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Track Your Blog or Freelance Income with These Spreadsheets

Whether you’re developing a small alternative income stream through blogging, or running your own freelance business, or something in the middle, you need a way to keep track of it. It’s not like a tidy job that pays you every 2 weeks or so and gives you a handy slip at the end of the year telling you exactly what you earned. If you want to file your taxes properly and if you want to know just how much you earned last month, the ball is in your court.

To help manage all that, I’ve come up with three handy spreadsheets. The first is best-suited to bloggers or others who are tracking advertising income (or anything with a comparatively limited number of sources and strong repetition). The second is better for freelancers working on project-by-project gigs. If you’re like me, you could probably use both! So there’s a third sheet which simply combines the two into one file.

Click on the images in each section to see a full-size screenshot. And the numbers used are completely pulled out of my head and in no way represent actual clients, earnings, etc. Important note: All downloads are in .zip files because my download plugin doesn’t allow for .xls (spreadsheet extension) at this point.

Blog Income Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet is best for charting blog income. You can download it here.

Blog Income Spreadsheet

The blog income spreadsheet is set up to look and work best for income sources that repeat monthly. That could mean a text-link buyer who paid in advance for 6 months worth of ads on your site. Entering it in the spreadsheet right away also gives you a handy reference as to who has paid for how much of what.

Or every month you can enter your BlogHer or AdsDaq earnings in the proper column.

There isn’t much room for description, but you shouldn’t need it here. Just where the money is coming from and how much it is per month.

The lower “Unpaid But Earned” section is for ads whose payout level you didn’t reach that month (compared with ones whose payout level you reached but who still may not pay you immediately). I only record earnings as earnings when I hit a payout, but I do like to know what I’ve earned anyway. This is useful for AdSense and other ad networks with high payout thresholds.

How you enter the money into the spreadsheet depends on your goals. For tax purposes, it’s probably best to write down when you earned it vs. when you received it. But for your own planning, you may want to keep a separate copy that will help you budget the actual money you receive.

The spreadsheet is set up to automatically add up the numbers you input, near the bottom of the screen. If you need more lines, simply add more lines above the total and it should automatically adjust. Again, you can download it here.

Consulting and Freelance Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet works better for freelance/consulting income. You can download it here.

Freelance and Consulting Income Spreadsheet

As you can see, it has a place for the client’s name, the date, the fee, whether it was invoiced yet, whether or not it was paid, and a short description. It also adds everything into a monthly earnings figure at the bottom of the month’s section. This isn’t as suited to ads, since you’re often running the same ads all year or for half a year. But it’s great for one-time projects and just fine for repeat clients as well.

I think the “Invoiced” and “Paid” sections are critical, particularly if you’re handling several clients at once. This way you know who has paid and who hasn’t. And whether you’ve even sent the bill yet.

It runs through the end of 2009. Again, you can download it here.

Combined Spreadsheet

This one is simply a combination of the previous two. Page #1 is the blogging income sheet, page #2 is the consulting/freelance income sheet. Helps you keep everything in once place.

Download it Here.

Using the Spreadsheets

If you don’t have Excel, you can still use these spreadsheets. Just download the free Open Office suite.

Hope you’ll find these useful!


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Kacie August 27, 2008 at 12:30 pm

This is really useful! Thanks for taking the time to share your spreadsheets.

I’ve been trying to get my blogging income in order, because I know tax time is going to be really interesting.

This will help me a lot!

mrsmicah August 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm

You’re welcome, Kacie. One handy thing is that PayPal saves your information for the last year. So I was able to double-check all my transactions recently when I went in to clean up my spreadsheets (I’d been tracking separately and less efficiently, so I knew I needed a new system). Wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Ryan S.@uncommon-cents.net August 27, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Gee, here I was thinking I need to set something up and you just went ahead and did it for me. I love it when I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Thanks a lot!

Laura August 27, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Wonderful job on the spreadsheets! Thanks for sharing them.

Scott @ The Passive Dad August 28, 2008 at 2:49 am

Thank you! These spreadsheets were actually on my long list of “To Do’s” and I’d probably never get around to them. Fantastic resource for other bloggers and writers.

I stumbled it.

Camille August 28, 2008 at 11:30 am

I like your spreadsheets. Great idea for free lancers. I wanted to share that I have a free downloadable one on my site to track investments for anyone else who likes spreadsheets.

Lisa August 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Thanks so much for sharing these spreadsheets. This is exactly the simple solution I need for keeping track of my blog income!

Pandu @ Profit Blogging Tips September 1, 2008 at 3:55 am

This is really a great resources for bloggers who trying to make extra income from blogging. I do appreciate your efforts to sharing this with us.

Monica September 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm

By far one of the best thing I have come across for a while now. I’m not a very organised person when it comes to keeping records but this simple spreadsheet is my answer. How come I haven’t even thougth of it? Strange

Thanks so much

Monica

Zhu September 5, 2008 at 9:40 am

Thanks a lot, I have just downloaded the first one! I started tracking by blogging income a few months ago and it motivates me ;-)

Dez Blanchfield September 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Nice start – can I recomend that you create a generic Google Docs or ZOHO account (Zoho is the better of the two IMHO) – and load your spreadsheets there and publish the account username and password “by subscription” via your site, to share with people.

Why do this? Simple, it would be a neat way for you to share the docs, provide a way for people without Excel to gain access to them, as well as provide you with a place we “readers” might also help you continue developing the spreadsheets – I for one would love to help you and fellow readers / bloggers / serial entreprenours out by investing a little time in cleaning them up – making them a little more “pretty” and helping develop them further ;-)

Cheers,

Dez

mrsmicah September 14, 2008 at 10:10 am

That’s a good idea, Dez. I’ll look into those options. :)

Sarah January 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Thank you!! I’ve just spent a whole morning trawling the net for a program or a template or SOMETHING that would help me get this stuff in order, but none of them quite met my needs… these are perfect!!

Sandra Harriette July 9, 2013 at 7:43 pm

This insights definitely helped! Thanks :)

I saved this one as a template since I already made my own. Perhaps I’ll write something about this too once I get my flow.

Sandra Harriette July 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm

These insights*

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