A side hustle like a blog is a fun way to express yourself and start debates with readers and audiences. Of course, once it starts to make money, it’s more than a personal platform – it’s a business. And like all avenues for making money, you’ve got to ensure your blog is legally protected. As well as helping you prevent other people from using your brand assets without permission, it also stops you from unknowingly making mistakes. While people assume a simple error is human, it’s not enough to prevent a potentially damaging and expensive lawsuit. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to protect your platform.
1. Choose A Clever Name
Blogs and websites tend to describe what they are about. In many ways, it makes sense because it’s easy for people to understand what they will get when they land on your homepage. On the flip side, common names aren’t protected by trademarks and patents, so it’s essential to rethink your domain name and URL. “A Cup of Jo” is an excellent example of a title covered by trademark law and full of character. Remember – it has to be unique, too. Head over to https://www.uspto.gov/ for more on the Ts and Cs of applying for trademarks and patents.
2. Exploit Disclaimers, Disclosures and Documents
3. Review Media Rights
Pretty much every photo or video you find will be protected by copyright law. Bloggers find this problematic because multimedia is vital for interacting with audiences and customers and making content more engaging. Thankfully, the likes of websites like www.pixabay.com and www.pexels.com provide royalty-free images at no extra cost. Still, please don’t assume you can post them without consequences. Usually, even free images require links to the author to ensure they are in line with copyright restrictions.
4. Sign Collaboration Contracts
Contracts are scary if you’ve never dealt with them before since they appear complicated. However, you should keep in mind that they are there to help you, too. All you need to do is ensure the required terms are clearly stated in the text when dealing with brands and sponsors. To do this, it’s essential to consult a lawyer or attorney who has experience in contract and business law. Their services should highlight anything that may put you in a tricky spot further down the line regarding your partnership. As always, never sign on the dotted line until you’re comfortable. Once the ink is dry, you can’t take it back.
This is a collaborative post
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