What if you could get your blog legally protected and you could comply with all legal requirements in less than half an hour?
If you’re anything like the hundreds of bloggers, I have been helping over the past years, you’ve probably been sticking your head in the sand when it comes to the legal side of blogging.
If the legalese sounds obscure and overwhelming to you; if you have been putting your legal pages on the back burner for months, well, let me tell you: you’re not alone!
But what if you could have it all sorted in 30 minutes or so? Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Well, surprise, surprise, that’s what’s gonna happen!
I’m a trained lawyer (LLB, LLM, PhD in EU & International Law) + a University lecturer + a blogger/entrepreneur and lucky for you, today you’re gonna borrow my 15+ years’ legal expertise & experience to figure out what the heck you need to do to protect your blog legally!
In this post, we will go through what legal pages you must have on your blog, what they are, and what purpose they serve. I will also give you a few tips on how to make them or you can even get my templates to be done with your legal pages in less than half an hour. And if you want to take advantage of a massive discount, you can snag my best selling legal bundle value pack!
How good is that?
So, let’s start.
But before we dive in, let me add a few disclosures and disclaimers, and don’t forget that if you’re in a rush at the moment, you can always pin this post and go through everything at a later time.
DISCLAIMER: Although I’m a lawyer specialized in International and EU Law (LLB, LLM, PhD) by profession, this article is meant for educational and informational purposes only. It doesn’t constitute legal advice and doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. I will not be held liable for any losses or damages caused by acting or failing to act on the ground of the content of this article. Should your circumstances require, I encourage you to seek legal advice through other avenues. Please read my full disclaimer for further information.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in US$.
Your blog; does it have any legal pages?
Your blog is now up and running, perhaps a perfect moment to throw a wild party and celebrate this incredible achievement.
Oh no… not so soon!
Just like the Wild West, the world of blogging is almost obscure and unwelcome to all. But it seemingly favors only the savvy and fevered blog owners who know how to build trust with their traffic while avoiding costly court cases. Those whose websites have the right legal pages!
It gets even more severe if the site is an online shop, and has not even a single legal page for few will dare buy from it. Many online shoppers of today no longer buy from every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
They carefully scrutinize the site, going to as far as reading what’s contained in the Disclaimer and what the Terms and Conditions actually stipulate. This, they know, acts as a cushion in case of any legal tussles along the way.
So, if you want to protect your blog legally and comply with legal requirements to avoid fines by the authorities, lawsuits, and/or formal complaints by your users you must have 4 crucial legal pages on your blog.
The essence of having legal pages on your blog?
Quite frankly, what’s the essence of having legal pages on your blog?
As you probably know already, having at least four of these really important pages isn’t in vain. The internet of today is swelling with fictitious, scam websites, all of them operated by rogue, malicious individuals. They pry on the unsuspecting buyers, rip them off their funds and run away, never to be seen again.
With the right legal pages, everyone – both the blog owner and online users, are assured that the blog is legit and operates legally under the law. And in case of a lawsuit, a legal page may easily absolve the blogger.
Besides, having legal pages on the blog is part of the now-popular international practices associated with owning a blog. They not only enhance the credibility of a site, but also set it apart from the amateur, poorly developed ones. It additionally cushions the blog’s owners from lawsuits emanating from what’s published on their website
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What legal pages ought to feature in your blog?
Well, this is possibly the question you are asking yourself right now. There are over 10 of these pages, and some sites even have all of them. It isn’t mandatory though that you also publish all of them.
Knowing the ones to have can be complicated for a greenhorn. Yet for an online geek like you, just four or five of them is enough to give your blog the all-important credibility while protecting it from any legal problems.
If you have no idea about which among these major elements must feature on your new blog, consider starting with the following.
You must have seen this, often at the bottom of the web page and never bothered to go through the entire page. But don’t be mistaken; the whole block of text that forms the Privacy Statement of a website has an essential purpose.
Considering the whole topic of data privacy today, there certainly has to be a form of agreement binding a site’s owners and visitors flocking the blog. Basically, there has to be a pact to help build trust between the two.
Without it, no transparency will exist between both parties, and this will create a suspicion of some sort. However, with a well-written policy detailing user privacy, visitors will browse through the site and even submit their data, knowing why the site needs them and how their data will be processed.
- EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU (+ international territorial scope if you target or monitor users based in the EU). You can read more about the GDPR here.
- California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA aka CA Privacy law) in California (+ international territorial scope if you have users from California)
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the US and for sites, blogs and an array of other internet services that serve kids aged 13 and below.
- Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and provincial privacy laws in Canada
- The Privacy Act 1988 in Australia
The question on how big or what a privacy statement should contain, however, is contentious and often depends upon what the website serves. For some, it could be a few paragraphs long with the type of data collected, age restrictions, whether the information would be shared, and so forth. For others, it could be a quite complex and detailed statement.
It’s a done-for-you ready-to-go template that comes with
- BONUS #2 Specific requirements under the GDPR bonus module ($72 value)
- BONUS #3 Direct access to our private Facebook group Blogging for New Bloggers (22K+ selected members – $49/m value).
2. Disclaimer Page
Just like the title mentions, a Disclaimer page gives the blog owner the right to “disclaim” or “deny” legal liability for whatever is published on the blog. Given the freedom that blogging comes with, a Disclaimer is important in cushioning its publisher from any grievous consequences it could create. Quite simply, it gives them the immunity from lawsuits in the event readers find the content published on a blog offensive or experience any problem by relying on the information provided on the blog or in a blog post.
See, it is possible for someone to end up in court for a mere post published on their blog. But bloggers who include a disclaimer often never end up in such circumstances.
You can go here to grab my disclaimer template which include harmless clauses, professional disclaimers, earnings disclaimer, and testimonial disclaimer.
Writing a Disclaimer page for your blog
When writing one, the format differs, pretty much like what one disclaims. Mostly, the length and content depend on the nature of the blog, aside from the gravity of whatever one posts. However, with it, one’s blog is safe from any charges and litigations their posts could instigate.
3. Terms & Conditions
Your blog’s list of legal pages certainly is incomplete if it lacks the all-important T&Cs page, given that this is essentially a legal contract between the two of you. A blog’s Terms and Conditions or “the Terms of Service” page, could be defined as a collection of all the “rules” governing everything concerning the website and its users.
Basically, it is a statement of all terms of an “indenture” between the blog and its visitors. Within this contract is how the owner expects those who use the blog to behave. It also gives the visitors an overview of what they should be ready for when browsing through the blog.
This clause also helps solve common issues arising from everyday customer-seller interactions online. It ideally comes in handy when things go out of hand, and the aggravated party is threatening to opt for a lawsuit. Simply put, it absolves the blog from any problems resulting from the user not making due diligence from engaging in any interaction or transaction on the blog.
If you don’t have temms & conditions on your blog, you must add it ASAP to protect yourself and your blog. You can grab my done-for-you template here.
Writing a Terms and Conditions page
One crucial thing to note is that no blog should go without this legal page. You could either hire a lawyer to write one for you or buy a template to make one yourself. Irrespective of the route you choose, however, always try to ensure it captures the following factors:
- How and where disputes are to be handled.
- Limitations of warranties or Disclaimers.
- The Intellectual Property Policy and how it concerns the owner of the blog as well as all those who visit; basically to stop blog copyright infringement.
- Rights to refuse services to a particular individual.
- Refunds Policy, especially if the blog sells stuff.
4. Disclosures page
A disclosures pages is not as complex as the other three legal pages, but is equally important. Disclosures are crucial, both legally and from the ethical viewpoint. Basically, this page comes in handy when a blog covers affiliate products and sponsored posts.
A blog owner will be required to disclose to whoever visits the blog all affiliate links that, if used to make a purchase, would earn them a commission. If the content on the blog had been sponsored (paid to promote a particular business or product), the owner also should disclose it.
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent, government-funded entity whose role is, among other things, to ensure that blog owners include disclosures in their posts and on their blog. It also monitors sponsored posts and endorsements, doing all these to gag on misleading posts, ads, and testimonials.
A disclosure statement generally is okay, regardless of how short and brief it is, provided that it is clearly and conspicuously placed before the affiliate link and it specify what affiliate links mean and the financial reward the blogger may obtain through them. You should then have a disclosures page where you detail your full policy about affiliate links and sponsored posts. Your disclosure statement should link back to your disclosures page.
If you need help crafting the perfect disclosures, check out my affiliate disclosure template here.
Parting shot on the legal pages you must have on your blog
The four are just a few of the many legal pages a blog ought to have. These legal pages all have an essential purpose in protecting both yourself and your blog but also your visitors so that you comply with legal requirements and avoid lawsuits, fines, and formal complaints.
These four legal pages also go a long way in protecting your brand from unforeseeable pitfalls. With that, make sure your blog has them, written in a manner that is certain to endear it to its visitors.
If you need help crafting the perfect legal pages, snag my done-for-you and ready-to-go legal templates.
Or, for the best value for money, check out my best selling legal bundle value pack and score a massive discount on all these four crucial legal pages for your blog.
Do you have these four legal pages on your blog? And if not, are you planning to add them as soon as possible? Let me know in the comment section!
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