What legal tips for bloggers should you be following to keep safe? Are you willing to pay the price of violating some legal issues 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 get sued for any reasons, please read this post thoroughly to learn about 10 legal tips every blogger must follow.
Disclaimer: To make it clear, the owners of this site and I are not legal advisors, attorney, or lawyers. This post is for serving basic global knowledge. If you want a 100% legal tips and advice, I suggest you consult an attorney or your legal advisor.
Basic, still most important. Even though the copyright section is a fundamental 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 significant ground then you can even get compensation. The same applies to you as well.If you copy articles from someone else's site, you may be subjected to a lawsuit Click To Tweet
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.
2: Using Branded Domain
I see many people; primarily 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 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 letter, such as sending you a message or mail saying “don’t use our name” etc.
And you have to stop right there with only two options to consider:
- Change the domain name or,
- Shut down your Blog.
And in case you do not comply with the instructions, then a lawsuit 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?
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, they found that he owns millions from users. But all the money went to a 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 use the affiliate product you are promoting before recommending it to others. Click To Tweet
Ensure that you use the product before recommending it to others. Here is a list of few legitimate Affiliate sites. 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
4: Use Disclaimers On Your Blog or Website
Disclaimers are critical legal tips for bloggers you must include to your blog or website.
Furthermore, if the post you are writing is delicate, such as on legal issues, without a disclaimer some of your readers may take the content as a piece of legal advice from you.
Thus, adding a disclaimer at the beginning of the post or the end of it helps your readers to know that you are merely offering valuable information for their consumption. As a result, they should consult with a legal adviser.
Below is a sample disclaimer in this article;
These documents will help you stay safe from legal issues.
5: Use Disclosures On Your Posts
As you monetize your blog via affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and other blog monetization strategies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) necessitates you to add a disclosure on your blog posts.
You could create a few lines of a disclosure template to use on your blog posts. For example, here is a sample disclosure on one of Arfa Nazeer’s blog post;
However, should you use declarations only on your blog content? No! Since you share your content on social media, you can also add disclosures on your posts to social sites. You could use hashtags as a way to disclose your promotion campaigns.If the post you are writing is delicate, such as on legal issues, without a disclaimer some of your readers may take the content as a piece of legal advice from you. Click To Tweet
The following hashtags would do well, nonetheless, depending on what you are promoting:
6: 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 false or misleading information on your blog. Though only a handful of bloggers do it intentionally. You must know that it is an element of legal tips for bloggers that need your attention.
But there may be a chance that unintentionally you can produce false information. ITs 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.
7: An Angry Post
Something similar to be correct. You may not mean to harm anyone’s feeling, but if you are defaming someone, or labeling them, which can damage their name and reputation, then you are subject to the defamation act.
I am mentioning this because 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 get sued for it.
Now security is an important aspect even in Blogging. Also, 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. You can solve through compensation, but if the loss is much higher, then it may be a severe problem for you.Spreading misleading information can be filed against you for fraud and violation of applicable consumer protection laws. Click To Tweet
Interestingly, HTTPS will boost your blog’s credibility and protect you from any fraud and breeches.
9: Register Yourself as Company
This step is not necessary in the early stage but can be more useful when you establish yourself. You can register your Blog as an 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 fee 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.
10: Have Important Pages
Nevertheless, it is essential for users to know what is involved when using your blog or website. Thus, make sure that you add all the critical pages that would aid you in case of any legal concerns. Given this, your Blog should include:
- Terms and Condition
Even now Amazon is strict on its Affiliate section. Now Amazon wants to have Affiliate Disclosure listed adequately visible on your blog. So displaying some critical pages on your blog or website can prevent you from legal issues.
You need to follow the rules and standard.
Just a quick reminder that neither me nor the blog owner “Moss Clement” is an Attorney or a lawyer. This article is an informative post that teaches the basic rules and regulation implemented by all the famous bloggers.
Using the processes mentioned above 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 for 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. What legal tips for bloggers are we missing? Tell us below in the comments.
About the Author
Shadab Alam is a young entrepreneur who focuses 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.