6 Things To Consider When Running A Blog

It’s relatively easy to get a blog set up on WordPress.

But then there’s the day to day considerations of running a blog you have to think about.

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 because 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.

Privacy Policy

If you’ve just started your blog you may wonder why you would need a privacy policy.

But if you’re collecting information from your visitors, tracking them with analytics, or displaying ads on your site, you’ll more than likely need a privacy policy.

Some countries require that a website has a privacy policy by law, whilst others have policies in place that would suggest it would be wise to have one.

Various third party services also require that you have a privacy policy like Google Adsense, Google Analytics or potentially Amazon Affiliates.

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.

So that’s why I use a service called iubenda to generate my privacy policy.

They specialise in privacy and cookie policy generation which is backed by a legal team.

The privacy policy is hosted in the cloud and embedded into your site with a few lines of code.

If you change your privacy policy in the cloud this will be immediately reflected on your site.

ePrivacy Directive

The EU come up with some crackers such as the ePrivacy directive or more commonly known as the cookie policy.

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.

I’ve used a number of services to cover the cookie policy.

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.

Since I use iubenda for my privacy policy, I decided to use their cookie policy popup too to keep things simple.

Affiliate Disclosure

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.

Personally, I have a disclaimer before and after each blog post so there should be no confusion.

I also have a separate affiliate disclosure which I link to on the disclaimer at the bottom of the post.

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 you’re approached 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.

Info

You can find more information in the following articles:

Recognising Ads: Advertisement Features

Video Blogs: Scenarios

New Words On The Blog…

An Open Letter To Online Publishers And Bloggers

Self Employment

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!

VAT

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?

Do you have a privacy policy in place and do you meet ePrivacy Directive requirements on cookies?

What about sponsored posts and advertorials? Do you accept them and would you disclose your commercial relationship if you did?

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