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I think understanding the legalities of blogging are so important before you start your blog.
When it’s a hobby and you’re writing for fun that’s one thing, once something is published to the internet it’s subject for legal scrutiny.
I didn’t see too many posts on this subject when I started out, so I decided to write a post on this subject in the hope it’ll help others nail down what the actual laws are involved in blogging.
This isn’t to scare anyone or dramatize blogging, however I do think knowledge is power in this case.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
I also would like to note that I am not in any way a lawyer, so do consult a lawyer should you need further explanation on any blog related laws.
You need to make sure your not infringing on any copyright laws associated to pictures.
When I first started my blog, I googled pictures then stopped myself before I made any pins or anything else.
The reason I stopped was because I realized I may not have the rights to use those pictures.
In some cases as long as you credit the original source on your post or under the photo your ok…
However that isn’t always the case, some sources only give the rights to certain companies etc.
In which case you will have to dig and find the terms & conditions regarding the photo(s).
Just to stay on the safe side, here are a few sources I get my pictures from that you don’t have to pay for.
You can sift through thousands and save as much as your heart desires without worrying about breaking any laws.
So go ahead and use those to create your pins and provide visual content on your blog.
2. Disclose yourself
If you are promoting a product or receive a percentage for various links throughout your post, you need to be clear about that.
You can’t pretend to act as a third party or unbiased opinion towards a product, when your not.
You have to disclose on your post that you are in fact paid to promote the product(s) and that you do receive a percentage of every product purchased.
It’s as simple as that.
One last thing, if you are promoting a product you cannot make outrageous claims on a product that isn’t true.
For example, you can’t claim a skin care product made you look 30 years younger overnight or that with a particular drink you lost 20 pounds in just 5 days.
You have to give real and honest opinions and results regarding any products.
3. Separate Your Blogging Income
Your blog is your business and so you must treat it the same as if your self employed in regards to taxes. I would suggest speaking to an expert about this to get actual advice, as I am not an accountant.
Make sure to keep track of all your finances and even your receipts that you invested into your blog which may be eligible for a refund come tax time.
4. Deep Linking
Deep linking is where you write a blog post and then link or refer to another post.
However you aren’t directly linking the reader to the homepage of the original source.
Your linking to an article deep inside their site.
For example, If I am talking about recipes and I share a link to one of my favorites: “Best Butter Chicken Ever” and I provide a link to lets say “Sally’s” page, that link is a deep link as its deep inside her blog. The link didn’t take you to Sally’s home page.
However deep linking doesn’t seem to be illegal, in fact a lot of bloggers encourage it, as it allows them to gain exposure to their site.
So it’s safe to say for now, that is OK to do so.
Just make sure whenever you are referring to another bloggers post your crediting them.
5. Protect Your Readers
Don’t send them spam, so make sure when creating an email list that your using a legitimate company like ConvertKit.
If your not running a commerce section on your site, then making a whole separate page on your promises for customer confidentiality isn’t necessary.
If its mainly a blog and emailing out new posts and potential products they may enjoy, just make a little blurb about that somewhere to promise and let people know.
It’s not necessary or legally required that you do this, but its highly advised just in case that 1 out of 100,000,000 person sues you because your illegitimate email company sends them something inappropriate or uses their email for something terrible that breaches their privacy.
Again, there’s not a ton of ways you can end up in a legal entanglement, but as I said, it’s good to be aware ahead of time.
My biggest questions when starting out, although seeming obvious to some, really confused me in regards to taking photos from google.
The last thing any blogger wants is an email complaining about something being copy written and being asked to take something down.
Pin it for later!
If you have any other blog related legal tips, feel free to post them!