Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Him

As much as I love to give gifts, I’m really beginning to despise these gifting holidays. Nate’s birthday is December 1st, then Christmas 24 days later – now Valentines Day! If I didn’t know any better I’d say that boy was spoiled LOL. I’m leaning towards getting him a denim jacket with a few custom patches, or something unique like these coasters or a “What I love about you” book. We like to believe that Valentines Day is meant for us ladies, but it’s always a sweet gesture to gift your boo with something as well. Here are some gift options for your valentine below –

Hershel Duffle Bag | Nike Windbreaker | Ray Bans | Burberry Card Holder | A Classic Chanel Cologne | Brown Leather and Rose Gold Watch | Hey Handsome Shave Kit | Hubby Sweatshirt | New Belt | Retro 1 Air Jordan | Personalized Cuff Links | Instant Espresso Maker | Fuji Film Camera | Ussie Book | Apple Watch | Engraved Necklace | Ferragamo Slides | Customized Jewelry and Watch Box | Stamp Map

Tax Tips for Bloggers and Small Business Owners

Tax Tips for Bloggers and Small Business Owners | The B Werd

If you haven’t already, it’s time for us blogger babes and business owners to start getting all of our receipts and proof of income gathered up. After a run in with the IRS for some income I didn’t know had to be reported, I made it a point to hire an accountant. Now that I’m a small business owner, I try my best to stay as educated as possible in regards to what I should be filing. Most of my friends do their taxes online and that’s perfectly okay, but I always suggest trying various online tax services to see which will give you the best return. Each tax service will go about creating your return differently. Some are very detailed and others are more broad with the questions they ask to help you. It’s indeed time consuming, but a couple extra hundred bucks is worth it to me.

Blog Expenses That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

Think back on your 2017 and make a list of everything you purchased for your business. This includes social media ads, ads you put on other sites, your domain name and hosting expenses, design costs for your website, plug-ins you may have bought, business cards. Did you pay for any programs like Adobe Suite, or Microsoft 365? Other things we overlook are apps that we purchase like PicMonkey or Canva and stock photos that we purchase for blog posts. If you paid for it and it’s going towards your business, look into writing it off.

If you blog or work on your business full-time, look into writing off your workspace or “office”. This can get tricky, because the space has to be used for blogging or work only, so reach out to an accountant to figure out the best way to do this. You want to be certain you meet all of the requirements for this write-off. Other things you can write off are, paper, planners, writing utensils, camera equipment, printers, computers, and other supplies you may have used for your business

Did you hire a photographer, intern or assistant last year? If you did, be sure to write off those expenses. If they made more than $600 from you, you’re required to give them a 1099. As far as 1099’s go, if you worked with a company that paid you more than $600, they’re also required to give you one so don’t count the income they gave you twice. Oh, and all that free stuff you got…… tally that up too. Yep, hair products, headphones, even alarm systems can all be accounted for. A round-a-bout number should suffice.

Continuing your education by doing things like attending conferences, paying to attend webinars, and buying courses and books, are all expenses you can write off. This also includes the cost of hotel rooms if you had to travel, as well as food, and gas to attend these events. Did you drive your own car? Add mileage. Even if you bought a special outfit for these events, be sure to count that, too.

Lastly, do not try and nickle and dime what you’re able to claim and be certain that your expenses are legitimate. Deducting too much “fluff” is an easy way to raise a red flag with the IRS and spark up an audit. As someone who’s been through one, it cost me more stress than the deductions were worth so be mindful! If you’re in doubt, reach out to a professional for clarification.

The best part about all of this is, you actually made some money last year! Let me know if you’d like me to share tips on how to keep all of your business income in order and organized.

The Difference a Year Can Make

The Difference a Year Makes | The B WerdAround this time last year, I was getting ready to head to Cuba with a group of girlfriends to celebrate my birthday. I had been single for four years outside of dating people sporadically and didn’t have a problem with it one bit. I loved my life as is and didn’t question when I would settle down or with who. At that time, Nate and I had a completely platonic friendship and he was actually really sick with bronchitis prior to me leaving. I remember picking up some travel size toiletries from Target and getting him some cough drops and Vicks to drop off to him since I was out already. I stopped by his place really quickly to drop off his medicine and he had a wrapped gift for me sitting on the bar. Even as friends, he was so thoughtful. I opened my present, we laughed a little bit and I rushed out because I could not afford to get sick prior to my vacation! I had very little connectivity in Cuba and although we were used to talking daily, there were sometimes 12 hours in between my responses due to lack of wifi. It didn’t bother me, but I think secretly, it was killing him LOL.

As soon as I got back to Houston, I had to pack for a work conference in Dallas that I’d be at for two days. Nate asked to take me to dinner, which still wasn’t out of the ordinary for us, but I simply couldn’t fit it into my schedule. I was on a high from how much fun I had in Cuba and honestly, just with how much I was enjoying life entirely. I was ready to celebrate! My boss had stopped to buy me champagne and we had dinner reservations later that evening since it was my actual birthday. Once we checked into our room, I was stopped in my tracks. I had a bucket of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a small cake, balloons and a gigantic bouquet of flowers all set up. I was really feeling the love! Smiling from ear to ear, my boss says “open up the card, it’s from your sister!” and what was inside read “Happy birthday, love Nate”. What?!

I had so many questions! How did he know what hotel I was at? When did he arrange all of this? Were my boss and my sister in on it? But most importantly, that moment opened my eyes to how special Nate had made me feel from an entire different city without expecting a thing in return. It may have been a small gesture, but it spoke volumes – especially when I had dealt with men who’d text me happy birthday the day after it was over. I couldn’t get over the fact that he’d gone to the lengths he did to surprise me and make sure I knew he was thinking of me on my birthday even if I wasn’t sharing it with him and at that point, my feelings for him began to shift. Thinking back, I’m shocked at how long our friendship remained innocent allowing us to truly build a friendship and know one another beyond the expectations of dating.

Since this time last year, I agreed to be Nate’s girlfriend after being single since I was 23, became engaged after dating him for six months and signed off on the lot that we’ll be building our new home on. A year after his sweet initial birthday gesture, he surprised me with a birthday brunch and made sure my favorite people were there (not to mention, I complained the entire drive to the restaurant). As I was opening gifts, he surprised me again with a birthday trip to Hawaii! I’d be lying if I said Nate wasn’t exactly the man I hoped to end up with. I guess after being forced to miss me in Cuba, he wanted to be sure he wouldn’t miss out on the chance to celebrate me on my birthday ever again.

I can’t help but marvel at how vastly my life has shifted from only 12 months ago. I always thought I would need time to prepare myself for changes like this and accept them mentally first, but that wasn’t necessary. I couldn’t have bet that I would be engaged or even in a relationship last January, yet here I am about to get murrrrried to the perfect man for me. Nate doesn’t desire to be praised publicly, he doesn’t even know I wrote this. I’m only sharing this because my life’s a legitimate testament to not recognizing your forever with your eyes, but instead with your heart. A testament to not even expecting it.

God is real. He knows what you truly desire. When I began to quit trying to make sense of how everything would work together in my favor, things really began to flow in my life according to what He wanted, while in alignment with what I needed. You may not be able to make sense of how you’re going to get it, or why you haven’t gotten it yet – but when He sees fit to make it happen, you’re going to be floored at how He does it. We doubt what will happen for us because we can’t see it for ourselves but when it happens to you, you’ll understand exactly how much your world can do a 180 when you were least expecting it in business, in relationships or personally. Even when we thought we may not get it, we have to remind ourselves we deserve it.

Find solidity in exactly where you are today and know that your life is just a few months away from granting you what it is that you genuinely long for.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram’s New Algorithm

New Instagram Algorithm | The B Werd

If you’re an influencer, you already wreck your brain with questions like when to post, what to post, and how to post it right. Posting on Instagram gets incredibly strategic if your goal is to yield interaction and growth. For those of us who use Instagram as a way to drive business, build our brands or be discovered by companies we want to work with, understanding Instagram algorithms is important to us and as soon as we think we’ve got the hang of one, it’s switched up once again. This last algorithm change was really apparent when my numbers weren’t growing, but instead decreasing and my posts were struggling with engagement which wasn’t usual for me. I took it upon myself to find out how to work with the new implementation and how to make the best of the changes.

What You Really Need to Know

After the dozen articles I read through, what I gathered is this – your posts are being tested, before they’re being shown. Here, let me explain… Instagram’s goal is to show you content that you’ll actually enjoy, as opposed to just what’s newly posted. This is the reason why you may see a 6-hour old photo at the top of your timeline, because history shows you’re prone to like that persons post and Instagram is so nice that they want to be sure you don’t miss it. What deems a post as enjoyable? The answer is always going to be numbers. With Instagram’s new algorithm, your post is shown to 10% of your audience first. If you’ve been wondering why some of your posts are only doing 1/10 as well as you normally do, the new algorithm is why. The purpose of this is to gauge the interest of your audience to determine whether or not it’s worth showing to the rest of your followers. The algorithm measures how quickly the small percentage of followers are reacting, liking, commenting on your post and uses metrics from the past to compare how well your newest photo is doing. If your post is doing as well as or even better than average, it has a better chance of being shown to more of your followers as well as being on the explore page. Here are some things you can do differently to make sure you’re getting the most out of your post.

Do

Use Instagram Stories

Utilizing Instagram stories will help you show up on feeds more often, so try and do this daily. The stories that pop up on your feed first are accounts that you engage with the most, so do your part to make sure others are seeing you before others!

Use Hashtags in Your Caption

We all thought we were being slick by posting our hashtag options as the first comment under our Instagram posts, but they were onto us. Hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display under search results. This will do away with the option of anyone being able to see your post if they search a hashtag that you use. Now, they have to be included in the body of your caption in order for others to find them.

Get Personal

Leaving the same comments and emojis on everyone’s photos is an easy way to get your account flagged. In an effort to reduce spam accounts who leave comments like “awesome!” or “great pic!”, make sure you’re getting more personal with what you say. Even saying something like “love this!” can come off as impersonal.

Don’t

Post Just to Post

Choose your posts carefully. Is this something your audience is really going to like, or is it something you can keep on your camera roll? You have 10 minutes to prove your post is worth seeing and if it doesn’t make the cut,

Post and Delete

Instagram is also tracking how long you keep your posts up, so if you’re one of those who like to post and delete until you get it perfect – think again. I also wouldn’t edit your caption for 24 hours after you upload your post. It significantly lowers the chances of your post being seen by the majority.

Wait to Respond

Since they’re gauging how well your photos do within the first 10 minutes, make sure that you’re responding quickly.

The moral of the story is – post better content. You want your followers to stop in their tracks and double tap your pics. If you don’t take anything else away from this post, take away the fact that Instagram is encouraging you to share not just better quality photos, but better quality experiences for those that follow you. The entire point of social media is to be social. Interact with others and give them a reason to do the same with you. If you have to think twice about whether or not you should post something, wait until you’ve got something worthy!

What issues have y’all ran into with this new algorithm? Comment below!

Weekend Deals

Weekend Deals | The B Werd

Missguided is offering 40% off of orders over $100.

This. Blazer. Is. So. Bomb! A gray checkered a-symetrical beauty that is sure to be a staple in your closet.

I’ve been seeing these belt bags all over and love the pattern of this one, especially for under $30.

Now that it’s on sale, this embellished moto jacket is a must-have!

Wishing I was back in Cuba just so I could wear this mustard dress.

Hands down my most-worn pair of designer denim is on sale for under $100.

I didn’t know Celine Dion made bags but I’m in LOVE with both options of this one.

I have to have this button down henley dress. It’s perfect to pair with sneakers or under a leather jacket.

The end of winter is the perfect time to buy jackets for next year + this suede moto is one you’ll wear over and over.

Wear this longline cape to your next runway, birthday, or corporate event. It’s SO fab!

This PJ set is so cute! The perfect gift for a girlfriend.

ASOS has a ton of really cute shoes on sale, like these OTK boots and these barely there heels.

I’m loving this gray skater jacket. It’d be perfect over jeans or a skirt!

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