3 Legal Tips You Should Know About Guest Blogging.


Hello there creative genius…

Linguistics curator…

Wordsmith extraordinaire…

As you continue to build your super-amazing blog you have probably considered guest blogging for others…

Because they need to witness your brilliance. Right?

Guest blogging is a genius way to get in front of new audiences. Depending on the blog, media outlet or publishing network you will need to review the Terms of Use/Service section regarding submissions and the Contributor Agreement (if provided to you) or guidelines.

Yes. The legal stuff that everyone ignores.

Before you commit to moonlighting on your neighbor’s cyber space make sure that you have the answer to these important legal questions:

1. Know who owns the content.

The larger the blog or media outlet the more rights that you are inclined to give away. That is perfectly okay, as long as the trade off (ahem, visibility) is worth it. In some scenarios, you will give the publication a license to republish the work, along with the right to copy, modify, adapt, publish, make, sell, create derivative works (works created based on your original work). Make sure that you are okay with your work possibly being syndicated to other outlets. In other situations, you may give full ownership of your work. This will happen most often when you are freelancing as a paid contributor.

Either way, don’t skip out on reading the fine print. Nobody likes a surprise.

2. You are legally responsible for your content.

You are responsible for submitting content that is legally responsible. You can be sued for a guest post that is defamatory, or infringes on someone’s copyright or trademark in some manner. In other words, you can’t hide behind the walls of someone else’s cyber-space. Usually, buried in the Terms of Use/Service section you will find the golden words stating that you guarantee to the owner of the site that your submission doesn’t violate a third party’s legal rights, and that the publication is not liable for your legal f-ups.

3. Clarify whether the post needs to be original.

You may have pitched the same post to several outlets, and went with the one who “grabbed” first. Review the Terms of Use/Service, Contribute Agreement or guidelines to determine whether your post must be completely original. Read the fine print so that you are clear on your obligations to the blog owner (and so that you don’t face legal backlash down the road).

Guest blogging opportunities are exciting, and you deserve to celebrate. But, don’t gloss over the essentials.

Do you guest blog for other sites? Are there tips that you want to share?


This post is a part of the iBlog legal series. Read the rest of the series here.


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