Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a boom in mobile device usage. The smart phone in particular is rapidly becoming the device of choice for internet browsers. This fact is of vital importance if you run a website or a blog: which is a specialized type of web site. Here’s why your site needs to be mobile friendly.

Mobile devices display a web page differently than a desk top or laptop browser does. In most cases it just isn’t practical to scale a web side down so it fits on a smart phone screen: everything would be so small the user could barely see it much less be able to tap on links accurately, especially in a list of links. Scrolling side-to-site and up-and-down to view the page content as through a keyhole is maddeningly frustrating. So mobile devices simplify your pages and present a lay-out optimized for the devices screen size.

The bad news is traditional web site coding does not have the capability to allow mobile devices to rearrange your page to suit the viewing device. The good news is, you may not have to build a new web site. Before we get into how, let’s talk about why you should. Continue reading “Make Your Website Mobile Friendly”

Big Box Blues

In my travels I have come across many perfectly delightful old fashioned hardware stores; you know – wooden floors that creak when you walk across them, narrow aisles, with tall shelves, each just packed with all manner of hardware treasures, and a cavern-like back room where only the staff may go to ferret out something extra special for you.  Most places I’ve lived have had at least one such store to serve me – if I look hard enough for it.

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Wilton Springs True Value Hardware

Where we live now is no exception.  Wilton Springs Hardware is one such store.  It sits out in the middle of nowhere along a lonely two lane road.  Not a big place, but chock full of things I need and staffed by folks who actually know their trade.  I am particularly grateful for the staff’s knowledge of plumbing supplies – a plumber I am not! But I occasionally have to put on my plumber hat and pretend.  No matter what kind of Rube Goldberg conglomeration I take in to show them, they find a way to cobble together stock parts to fix or replace it. Continue reading “Big Box Blues”

Social Media Mogul

Klout AwardA while back I received a notification from Klout.com saying that according to their metrics, I am ranked in the top 10% as an influencer in social media.  That caused an eyebrow to jump up my forehead: “Who?  Me?  No way!”  But who am I to argue with social media metrics?

What is Klout.com

For those who don’t know, Klout.com is a utility that you can sign up with to track and measure your influence across all your social media accounts.  You tell it which media outlets you use and it tracks how much influence you have by watching how many of your posts generate how much interest.  Exactly how they do that is a closely guarded secret – and it seems to have changed several times over the past couple of years — but I suspect it has something to do with reading tea leaves.   Continue reading “Social Media Mogul”

Income Inequality Indeed

income inequalityThese are my thoughts on the income inequality issue.  As a long-time business manager and owner I can tell you that while the thought of improving income to the lowest paid among us seems like a generous thing to do, and is probably a good campaign tactic for Democrats, it will backfire.  What always happens when the minimum wage is raised is that ALL employees expect a commensurate raise in order to “maintain scale”.  American workers demand income inequity.  This is how they measure their success.

Small adjustments don’t have a devastating effect, but an increase from $7.25 to $10.10[3]  will mean either everyone gets a $3.00 an hour raise or entry level employees will be making as much as those who have been working hard for several years.

This across the board raise in salaries will be a major hit to the labor cost of every company in America.  Some companies will respond with lay-offs of the least essential personnel.  Most will respond by increasing the price of everything they make or do, thus pushing the burden of this wage increase back on the people it was supposed to help.  The end result is that no one benefits, everything simply gets more expensive… again.

As I see it, there are only two ways to achieve the leveling effect the liberals seek:

Continue reading “Income Inequality Indeed”

This Business of Writing: Direct Expenses

Today, Dear Reader, we conclude the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

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Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing. Determining what you can claim as a business expense and how to substantiate those deductions require an understanding of the Federal tax code.

Some common direct expenses for writers are listed below along with tips on how to make them deductible. Continue reading “This Business of Writing: Direct Expenses”

Tax Tip: Automobile Expenses for Writers

We welcome back accounting professional and author, Brigitte A. Thompson as she continues her helpful advice to writers with a tax tip.

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Automobile Expenses for Writers

Driving to the local office store to purchase writing supplies can generate a tax deduction with proper documentation. This is what you need to know.

The miles that you drive which are related to the operation of your business, or the actual expenses required to maintain your automobile can generate tax deductions. This is one of the most overlooked tax deductions for writers.

You will need to choose one method based on the options below. Continue reading “Tax Tip: Automobile Expenses for Writers”

This Business of Writing: Recordkeeping

Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

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Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing and includes storage of receipts, invoices, statements as well as all the required documents to substantiate both income and expenses.

Business Recordkeeping Options for Writers

To justify expenses, it is important to establish a system of recordkeeping that works for you. Some things need to be recorded daily, while others can be done weekly or monthly. It is imperative that you get into the habit of saving and recording everything related to your writing business. All invoices, receipts, credit card slips and bank statements are essential documentation that should be kept. Continue reading “This Business of Writing: Recordkeeping”

This Business of Writing: Ordinary and Necessary Expenses

Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

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Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing, especially identifying and tracking expenses. Business expenses are considered an operating cost.  The more legitimate business expenses that we can document, the lower our tax payments will be.

Ordinary and Necessary Business Expenses for Writers:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that our writing expenses be ordinary and necessary in order for them to be acceptable. An ordinary expense is defined as common and accepted in our profession. A necessary expense means we need to spend this money in order to operate the business. The expenses must not be considered extravagant. They must be an essential part of doing business as a writer. It is important to differentiate between personal expenses and business expenses.  Continue reading “This Business of Writing: Ordinary and Necessary Expenses”

Tax Tips for Writers: Business Meals

We welcome back accounting professional and author, Brigitte A. Thompson as she continues her helpful advice to writers.

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Writers may choose to meet with their agents over lunch or they might arrange to meet a subject to interview at a local bagel shop. The cost of the meal can be a tax deduction with proper purpose and documentation.

1. The primary purpose of your business meal must be related to your writing business.

2. You must conduct business during the meeting such as discussing the storyline of a new book or determining which publications are interested in your current article.

3. Be sure to save the receipt. It should contain pertinent information such as the name of business, location, date of the meeting, time, who was present, total charge, and how it was paid for. You can use the back of this receipt to record a summary of what was discussed.

The amount you can deduct is limited to 50% of the actual unreimbursed costs. The IRS is considering an increase in this amount to allow 80% reimbursement. As of this writing, the deduction has not been raised. You can Visit the IRS Web site for updates.

accounting, bookkeeping, author© Brigitte A. Thompson, Datamaster Accounting Services, LLC
Author of Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers available on Amazon:

The information provided is intended to be general and based on the Federal Tax laws of the United States. As such, it is subject to change. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial or legal advice. Be sure to consult your tax advisor on all tax matters.

This Business of Writing: Accounting Methods

Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

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A business can be operated under one of three methods of accounting; cash, accrual, or hybrid. The IRS will be automatically informed of your choice when you file your first business tax return. If you decide you would like to change your accounting method, you will need to get approval from the IRS using Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method which is available on their web site IRS.govContinue reading “This Business of Writing: Accounting Methods”