Blogging

I started blogging as a way of documenting my journey to financial freedom. At the time I felt alone, none of my friends or family really cared about saving money or side hustling and my girlfriend was fed up of me talking about the subject. I didn’t expect anyone to read it, but they did. In fact, I ended up MAKING MONEY from sharing my journey, thoughts and ideas.

In previous posts I’ve covered how to set up a free blog using wordpress.com. Unfortunatly by doing so you’ll be unable to receive sponsored posts, share affiliates, or basically make any money from your blog. Which is why today I’m sharing how you can start a blog using wordpress.org. It’s simple, straight forward and can have you earning as little as £1 a month right up to £100,000 a month.

Click here to start a blog on WordPress.org and use the directions below for helpful pointers.




Choose A Domain Name

The very first thing you’re going to need when start a blog on WordPress.org is a domain name. That’s the name of your site, like mine is www.TheMiniMillionaire.com 

Having the right domain name is essential to the success of your blog. So spend some time deciding on the topics you’re going to cover and think of a relevant name that’s short, catchy and not already been taken by someone else.

When I started this blog it was selfishly going to document my own journey, rather than helping others. It was going to be a diary and therefore The Mini Millionaire seemed fitting. After all, I dreamed of becoming a millionaire. Three years later, I don’t. I’m more than happy with my financial situation as it is – and I’m not a millionaire. Instead, I now enjoy being able to help share ideas with you guys on how you can earn extra money, save more money, and spend money on the things that matter to you most – rather than the boring stuff!

How to start a blog on wordpress.org

You can get your domain name directly though GoDaddy. It makes the process so simple and straight forward.


In fact they’ll give you a free domain for the first year if you buy 12 months worth of hosting at just £1 a month using this link designed specifically for readers of The Mini Millionaire. I recommend GoDaddy for those with little or no web experience because the customer service is not just the best I’ve experienced in web hosting & domains. It’s the best customer services I’ve received… EVER! 

Once you’ve proceeded to checkout you’re ready to install WordPress on your GoDaddy account…

Installing WordPress on your GoDaddy Account

Installing WordPress on your GoDaddy c-panel account couldn’t be made any easier. I’m 100% sure I couldn’t do a better job of explaining it than this video…


Installing WordPress on your GoDaddy account is completely free. If you get stuck or confused at any point, don’t be afraid to call the GoDaddy customer service (020 7084 1810) and they’ll help you though every step.

Setting Up WordPress.org

WOOHOO! You now have a WordPress blog.

Once you’ve installed WordPress you’ll be able to sign into your WordPress account. All the information you need for doing so will be sent to your email address once you’ve completed the step above. 

This email will include your WordPress login URL. This is separate from everyone else and is the only way you’ll be able to access the back end of your WordPress account to do things such as write blog posts. The email will also include your username and password for logging into your WordPress account so you’ll want to be sure to keep this email safe.

Installing A WordPress Theme

Once you’ve logged into your WordPress account, you’ll find that your blog looks rather bare. In fact, if you click to view the site you’ll find it looks something like the image below…


Which is why you need to install a WordPress theme. There are thousands upon thousands of themes to choose from both free and paid for. For a good 18 months I used a free theme. I then bought a theme with Pipdig for around £40. Unfortunatly, I found that everyone seemed to use the same paid theme and it really didn’t help me stand out from the crowd.

Which is exactly why I decided to install a Massive Dynamic theme. It was $36 from ThemeForest. The theme comes with the ability to drag and drop different elements into your pages, which makes it perfect for beginners.


If all that is still too much then Massive Dynamic also comes with 60 pre-built designs. These can have you up and running with a professional and stylish blog design in a matter of minutes.


Most importantly, Massive Dynamic comes with 12 month of VIP support. So should you be stuck with absolutely anything you can contact them directly and they’ll help you fix it in a matter of hours!

Write Your First Post

So you’re all set up and ready to go. All that’s left for you to do is add content. Start writing your first post and editing your pages such as home and about page. If you’re struggling as to the information you need to start your first post then this video should help…



There we have it that’s everything you need to start a blog on WordPress.org. I’ve helped hundreds of people just like you start a blog using WordPress.org so if you have absolutely any problems feel free to drop me an email or contact me on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll do my very best to help.

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Blogging
In my latest post, I spoke about the pro’s and con’s of a free blogging platform. While there are many different free blogging platforms on the market, I’d always recommend using WordPress.com. That’s because it’s the easiest platform to upgrade from, should you wish to do so in the future. 

In fact, it’s on WordPress.com where this very blog got it’s start, so all of this is going to be rather nostalgic. That’s because today, I’m going to be teaching you how to create a free blog using wordpress.com.


1. Visit WordPress.com

Don’t confuse WordPress.com with the self-hosted option of WordPress.org. 
Click the ‘get started button’ in the top right hand corner.



The Pro's & Con's of free blogging platforms


2. Decide On Your Site ‘Type’

WordPress powers a whole host of different websites including e-commerce stores, blogs and pretty much everything in between. For this example I’m going to be choosing to select a blog. Rest assured you can change your site ‘type’ at any time.

How to create a free blog using wordpress.com


3. Choose Your Theme

Again this is something you can change later should you wish to do so…





4. Choose Your Domain / Website Name

If you’re struggling for ideas then simply type in a keyword into the search bar and let WordPress do the hard work for you. Alternatively if you’ve purchased a domain name then this will be assigned here.


5. Choose A Plan

In this case we’re going to be focusing on the ‘free for life’ plan.


6. Create An Account

To complete the sign up process of your free blog using WordPress.com simply enter a valid email address and password.


7. Confirm Your Account

Head to your emails where you should find an email from wordpress.com awaiting your confirmation. Click confirm, this should redirect to your website within your browser.


8. Start Customising

Click on the customise button in the bottom right hand corner of your blog.



This should then load this page…



Here you’ll be able to change the title of the blog using the tab ‘site identity’. You’ll also be able to add a tag line / slogan and a logo should you wish to do so.



You can change the colour scheme of your blog using the colours & background tab.


Add some personality to your blog by changing the font using the font’s tab.


You could choose to add a header image to add some branding or further personalisation. Personally, I’m not a fan.


9. Customise Menu’s

Next we’re going to be customising menu’s. Most of the standard themes on WordPress.com have two menu’s. 


The first menu is the primary menu. This is used for basic navigation to other pages within your blog. Provided you don’t want to change any of the page titles, add additional pages or adjust the navigation in any way. Then this is fine as it is.


The second menu is the social menu. Here you’ll be able to update and adjust the links with your relevant social media links. I.e. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page.



10. Add Widgets

Widgets allow you to cusomise actions within your page. Different themes will come with different widgets pre-installed. The theme I chose came with a text widget and a search widget. 

There’s around 50 different widgets you can add without installing any plugins. They include; Twitter timeline, upcoming events calendar, RSS feed, Instagram feed, Google Translate etc…


11. Add A Post

Now you’ve finished customising your site, you’re ready to submit your first post. Most themes will come with a sample post. Either delete it or edit it. If you delete it then you’ll need to click new post.

There’s also customisation to the right of the post that will allow you to adjust your post requirements. These aren’t essential for basic publishing, but worth knowing as you continue to add personality to your site.


12. Edit Pages

Any pages you have added to your site, or pages that remain are going to require editing. To do this, use the navigation bar to select the page you would like to edit. Then, click the edit button.


This will then allow you to edit the page just like you would a blog post.


There we have it. Everything you need to get started with how to create a free blog using wordpress.com. As always if you have any questions, concerns or would like to see a follow up post to this one let me know in the comments below.

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Blogging

There are two ‘types’ of blogs. Self hosted, and free blogging platforms. Most people will tell you that self-hosted is the way to go – and for the most part I’d agree. However, that’s not going to suite everyone. In fact for many a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr is just fine. 

Which is why today I’ve outlined the pro’s and con’s of free blogging platforms;

What Is A Free Blogging Platform?

A free blogging platform is one that is just that: it’s free.

Simply sign up for an account, choose your domain and start posting. You can start a free blog with services such as; WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr

To sign up for an account, get a domain (such as www.example.com), and set up your site. It really is as simple as that.

I’d personally recommend Wordpress.com as it’s much easier to go self-hosted in the future switching to WordPress.org. It’s what I personally did when starting this very blog.

Free Blogging Platforms

Pros of Free Blogging Platforms

There are no initial start-up costs. Which is especially reassuring if you’re unsure if blogging is for you. 

Free blogging platforms are easy to set up and maintain without any prior website design or development knowledge.



Cons of Free blogging Platforms

Unless you pay for a domain name you’ll have the WordPress or Blogger domain added onto yours, such as www.example.blogspot.com.

It’s therefore unsurprising that free blogs appear less professional than self-hosted ones.

That in turn limits your advertising options. Meaning it’s harder to work with brands and / or make money from your blog.

Another disadvantage of free blogging platforms is the lack of control. For example I’m able to customise my blog with plugins, themes and CSS. All of this has limitations when using a free blogging platform.

You’ll have a limited amount of bandwidth. This will limit the number of videos, photos and posts you can upload and can also affect your sites load time. 


Who Should Use A Free Blogging Platform?

Free blogs are ideal for people who are just looking to explore the blogosphere. If you’re new to blogging and just looking to it as a journal / diary. 

If you’re unsure as to what the blog might become in the future then as I mentioned earlier I’d recommend setting up on WordPress.com. This will make it much easier to switch to self-hosted and WordPress.org in the future should you require it.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego

I’ve been submitting a self assessment tax return for over five years now. At a time it was a rather daunting task for 20-something however, thanks to new cloud software such as Xero this process has been made simple and straight forward. While my tax affairs have become more complicated in recent years forcing me to hire an accountant.

 

For a long time I committed to becoming a ‘Jack of all trades’ and saved myself some serious cash by doing so. April marks the end of the tax year once again, which is exactly why I want to share with you the very basics of a self assessment tax return. I hope that by doing so I can help you to save time, money and hassle.  

Who Needs To Complete A Self Assessment Tax Return?

Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. The majority of UK tax payers have their tax collected at source through the Pay as You Earn Scheme. This is where employers run a payroll scheme that deducts the correct amount of tax and national insurance each month.

 

The employer is then legally obliged to pay this amount over to HMRC every month or every three months depending upon their size. There are however many reasons as to why 7 million people in the UK need to submit a self assessment tax return to HMRC.

 

Below are the most common;

 

Income above £2,500 from Land or Property

 

Company Director or If you are self employed

 

Income from a pension and a salary 40% income tax payer and have savings income

 

Receive an income from investments that are not taxed at source.

 

Income from foreign sources Income subject to capital gains tax

 

Just remember this is just a few examples. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should be completing a self assessment contact HMRC directly.

 

When Does The Tax Year Start? And End?

The tax year runs from the 6th April until the 5th April each year.  

When Do I Have To Submit My Tax Return?

I believe the deadline is very generous. HMRC give you until 31st January to submit and pay your return. That’s around 10 months!

 

Yet many still fail to meet that deadline and by doing so receive penalties for doing so. Many of us also leave it to the last minute. Causing unnecessary stress and running the risk of being unable to submit the return on time.

Save yourself from this self assessment embarrassment  

How Much Does Submitting A Self Assessment Cost?

If you’re willing to put in the graft and do all the work, record keeping and mathematics yourself then submitting your self assessment tax return to HMRC is totally free. However, remember time is money and it’s often all about finding the best of both worlds.

 

You can outsource your self assessment return entirely to a bookkeeper or accountant. This could cost anything from £300+ per year. It’s entirely dependent on the accountant you choose and your personal circumstances.

 

However, I found the middle ground for myself was using the cloud based accounting platform Xero. It cost less money than an accountant, but also required less work than doing the entire thing myself. Time vs Money for me personally it was a winner!

 

Where Can I Learn More About Self Assessment?

I remember when I first went into the world of self employment. It was a first for anyone in my family, and being young at times I found it confusing and hard to understand. HMRC knows this is often the case regardless of your situation which is why they host regular webinars.

 

Just remember that if you’re confused or for whatever reason don’t understand you should always contact an accountant or HMRC directly. They’ll be able to tailor the answer to your particular circumstances, ensuring that you’re always submitting your self assessment forms correctly.   I hope this latest post has given you some insight into submitting your own self assessment tax form.

 

The most important thing to remember is to complete your form as early as possible, and keep on-top of your record keeping. This is going to really reduce the time it’s going to take you to complete your return whether you choose to use an accountant, cloud based accounting services or do it yourself.

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Blogging

If like me you’re an online content creator then you no doubt know the important of two things; getting the timing right and social media. Post about Christmas wreaths in August and you’re missing the market, regardless of all the social media marketing in the world. However, do the same in November and avoid social media all together and you’re destined for failure once again.

 

I’ve taken courses such as Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and 17 Strategies I Used To Grow My Page Views From 17k to over 350k+ Per Month and they all say the same thing. Timing and social media is important. However, saying it and actually making it happen are two different things.

 

I’ve tried the likes of Hootsuite and Buffer but nothing has been ‘just right’ that was until I heard about CoSchedule.

 

What is CoSchedule?

I created this quick video (as shown below) to give you an overview of what CoSchedule is and how it works…

  


How Does CoSchedule Work?

CoSchedule allows you to connect both your blog and your social media connections (they connect to all the major players; Google plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter etc & there’s no limit on the number of accounts you can connect). Once added you can publish your blogs content to any of those social media networks.

 

Let’s say you write a blog post. You create all of the social messages you want to share that blog post to your networks. You can set them to publish immediately and in the future as much as you want.

 

All this is done on a simple, modern calendar so you can see exactly what your plan is. You can easily move it all around with drag-and-drop and if you choose to move a blog post, guess what? All of the social media messages automatically move with it – Magic!

  Coschedule review  

Analytics

CoSchedule has such a simple and easy to use interface design, and the analytics is no exception. Simple bar charts make it easy to see how many shares each of our posts have gotten on each social platform.

Coschedule review

In just a glance I’m able to see what pieces of content are performing best on social media. I’m then able to adjust my content stratergy directly based off of this. 


CoSchedule Customer Service

The CoSchedule customer service team have been there for me every step of the way. The team worked out what I was using the platform for, and then told me about the features of the platform that I had yet to discover that were going to benefit me.

CoSchedule also has a great blog with tons of information about social media, content marketing, and how to improve your productivity.

 

How Do You Use CoSchedule?

CoSchedule comes with a fourteen day free trial. I love this as I always want to trial things before putting my money where my mouth is.

After 7 days I loved it enough to pay for a year in advance, saving myself $108 in the process. I’ve gone onto download the CoSchedule plugin especially designed for WordPress which allows me to update my blog through WordPress or through the CoSchedule website.

However, it’s not just bloggers like me who are experiencing the benefits of CoSchedule.

 

Businesses such as Microsoft, Home Depot and Rosetta Stone are all using the services that CoSchedule offer to maximise their return automatically. 

Not only is this website saving me hundreds of hours and maximising the results of my social media whilst I sleep. The outcome even after 7 days has been amazing! Check out this screen shot from Pinterest. You can see that my daily impressions and views have grown by 5,000% by using CoSchedule. Results I’ve been trying to achieve on my own for months, maybe even years.

  I'm doing this CoSchedule Review because of the impact CoSchedule has had on my Pinterest traffic   

If you’re earning money from blogging then you’re going to need to register as self-employed with HMRC. You’re also going to need to complete yearly self assessment tax forms. I recommend using the online service Xero for such services. The programme is simple, straightforward and super affordable.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego


I've been using Xero as my cloud based accounting platform of choice for the past four years now, and heres why.

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software designed for small businesses. I have personally been using the software since January 2015 when I ventured into a world I knew very little about – self employment.

  

Since then it’s allowed me to understand the financial situation of my business, save time, save money and plan accordingly for the future. I can’t recommend it enough (which is why you’ll often see me go on about it in Facebook groups & on Youtube hangouts)



I therefore decided it was long-over due that I dedicate an entire post to a Xero review. Explaining exactly why I use Xero for my cloud based accounting. Clearly, I’m not the only fan of Xero as their community is made up of more than 862,000 subscribers in over 180 countries. 

 

Accounts

In this Xero review I’m going to start with perhaps one of the most basic and yet profound features this online accounting service offers. It’s ability to be able to link my bank and credit cards as well as my PayPal account. Updating them all in Xero in real time.

 

No more logging in to check all of your business bank accounts. Load Xero up and you can be assured that all your accounts are completely up-to-date. I can see the overall financial possition of my business on one screen – not a calculator or spreadsheet in sight!

 

To link Xero together with your bank account is as simple as logging into your online banking. No more wasting your time writing down your expenses or exporting and importing CSV files. With Xero your income and outgoings are right there in front of you.

 

The reconciliation Xero offers also allows you to create ‘rules’ allowing you to select what certain transactions should be catagorised into. This not only saves you time but reduces the risk of human errors. 

 

Integration 

If the ability to work together with your bank wasn’t enough maybe the integration with almost 500 different applications might be. In this section of my Xero review I’m going to be talking about everything from SqaureSpace to Shopify and Gusto to Debtor Daddy (and everything in between!)

 

All this is designed to allow you to customise your Xero experience exactly to your businesses needs. Giving your the opportunity to connect with other time saving applications from advanced solutions for point-of-sale, time tracking, e-commerce and more!

 

Support

Aged just 20 I began my life as a self-employed entrepreneur. I knew very little about accounting, taxes and everything in between. When I got set up on Xero I had questions;

 

Why does this do this?

 

Why isn’t this doing that?

 

Am I doing this right?

 

If like me you’ve never done this before it’s super overwhelming and confusing. Luckily Xero’s support team was here to help every step of the way. I’m not just talking about being there for the few weeks where I was getting set up.

 

Just recently my business became a limited company, I was back to square one with one-million and one questions, again Xero’s amazing team was here to help… best of all it was quick, free and the amount of support they provide is unlimited.

 

Mobile

Xero also comes complete with a mobile application. This mobile application allows you to view your businesses financial situation whilst on the go or out and about.

 

It’s made all the difference when I find a business opportunity whilst on the road allowing me to see exactly how much I can afford to invest without restricting my business further.

 

Cost

When starting up a new business we all know how important it is to save money wherever possible. I wanted to be in full control of my financial situation. I didn’t want to hand everything over to an accountant who wanted to charge me £150 a month for the privilidge. 

 

Instead I opted for one of Xero’s three price plans;

 

Starter – £10 per month Ideal for bloggers or those who are just starting out.

 

This allows you to reconcile 20 transactions a month. Enter 5 bills Send 5 invoices

 

Standard – £22 per month My personal choice and more than enough for most small-businesses.

 

Reconcile unlimited transactions Enter unlimited transactions Send unlimited invoices

 

Premium – £27.50 per month If you conduct transactions in a currency other than your local (UK – GBP / US – USD)

 

Everything standard offers plus multi-currency transactions. Take Xero up on their 30-day free trial to find out which service might suit your needs best.

 

Bookkeepers & Accountants

As your business grows and your needs change you may find yourself needing some further accounting assistance in the form of a bookkeeper or an accountant.

 

What’s great is that with Xero being a cloud based platform your person of choice can access your books at any time. You are also able to keep in full control of your financial situation and make decisions accordingly.

 

If you think finding someone with the knowledge and experience who is also a Xero professional is going to be tough, think again. Xero have created this fantastic interactive tool to find the best person for the job, local to you.

 

Security

The final part of my Xero review is dedicated to security. Afterall, your handing over very sensitive information in regards to your business. Which means security has to be tight… and it is. Xero’s platform is run with a secure SSL encryption. SSL encryption is the exact same as what your bank uses, so with security as tight as your bank. You can be sure you’re sensative information is in safe hands.

 

I do hope you enjoyed this Xero review. If you’re still unsure then be sure to take them up on their 30 day free trial to find out if they are right for you. If you go ahead and sign up then be sure to let me know in the comments.

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