So you’ve decided to start a blog. Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a journey of self-discovery, creative expression, and hopefully, global domination.
But before you can start sharing your insights with the world, there’s one important task that needs to be taken care of: choosing the right legal pages for your blog.
If you’re like most bloggers, the legal pages on your blog are probably the last thing on your mind. After all, who really wants to read a bunch of dry text (sincere apologies to you lawyers out there!)?
So what are the right legal pages to include on your blog? And how can you make sure that your blog is fully protected? Before we get into the legal requirements you need for your blog, let’s look at some of the reasons these pages are necessary in order to blog legally.
You might also like:
- How I grew my blog to 10,000 page views a month within 6 months of launching
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- The Pros and Cons of Daily Blogging on your Search Engine Rankings
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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this post should not constitute legal advice.
Full disclosure! See those links below? If you happen to click on one of these and purchase something I recommend, I’ll get a small commission (wohoo). Don’t worry, this is at no extra cost to you (in fact, often I’ll have some discounts you can enjoy!). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying sales. You can read my full disclaimer here.
Why do you need legal pages for your blog?
To comply with the law
While they may not be the most exciting part of your site, having legal pages is essential to be compliant with the law. Without them, you could be opening yourself up to all sorts of legal troubles.
Sure, you could take the chance, but did you know it’s actually required by law to have legal pages on your blog? This is because each website collects information from users (such as emails and cookies) and you absolutely must be clear to your audience about what information is collected from them during the process of them checking out your awesome website!
To protect you from liability
Including legal pages on your blog can also help to protect you in the event that something goes wrong.
For example, if someone were to make a malicious comment on your blog, you could be held liable if you don’t have a disclaimer in place that states that you’re not responsible for user-generated content.
Or, let’s say that you’re selling a product on your blog and someone claims that they were injured by using it. If you don’t have a disclaimer that states that the product is used at the buyer’s own risk, you could be held liable for their injuries
The bottom line is, even though we never want to think about anything going wrong, these things happen. And having legal pages can help protect you from being sued in the event that something goes wrong with your blog.
To protect your work
I don’t know about you, but I work my little a** off on all my blogs! Writing posts, creating images, and promoting my content takes a lot of time and effort.
So what’s to say someone can’t just come along and copy my work? Nothing. Absolutely nothing is stopping someone from copying and pasting my blog posts into their own website.
Let’s face it, the internet can be a scary place. There’s all sorts of people out there who would love to take your hard work and claim it as their own. That’s why it’s so important to have legal pages for your blog. These pages help to protect your content and ensure that people can’t just steal your ideas.
In addition, legal pages can help to deter trolls and other internet pests. No one wants to deal with the hassle of dealing with nasty comments and threatening messages.
Copyright law is a complex and ever-changing field, and even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you could still find yourself in hot water if you don’t have the proper legal pages in place.
Including a copyright notice on your blog lets people know that you’re the rightful owner of your work and that they need your permission to use it. This helps to deter people from using your content without your permission.
It also lets you know that if someone does steal your content, you have the legal protection to take action against them.
By having legal pages in place, you can help to keep your blog a safe and happy place for both you and your readers.
To build trust with your audience
If you want people to trust you and your website (and believe me, you do), having legal pages is a must. These pages show that you’re a professional who takes their business seriously.
A blog is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. But if you’re going to be successful, you need to build trust with your audience.
Legal pages can help you protect your intellectual property, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and build credibility with potential customers. It also helps to build credibility with search engines, which can lead to higher rankings and more traffic.
Having legal pages shows that you’re serious about your blog and that you’re committed to providing quality content.
To allow you to work with clients
Let’s face it, the majority of people these days start a blog for two reasons; to help others and to make money. In order to do either of these, you need to have clients or work with brands and businesses as a collaborator.
By having a clear set of legal pages, you can make it clear what your clients can expect from you, and what you expect from them. This can help to prevent misunderstandings that could lead to lawsuits down the road.
For example, if you’re working with a client on a project, you need to have a contract in place that outlines the scope of work, deadlines, and payment terms. This contract helps to protect both you and the client, and ensures that everyone is clear on what is expected of them.
Similarly, if you’re collaborating with a brand or business, you need to have a contract that outlines the terms of the collaboration. This contract should include things like what content will be created, deadlines, and any compensation that is involved.
What are the most important legal pages for your blog
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of having legal pages for your blog, let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
- Terms & Conditions
- Disclaimer (including affiliate disclaimer)
- Copyright notice
Each of these pages serves a different purpose, and it’s important to have all of them in place to fully protect your blog
Terms & Conditions
Your terms and conditions page is where you outline the rules for using your website. This page should include things like what users are not allowed to do on your site, what happens if they break the rules, and how disputes will be handled.
The terms and conditions page is an important part of keeping your blog legally compliant. By having this page, you can protect yourself from liability if something goes wrong. For example, if a user posts malicious content on your site, you can be held liable if you don’t have a terms and conditions page that outlines what is not allowed.
And, if someone sues you or your blog is hacked, having a terms and conditions page can help limit your liability.
By including a disclaimer page on your blog, you can help to legally protect yourself from liability in the event that someone is injured or suffers damages as a result of your content.
How could someone be injured just by reading one of your blog posts?
Well let’s say you include a recipe on your blog, and someone is harmed after following the instructions – perhaps an allergic reaction – you could be held liable.
However, by including a disclaimer that states that you are not responsible for any damages that may occur, you can help to limit your liability.
Additionally, if you give advice on your blog, and someone suffers damages as a result of following your advice, you could again be held liable. However, by including a disclaimer that states that the advice is given without any warranties or guaranties, you can help to limit your liability.
And finally, if you include affiliate links on your blog, you need to have a disclaimer that states that you will be compensated if someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase. This is required by law in many countries, and failure to comply can result in hefty fines.
As a blogger, you likely put a lot of time and effort into your content. Whether you’re sharing your personal thoughts on current events or providing helpful tips on a particular topic, you want to make sure that your intellectual property is protected.
This is where a copyright notice comes in.
By including a copyright notice on your blog, you’re letting everyone know that your content is copyrighted and should not be used without your permission. This helps to deter would-be plagiarists and can also be used as evidence if someone does misuse your work.
In addition, a copyright notice can help to ensure that you receive proper credit for your ideas if they are used by others.
How to find legal pages for blogs
Purchase a legal bundle template
By far the best option for choosing legal pages for your blog is to purchase legal bundle templates set out by an actual lawyer.
These templates should be written by lawyers and are designed to be compliant with the law.
Not only does this take the guesswork out of choosing the right legal pages for your blog, but it also saves you the time and money of having to hire a lawyer to draft these documents from scratch.
My go to is Amira from A Self Guru. Amira is a lawyer herself so you get the benefit of having her expertise as a lawyer but without the cost of having to hire a lawyer on an hourly rate.
Amira has literally helped thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs get their websites compliant. And she knows firsthand the importance of having these pages on your site because she’s seen what can happen when you don’t (it’s not pretty).
Before she was a lawyer, Amira’s father was sued for $90,000 because he didn’t have a freelance agreement in place. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when you know the person you’re getting into business with. But it led to the ultimate error.
Here’s why Amira’s templates are exceptional:
1. They so easy to customize for your blog. I initially purchased the Starter Legal Bundle and I’ve used them again and again on my multiple blogs. They literally took less than 15 minutes to insert my details into.
2. They’re super affordable. Hiring your own lawyer would cost you thousands of dollars but the templates are selling for a fraction of the cost.
3. You get extra bonus templates when you sign up for any of the bundles, plus entry into the Facebook support group.
4. You can upgrade to the VIP bundle without paying full cost. Within a certain timeframe of purchasing the Starter Bundle, you can upgrade to the VIP Bundle and just pay the difference.
5. You can make your money back. Become an affiliate for the bundle and you’ll be able to make your money back with a just a couple of sales!
Free legal templates
There are a number of websites that offer free legal pages for blogs. Many people who are on a budget opt for these templates… but at what cost?
Sure, you can save some money upfront but if there’s even a small chance that these templates are not up to par, is it really worth the risk?
Think of it this way. Would you represent yourself in Court when you’re not a lawyer? Of course not. So, why would you use free legal templates which haven’t been drawn up by a lawyer?
The answer is, you shouldn’t.
When it comes to your blog and protecting your legal rights, it’s best to err on the side of caution and invest in high-quality, reliable legal templates.
Hire a lawyer
Another option is to hire a lawyer to create legal pages for you. This is definitely the most expensive option but you’re pretty much guaranteed to get what you need in order to protect your blog.
When you hire a lawyer, you can be sure that your legal pages will be rock-solid and tailored specifically to your blog.
However, not everyone has the budget to hire a lawyer so this may not be an option for everyone. In fact, hiring a lawyer could set you back $500 an hour, meaning that you could end up paying thousands in order to get the right legal pages for your blog.
Other legal templates you may need
The great thing is that when you’re just starting out with blogging, you only need the very basics (being the four I listed above). You don’t need to invest a lot of money in templates you may need further down the line.
But when you ‘re ready to take your blog to the next level, here are a few other legal templates that you may need:
1. Sponsored post contract
2. Guest blogger contract
3. Coaching agreement
4. Confidentiality agreement
5. Freelance agreement
More legal tips for your blog
- Never copy content. Don’t be that person. If you want to use someone else’s content, get their permission first.
- Never collect emails without consent. There’s nothing worse than getting emails from unsolicited sources. Oh and it’s also illegal…
- Do not use images without permission. If you want to use someone else’s image on your blog, you need to get their explicit permission first.
- Citations are key. If you’re quoting someone or using data from another source, make sure to cite them.
- Keep your blog legal pages up to date. Your blog and business may change over time, so it’s important to keep your legal pages up to date as well to ensure you’re still protected.
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If you’re just starting your blog, check out the following posts to get you started on the right foot:
- Blog Launch Checklist: What To Do Before Launching A Blog
- How to Promote Your Blog For Free: 13 Easy Ways to Increase Traffic
- Amateur Blogging: 13 Mistakes Amateur Bloggers Make (and how to fix them)
In conclusion, legal pages are a principal part of any blog. They help protect you and your business from potential legal action. If you don’t have legal pages on your blog, I urge you to get some (trustworthy ones) as soon as possible.
And remember, when it comes to your blog’s legal protection, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do you have legal pages on your blog or website?