How to Legally Protect Your Blog – Can you legally protect your blog? What are the requirements for registering a blog or domain name? Find the answers to these questions and more in this article.
How to legally protect your blog is a complete guide to the legal issues you will face when you blog.
It covers 8 simple and free ways you can use to protect yourself and your readers as a beginner while you take the necessary steps to secure your blogging business with a lawyer. I also show how to protect your content and how to protect your identity.
Disclaimer: This piece is not intended to be legal advice, but rather general information that you can use as a starting point to seek additional counsel on your blog.
I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not providing any kind of legal advice with this post. If you’re interested in protecting your blog, this is some information I’ve found useful. There is a possibility that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a profit if you decide to purchase something through one of my links. For further details, please see my disclaimer.
Do you know you can be asked to pay $150,000 for posting just one copyright image on your blog?
Do you also know some businesses and individuals that depend a lot on copyright protection have put tags on their photos electronically and hired people to constantly scan the web for the tagged works using very sophisticated web bots?
The question is…
Are you blogging legally?
Is your blog rightly protected from copyright?
This is one of the topics most bloggers don’t want to discuss.
How to Legally Protect Your Blog
Let’s explore the legal repercussions of blogging. Yes, this topic (protect your blog) is a topic that often lets bloggers off their computers and heard outside as if they want fresh air. However, it’s critical that we have this conversation.
As a blogger, you must be proactive in safeguarding yourself, your blog, and your followers from potential harm.
You don’t have to worry about this element of your career is difficult.
Five simple measures to protect your blog’s legal interests will be discussed today… and I assure you that they are not frightening or confusing as you may think.
Due to the high budget cost, and difficult technicalities regarding the legal issues on online business setups, new bloggers choose to ignore the importance of legally protecting their blogs.
If you are serious about your blog, you need to protect yourself, your business, and your readers as well.
A lot of bloggers online are living an ostrich life by burying their heads in the sand and pretending no one can see them.
You cannot run away from reality. You should adhere to the legalities of running an online business.
Ideally, you need to engage a lawyer to help you secure your online business legally, but due to budget constraints for most new bloggers, you can take the initial step in protecting your blog and when the time is right, you can now consult a lawyer to help you secure your blog.
This process is also 100% accepted, but it’s advisable to find a lawyer to confirm later.
8 Simple ways To legally Protect Your Blog
1. Choose a Legal Blog name
To protect your blog legally, you need to start from the very beginning, the name of your blog.
How to choose a name for your blog is very important when you want to register your mark.
In the USA, a descriptive name is not allowed to be patented.
Descriptive name here refers to names that describe what the business is all about within the name, eg. Kay’s Gardening guide for Gardening blog or Suzzie french recipes for a food blog.
These sorts of names are not protected by trademark law, which means that you cannot take legal action against a person who copies the name in question.
Before you choose a blog name, make sure it’s unique. Spends a little time choosing the name of your blog carefully. Doing a URL search is not enough to know if someone is using it or not. there are registered businesses that are not running online.
2. Create Unique Content
This is to say create your own unique content.
This is one of the most important aspects of blogging yet, people still think it’s okay to copy people’s content and make them theirs.
I have explained in my blog post how to write a good blog post showing you why you should stay away from people’s content.
If you want to build a good relationship with your audience, you need to spend time researching what they need from you.
Dont guess, ask them in the forums, look for what they ask and what are their concerns in the comments within the forums and groups.
This will help you to create unique content targeted to them and not just copy someone else own and paste it onto your website.
Creating unique content helps you to stay away from all potential copyright infringement and any form of plagiarism.
If you are not familiar with the meanings of the term “plagiarism” and “copyright infringement,” it is critical that you undertake some study in order to ensure that all of the content on your blog is original and does not infringe on the rights of others.
Your best bet in protecting yourself and your blog is to create your own content.
How to create unique content
Explore keyword opportunities.
Conducting research on keywords is a terrific method to learn how the people in your audience are discussing a subject. In addition to this, conducting research on keywords might help you in finding fresh options for content that you might not have thought of on your own.
Feedback from customers.
Asking your clients may sound straightforward, but they may have unanswered questions about your product or space. Creating material around these questions will help your existing customers.
Consider your audience’s perspective.
Marketers must first know their customers. Think about what your customers could find fascinating, interesting, or helpful while brainstorming. Then see how they fit into your content plan.
Quora can tell you to find what others are asking about in your niche.
Learn what your competitors are writing.
As a content provider, you should always know what your competitors are writing about. Understanding how your competitors tackle a topic will help you differentiate your brand’s voice, approach, and content from theirs, and find weaknesses in their content strategy.
This explains to visitors what will happen with the information they provide once they hand it over to you, as well as how you will follow them when they navigate to other websites and back again.
If you write about products or services that you have received for free, if you have been paid to write about them (sponsored posts), or if you are an affiliate earning a percentage of sales for something you are writing about, you are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to include a disclosure in your writing.
This rule applies to all types of writing.
For beginners, there are free and paid privacy policies and disclaimer generators online.
You could be sued.
It’s possible that you’ll be held liable for the actions of others based on the advice you provide on your page.
There is no guarantee that what you publish will always be accurate or up to date. Because of how quickly knowledge can become outdated, the content that you released a year ago may no longer be accurate today.
You will need a page that states that you do not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the content that you publish. This page is called a disclaimer.
Your disclaimer needs to be tailored to the particular requirements or based on the activities of your website.
In accordance with the FTC laws and other legislation of a similar nature, a disclaimer page should also advise visitors of any affiliate programs and third-party links. With this, you are able to disavow responsibility for links on your website that go to third-party websites (i.e. Ads, affiliate links).
Terms and Conditions of your Website
The terms and conditions page covers the legal use of your intellectual property, as is your right to revoke anyone’s access to or usage of your site or property.
It also takes into account the demographics (age range) of the people who will be visiting your website.
How do you handle returns and exchanges for the goods and services you provide.
Unfortunately, many blogs fail to provide this.
If a consumer requests a complete refund after making a purchase (which you and I both know is terrible for business), you will forfeit your profit on that purchase.
However, if you have a terms and conditions page that included your return policy, that would be ideal. You have the legal right to specify whether a part of the purchase price will be reimbursed or whether no refunds will be made.
4. Create legally binding contracts with sponsors, collaborators, contractors, and vendors.
This may not sound right for you as you may say, ” I am just a beginner”. This post is to prepare you for the best practices of blogging legally.
When the time is right, you need to bind all your contracts legally.
When people get to know you from your blog, you will get contracts like sponsor posts, or any activity that may involve exchanging something for money within the online space through your blog or outside your blog. You need to put them into a written agreement.
You can write your own contracts if you’re just starting out or if you’re dealing in some form of business online.
Include the following:
- A comprehensive list of the goods and services that each party will deliver
- A detailed breakdown of costs and a timetable for when they must be paid
- You should include a return policy, even if your company does not issue refunds.
- If the relationship isn’t working out, how may either party end it?
As you grow, if bigger collaborations or high-dollar contracts come, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer to ensure that the terms of the agreement are clear and to get your own unique contracts that fit your company model.
5. Protect your Blog Content with Copyright
The copyright law says You own the copyright to everything you create, including writing, images, graphics, music, and movies (as long as you’re not working for someone else).
As soon as they’re “fixed,” that is, when they emerge out of your head and onto paper or into a computer file, they’re protected by copyright law.
Although a copyright notice isn’t necessary on your blog, it’s a good idea to let readers know that you’re asserting copyright and intend to protect your rights.
Display the words “All rights reserved” or “no reproduction without permission” if you don’t want anyone to replicate your work. on your blog or website.
If your website is created with wordPress with a standardized theme, your website will automatically publish this at the footer of our website
6. Secure Permission
It is almost impossible to always have a unique article. Sometimes you may come across a post that really talks a lot about a problem you are seeking to solve with your audience.
It could be an infographic, an article, a recipe, or some other type of content that has been generated by someone else. Or maybe you just want to Instagram someone else’s stunning photo.
It’s ok to share these articles but permission needs to be granted before you can do this.
Remember we just dealt with copyright, which says, a creator is automatically entitled to whatever they create.
Asking for permission before utilizing or sharing someone else’s work is always preferable to stealing their ideas or copying their work verbatim.
All you need to do is to send an email or a private message to this person to get their permission to share their work on your platform.
If they release the content publicly and make it “shareable” in a way that still credits them as the original creator, they are exempt from this rule (such as Facebook sharing or using the embed option).
It is common for bloggers to say “yes, no problem!” when approached about post-sharing opportunities, but some bloggers too,, may not want their content disseminated outside of their own platform for personal or professional reasons.
As a matter of law, they can do this, and you should respect it.
If you’re wondering if you’re allowed to link to any internet resources on your blog, the answer is yes (just as I linked to helpful resources above). It doesn’t matter where the link is pointing as long as it points back to the original page. The only exception is the use of another person’s image, for which permission must be requested in advance.
7. Give Credit to your Sources
This happens right after you are given the green light to share another person’s content on your blog. You should always credit the original author if you have the opportunity to use their information on your own blog or social media accounts.
It’s not a shame to tell people what you shared isn’t yours. It even tells your audience how fair and honest you are and that builds trust. Since you are not the creator of that piece of information, failing to give credit where it is due is a surefire way to get charged with plagiarism or breaking the law.
What you’re doing is basically passing off someone else’s work as your own, and that’s not something you should be doing at all.
The original source should be credited at all times. Ask them if you’re unsure about how to properly credit them. To give due credit, it is sufficient to say that the content was created by someone else and to provide a link to that person’s website or social media account.
Legal action can be taken against you if you don’t credit the original author. Search engines might potentially punish your site as well… It’s a big issue, and it happens all the time.
Keep this in mind as you go through the process. GIVE CREDIT WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
8. Use Copyright-free Photos
I don’t know how I will describe a blog in 2022 without images, I dont know how I will describe this.
Your blog will be more visually appealing if it is embellished with graphics and vibrant colors. In that case, what happens if you don’t know how to capture photos for your blog? It’s so easy to just search for a nice photo on Google, right?
That content is copyrighted and you could face legal consequences if you misuse it.
As a blogger, what are your options?
Fortunately, there are companies that offer free stock pictures to their consumers, with no copyright restrictions. You don’t have to credit the creator if you use their photographs on your site, and in most cases, you don’t even have to credit them at all. Yay.
You still need to be cautious and pick your stock photo sources carefully. Anyone can claim ownership of stock photographs, but it doesn’t imply they actually do.
Stock photo subscriptions are your best bet because the company is legally obligated to YOU, the consumer. They will protect your interests. My favorite paid stock-photo sites (most of them give you a few free stock photographs just for signing up) are listed below!
Free Copyright-Free platforms
- Stock Photo, or Unsplash
Subscription and Paid Platforms
- Shutter Stock
- Haute Stock
- Pixi Stock
- Death to the Stock Photo
- Getty Images,
- Creative Market
I have given you 8 simple, easy, and free ways how to legally protect your blog. Make it a point to apply them.
Keeping professionalism can allow you to simply avoid all of these confusing situations.
This means that you should always create your own unique content, and you should also ensure that you customize every aspect of your blog.
There are tools available to assist you in checking your grammar and sentences, in addition to tools that will assist you in creating your own graphics and videos.
Don’t allow laziness or being too smart to drag you into the ditch.
Stay safe and do the right all the time.