Legal Issues That Could Destroy Your Blogging Business
Things to consider when blogging
The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:
Blogging has become a fairly lucrative business if you know what you’re doing. Who would’ve thought that writing what’s on your mind and occasionally advertising products could be enough to make a living?
Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon and some clever folks have decided to try and make it an entire business. By managing and hosting multiple blogs, people can hire freelance writers to churn out content for all of their blogs. The writers get content to put on their portfolio, and the multi-blog owner grows their websites with loads of content that will be ranked high on Google’s search engine to attract viewers.
However, running a blogging business is a dangerous game that could cost you more than you bargained for. There are many legal issues that come with blogging, and they are serious enough that they could shut down your entire operation and leave you bankrupt.
Disclose Paid Sponsorships and Endorsements
Bloggers need to let their readers know when they are being paid to write about something. There’s no way to avoid this rule. Although there hasn’t been a blogger yet that’s been sued for breaking this law, but there are YouTube content creators that have been sued for misleading viewers about websites that they’ve used. As a result, many content creators in both the video and blogging world have made double sure to let their audience know when a post or video is sponsored.
You have to label your intent clearly. Make sure that you clearly state you’re doing a paid sponsorship, no matter how off-putting it may be. You also need to come clean with any affiliate relationships you have. Always let people know that if they click the link below, you’ll get a small commission. Never hide that information, and always be transparent. Also, never claim to be a third-party. Your words can be used against you, and you’ll pay for the consequences.
If you’re ever in a tight legal spot, then never try to lie your way out or fix things yourself. Serious legal dispute resolution requires solicitors with experience in litigation, so make sure to seek advice.
Unless an Image Is Yours, Always Check the License
People think they can just take any image from the internet and use it for themselves. However, there are strict laws surrounding this practice and if you’re unlucky, you could end up paying a huge fine for your ignorance.
Always ensure that you link to the owner. This isn’t always sufficient, but it’s a good start and most photographers and designers are content if you link your readers their name or website. Make sure you use royalty-free images as well. You can look around on the internet for royalty-free pictures to use. A lot of places will charge you to use their images, but there are plenty of free sites as well.
If you’re unsure about a specific image, then always ask the creator or the site hosting it for their permission. If you’re lucky, you could build a relationship with designers/photographers and strike a deal with them so you can freely use their images. Many photographers want the exposure, and they’re willing to cooperate with content creators so you both get something out of it.