How To Protect Your Blog Legally
Updated: Apr 17
There are several legal steps you can take that can help you protect your blog such as trademarks, copyrights, laws, and licenses. All of the legalese can be confusing for new bloggers, especially if you don't have much legal knowledge. If you're not sure where to start, don't panic. If you're running your blog as a business, you should take these simple steps to legally protect it.
Get Contracts In Place With Sponsors, Collaborators, Contractors, and Vendors
If you're doing any kind of work for money, like writing blog posts or creating Instagram content for a brand, you should get an agreement in writing. When you're still a new blogger and are earning small fees, you can set up your own documents. Document templates can help you to do this, with tools like https://www.templafy.com/document-management-software/
A list of the services to be provided by both sides
Itemised and total cost with payment deadlines
Refund policy, whether you offer one or not
How either party can end the relationship
Who owns the copyright to anything being created
As your blog gets bigger, and you start to work with bigger companies, or start to earn a higher amount from your partnerships, then it's a smart idea to get a lawyer to look over your contracts to make sure you aren't being ripped off and have understood your rights.
Protect Your Blog Content With Copyright
Under copyright law, you automatically own the copyright to any content that you create for your site or social channels, such as text, photos, graphics, music, and videos, unless you have agreed otherwise with a brand you are creating content for.
There's no legal requirement to put a copyright notice on your website, but it is sensible to add one as an extra layer of protection. This shows people that you are aware of and are claiming copyright and will respond if this copyright is violated. The notice on your site should include a copyright symbol, the year the content was created, and your name or the name of your blog. You can also include the phrase 'All rights reserved' or 'no reproduction without permission' to make things even clearer.
For even more protection, you can register your work with the Copyright Office. By doing this, you have more options to sue someone who copies your content, which is much harder to do if the work isn't registered. You will also be able to claim higher damages if you do need to threaten to or actually sue someone who has violated your copyright claim.
By protecting your blog and social media content, you can keep it safe from being copied or stolen by others, and make sure have proper protection when working with brands on content like guest posts and other collaborations. If you aren't sure of your rights, speak to a lawyer for advice on how best to keep your blog legal and safe for years to come.