It's no secret to most of us, that "artists" are often more creative than business-oriented, true?
It's one of the main reasons we often read about famous authors, lyricists, and actors who make millions, and shortly thereafter, are next to broke, or embroiled in some type of legal battle, where they stand to lose their fortunes.
Bad decisions, poor money management, and entrusting their assets to the wrong "professionals" are often to blame. And as scribes, we're cut from a similar cloth.
Even though as writers and bloggers, much of what we say and do online can be protected by the First Amendment, it's important to strive to be strategic, above-board and business-minded, for optimal success and profitability.
With this in mind, here are three legal issues you'll want to consider to safe-guard your blog and protect your bottom line in the future.
According to the Freedictionary.com: "A disclaimer is a defensive measure, used generally with the purpose of protection from unwanted claims or liability." Do you address health tips, provide financial, parenting, or legal advice to your readership?
If so, disclaimers can be useful in the event that someone takes your advice and it causes them detriment or loss. We live in a very litigious society, where folks are filing claims for everything from spilled hot coffee, to contractual breaches, to defamation of character, to misleading Ads online.
Fortunately for most of us "starving artists," the only "assets" we really risk losing are our book collections, stash of chocolates, comic book collections, and unopened bottles of wine. Still, better safe than sorry.
Here's an example of what to include in your legal disclaimer:
Do you receive financial compensation for affiliate links? Sponsored blog posts? Reviews for books or products on your site? If so, you may want to come clean about it. Why?
Transparency in both business and personal dealings can lead to greater trust and confidence.
Not to mention, you want to make sure that you're in compliance with any online or FTC regulations that govern the way you conduct blog activities. You can read more on this for a better understanding of what disclosures entail. And here's my disclosure: it was rather lengthy so I did not read all the fine print, but make sure you do. :-)
Okay, so you know how you're sometimes surfing online and find just the right, cute image to accompany your awesome blog post, so you use it? Without going through the proper channels? Don't! Unless you either have copyrights, purchase it from the site that it's listed through, or request specific permission and obtain it from the photographer. I was reading online, some time ago, where a writer was actually sued for thousands of dollars due to this oversight or omission. Ouch. Don't let it be you.
It's for this very reason that I learned how to use my own electronic devices to post my own blog images. Perhaps you should too.
Keep these three key practices and principles in mind, as you ascend greater heights with your blog this year.
Do you address any or all of these legal matters on your blog? Will you? Do tell.