So I know that the law is super confusing. It’s broad and there are weird Latin words and there’s just so much stuff. So it can be really hard to know where to get started when it comes to your blog and business. So I decided to create this three week series called Audit Your Blog. Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be sharing how you can review your blog and business to ensure you have all the necessary legal safeguards and legal language in place to protect yourself. The first lesson is all about the legal questions you need to be asking about your blog.
Before you can truly learn something, you first need to understand what you don’t know. Think about it – before you start a project or start researching anything, you need to first know the right questions to ask. (Additionally, I should note that I am a US based attorney, so this post is mainly geared towards US bloggers, but can apply to international bloggers as well. Additionally this post should not be seen as legal advice.)
Once you have the right questions, you can start to really dig into what you’re researching, because you now have a fuller understanding of what you’re trying to research. Let me illustrate with a quick example…
Say you decide you want to go on a vacation – yay! You know that you need to start researching your trip, but first you have to figure out what you don’t know, so you can ask the right questions. Such as:
- Where do you want to go?
- What kind of activities do you want to do?
- Do you want to go to a city, beachy, mountainy etc type of destination?
- Are you interested in a family friendly kind of trip?
- Do you want to fly, drive, take a train, boat, bike, or some other fun form of transportation?
- What time of year do you want to go?
- What is your budget?
So yeah you can see that there are lots of things you don’t even know you don’t know about planning your vacation. Likewise with starting your blog, there are questions you need to ask yourself first about your blog and business before you decide what legal info you need to learn for yourself.
I created this three week series to help you do a legal audit of your blog. You need to know what you don’t know, so you can know what you need to learn. You know? (And I swear to not keep talking in such nonsense riddles.)
If you’re ready to do your “audit” of your blog for the legal side of things, let’s get started! This three week series will get you ready to go, just in time for a new school year. Today’s lesson is about how to do your initial blog audit and what questions you should be asking about your blog and business. Just like with my traveling example, you first need to know the right questions to ask yourself.
For most blogs, there are three main categories of questions you should be asking yourself – questions about blog content, money questions and business questions. Here are a few to get you to start thinking.
- Does your blog allow comments?
- Does your commenting service require an email address?
- What is your policy if someone posts something inappropriate on your blog?
- Do you sell anything directly on your blog?
- Do you use affiliate links?
- Do you write sponsored posts (where you get paid and/or get a free product or service from a company in exchange for your post)?
- How much money are you currently making on your blog?
- How are you tracking the money you’re making on your blog?
- Have you registered your blog as a business?
- Do you have contracts in place for your services?
Related: Legalize Your Blog (free ecourse)
These are just a few questions to get you started. These questions are all important for the legal aspects of your blog, but also for the general business aspects of running your blog. You should be thinking about all of these types of issues. Basically think about how you’re running your blog and what the “rules” of your blog are. This will get you thinking in more of the business/legal realm of things. Yep, I know it’s not as fun as lots of other aspects of blogging, but this is important stuff!
If you aren’t ready to do your blog audit right this second, I created a handy dandy PDF download with all of the above questions and even more that I’ve brainstormed. This list will be perfect to have by your side as you do your blog audit. Just click below to download my Audit Your Blog & Biz Legally Checklist. This will get you thinking beyond just your blog content and into the mindset of the important boring legal stuff that you just need to take care of. Just click the image above to download your checklist!
Get to answering these questions and then meet me back here for Week 2: Researching the Legalese Your Blog Needs. Plus if you’re loving this series and want to learn even MORE about keeping your blog and biz legal, check out my brand new ecourse – Blog and Be Legal – a course full of video lessons, worksheets, templates and more, to make sure you’re keeping your biz legal!
Disclaimer: I am an attorney, but I am not your attorney. The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. The author is not liable for any losses or damages related to actions of failure to act related to the content in this article. If you need specific legal advice, consult with an attorney who specializes in your subject matter and jurisdiction.