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There are some serious blogger mistakes you can make throughout your career. And these can cost you a lot. As a beginner, simple ignorance can be a reason but not a legal defence. As a veteran, you must be aware of copyrights, trademarks and the importance of using contracts.
One of the biggest mistakes as a blogger is using copyrighted work or trademarks. This can be done accidentally, and you may not even be aware of the situation. This is a common mistake for beginners. But if you want to avoid a nasty letter from a reputable law firm, you must learn about this issue. Always credit the correct licence for royalty-free work, and never use something you have simply taken from a website or publication without permission. If in doubt, don’t use it.
Data privacy is a major issue these days, and even the world’s biggest companies are facing severe penalties for it. As a blogger, the fines and penalties you can face will put you out of business. Privacy policies are set out in multiple laws, such as GDPR and CCPA. These include the use of cookie banners, adjusted legal terms to fit your specific website and the ability to consent for various items such as further communications, cookie use and use of user data.
Making money from your blog is often your source of income. There are numerous ways to do this, but none more lucrative and common than affiliate marketing, which can make you around $30,000 per year. However, there are some rules around using affiliate programs. For example, you must disclose affiliate marketing so that it is very clear and the user knows they are clicking on an affiliate link within your content. This can be as simple as stating it at the start of a post.
Contracts are legally binding and are, therefore, a blessing and a curse, depending on the situation. Contracts have the power to back your case or destroy what you are claiming. Even as a blogger, contracts can be very useful, and you should always use them when doing business with anyone. For example, use a contract to set out terms when placing ads on behalf of a specific company. If in doubt, have a legal professional look over a contract before signing.
Blogging is a great way to make all kinds of income. Yet some people make the mistake of thinking this isn’t the same as working for pay and is therefore untaxed. Sorry, but it is taxed. And one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not declaring income made from a blog. There are severe penalties for this, including huge fines and prison sentences, depending on where you live. You will also still have to pay back any back taxes owed, even after fines and punishment.
Using copyrighted works and trademarks without permission is one of the most serious blogger mistakes. However, even failing to disclose affiliate links could be in breach of advertising laws. And always, always ensure you report any income from a blog to your country’s tax offices.
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