Blog Tips for New & Experienced Bloggers to Help Stay Within the Law

This post first appeared in UK Bloggers.

 

There is so much to remember and do as a new and even as an established blogger which is why I would love a blogging for dummies book to be with me at all times!  Which is why I decided to write this post about the legalities of blogging.  The UK laws are slightly different to the US ones.  There are some things we need to do as bloggers to stay within the law.  I thought it would be helpful to list 3 blogging tips for new and experienced bloggers to help stay within the law.  There are more but these ones will get you started.

 

Cookies

Most websites use cookies. Cookies are code that when you visit a website a cookie is downloaded on to your computer.  The next time you visit the same site, your computer checks to see if it has a cookie relevant to that site and sends the information contained in that cookie back to the site you are visiting.  The site you are visiting therefore knows if you have been before and in some cases tailor pop-ups or adverts to you.

You will need to disclose by law that you are using cookies if you use WordPress or any other blog, you use Google Analytics, Good AdSense, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social media ‘like’ buttons or if you have a shopping basket/cart on your blog.

To stay within the law, you need to disclose on your blog that you use cookies.  Therefore I highly recommend you download a plugin called Cookie Law Info.  It’s a quick and easy way to take care of that side of things and you don’t have to worry!

 

Disclosure

An important and exciting development within the blogosphere over the past number of years has been sponsored posts and endorsements.  A sponsored post is when you receive a payment or a product.  You then write an article promoting said product or company.  The post normally contains a contextual link back to the company.  This is a sponsored post and shouldn’t be confused with a guest post!

 

All bloggers should be honest and open about sponsored posts and disclose this to their readers.  The Advertising Standards Agency is a good place to read up on guidelines.  Some of the ways bloggers are disclosing sponsored posts is placing at the bottom of a blog post “Collaborative Post” or “Sponsored Post”.

 

Whichever way you inform your readership it’s important to label your post clearly and explain your relationship with a company be that a sponsored post or being given an item to review.

 

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Images

Using images is essential for blogging.  It’s a way of making posts more attractive to your readers.  Can you use any picture you want for your blog?  The simple answer is no!  Of course, you can use images you have taken yourself or indeed there are many Royalty Free image websites out there.  However, it is against to law to use images that are not yours – you are breaking copyright law.  You can stay within the law by following a few approaches:

 

If you are after more feminine pictures and want them free, then head over to my blog post on 10 Places to Find Free Feminine Stock Photos.

 

These are just a few of the things new and experienced bloggers need to be aware of.  What other regulations do you think are important?

 

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For new and experienced bloggers. Blog tips to help you stay within the law when blogging. From cookies to declaring your sponsored content.

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HOW THIS BLOGGER HAS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

“This is a guest post by Jon from The Money Shed.  I think it’s inspiration for all us bloggers who are thinking of going full time.  There can be a happy medium. Over to you Jon”

 

 

For a lot of people who run blogs the ‘dream’ tends to be the ability to work from home full time and give up their day job. Online marketers even know this so well which is why you tend to see a lot of people write about #sacktheboss and #beyourownboss or the blooming after picture showing how you are wasting your life earning money for your boss when you could be doing it for yourself.

 

 

For me this was never my aim. My name is Jon and I run a website called The Money Shed which as the UK’s largest community website dedicated to earning money from home takes up a fair amount of my time.

 

 

The start of any Blog is what I like to think as the honeymoon period as you tend to work at your own pace with very little pressure on yourself. As the years go on and your popularity goes up so does your drive and it was this that ended up being my downfall to a certain degree.

 

 

See alongside running a forum with over 5000 UK members and 120,000+ posts I also run The Money Shed Blog which needed new content to go up each week alongside all the usual endless social media promotion that any good blogger does.

 

 

While I was running these sites I was also in a full time 37-hour a week job which meant I was having to come home and write content in the evening and even more so in the weekend. A bigger issue was the fact that I ended up missing out on paid opportunities because companies would want a blog post up by Wednesday and I couldn’t scrap together any spare time to write it until Thursday!

 

 

At first I tried to challenge this issue by throwing money at the problem (which is my usual solution to things to be fair!) however I was soon enough pay £200 a month for a social media person to deal with that and was also paying people a fair amount to write content for me so while I was still making a good profit from my Blog each week it wasn’t as much as I should have been and the fact that I had worked hard for the last 15+ years at work to get to where I was made me think giving that up would be foolish.

 

 

It actually took a ‘coaching’ course in my full time job to make me realise where my passion and drive lies and it wasn’t in my full time job. I enjoyed fact I could be creative and drive the success of my business myself but I was ending up hating it as I was struggling to fit everything in so a decision had to be made.

 

 

Another BIG factor that was swaying in my head was my own mental health. When you are working every hour available you are going to reach burn out one way or another. I was getting exhausted by lunchtime most days and I knew it was because my brain literally wouldn’t stop spinning as I was constantly trying to play catch-up with my online work.

 

 

I decided that dropping down to part time hours at work would bring me the best of both worlds. I could continue to be a manager and enjoy that part of my main job and then would have time at home to concentrate on all things Money Shed related.

 

 

I made that decision around 10 months ago and while my biggest worry at the time was ‘Will I earn enough to replace the missing hours from my main job?’ I didn’t end up regretting it from the day it started.

 

 

It’s meant I’m less tired, I can do more work and in turn can do more paid opportunities than I ever would be able to do without burning the midnight oil!

 

 

So if your drive takes your blog to a point where you can afford to drop down to part time hours then GRAB IT. It’s best for your blog and more importantly it’s best for YOU!

 

 

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Want to know how to keep blogging if you work? Read how one blogger does it and how you can too!

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TIPS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE COMMENTS

With social media often comes all kinds of people from the ones who would go out of their way to help you, those who support you and those who are there for you when you are feeling low.  Conversely, there are those who are down right rude, agressive and have nothing nice to say about anything!

 

So what do you do if people leave negative comments for you on social media or your blog?  I have to admit to having a few.  I immediately block them but of course I’ve read the comment and there is no going back to un-reading!  After reading a few negative comments recently relating to others I thought it would be a good idea to note down some tips to help you deal with those who leave negative or hurtful comments.

 

 

TIP 1:

Those who leave negative comments are looking for an argument so the first tip is to avoid giving them what they up and don’t get in to an argument.  While you may feel like you want to scream and shout with your keyboard, remain calm and take a break from your computer.  Of course you have every right to defend something that isn’t true however the other person won’t give too hoots whether they told a lie or not.  Don’t give them that kind of power over you so walk away.

 

 

TIP 2:

If you are annoyed by a comment, then talk to your friends.  It’s always good to talk.  You can vent but you can also get advice from someone who is removed from the situation.  This is another way to give yourself some space from taking action you may regret later and help you distance yourself from the situation.  Deep breath are also a good way of remaining calm.

 

Related posts:

4 Easy Steps to Getting Sponsored Posts

How Tailwind Helped Me Skyrocket my Pinterest

5 Top Tips for New Bloggers

10 Reasons You Should Start A Blog Now

 

 

TIP 3:

Try and remain positive and empathetic.  I know this is a hard one.  However, you don’t know what has made the other person make that comment.  I can remember sending a really snotty email to someone once.  It was totally uncalled for and I apologised afterwards.  I had had a really bad day hence  my email but that did not make it right for me to send it in the first place!  You can also combat negativity with positive thoughts and actions.  It will help you remain calm and not stoop to their level.

 

 

Tip 4:

Move on.  This can also be hard as negative comments can swirl around your head for hours or even days.  Take control by acknowleding the comment, how much it hurt, talking about it but don’t dwell.  Of course it will hurt but don’t let a comment prevent you from doing other wonderful things.  Acknowledge and move on.

 

 

 

It may take some time to learn now to deal with negative comments but the above tips should help you.  Unfortunately unhelpful and negative comments often come with being part of the blogging world and social media.  I do hope the above tips give you some tools to become stronger in dealing with negativity.  Below are some suggestions from other bloggers to help you too.

 

 

 

Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny says “A nasty comment is most likely a reflection of something that the commenter is going through. My advice is to drift over the comment try not to read it, delete and move on. Never engage with them.”

 

Laurie from Girl and Tonic says “I try not to engage, I’ll ignore the comments where I can. If a post gets overwhelmingly negative you can turn comments off. I then like to remember why I post on social media in the first place and engage with some of my favourite accounts. 

 

Katie from Cakes v Scales says “Firstly, consider if the comment is it hurtful or constructive critique, then consider if there’s a possibility the writer’s intention is not to be hurtful. If the comment is someone just being plain rude/nasty, remember that there are many people who love and enjoy your work. As the saying goes, you could be the ripest, most juicy peach in the world, but some people don’t like peaches.”

 

Jennifer from My Mummys Pennies suggests “Try to find the positive in every comment. Someone said something mean? Well at least your post is reaching them and was interesting enough to get them to take time to read it and react. Ignore the hurtful words but see the comment for what it is, valuable interaction with your content. On many social channels this will help your post reach others!” 

 

Louise from Mum of Boys shares “My main platform is Facebook – and the fact you can ‘hide’ comments is useful, because it means the controversial post doesn’t turn into a stream of comments or an argument, but yet the original poster has no idea it is hidden. However if it’s very nasty / personal, I simply delete and block. Trolls want you to engage with them, so doing this every time and they’ll soon get bored. Of course there’s been the occasion when I’ve bitten back as I’m human, but I learnt from those experiences and now just press delete. I totally agree that it’s a much bigger reflection on them and their state of mind than on me and mine.”

 

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Struggling with those unhelpful or nasty comments on your blog or social media?  Read these tips to help you cope head over to my blog to read more.

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4 EASY STEPS TO GET SPONSORED POSTS FOR YOUR BLOG

I felt the need to start writing this series which I have called The Secrets to Successful Blogging Revealed to share with you the knowledge I have acquired up to this point in my blogging journey.

 

A word of caution though, I’m not a big successful blogger and I don’t make millions or thousands blogging.  Also, I don’t know everything and never will – for me each day is a learning day.

 

So why am I writing this?  Well what I am able to offer and share with you is the information I have come across over the course of starting this blogging journey.

 

This blog post is about one of the ways you can monetize your blog – sponsored posts.

 

What is a Sponsored Post?

In a straightforward term, a sponsored post is when a blogger is paid to publish an article which includes a link to a particular company or product.  Notice I say that the sponsored post is paid?  Well, this can be a fee or products in lieu of a fee but more about this later.

 

Is there such a thing as a free sponsored post?

Well I suppose technically you could say if you receive products in lieu of a fee then the sponsored post is free but it really depends on what you are looking for.  Let’s face it if you are asked to review a product which costs £1.99 would it be valuing your time to test the product, write up a view and include a link to the product?  Remember, each post requires your time and if the post includes a link you are benefiting that company.  It really does depend on where you are in the journey of your blog as you may want to offer some sponsored content for free.  Head over to The Bloglancer, where the lovely Jenna discusses why she thinks there are times bloggers should work for free.

Please remember that a Guest Post is not a sponsored post.  While it can be beneficial to accept and write guest posts please be wary of receiving emails offering to guest post as these are often from people trying to get a free link!

 

Related posts:

10 Reasons You Need to Start a Blog now 

5 Easy Steps to Set Up a Blog

4 Easy Steps to Getting Sponsored Posts

 

Where do I get sponsored posts?

There are a number of ways to get a sponsored post.  The most useful places I have found are:

 

Bloggers Required:  A place to register your blog.  You will receive weekly emails letting you know which companies are looking to work with bloggers.  There are a few paid assignments but it’s mostly writing a blog post in return for a product.

 

The Bloglancer:  Sign up to Jeanna’s email list and each Sunday she will send you an email highlighting all the companies who are looking for sponsored posts.

 

Facebook Groups:  There are a few Facebook Groups where Public Relations companies will post seeking bloggers.  Check out UK Blogger Opportunities,  Blogger Assignments and Opportunities,

 

Twitter:  Another great place to find sponsored posts is on Twitter by searching for specific hastags.  The ones most used are #bloggerswanted, #bloggersrequired, #bloggerrequest, #prrequest

 

What should I charge for sponsored posts?

This is tricky but the rule of thumb is to charge your Domain Authority x 4.  However, you need to take in to account your analytics, traffic to your site, Twitter reach as well as all other social media platforms.  Many people will argue as to what you should be charging but sometimes it is often down to what budget a company has and whether you are willing to accept it.

 

Thinking of setting up a blog?  Head over to my post 5 Easy Steps to Set Up a Blog to read all about it.

 

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Want to know how to get sponsored posts for your blog? Follow my easy steps and head over to www.elfeelgoodsvintage.uk to read how.

 

 

 

 

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3 inspiring blogs you will want to start reading immediately

I am a very new blogger; in fact I never really wanted to blog.  For me I have fallen in to it as a means to highlight my love of all things vintage and to share my repurposed and reused vintage jewellery in my Etsy shop here.

Entering the world of blogging has been a scary experience for me, it wasn’t so much the newness of it all but blogging is a tightly knit community with rules and etiquette that has taken me a while to understand and get to grips with – although there is still so much I don’t understand or know!

What has helped me along this journey is those wonderful bloggers who are inspiring, fun and supportive.  So here are my top 3 blogs that everyone should be reading:

 

The must read blog for hints, tips and resources for bloggers:  Skinnedcartree  

The blog is run by Corinne.  She describes her blog as ”light hearted and sometimes amusing posts for those who are interested in fashion and life.”

But it is more than that.  I have found her blogging tips to be invaluable and written in her witty style.  How to Disclose Partnerships and How to use Buffer are just some of the excellent tips she has shared.  What has amazed me about this blog is that at such a young age (compared to me!) Corinne has wisdom and insight that is often found on the shoulders of someone older.

If you need any kind of hints or tips to do with blogging this is the first one to go to!

 

The inspiring blog for the fashionista: xloveleahx 

I’ve just started to read Leah’s blog, she describes it as one where you will find posts about “plus size fashion and radical self-love, plus occasional beauty, travel and lifestyle posts.”

Leah is truly inspiring with her fashion posts and her love of fashion comes through really strong and one can only smile at her fun, fearless and cute outfits!   I love Halloween so for her to review the CowCow Boo Halloween dress with a statement “It’s never too early for Halloween clothes” just sang to me!

A must for not just the fashionista but a must for all fashion craving women out there!

 

A parenting/lifestyle blog for the real life junkie / mummy:  Lylia Rose

The blog is run by Victoria who introduces herself as a “30 year old Mum of two, is self-employed and a stay at home mum.”

An entrepreneurial wonder woman if you ask me!  What I absolutely adore about Victoria’s blog is her willingness to share in an open fashion the ups and downs of being a mother and business owner.  As if that’s not enough she is passionate about helping and promoting small businesses and her services are extremely competitive.  I have had the pleasure of working with her recently and I can’t speak highly enough about her professionalism, friendliness and willingness to help me when I have tons of questions!

It is no wonder she has won a slew of awards for her success such as #QueenOf and the #SBS award from Theo Paphitis!

 

 

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