Are you legally blogging? A quick guide to not get sued!

As the blogging industry grows, it is become more scrutinized than ever. Not only are people making a complete living off of their blog, but the internet basically keeps everything forever! As a content creator, I often wonder if I am legally blogging. As someone who has studied business (and decided to pursue it further), it is time to talk about what we need to do as bloggers so that we don’t get sued!

legally blogging

Disclose, Disclose, Disclose

I am hoping by now that we all know when we should be disclosing infromation, and when it is not required. When it comes to legally blogging, this is something that has gotten a lot of people in trouble in recent news. If you’re doing sponsosred content of any kind, not disclosing could lead you into some serious issues. It doesn’t matter if it is paid or gifted, you still need to ad #ad, #sponsored, or #gifted to your blog posts, Instagram posts, whatever! Something else that all blogger’s need is a disclaimer for your entire blog. If you’re ever wondering, you can find mine under the about me tab at the top of the page!

You can find more information about FTC disclosures from Oh, She Blogs!

Know about copyrights, seriously.

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts over on Twitter about other bloggers taking content. This leads me into copyrighting and just basically doing honest work. It’s important to remember that the idea of your content is not something that can be copyrighted, but how you write about it is copyrighted. Anything that you create on your blog, for your blog, about your blog is protected as intellectual property. In the USA at least, we are protected as soon as we hit publish. If you’re outside of the country, then I highly suggest taking the time to check and see if you’re legally blogging, and protecting your content as well!

Check out this DMCA post for bloggers over at blogging.com!

legally blogging

Omg, the dreaded images

Speaking of something that keeps many people from legally blogging, images are the quickest way to get into some serious problems. This technically falls under copyright, but I think it is important enough to warrant it’s own paragraph! The easiest way to avoid this issue is to use your own photos. You don’t have to have a fancy camera, and it will go a lot further for your blog. Here are some blogging photo tips right here!

Another alternative is using free stock images. There are a ton of websites that allow you to use the images without any sort of legal reprocussions. If you’re just starting out, I think these are great ways to dip your toes into the world of blogging. Here are a few of my faves: Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay

Something else that is a great choice is to purchase royalty-free photos. These are created by some amazing photographers, and when you become a member of the site, or pay a fee, you are able to use the photos anywhere that you want to. Make sure you read the terms and conditions! Here are a few of my faves: Styled Stock, Ivory Mix, Kate Max Stock

Protect your readers!

There is something to say about protecting your own privacy with blogging. While we are putting ourselves out there, no one is going to blame you for keeping part of your life private, and we get that! If you’re really into legally blogging, then make sure you add a privacy policy to your blog. Once again, you can find mine at the bottom of my page, always!

I’m going to focus on protecting the privacy of the people who take the time to actually visit your blog. With the GDPR that took effect in 2018, it is more imporant than ever to be aware of the law in the blogosphere. You should have a manual opt-in that the user has to actually press in order to have consent to their inbox. If you use Mailerlite for your blog newsletter like I do, then you can also have an opt-in sent to the email of the user before your email hits their inbox. You are also now required to feature an unsubscribe button at the end of every email you send.

Lastly, DO NOT sell your email list to another blogger, or company. That user did not give their consent for you to do that, so you are breaking the GDPR, and that isn’t a cute look sis.

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4 Comments

  1. candice
    June 24, 2019 / 9:02 am

    These are some great tips, thanks for sharing

    Candice x

    natalyaamour.com

    • ashleestuart
      Author
      June 24, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much girl!

  2. kay
    July 12, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    Hey babe..Am I just tired and totally missing it? I don’t see your privacy policy at the bottom of your page anywhere in the footer. I just see that it has the copyright text. wanted to take a look at it. thanks much

    • ashleestuart
      Author
      July 12, 2019 / 1:41 pm

      Hey gir! I actually changed themes, so should be in the mneu right above the email sign up!

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