8 Legal Tips Every Blogger Should Follow

8 Legal Tips Every Blogger Should Follow

8 Legal Tips Every Blogger Should Follow

Editors note: This is a guest post by my friend Shadab Alam. In this post he presents 8 tips to keep you safe from lawsuits as a blogger. Happy reading!

 

Are you willing to pay fine while Blogging?

Obviously No.

But there are things you might be doing on your blog which can lead you into serious trouble.

These may be due to negligence.

Or you might not be aware of the rules and regulation regarding Blogging.

So if you don’t want to sued for any reasons, please read this post completely.

Disclaimer: Now to make it clear, the owners of this site and I are not legal advisors, attorney or lawyer. This post is for serving the basic global knowledge. If you want a 100% legal advice, I suggest you consult an attorney or your legal advisor.

Now here are few things that you can take care of.

1. Copyright

Basic, still most important.

Even though the copyright section is a basic step, it provides a legal defense against copying or theft of your original work. It also stops you from copying others.

You have the right to your blog’s content, but displaying Copyright section on your blog is an added advantage.

So if someone copies or reproduces your content without your permission, you can send copyright claim, or if it is in the major ground then you can even get a compensation.

The same applies to you as well.

If you copy from someone else’s site then you may be subjected to a lawsuit (if the owner demands), or maybe sort it out by some other options.

It is not a 100% full proof method for stopping the theft of online materials but a real necessity to curb it in the long run.

Related Post: 25+ Amazing Books Every Blogger and Freelance Writer Must Read

2. Using Branded Domain

I see many people, especially new bloggers use some of the trademark names in their URL.

Like BMWfans, Teslaking etc.

Man, those are trademarks or branded domain. If the owners of these brands should find out about the practice, they will definitely send you a notice to take it down.

Don’t even use something like BMWunofficial etc, because it contains a trademark name.

But doing that won’t let you directly into a lawsuit (it can sometimes), but they likely will lead to a cease and desist letter, such as, sending you a letter or mail saying “don’t use our name” etc etc.

And you have to stop right there with only two options to consider:

  1. Change the domain name or,
  2. Shut down your Blog.

And in case you do not comply with the instructions, then a lawsuits might be the next option.

So better avoid using brand names and trademarks, especially in your domain name.

3. The risk in Affiliate Program

Affiliate programs are great avenues to make money from your blog, but these programs can be risky for you and your blog. How?

Here’s how.

It happened with one guy. (Maybe happened with more people)

He was an affiliate for a software product and always make lots of affiliate sales. Overall he and his audience were happy.

One day he got an email saying, “the Software you promote has a bug and it records the transaction details like the credit card, debit card, and other sensitive information.”

The news went viral and by researching more it was found that he owns millions from users. But all the money went to software company which exists only on paper.

So when you are promoting any product you have to be sure it works perfectly.

Ensure that you personally use the product  before recommending it to others.

Here is a list of few Affiliate sites that are genuine.

Your blog is your business (even though you are working from home). So follow the best standard for business practices.

Related Post: How to Grow Your Blog Faster Than You Imagine

Legal tips every blogger should follow

4. Be Right About What You Say

Your blog is an online journal that can have both positive and negative impact on you as well as on your audience.

So don’t ever publish any fake or misleading information on your blog.

Though only a handful bloggers do it intentionally.

But there may be a chance that unintentionally you can produce fake information.

This is because many bloggers (especially in tech niche) rush to cover topics quickly, ahead of other bloggers and the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, though, sometimes speed comes at the cost of accuracy.

So spreading misleading information can be filed against you for fraud and violation of applicable consumer protection laws.

The same goes if you say anything negative about any company, brand or individual.

You have to be right about it.

You should have facts to prove your acquisition before hitting publish on your Blog.

5. An Angry Post

Something similar to be right.

You may not mean to harm anyone’s feeling but if you Defaming someone, or labelling them, which can damage their name and reputation, then you are subject to the defamation act.

I am mentioning this because in order to gain free fast traffic a lot of bloggers use an Angry or controversial post.

So if you are among those Bloggers do remember that this can be a serious issue and you may be sued for it.

6. Security

Now security is an important aspect even in Blogging.

Even Google mentioned that having HTTPS connection is an added advantage.

And if you are selling anything on your blog and collects sensitive information like Names, emails, and business card details, then implementing proper security is a must.

If you didn’t take proper precautions and if your customer went through any fraud then they may sue you.

Basically, it can be solved through compensation but if the loss is much greater, then it may be a serious problem for you.

Interestingly, HTTPS will boost your blog’s credibility and protect you from any fraud and breeches.

7. Register Yourself as Company

This is not necessary in the early stage but can be more useful when you establish yourself.

You can register your Blog as online business and can get an LLC for it.

And because it is your business, you need to implement the necessary standards and norms.

A good rule of thumb, though, not mandatory you can have a separate bank account for your blog so that you can file tax on your income, because not paying proper tax is a crime in all countries.

And if you are making good money from your blog then you are liable to pay taxes.

You can’t digest Government’s Money.

8. Have Important Pages

Your Blog should include some important pages like:

  1. Privacy Policy
    ii. Terms and Condition
    iii. Disclaimer

Even now Amazon is strict in their Affiliate Section.

Now Amazon wants to have Affiliate Disclosure listed properly visible on your blog.

So displaying some important pages on your blog or website can prevent you from legal issues.

You just need to follow the rules and standard.

Related Post: How to Repurpose Your Old Blog Posts for Maximum Engagement

Legal tips every blogger should follow

Conclusion

Just a quick reminder that neither me nor the blog owner “Moss Clement” is an Attorney or a lawyer. This is an informative post that teaches the basic rules and regulation implemented by all the famous bloggers.

Using the above-mentioned process can be sufficient if you want to stay out of trouble.

Just follow the basic blogging ethics and you will be good to go.

Avoid copying anything from other sites, especially images from Google.

And if there is a need of using someone’s article let them know first or use the legit methods like linking back to the original source.

You will succeed in your Blogging journey.

Keep Blogging..


About the Author

Legal tips for bloggers

Shadab Alam is a young entrepreneur who focus mainly on improving the Blogging Standards and Building Personal Brand. Author of three Top Selling Novels and Founder of SuccessPiper who love to write about blogging, social media marketing and Personal branding. A person filled with multiple knowledge disorder.

29 thoughts on “8 Legal Tips Every Blogger Should Follow

  1. Hi Shadab,
    Nice to have you on my blog. The tips in your article are great. It is a wake-up call for bloggers who are not aware of these issues, or those who pay less attention to them.

    Thank you for sharing this informative post. Hope to see you again soon.

    1. Thanks Moss for providing this amazing opportunity.
      Yes many bloggers ignore this topic giving it less importance. But it is really important to follow basic rules even in Blogging as it is one of the Business and should be given equal importance.

      Glad to be a published on your Blog.

  2. The affiliate disclosure is huge here in the USA Shadab. I literally have a disclosure on all pages – via my footer – plus set up a separate disclosure page. I say how every link makes me money in no uncertain terms. Even if this is not the case, I cover my butt. Ditto for every image; if readers click I say I receive financial compensation. This covers me for everything with the FTC in the USA.

    Ryan

    1. Right Ryan.
      But some miss to put disclosures, maybe due to negligence or lack of knowledge…
      Even in some countries it is not mandatory to put affiliate disclosure but by putting it in blog we can be in a safer side.

      Thanks for dropping by providing your insights.

  3. Hi Shadab! Hi Moss!

    Fabulous tips to keep us safe in our online blogging journey. As a web designer and blog manager, I’m amazed at the number of sites that do not have a Copyright notice. The rest of these tips are spot on and I appreciate you bringing them to light. Passing along to the interweb so all can read!

    Bren

    1. Hi Bren,
      Shadab did a good job in bringing out these legal tips to light. And I agree with you that many do not have a copyright notice on their blog or website, which has a negative impact on their online business.

      I just hope they read this article to straighten things up.
      Thanks so much for commenting and sharing as well.

      Shadab will respond to you later. Thanks a lot Bren👍:-)

    2. Yes Bren many sites don’t have copyright notice on their blog.
      And copyright is very important in case you have lot of exclusive images so that no one can use your images without permission.
      Not only images but also to all the content but image theft is most common nowadays.

      Thanks for your comment…
      Let’s create a safe blogging environment..

  4. Hey Shadab,
    It’s hard to find such blog post so thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    Many bloggers fail in point one miserably. We often just go to Google, grab protected images and use on our blogs without knowledge of the dangers.

    The Affiliate Marketing point is scary. This is why for such products, we need to use them carefully and make sure we promote what’s not going to land us into such difficult situation.

    Very useful knowledge bro

    1. Hi Enstine Muki
      Thanks for stopping by..
      Yes many blogger do copy images from Google without understanding the copyright issue. Though now Google stopped saving of images rather it redirect to the original website.

      BTW glad to hear that this post proves to be helpful.

  5. Hey Shadab,

    Great tips, I must say. Some of these are very basic, yet very crucial ones.

    As bloggers, we are mainly focused on tips on blogging – tips that help us create more content, tips that help us with SEO, and things like that!

    We mostly forget about the legal stuff until some kind of issue pops up!

    Thanks for bringing this up!

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  6. Hi Shadab,
    Here in the U.S. we have to really be careful with affiliate and images.

    When it comes to affiliate products, it is always good practice to either use it yourself or get the most information you can from the producer BEFORE you ever suggest it to someone else.

    Thanks for putting all these legal tips together. We all have to pay attention to them.

    -Donna

    1. Hi Donaa, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      And yes it’s is almost mandatory to. Havs affiliate disclosure but even for the countries where it is not mandatory, bloggers should follow these basic rules.
      Because as a blogger we can reach worldwide and can sell-purchase our products.

      And even having disclosure doesn’t harm the blog. Instead it wil help to build authenticity and credibility.

      Cheers ✌️

  7. Very helpful blogging. Already I’ve visited several links you provided in your list. All the links are very effective. I’d like to see more such beautiful links from you by this posting.

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