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3 Common Legal Mistakes Bloggers Make

When you first decide to start a blog, you are filled with ideas and inspirations and a long list of what you want to do. But chances are the legal compliance and protecting your blog isn’t high on that list if they’re on there at all.

After a while you realize there are probably some things you need to do to either protect or blog or to have it be compliant with the law. Unless you went to law school, you’re probably stressing about what those things are and perhaps how much it would cost to hire a lawyer.

1. Not Having a Privacy Policy

The purpose of a privacy policy is to inform your site’s visitors of what personal information you collect and for what purposes. Privacy policies can also be required by law.

Perhaps the most well known law that caused a big splash in the blogging world in 2018 is the General Data Protection Regulation also known as GDPR.

GDPR helped to bring the law up to date with technology, but that also meant a lot more work for website owners and a potentially hefty fine for those that didn’t comply.

The purpose of GDPR is to allow people to have better control over their own personal information aka data.

For people to control their data they need to know how sites are collecting and using it. Enter the privacy policy and likely a cookie notice.

Not having a privacy policy could make you vulnerable to fines or lawsuits. Neither of which as a blogger (especially a new blogger) are something you want to deal with.

And if you think you don’t collect personal information, then you probably need to think again, do you….

  • Use Google Analytics?
  • Allow comments on your blog posts?
  • Have a contact form?
  • Have an email list for people to sign up to?

Any one of these are examples of ways you collect personal data, and as you can imagine there are a lot more.

So how do you put together a privacy policy?

There are three main ways that you can get a privacy policy together for your site:

  1. Do a ton of research and write your own
  2. Buy a Privacy Policy Template written by an attorney and customize it for your site
  3. Hire an attorney to write a custom privacy policy

Now, which path you take likely depends on your budget….

2. Violating Copyright (Using Images Without Proper Permission)

Graphics are an important part of blogging. Whether you are creating featured images or social share images or just headings to break up the page, there is always a need to create graphics.

Often times these graphics require photos but where you get those photos from and if you’re allowed to use them matters.

First, you cannot just pull images from Google images to use in your blog post, doing so means you’re likely violating the copyright of who own those photos.

3. Not Having or Incorrectly Using Disclosures & Disclaimers

There are lots of reasons why you would need to have certain disclosures and disclaimers and each blog is different, but some common ones include:

  • Affiliate disclosures
  • Professional disclaimers
  • Testimonial/Earnings disclaimers

Bottom Line

There are lots of potential legal issues that can come up when blogging, but it’s not very hard or difficult to address them and make sure you are protecting your blog and complying with the law.

Hopefully you’re now feeling confident in what to do about these three common legal mistakes bloggers make.

This Content has originally written by MICHELLE SCHROEDER-GARDNER and published on April 18, 2021. No Copyright/IPR breach is intended.

Click Here to read Original.

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