It’s relatively easy to set up a blog on WordPress but you also have to think about what running a blog takes on a daily basis.
Depending where you are in the world can mean different rules and regulations for bloggers.
Some people choose not to abide by them or perhaps may not even know they exist.
Either way it’s worth looking into them to ensure you don’t fall foul of anything legal.
You also need to consider where your blog is hosted.
You may be subject to that country’s laws as well as those where you actually live.
Here are some of the things you need to think about but please realise I’m not a lawyer and you shouldn’t treat this as legal advice.
I’m also basing this on my situation in the UK. Where you reside, different laws and regulations will apply.
- collecting information from your visitors;
- tracking them with analytics;
- or, displaying ads on your site;
Others, on the other hand. have policies in place that would suggest it would be wise to have one.
I don’t know about you but when it comes to things like this, I’m never sure about what to put in the content.
That’s the one where you have to get consent from anyone in the EU to set cookies on your site when they visit.
Just how bureaucracy likes to complicate things, each EU country has a different take on how this should be implemented.
All of them rely on implied content with a banner popup stating that a visitor is assumed to consent to cookies unless they leave my site.
Many countries require that you disclose any commercial relationships you have with companies.
So if you receive a commission payment when someone clicks on a link on your site and they buy a product it’s better to disclose that relationship.
It would be great if there were a standard wording for this and consensus as to where it needs to be shown.
I have a disclosure which I link to at the bottom of my blog.
If you have a relationship with Amazon as an affiliate, it’s part of their terms that you state your relationship with them.
I also placed their required wording on my affiliate disclosure page.
As I’m based in the UK, I’m also bound by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) rules.
Although to say I don’t find them clear is an understatement.
But I feel that it’s better to provide the disclosure and be honest about it.
Sponsored Posts And Advertorials
I didn’t know the difference between a sponsored post and an advertorial until I looked into it recently.
But if someone approaches you to publish either of these on your blog it’s important to understand the difference.
A sponsored post is where you have editorial control over the content you have received a payment for.
An advertorial is where you have little or no control over the content and are publishing something written by someone else but getting paid for it.
In the UK, both of these situations need to be disclosed but are bound by different rules.
You can find more information in the following articles:
If you’re planning on earning any money from running a blog in the UK then you’ll need to register with HMRC as self-employed.
You’ll need to keep accounts and complete a self assessment tax return each year.
I use a cloud accounting service called QuickFile. They offer a free cloud service for small and medium-sized businesses.
I’ve used other online accounting solutions in the past but I like how easy QuickFile is to pick up and use without needing extensive accounting knowledge.
You can prepare and issue invoices from your Quickfile account and keep a handle on anything outstanding.
When it comes to completing your self assessment tax return online, Quickfile makes it easier with the relevant reports at your fingertips!
You must register for VAT with HMRC in the UK if your VAT taxable turnover reaches the threshold level.
That threshold is at a level you probably don’t think you’d exceed even in the longer term from running a blog.
However, there’s a potential thorn in your side if you plan to sell digital products or services via your blog to consumers in the EU.
If you sell things like ebooks, video tutorials or blog maintenance directly from your blog then the threshold no longer applies.
You have to charge VAT to the buyer at the rate applicable in the country of residence, where they are not a business.
You either have to register for VAT with each EU country where you make a sale or use the VAT Mini One Stop Shop to report and pay the VAT due.
The only way to get around this is to use a marketplace or something similar to sell your products and services.
They would be responsible for accounting for the VAT payment that is charged to the consumer.
You may lose a proportion of the sale doing it that way but it could be worth it just to take away the VAT hassle which the EU forced upon us.
What Do You Think Is The Most Challenging Aspect Of Running A Blog?
Apart from the technical side of maintaining a blog, what do you find the hardest thing about running a blog?
What about sponsored posts and advertorials? Do you accept them and would you disclose your commercial relationship if you did?