Important Legal Issues Bloggers Need To Be Aware of

Posted on Jul 31 2013 - 1:01am by Victoria Heckstall

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More people are turning to blogging as a form of communication with others. Blogs are a way for businesses to rank their pages, but they are also a way to make money and voice your opinion. Thousands of new blogs are created daily, and many bloggers do not consider there may be some legal repercussions to their posting. The biggest aspect of blogging is the fact that you are publishing words for the entire world to see when they search for them.

Liability Concerns

Being an at-home worker, such as a daycare, you will have to fill out several forms to protect your finances and cover liability issues. With blogging, you need to cover the same concerns. You may accidentally plagiarize work if you are not checking your articles, or you may publish information that is protected. You will also want to make sure that your business is covered in case of fines from the FTC or vendors who you pay late. The biggest concern of many bloggers is being sued for not giving a positive review of a product, or not having it published in a timely fashion.

Full Disclosure

It also became a requirement in 2009 that you must disclose sponsored posts. With this disclosure, you must state if you are getting a product in exchange for the review, or if they are paying you. This means if you are given software in exchange for a review in 30-days, you will want to make sure you document your use throughout those 30-days and then when you give your final review, place a note in the footer about “x” company giving you the software in exchange for the review. Many bloggers do inform their audience that even though they had been compensated, the views are their own. This will build a strong bond between you and the reader, and they are likely to come to you for thoughts on the latest product.

Keep Expectations Realistic

No reader wants to hear the best-case scenario and then read later that he or she is not a typical result. Readers want to know what the realistic expectations can be. Many commercial advertisers can get away with that because commercials are on the television and readers do not want to turn away from their show. However, bloggers can lose readers and the Attorney General could place fines. Even placing the claim in fine print may allow for fines because of false advertising. Always keep everything you do or say in mind and make sure to cover your tracks. When you make sure to cover your tracks, you will have fewer worries when it comes to lawsuits being filed.

Form a LLC

You see LLCs and Incorporations in daycares and many other small business owners. Bloggers have the same ability to keep their personal finances and their business finances separate. This is ideal if your business is sued, then you will not lose any of your personal assets. Your home, car, and bank account will not be taken in a business lawsuit, which means you will still be able to care for your family if your business comes under fire.

In addition to choosing who you work with, you can increase your blog’s safety by using a site to find your Local Quality Solicitors lawyers. You will want to have a group of people who are on your side and looking out for your best interest. They will help you select advertising partners and make sure you have enough protection in case something goes wrong. They will also make sure that all of your assets are completely protected, and for the most part, you should never have to worry about your blog causing legal issues.

Photo Credit: Flickr/David Ortez

About the Author
Victoria Heckstall

Victoria Heckstall is a professional writer who has been writing online since 2011. She is also the owner of Young Work At Home Moms where she shares advice with others who want to work from home.