Blogging – Legally?

How Legal Do we Need to be as Blogger?

What Legal bits do we need to know?

Do we have to follow anything?

I like most other bloggers I  am a self-taught blogger.   Looking here and looking there for ideas and advice.  I feel here in the UK there isn’t a lot of advice, or it could be that I am looking in the wrong place.

In all honesty,  I am clueless and this post is a discussion post for all us bloggers to share our advice and learnings with one another.  That way we all grow together and are safe online whilst blogging.    Apparently, if we are not careful we can lose a lot!

However,  in my travels of trying out to find out what one should be doing as a blogger to be legal.I have come across a few articles – URL links below for you all.   One is a bit old and one is newer.

I also include my learnings

  1. Disclaimer Statement
  2.   Disclosure statement
  3. If you have a MailChimp – you have to have a PO BOX and some sort of data protection statement.
  4. Must copyright your work
  5. FTC has international jurisdiction

URL you might find useful

(articles found on Pinterest)

Friends,  please do comment below.  What are your thoughts or concerns?  Maybe we can all help each other learn.  Or it might be you all know everything and my research is getting me quite confused.   I gladly welcome all advice that you have implemented.

The most frustrating thing with all of this is;  that there is so much free information on blogging, but when it comes to this legal stuff, I can’t seem to find it.

Disclaimer:  I am no lawyer, I don’t know anything.   The URL I share I found interesting but I don’t know how valid they are.  One is about 4 years old  – so that information may be old and invalid.  I am clueless.

Thanks in advance.

© 2017 Thoughtsnlifeblog




Categories: #Thoughts

50 replies

  1. Well jeez.
    I knew nothing about this, I have seen the copyright disclaimer but didn’t realized bloggers needed this, I am from the US. I need to figure out to get one on my blog then, because I wouldn’t want anyone using my information I took the time to write, ya know. This was a good post and I will reblog it so that others may see it and add their own tidbits to it, thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

    • @fitnessgrad: Great to know and great to DO, but unless you have the bucks and the willingness to prevail in court, thieves will always steal anyway – even in a field as supposedly ethical as coaching. Your primary “protection” is providing a clear timeline that establishes it as your creation (save your drafts, btw).

      Over the past 30 years i have been emailed my proprietary course content under the name of another (verbatim as well as marginally relanguaged), and many of my ideas and techniques available only in course modules have been pirated (and sold) sans attribution by my own students, despite clear and legal copyright statements from inception – long before I began to post much of it online.

      I once Googled my name and saw one of my inventories FOR SALE with my name and “black box” copyright warning clearly legible in the graphic. S/he took it down immediately when I challenged by email, but I’m sure that didn’t stop the activity once the initial fear of legal recourse subsided. Even entire eBooks are posted for download on pirate sites that are actually marketed and defended in Facebook arguments. Thieves will always be thieves.

      The most important disclaimer is the extent of your expertise if you write an advice site – i.e., along the lines of “This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice; consult your own health care professional first” etc.

      You also want to use trademark and copyright symbols after brand names and include something indicating the source of any graphics you use – not everything distributed as royalty free actually IS, and this gives you a leg to stand on if somebody decides to sue you for copyright infringement (not likely, however, if you apologize and take it down immediately – accent on apologize!). As long as you link to the source and don’t seem to be claiming it as your own work, most people are thrilled with the exposure and marketing assist.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Experience, not expertise. I believe intent reads, so those disclaimers are important for that reason, if nothing else. Unless you are making money from your site (in which case the rules change), I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

        However, after Kleenex™ lost it’s exclusive right to that name, corporate attorneys have been known to go after people who fail to use copyright symbols, fearing the loss of their own brand names if they don’t defend them. That’s worth remembering to do – always.

        Have you asked this question of the WordPress help gurus? As the host site, their policies and procedures have been vetted legally for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You might be overthinking this and scaring yourself to death. I have had a web-presence since the dawn of the web, and firmly believe that with common sense and common courtesy, almost all of us will avoid legal trouble.

        Do check with the WordPress stuff if you continue to worry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for taking time to share this information with me, this was very helpful and great must needed information! I guess we never really know how to go about these things as bloggers because we simply write and don’t always think about someone stealing our ideas or stealing our images or whatever it may be. and not to mention we don’t always think about where to get our images from. I try to use sites that are paid images, so I can feel at ease about using the image, lol. I never save my drafts, but this was a good point to do so, I suppose too late for the majority of post I have written since I have over 500 published post but I will definitely consider it for the new post I write now. I might even start adding a disclaimer as well, and I am thinking about once changing my domain name to add a trademark or copyright next to it since it will be my brand . 😀 thank you so much!

        Liked by 2 people

      • You’re very welcome. I don’t save EVERY draft, btw – just the ones that are (or will become) part of something I hope to publish in another format.

        I tend to write posts on WordPress itself these days so I can format as I go — so, unless I have copied content from something I’ve already written (usually in Word), I copy selected posts back into Word or a text editor and save in that fashion in a project-specific folder.

        Anything I’ve printed out for proofing, I try to remember to add the date in the footer before I do so – and I three-hole punch and file ongoing draft versions in project specific notebooks.

        I’m not sure all the work involved in changing your domain name will end up being worth the work – I’ve heard you have to gather your followers anew. A copyright notice on your sidebar and/or footer will probably protect you just as well, and be much less hassle. I now add one at the end of each post anymore (with a clear statement that reblogs are always okay and much appreciated).

        Like you, I have published well over 500 posts and pages, so when I go back to edit for any reason (my blog is evergreen), I check for copyright info, etc. and add, if necessary – usually with the date of the edit as well as the original creation date, and post date, if different.

        Hope this helps too – and try not to spend too much time worrying about stealing. Do your best to make friends with the idea that it WILL happen, no matter what you do, unfortunately. As I said in another comment, thieves will always be thieves.

        You just want to be able to prove the content is your creation if it ever comes up – unless you have the funds to keep a copyright attorney on retainer.

        Speaking of which – follow the rules we were taught in English class about quotes and content snippets from others (even in your own words) – and make sure you link to them to let them know you’ve done so. Only fair, right?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ah okay! very well. I was going to say, wow! i am late on saving drafts! I do plan on writing a book sometime, and using some of this blog to do so, so it would be a great idea to do it and I also tend to write for other people when I am looking those kinds of gigs which normally have me write out different topics than I have on wordpress but still, I might start creating folders for projects as well. Good idea. I didn’t think to copy over to word doc.
        Oh wow! see, and I thought changing the domain name would be beneficial, didn’t realize it was a hassle… this makes me kind of scared to do so.. because I don’t want to have to start over in followers, it would take me another century! lmao. seriously.

        Yes, I will continue to remember to follow proper English class requirements – which i tend to sometimes not do! lol. but will be more aware these days.
        Did you make your own disclaimer? or did you have to purchase it ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I vamped off my first coaching disclaimer (in the VERY early days of the field), which was gifted to me by a lawyer who became a coaching colleague.

        As long as you make it clear what you are and (especially) what you’re NOT, and post it prominently (i.e. not like you were trying to hide it in “fine print”), I’m sure you’ll be fine.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Friends , Me again. I just updated the post to have the following towards the end of the post.

    The most frustrating thing with all of this is; that there is so much free information on blogging, but when it comes to this legal stuff, I can’t seem to find it.

    Disclaimer: I am no lawyer, I don’t know anything. The URL I share I found interesting but I don’t know how valid they are. One is about 4 years old – so that information may be old and invalid. I am clueless.


  3. Dear All, As i said in this post – I am clueless! When I started this blog I had not worked for two years, and I started it for several reasons, one to ensure my brain was in gear and may be one day make a side income. So, I started to research well what do I need to do, have in place etc to be on the right side of legal stuff. You can all see how technical I am with legal speak – not at all.

    I thought the UK and USA laws don’t apply across boarders why would they. Then I joined a FB group were one group member said the FTC can shut anyone down. I said but I am in the UK. Then an another member agreeded with the first member . I was so scared after that . But at the same time , I said to myself there are too many bloggers out there who are successful, it can be as bad as these two are making out can it be? Can you even trust everyone and everything you read. I still remain clueless on the point of the FTC and international jurdistiriction.!!

    Then, at the gym today I was thinking, should I have even wrote this post? I hope I haven’t scared anyone?
    Also, I was thinking so sound is the advise on the URL’s i shared. One is at least 4 years old. So Friends please be cautious.

    Then I thought, may be it all depends what you want to do with your blog. May be if, all you want to do is write and share and not make money, then you just have to worry about copyright (both sides of the coin), acknowledging sources for all images and other stuff. Use Disclaimer to protect yourself from any advise. Use disclosure to say if the product is sponsored or not ?

    Anyway -Friends i am clueless and that’s why i wrote this post – to get help from you all. And in turn we help each other out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cat , I am so clueless on this . Really, I dont know what is right and what is wrong. And do we even need to bother ? I added two generic comments, one to say I updated the blog since you read it, and one to answer as best I can a few comments. But , I am so clueless and have been in this state since I started seriously blogging in May 2016. (though i officially started in march 2016)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Bella.. I think I’m getting there with my ‘blogging knowledge’ and then I realise I know NOTHING!! Yikes… It looks like I need to get some work done to incorporate some of these suggestions onto my blog as I’ve got none of them at the moment. This will also be really useful when I eventually move forward with ‘self hosting’ too! Thanks so much for this brilliant and very illuminating post!!! x

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wendy, Remember I AM CLUELESS, so please don’t think this post is the be all – because it is a cry for help, to understand and share and learn – in the WP community.

      But, there must be something that has to be done, if blogger want to make money. or Even just to simple write. I think if you simply write you just have to copyright yourself – to stop some one stealing or accusing us of stealing…

      I am so clueless on this . Really, I dont know what is right and what is wrong. And do we even need to bother ? I added two generic comments, one to say I updated the blog since you read it, and one to answer as best I can a few comments. But , I am so clueless and have been in this state since I started seriously blogging in May 2016.

      I hope someone – who know something , comments on this blog and clears the confusion for us all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awww bless you Bella – we can be Clueless together then – there’s comfort in knowing that we aren’t alone! I think you have probably got yourself a bit better covered on your blog as you seem to have the copyright logo so I definitely need to look at that. I’ve printed off the posts from the other 2 blogs that you linked into and I’ll have a good read through those at some point next week hopefully. Don’t worry – we’ll get there in the end.. Blogging Teamwork ! I’m just glad that you alerted me to something I was oblivious to and can incorporate into my research for the self hosting so it’s very much appreciated! x

        Liked by 2 people

      • Like that blogging team work. Just be mindful one url is quite old and i think is by a usa person. And one is uk person written in 2016.. but may be ask your son’s girl friend the one who is quite renouned blogger ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aww – that’s fantastic Bella.. Well done with the Vision Board – how fab – I think it’s always ‘work in progress’ as we ‘evolve’ ourselves, I add more to mine fairly regularly. And… I’m delighted your enjoying the giveaway presents – how lovely! Thanks for letting me know as I’m really chuffed now too which is great! xx

        Liked by 1 person

    • thanks for the reblog. but i have to say one of the url is old about 4 years – so not sure if still valid.
      Like I said I am clueless, and that is the reason for the post.

      also i have updated the post a bit. and I have added a generic comment on the update and another generic comment on all comments do have a read.


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