Introduction to Contracts for Bloggers and Online Professionals

Contract Law Basics

Monetization, ad-sponsored content and conference sponsorship discussions have become more and more prevalent among the blogging community. I’ve noticed that the issue of contractual obligations has started to come up. Throughout the twitter stream I see pleas for sponsorships, giveaway donation, reviews and so forth. In addition, as bloggers, often we agree to a number of obligations that may or may not be written formally or even at all.

Contracts are written or oral obligations between two or more parties. When they are written, they may be as formal as a fully negotiated agreement between lawyers or as casual as the exchange of a few emails. In the law though, there are only three (3) things needed to make a contract enforceable between two or more parties. I use the term parties because I’m including both people and organizations.

For a contract to be valid there must be (1) an offer, (2) acceptance of that offer and (3) consideration, whether monetary or not. It seems pretty simple, but some of the most litigated issues in the court system has to do with one of these three part of a contract. While they seem very simple, in fact, they can become exceedingly complex by a host of nuances, misunderstanding and timing.

By this point, most people have entered into some sort of contract in their life. As kids or young adults we’ve likely all asked someone to do something, they agreed to do it and we paid them in some fashion. Most of these contracts were oral (verbal).

Oral, or verbal, contract are valid and enforceable, but there are limits. The law says that certain contracts must be in writing to be enforceable. In law this is called the Statute of Frauds. The types of contracts the law says must be in writing to be enforceable are: Continue reading “Introduction to Contracts for Bloggers and Online Professionals”