Are you looking to start a blog or maybe you have already started one?
There’s so much advice out there on blogging that it can be hard to know where to start.
After making seven figures from my blog as a business lawyer, I’ve put together a list of the 35 golden rules of blogging that every successful blogger knows and follows.
From setting up your blog correctly, to the best way of creating good content, this comprehensive guide will help you get started with the best practices of a business blog.
Let’s get started!
What are the golden rules of blogging that you can’t ignore?
Now everyone runs their blog a little differently, and not everyone monetizes their blog the same way either. This is the most important thing to keep in mind.
Some bloggers prefer to run advertisements on their blogs, while others (including myself) do not (at least not right now!). Other blogs concentrate solely on making money through affiliate marketing, whereas others begin by creating their own products.
So, when it comes to monetization, there are no hard and fast rules of blogging, but as a professional blogger, there are some rules of blogging that you absolutely cannot ignore! (such as the FTC rules on blogging, the legal side of blogging, and more discussed below).
Before we get into all of these, if you want to be a pro blogger one day then this is the resource you’ll need (this is the same course I used to launch my blog in 7 days while working full-time as a lawyer. It showed me HOW to make six figures in my first year of blogging business, and even quit my 9 to 5 job and become my own boss).
3 FTC rules on blogging that Newbie Bloggers Must Follow
FTC stands for the Federal Trade Commission, and it is the agency that regulates blogging rules in the US. There are three key rules that newbie bloggers must follow in order to avoid any legal issues:
Bloggers must disclose any freebies or gifts they receive from companies in exchange for a review or mention on their blog. This disclosure must be clear and conspicuous, and it should be placed near the top of the post so that readers will see it right away.
Disclose any material connections. If you’re writing about a product or service that you have a financial interest in, you MUST disclose that relationship.
For example, if you’re an affiliate for a particular company, you would need to let your readers know.
Here’s the right way to post an affiliate disclosure and what the language should look like:
Here’s another example of an affiliate disclosure given in your YouTube video description if you are going to share affiliate links there:
Learn more about blog disclosures, disclaimers, and other rules of blogging in this blog post.
Under the FTC rules on blogging, if a blogger endorses a product or service on their blog, they MUST disclose any material connection they have with the company (e.g., if they were paid or given a free product in exchange for the endorsement).
See the example below where the blogger is disclosing that this was a sponsored post written by them on behalf of another company:
Don’t make false or unsubstantiated claims. If you make claims about a product or service, be sure that you can back them up with evidence.
Otherwise, you could be accused of making false advertising claims. This is one of those rules of blogging that you don’t want to break!
If a blogger writes a review of a product or service on their blog, they MUST disclose any material connection they have with the company (e.g., if they were paid or given a free product in exchange for the review).
See the disclosure example below where the blogger was compensated for writing the review:
Be transparent about your reviews. If you’re writing a review of a product or service, make it clear that the review is your own personal opinion. Don’t try to pass off a positive review as an impartial one – that’s not fooling anyone.
Following these blogging rules will help you stay compliant with the FTC and avoid any potential legal trouble down the road. So, if you’re thinking of starting a blog, be sure to do your research and familiarize yourself with these blogging rules first.
As a business lawyer and blogger myself, I know it can be really confusing and complicated to figure out these rules of blogging and try to put together the correct legal language on your blog.
That’s why I put together this Disclaimer template that already includes the legal language you need to ensure compliance with the FTC and also limits your legal liability for the incorrect information posted on your blog. Save more money and get this template as part of my Starter, Premium, or VIP legal bundles here.
What are the blogging rules for mentioning other bloggers?
Talking about the rules of blogging, a common question I get is: what are the blogging rules for mentioning other bloggers?
If you’re new to blogging, one of the first things you need to figure out is the etiquette for mentioning other bloggers. It’s important to get this right, because you don’t want to accidentally offend anyone or come across as a spammer.
Here are some rules of blogging for mentioning other bloggers in your posts:
-Only mention other bloggers if you have something positive to say. If you can’t think of anything nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all. Otherwise, you risk facing a defamation lawsuit such as this blogger who had to pay $1.2 Million in legal damages!
-Make sure you link to the other blogger’s website or blog post so that your readers can find them easily.
– Don’t go overboard with mentions. A few well-placed mentions will be more effective than a long list of names.
– If you’re going to mention a lot of other bloggers in one post, consider doing a round-up style post where you link to everyone’s website or blog. This is a great way to get some exposure for other bloggers while still following the rules of blogging etiquette.
By following these simple blogging rules and etiquette, you’ll be sure to make a good impression on other bloggers and avoid any potential issues.
How to Cite Sources When Writing a Blog Post
New bloggers often have a hard time figuring out the rules of blogging relating to citing sources in a new post.
When writing a blog post, it’s important to cite your sources. This shows that you’ve done your research and helps to build credibility with your readers. There are a few different ways that you can do this:
– Include a link to the source material in the body of your post. For example, if you’re quoting from an article, you could include a link to that article, along with their blog name, if they have one.
– Use parenthetical citations. For example, if you’re quoting from an article, you could include the author’s last name and the year of publication in parentheses after the quote.
– Include a list of references at the end of your blog post.
Whichever method you choose, make sure that your readers can easily find the information that you’re citing. If they can’t, they may not bother to check your sources and they may not trust what you have to say.
Pro Tip: Ask for Permission When Copying More than a Few Words or Phrases
If you are going to cite a few words like a quote then giving proper credit to the original source would work.
But if you want to copy more than a few words or phrases then you MUST err on the side of caution and request permission from the original creator to republish their words.
Just because something is available online doesn’t mean it’s free for you to use however you please. Make sure you have the rights to any photos, videos, or other content you post on your blog.
You also need permission to use other people’s photos, images, or videos on your blog unless they are in the public domain.
SO make sure to use this Media Release Agreement to get permission to use other people’s content, photos, videos, audios, and anything else LEGALLY on your blog without the risk of getting sued and owing money.
I know MANY bloggers who have gotten into legal trouble for posting someone’s photos on their blog WITHOUT permission, and then the worst thing happened – they were sued for copyright infringement.
Avoid all that headache and financial loss with this Media Release Agreement that gives you permission and also releases you from any kind of legal liability.
Learn more in this helpful blog post.
Blogging rules and regulations (+ 3 Blog Legal Issues You Must Know About)
When it comes to the rules of blogging, there are 3 basic rules you need to be aware of regarding the legal side of your blog:
I explain more in this blog post.
2. Disclaimer on your blog
I talked about affiliate FTC disclosures above but now let’s discuss disclaimers briefly and why you MUST have them on your blog too.
A blog disclaimer is a statement that outlines the rules and standards for your blog. It’s one of those important rules of blogging that can help protect you from legal action, give readers expectations of what they will find on your site, and establish yourself as a credible source of information.
It works to limit your legal liability for the content you publish on your blog.
You will want to limit your liability for anything that happens on or because of your site. This includes things like user-generated content (like comments or forum posts), links to other sites, and any sponsorships or partnerships you have.
This way, you “disclaim” legal liability and prevent lawsuits. I’m sure you must have seen medical/health disclaimers on blog posts. Basically, you want to tailor the disclaimer to your blog’s niche.
Putting together a blog disclaimer is a good way to help protect yourself and your site.
But it’s also important to remember that a disclaimer needs to include all sorts of limitations of legal liability language to protect you, so it’s not a good idea to try to put together one on your own (unless you are a lawyer).
To take away the stress and overwhelm, I’ve put together the Disclaimer template you can easily download here to post on your blog. It includes all the important language to protect you.
Take a look at what my customer Liesel has to say about it:
3. Terms and Conditions on your blog
When it comes to the rules of blogging, another thing bloggers forget to include is terms and conditions on their blog.
Think of terms and conditions as your blog rules and regulations (what you allow OR don’t allow on your website).
They are important for different reasons such as:
- Protecting your copyright/intellectual property– in your terms and conditions, you will want to make it clear that the content on your site is yours, and that people need your permission to use it. This helps to prevent plagiarism and other unauthorized use of your material.
- Governing law – in your terms and conditions, you will want to include provisions relating to WHAT laws will govern your website
- How you’ll resolve legal disputes – make sure to outline how you will try to resolve legal issues without going straight to court and paying hefty legal fees
- Acceptance of your terms – you should also make it clear that anyone who accesses or uses your site agrees to your terms and conditions. This way, if someone violates your rules, you can take legal action against them.
- No Warranty – make sure to include that your blog is provided “as is” and that you are not responsible for any damages that may occur from using it. This will help to protect you in case something goes wrong with your site.
- and more!
By including these key components in your terms and conditions, you can keep your blog safe and secure. Learn more in this blog post.
And here’s my Terms and Conditions template that you can easily use to get done with your website terms in just 15 minutes (without any stress or overwhelm).
These are DIY legal templates that you can instantly download, fill in some highlighted blanks, and begin using the template right away to protect your blog!
See how my customer Darcey went from being “frustrated” to feeling instant “peace of mind” with my legal templates:
Related Video: 3 Legal Pages Your Blog Needs
What are Some Blogging Rules and Etiquette That You Should Follow?
Talking about some blogging rules and etiquette, it’s important to keep these 6 rules in mind:
1. Follow copyright laws. Be original and create content that is unique to your brand and voice. Use this tool to paraphrase if you have to. Otherwise, you risk facing a copyright infringement lawsuit, and I personally know many bloggers who have faced this legal issue just because they copied other people’s content (blog posts, photos, videos, music, and so forth).
Check out this book on creativity and copyright to learn the legal essentials.
2. Interact with other bloggers and build relationships. Leave comments on other blogs, share their posts, and connect on social media. Blogging is all about building those relationships and helping your fellow bloggers!
3. Find your niche. Write about topics that you are passionate about and that your audience will find interesting and valuable. Check out this blog post with 66 blog niche ideas to help you get started!
4. Keep it fresh. Post new content regularly to keep readers engaged and coming back for more.
5. Be engaging and personal. Write in a way that is genuine and relatable to connect with your reader base on a personal level.
6. Proofread! Always make sure to edit and proofread your posts before publishing. Use this tool to proofread.
What are the do’s and don’ts of blogging?
As you know, blogging is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. But there are a few rules you should follow to make sure you’re doing it right.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of blogging:
– Write about something you’re passionate about or have knowledge about, and make sure your blog posts are SEO optimized. Take this free training to learn SEO.
– Be yourself. Readers want to know the real you, not some fake persona.
– Engage with other bloggers. Comment on their posts, share their articles, and connect with them on social media.
– Use strong headlines that accurately reflect the content of your post.
– Promote your blog on social media and in other places online. The more people who see it, the better!
– Plagiarize. Always give credit to the sources you use in your posts. Learn about copyright infringement and plagiarism in this blog post.
– Write just for the sake of writing. Every post should have a purpose such as solving a problem for your audience.
– Be negative. No one wants to read a blog that’s full of negativity and complaints.
– Post too often and compromise on the quality of your blog posts. Quality matters much more than quantity.
– Ignore the comments section. Respond to comments, even if they’re critical. Showing that you’re open to feedback will make readers more likely to stick around.
Follow these rules of blogging to make sure you are blogging like a pro!
Make sure you do these 10 things before starting a blog! These are things I wish I knew before starting a blog as my side hustle while working full-time as a lawyer and turning it into a seven-figure blogging business.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel here for more blogging tips!
5 Guest Blogging Rules that Newbie Bloggers Need to Know
First, guest blogging is when you publish content on another blog. There are good reasons for why you should guest post.
It’s a great way to increase your domain authority by posting on popular blogs, build relationships with other bloggers, and reach a new audience.
But there are some important guest blogging rules that every blogger needs to know:
1. Follow the Rules of the Host Blog
That means respecting the guidelines of the blog where you are guest posting, formatting your post correctly, and adding value to their readership.
2. Be Original and Provide Massive Value
Guest blogging should be approached with the intention of providing value. Your goal should be to contribute something original and useful to the host blog’s audience. This is how you build your reputation as a blogger too.
Secondly, make sure that your guest post is well-written and free of errors. Remember, you’re representing your own blog when you guest post, so you want to make sure that your work is of high quality.
3. Always Link Back to Your Own Blog or Website
Always remember to link back to your own blog or website in your guest post. This is how you’ll get traffic back to your site and build your brand online.
4. Promote the Guest Post!
After you publish your guest post, promote it! Share it on social media, email your list, and do whatever else you can to get eyes on it. The more people who see it, the more successful it will be.
5. Thank the Other Blogger
Finally, don’t forget to thank the host blogger for giving you the opportunity to guest blog on their site. A simple thank-you note goes a long way in building relationships in the blogging world.
Guest blogging is a great way to grow your blog or website. Just remember to follow the rules of the host blog, link back to your own site, promote your post, and say thank you. Do all of that, and you’ll be sure to see success!
PRO TIP: USE A GUEST BLOGGER AGREEMENT
If you are thinking about opening up your blog for guest posts then you MUST use a guest blogger agreement with your guest writers/bloggers. Remember this as one of the crucial rules of blogging.
This agreement is a legally binding contract between you and the guest blogger that sets out the terms and conditions of the blogging arrangement.
The guest blogger agreement should cover things like:
– The topics the guest blogger can write about
– The length of each blog post
– The date the blog post will be published
– Any compensation or other benefits the guest blogger will receive (if any)
–Guest posts MUST be original to avoid any copyright infringement
A Guest Blogger Agreement helps protect both parties by setting clear expectations and avoiding any misunderstandings down the road.
So if you’re thinking about hosting a guest blogger on your site, be sure to have this Guest Blogger Agreement in place first. It also includes the guest blogging guidelines you should have in place.
What is one rule for writing a blog?
So far, we have discussed many rules of blogging but what are some of the rules concerning writing a blog post?
There are some general rules that all bloggers should follow if they want to be successful.
Here are 16 rules for writing a successful blog:
1. Find your niche. Once you’ve chosen the right blogging platform such as WordPress (and you use this hosting company), it’s time to find your niche.
Before you can start writing, you need to know who your target audience is and what they want to read about. By finding your niche, you’ll be able to write content that appeals directly to your target readership. Learn how to find your niche here.
3. Keep your blog updated. Once you’ve found your niche, it’s important to keep your blog updated with fresh content. This means writing new posts on a regular basis and ensuring that your older posts are still relevant. Regular updates will keep readers coming back for more, and it’ll also help your blog rank higher on search engine results pages.
If you struggle to write blog posts, then I highly recommend using this tool to get started with content marketing or digital marketing.
4. Write compelling headlines. A good headline is essential for any blog post, as it’s what will first catch a reader’s attention. Take some time to craft headlines that are both informative and interesting, and make use of keyword research to ensure that your headlines are optimized for search engines. You can even use question-based titles.
5. Create high-quality content on a regular schedule that covers key points of the topic you want to share.
6. Use keywords and SEO tactics to increase your blog’s visibility. Use this tool to search keywords your blog can rank for, and then take this free training to learn how to rank your blog posts for SEO, so they can appear on the first page of Google search results.
If you’d like to learn SEO in an hour (as I did) then I recommend this bundle of ebooks, which I love!
Also here’s another unique way to get traffic to your blog through web stories.
Recently, I started using this SEO tool to get great ideas to create blog content. You will absolutely love it!
7. Use good quality images and videos. In addition to written content, use images and videos to add visual interest to your blog posts. Be sure to use high-quality free images and videos that are relevant to your content, as this will help keep readers engaged. But first, make sure to use this plugin to compress the size of the images on your blog.
Here are 10 more WordPress plugins you’ll need.
8. Keep it clean and organized. A well-designed blog is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. Be sure to use proper formatting and design elements to make your blog look professional and polished. New bloggers often forget about this rule of blogging and make their blogs too “busy” or cluttered.
9. Use social media marketing. Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to promote your blog and attract new readers. Be sure to post links to your latest blog posts on all of your social media channels, and encourage your followers to share your content with their own networks.
You should also use these Pinterest tips to get traffic to your blog.
10. Add social media buttons. Use a plugin like this to make it easy for others to share your blog posts on social media!
11. Engage with commenters. The comments section of your blog is a great place to start building relationships with your readers. Take the time to respond to comments and questions, as this will show your readers that you value their input.
12. Use Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool that can be used to track the performance of your blog. By monitoring your traffic and engagement metrics, you’ll be able to see what’s working well and make necessary changes to improve your results.
13. Monetize your blog. If you want to earn money from your blog, there are a few different monetization strategies you can use. Affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and display advertising are all effective ways to generate revenue from your blog.
14. Be patient. Building a successful blog takes time and effort, so don’t expect overnight results. Be patient and consistent with your content, and you’ll eventually see the fruits of your labor.
15. Start an email list from day one. Building your email list as a blogger is super important because it will be one of your most valuable assets. You can use it to drive traffic back to your blog, promote your latest products or services, and build relationships with your readers.
16. Create an About Page. This is the page where you’ll share your story with your readers to help them learn more about you, your goals with the blog, and how you can help them! So don’t forget to create this important page on your blog.
Need help creating the perfect About page? Use my FREE template here to get started!
By following these rules of blogging, you can create a successful blog that appeals to your target readership and helps you achieve your business goals.
Frequently Asked Question #1: What Are the 4 Main Parts of a Blog?
Thinking about the rules of blogging, I’m often asked about the four main parts of a blog:
– The header
– The body
– The sidebar
– The footer
Let’s start with the header. The header is typically the first thing people will see when they visit your blog. It’s important to make a good impression here, so make sure your header is eye-catching and unique.
Include your blog’s name and tagline in the header, and maybe even a photo or graphic.
The body is where you’ll actually write your posts. Each post should have a title and body text. You can also include images, videos, and links in your posts.
Just make sure not to clutter them up too much – you want people to actually read your posts, after all!
The sidebar is a great place to put additional information about your blog. This could include an “About” section, a list of your recent posts, or links to other websites. Again, don’t go overboard here – you don’t want your sidebar to be too cluttered.
That’s it for the basics! Now you know the four main parts of a blog.
Frequently Asked Question #2: What to Avoid in Blogging? (Blogging 101)
In addition to the rules of blogging, below are some things you should avoid in blogging:
1. Don’t be a one-hit-wonder. If you’re only going to post once a month, your blog will quickly become stale and your readers will move on. Consistency is key when it comes to blogging. Learn how to be consistent with these tips.
2. Don’t plagiarize. This is a quick way to lose credibility and get yourself into hot water. If you use someone else’s words, make sure to give them credit.
3. Don’t ramble. No one wants to read a novel masquerading as a blog post. Get to the point and save your readers some time.
4. Avoid using too many technical terms or jargon. Remember that not everyone reading your blog will be an expert in your field. Use language that everyone can understand.
5. Don’t be a hater. No one likes negativity, mean comments, so try to focus on the positive and avoid complaining in your blog posts.
6. Don’t post unedited content. This will make you look sloppy and unprofessional. Always proofread your posts before hitting “publish.”
Follow these rules for business blogging to make sure you’re putting in the hard work to create great content on your blog.
Final Thoughts – 35 Rules of Blogging
Wow! We covered a lot of different rules of blogging such as the golden rules of blogging that you can’t ignore, 3 FTC rules of blogging, 3 blog legal issues, follow the above rule on how to cite sources or mention other bloggers, 6 blogging rules and etiquette, the do’s and don’t of blogging, 5 guest blogging rules, the 4 main parts of a blog, what to avoid in blogging, 16 rules for writing a successful blog, and more!
So you definitely want to save this blog post to refer back to because, with these tips, you can build a great blog, increase blog traffic, and make a huge impact!
Also, as a recap, here are the top blogging tools and resources that you’ll need for the blogging rules we discussed:
- AI writing tool to write blog posts 10x faster, create social media content, videos, and any kind of content to save time
- Free SEO Masterclass to learn how to optimize your blog posts for SEO to rank on Google. You can also buy this awesome bundle of ebooks instead if you prefer ebooks over video training.
- Learn how to get traffic to your blog through Google web stories here.
- Millionaire blogger’s secrets here and tons of valuable resources.
- How to start your blogging business and make money online
- How to make money from affiliate marketing
Let me know if you have any questions, and comment below to let me know which rules of blogging appeal to you.
And here are 7 must-have legal contract templates for your blogging business:
Related Blog Posts to the Rules of Blogging
Talking about some more rules of blogging, check out these helpful blog posts next:
- Blog Post Checklist (24 things to do before and after publishing a blog post)
- Lawyer’s Guide to ADA Website Compliance – Use this checklist
- 6 Essential Business Contracts Every Entrepreneur Needs and Why
- CCPA Compliance for Your Website
- Hosting a giveaway? Learn all about Sweepstakes Rules and grab your Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions template here
- Are you accepting guest posts on your website? Learn how to protect yourself!
- What other legal contracts should you have? Check these 16 DIY Legal Templates
- Want to use someone’s photos, testimonials, or videos legally? You need this Media Release Agreement.
- Want to start your own affiliate program or already have one? Protect yourself with an Affiliate Agreement
- 50 Bloggers Like You Reveal Why Free Legal Templates DON’T Protect Your Online Business
- Protect Your Business Secrets With a Confidentiality Agreement
- Looking to hire a freelancer or provide freelance services of your own? This is the Freelance Contract You Need!
- Everything You Need to Know About Blog Disclosures and Disclaimers (with Examples)
Don’t forget to join my awesome Facebook group with over 7,000 incredible entrepreneurs to be part of a community in your blogging journey to share personal experiences and get professional blogging help.
You’ll be welcomed into this supportive group with bloggers, business owners, and go-getters. Plus, you’ll get helpful legal, blogging, and business tips for free.