I can increase the income that I’m earning from a company I’m already working with or from an ad or from an income source that I already have?

Bjork Ostrom: So hopefully those 10 different things give you an idea of ways that you could be thinking about making more money without doing more work. And the purpose of this was to kind of get away from this idea that we always need to be thinking about how do I increase traffic? I think we can get caught in that trap sometimes of traffic, traffic, traffic or followers, followers, followers or subscribers, subscribers, subscribers.

Bjork Ostrom: But it’s not always that simple. There’s some other things that we can do behind the scenes that create a strong profitable business that don’t require a lot of work and don’t require increasing the numbers in terms of subscribers, followers, or traffic.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s a wrap for this episode. I really appreciate this audience and everybody that tunes in each week. It is one of the great joys that we have to do this podcast and we would love for you to be a part of the Food Blogger Pro community. I mentioned that at the end, but if you have any followup questions, or thoughts, or things that you want to talk about, make sure to drop those questions in the forum area and I’ll jump in and we can pick up the conversation from there. Until then, make it a great week and we will catch you guys around. Thanks

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