Focusing on the legal aspects of blogging now–whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned blogger–can make things less complicated later. You know it’s important, but it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Check out this insight from Liz Stapleton to see how you can legally protect your blog today.
3 Things Bloggers Need to Legally Protect Their Blogs
No one got into blogging to deal with the legal side of things, but it doesn’t make the legal stuff any less important. Here are 3 things most bloggers need to legally protect their blogs.
Proper Disclosures And Disclaimers
If you’re doing any sort of affiliate marketing, then you need proper disclosures. This means the disclosure is:
- Placed before the link can be clicked (no putting it in the footer or sidebar)
- Is in easily understood language (would your Grandma understand what you’re saying?)
- Is at least the same size font as the paragraph text
On the other hand, disclaimers are meant to help limit your liability. For example, if you are not a financial professional but you write in the personal finance space, you likely need to include a disclaimer stating as much.
Here is an example:
The information provided on this site is based on my own personal experience and is not to be construed as professional advice. I am not a financial advisor or planner, nor am I a CPA. The contents of this site and the resources provided are for informational and entertainment purposes only and do not constitute financial, accounting, or legal advice. The author is not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failure to act related to the content on this website.
- Allowing comments on your site
- Using Google Analytics
- Having a contact form on your site
Terms and conditions are a definite must for digital product owners. That said, even non-product owners may want to consider them.
Terms and conditions are basically the rules of your site. It’s like saying, “My house, my rules. Don’t like it? Get out.”
- Refund policies
- Appropriate use of products (for personal use only, not commercial)
- Mandatory arbitration within your chosen jurisdiction
- Professional or non-professional disclaimers
- Earnings/testimonial disclaimers
- Revisions and errors clause
Bottom Line on How to Legally Protect a Blog
There are lots of potential legal issues you should be aware of if you are running a blog/online business. Make sure you’re protecting your blog by having all your legal ducks in a row. Make sure you:
- Properly disclose affiliate and sponsored relationships
- Limit your liability with disclaimers
The best way to get all your bases covered is to hire an attorney. Additionally, working with one in your jurisdiction can help you create custom site policies. If your business can’t afford to hire an attorney quite yet, the next best option is to purchase legal templates from a licensed attorney.
Liz Stapleton is a lawyer and blogger. A licensed attorney since 2012, and a blogger since 2014, she has spoken at both virtual and in person conferences, including FinCon, on the importance of legally protecting your blog and business. She is the founder and voice behind Less Debt, More Wine, a personal finance site, and ElizabethStapleton.com, where she helps readers earn more money while making sure they are legally protecting themselves and their businesses.
Disclaimer: While Elizabeth Stapleton is an attorney, she is not your attorney and nothing on this article is to be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, nothing in this article or resources made available are to be considered legal advice. Content and resources provided are meant for educational and informational purposes only. Elizabeth Stapleton is not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failure to act related to the content in this article.