Welcome back to the Notion for Blogging series! If you’re new here, this series walks you through how to set up a command center to manage every element of your blog and brand. So far, we’ve covered how to set up a blog dashboard, content creation hub, and social media dashboard. Today, I’ll show you how to set up a Notion finance tracker for bloggers. Let’s tuck in!
Why do you need a Notion finance tracker for bloggers?
As a blogger, you’re likely already using accounting software. At the very least, you’ve got a budget spreadsheet. If your blog isn’t yet monetized, you might not have a system in place for tracking finances. (And that’s okay, too!)
No matter which stage your blog is in, here are a few reasons you should track blog expenses in Notion.
See your expenses in context
Let’s say you run a podcast. You might want to track expenses on new equipment. Or maybe subscription fees for an audio editing service.
Having a page where you can organize your podcast content, store ideas, and also see your relevant expenses would be super useful, right? That’s exactly what Notion allows you to do. Organize content, expenses, resources, analytics, and more on a single, clean page. (We’ll cover the podcast hub in a future post!)
Here are a few more expenses you might like to track:
- Hosting fees
- Payments to freelancers
- Ad spend
- Income tax payments
To organize everything on a granular level, you can add properties, filters, and different views for different expenses. You can also embed your finance trackers elsewhere in Notion using the linked database command.
Make budgeting easier than ever by importing financial data
Migrating your finance tracking over to Notion doesn’t mean you need to start with a clean slate.
Import financial data from your bank using Notion’s Merge with CSV feature. Fields like purchase date and amount will populate automatically. Then you can add your own properties to better organize your expenses. I’ll show you how to do it later in this article.
(Hold up! If you’d like to import financial data into Notion, please jump to this section to read an important note on data security in Notion. Don’t worry — your data is safe. There are just a few things you need to know before uploading any financial transaction data to Notion.)
Organize leads and customers
Notion can function as a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. It’s especially handy for bloggers who don’t require sophisticated (and expensive!) CRM software.
In a Notion sales tracker, you can store lead and customer information and add properties to indicate the leads’ status and value. You can also calculate the number of sales, total revenue, and more. Add different filtered views for different products and campaigns.
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How to set up a Notion finance tracker for bloggers
Want to set up your own finance tracking hub in Notion? Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough. (Video tutorial coming soon!)
Step 1: Add a new page
If you’ve already created a Notion blog dashboard, you’ll want to add the finance tracker within your blog dashboard. So instead of creating a top-level page, make sure your finance hub is nested under your blog dashboard in the sidebar.
(If you do accidentally create a new page, don’t worry — you can always move things around later!)
Step 2: Figure out which pages you want
Personally, I’m a big fan of hub-style Notion pages. I like to set up aesthetically pleasing dashboards with at-a-glance metrics. Here’s an example:
A sneak peek of the Notion finance tracker for bloggers — part of the Notion for Blogging Premium Template Pack!
As you can see, this page also includes links to the finance tracking databases where all the financial data is stored.
Here are a few more ideas for your finance trackers:
- At-a-glance revenue and sales for the month and quarter
- Monetization ideas
- Affiliate program application tracker
- Sales tracker
- Expenses tracker
Step 3: Start creating
Now that you know which pages you need, it’s time to start creating your pages. To create a new database, select “Table” (or whichever view you prefer) on your new page.
Feel free to experiment with colors and formatting on the main page until you’re happy with your layouts.
If you want to create pages within your finance tracking hub, be sure they’re nested under the main page. Check Notion’s sidebar to see if your page is in the right place.
Step 4: Add your properties
Once you’ve set up your main expense and sales databases, it’s time to add properties. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Expense tracker sample properties:
- Expense name (Title)
- Description (Text)
- Amount (Number)
- Type of expense (Select or Multi-select)
- Platform (Select)
- Purchase date (Date)
Sales tracker sample properties:
- Customer name (Title)
- Product (Select or Text)
- Amount (Number)
- Status (Select)
- Source (Select or Text)
Step 5: Import your financial data
Now that you’ve set up your databases, here comes the easy part: importing your financial data. (But before you do, PLEASE read the important security note at the end of this section!)
- Log into your bank account and download your transactions in CSV form
- Click the 3 dots in the upper right-hand corner of the Notion page.
- Click Merge with CSV.
- Choose your file and let Notion work its magic!
- Add as many properties and filtered views as you need.
Important security note: Most CSVs of transactions won’t include sensitive banking information. However, double-check individual transactions listed in the CSV to ensure your banking details aren’t listed. If they are, remove all sensitive data from the file before uploading it to Notion. Two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption aren’t yet part of the Notion app.
That’s not to say your data isn’t safe. And the chances of your Notion account getting hacked or some rogue Notion employee stealing your data are slim to none. But I strongly suggest you avoid storing any sensitive information in Notion. This includes bank details, tax ID numbers, passport information, etc. (This is pretty common sense stuff for all cloud services, though.)
If you’re concerned about security, simply copy and paste expenses from the CSV file or spreadsheet into Notion, or enter your expenses manually. This Reddit thread takes a deeper dive into Notion’s security policies.
More ideas to inspire your blog finance tracker in Notion
Now that we’ve got covered some of the fine print, let’s get back to the good stuff: a couple more ideas for your Notion blog finance tracking hub!
Your finance hub is the perfect place to brainstorm ideas for new products or ways to monetize. I recommend keeping a toggle list of monetization ideas you can refer back to later. (Or organize them in a database or bulleted list — whatever floats your boat!)
Affiliate program application tracking
Notion is the ultimate solution for tracking which affiliate programs you’ve applied to. Store contact and product information, track application dates and status, and even draft your application right in Notion.
Setting up a Notion finance tracker for bloggers: wrapping up
The finance tracker I’ve described here is fairly basic, but I like to keep things broad and minimalist. Every blogger has different budgets and needs, so experiment with your finance hub to discover what works best for you. If you’re like me, you might still be in the early stages of monetization. In that case, a basic setup is all you need!
Tracking finances is only a small part of managing a blog and brand. Creating and promoting content is an intensive, time-consuming process with a lot of moving parts.
Marketing. Design. SEO. Bloggers are tasked with managing every element of their brand. You probably rely on dozens of different apps and tools to get everything done. Which means it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.
Nothing compares to Notion for managing a blog and personal brand. I should know — I’ve tried just about every productivity tool out there. I rely on Notion to plan, organize, and create all my content. (Even this blog post!)
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I initially created the Notion for Blogging Premium Template Pack to solve my own content planning problems. Then I realized other bloggers would benefit from the system I’d created. So when I say I created this template pack with bloggers like you and me in mind, I mean it!
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Thanks for supporting a fellow blogger!
We’ve talked finances a lot in this post. So I’ll let you in on a little secret: the Notion for Blogging Premium Template Pack is my very first product. Before launching this product, I didn’t make a single red cent off this blog in the 3 years I ran it.
I’m cool with that. I love what I do — having dedicated readers like you is reward enough. On the other hand, as a fellow blogger, you also know how quickly expenses add up. (Hosting fees ain’t cheap!)
I don’t do ads or shady marketing, because there’s more than enough of that in the world. But I do love a double-shot mocha from my local family-owned coffee shop. So if you find my free resources useful, please consider supporting (read: caffeinating) me on Ko-fi!
If you’re just here to read, that’s cool, too. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to be here!
Got questions about building your blog’s second brain Notion? Meet me in the comments, shoot me a message, or hit me up on the socials. I’m always down to chat with a fellow Notion nerd.
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