When I first started my travel blog in 2016, nobody told me that I should protect it and make sure it was legal from day one. I was so excited to start blogging and sharing my story that the thought of protecting my blog never crossed my mind.
Well, in fact, I didn’t know what affiliate marketing was back then, but still, I noticed that people were doing the same thing. And when I clicked on their legal pages, I realized that these pages probably have some legally binding information, not just some blah blah you can get from a free auto-generation tool or something similar.
At this point, I just thought, wow, those bloggers must be really rich to afford all that legal stuff on their blog!
But little did I know, it is actually not too difficult to protect your blog and make sure it is legit. All you need to do is to purchase the pre-written legal pages and then fill in the blanks with your own information!
Anyway, before we move that fast to the purchase step, let’s talk about why it is important to have legal pages on your blog in the first place.
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What are Legal Pages?
Legal pages are documents that provide information about the terms and conditions of use for your website. They help protect both you and your readers from any potential legal issues or misunderstandings arising from using or viewing your website.
Having these legal pages on your blog will help you stay compliant with the law, protect yourself from potential lawsuits or penalties, and give readers a sense of trust in your website.
It is important to note that these documents are not legally binding until a lawyer reviews them; however, having them in place serves as an important first step in protecting yourself and your readers from any potential issues.
Why Do I Need Legal Pages for My Blog?
Stop here and ask yourself whether you’re just blogging for fun or if you are serious about it. If blogging is just your hobby and you don’t aim to monetize from it, then this blog post is not for you.
On the other hand, if you are serious about blogging and plan to make money from it, then it becomes much more important to have a solid legal foundation in place so that your blog doesn’t become vulnerable to any potential legal issues.
To Comply with the Laws
Having legally binding documents on your blog will help you stay compliant with the law. Depending on what type of blog you have and where it is hosted, there may be specific laws that you are required to comply with to operate legally.
For example, if your blog contains any advertising or affiliate links, you must include an Affiliate Disclosure page so that readers know of any potential financial gain from your blog. Or, suppose you’re giving medical or financial advice. In that case, you must have a disclaimer page that states that the information on your blog is for informational purposes only (unless you are a certified professional in either field).
These legal documents will help to ensure that your blog is operating legally and not running afoul of any laws.
To Protect Yourself from Potential Liability
Having the right legal documents in place on your blog can also protect you from potential lawsuits or other penalties. If you are taking advantage of any affiliate programs or other monetization opportunities, having legally binding documents in place can help to protect you from potential legal action if any of your readers feel that they have been scammed.
Additionally, if you are giving advice or providing services on your blog, having a disclaimer page can help protect you from liability if someone follows the advice and it doesn’t work out for them or is unhappy with your services.
Having the right legal documents in place on your blog can help to protect both you and your readers from any potential legal issues or misunderstandings arising from using or viewing your website.
To Build Trust with Your Readers
If you want to grow your blog and be successful, it is important to build trust with your readers. Having the right legal documents in place can help show potential readers that you are a legitimate business or blogger and that they can trust you to provide them with accurate information.
Of course, trust must be built through your content as well, but having the right legal documents in place can be a good first step to establishing that trust. People can see that you mean business and that you are taking your blog seriously—and that can often be enough to convince them to become regular readers or even customers.
To Protect Your Hard Work
Finally, having legally binding documents on your blog can help to protect the content and hard work you have put into it. If anyone ever attempts to copy or steal from your blog, having a Copyright Notice page can help you take action against them if necessary.
Many bloggers also opted for the Creative Commons license, which allows others to share and use their content under certain conditions. However, if you don’t want your content to be used in any form, then it’s best to include a No Reproduction or Sharing Policy and have your back covered.
Which Legal Pages You’ll Need for Your Blog
For a beginner, it’s highly recommended that you have these legal pages in place on your blog:
- Terms and Conditions
- Copyright Notice
Each of them has a different purpose and can help you stay compliant with the law as well as protect both you and your readers from any potential legal issues.
It’s important to note that some of these documents may not be necessary for your blog, depending on what type of content or services it provides. You’ll want to do some research and make sure which legal documents would be best for your blog.
Terms and Conditions
The Terms and Conditions page is probably the most important page on your blog. It outlines all the rules, regulations, policies, and agreements that readers have to follow when using your website.
For example, if you’re running an e-commerce website or selling digital products, the Terms and Conditions page can help outline how transactions are handled, shipping policies, refund details, and other important information. For a personal blog using cookies, the Terms and Conditions page outlines what types of data are collected, how they’re used, and how readers can opt out.
For bloggers living in Europe, the Terms and Conditions page also serves as a way to comply with GDPR regulations.
The Disclaimer page is another must-have for any blog. It outlines the risks associated with using your website and helps protect you from any potential liabilities that may arise from visitors’ use of your content or services.
For example, if you’re running a health or nutrition blog, the Disclaimer page can help inform readers that the advice provided on your blog is general information and not intended to be used as medical advice or professional guidance.
The Copyright Notice page informs visitors that all content on your website is owned by you, the author, and protected by copyright law. It also outlines what types of activities are not allowed without permission from the author, such as copying, distributing, modifying, or selling the content.
Having a Copyright Notice page can help protect the hard work and time you’ve put into creating your blog, as well as give you legal recourse if anyone attempts to copy or steal from your website.
While the first three pages are a must-have for all blogs and bloggers, the last one is optional depending on the type of content you’re publishing. If your blog focuses mostly on creative works such as photography, art, or music, then having a Copyright Notice page is a good idea.
And of course, you may need more than these four pages depending on the type of website and content you’re offering. If you’re selling products or services, for example, then having a Refunds policy page is highly recommended. Or, if you’re a coach providing your services through your blog, then having a Coaching agreement can help protect you and your clients.
Knowing which legal documents are needed for your blog can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s important to take the time to understand the different types of documents available and which ones best fit your needs. It will also save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run.
How to Get These Blogging Legal Documents
Free Legal Templates
I remember spending hours and hours searching for those free legal pages and templates online, but they are hard to find. Plus, they are very limited and not suitable for most bloggers.
However, the downside is that it’s not completely personalized. So you might still need to hire a lawyer to tweak some of the terms and conditions in order to make them applicable to your blog.
Hire a Lawyer
If you don’t want the hassle of searching for free legal templates online or having to customize them yourself, then another option is to hire a lawyer to draw up the necessary documents for your blog.
This might be more expensive, but it’s a great way to ensure that your blog meets all legal requirements and that any problems that may arise from running a website will be taken care of quickly and professionally. Plus, you can rest assured that all of your documents are properly written and tailored to your blog.
Hiring a lawyer may not be the perfect option for everyone unless you’re really serious about your blog and want to make sure it’s legally compliant.
Pre-written Legal Pages
Finally, this one is the best option for those who are on a budget or don’t want to hire a lawyer. Pre-written legal pages are documents that have already been written by lawyers and can be customized to fit your blog.
These pages usually come in packages, so you can pick and choose the ones that you need while saving money at the same time. They are also much cheaper than hiring a lawyer and can be ready in around an hour.
So, I started my first blog in 2016 but not until 2020 that I finally purchased the legal pages package and completed my website with all the necessary legal documents. After hours of reading through reviews and doing my own research, I opted for the Starter Legal Bundle from Amira at A Self Guru.
With an affordable price and an hour dedicated to customizing the document, you’ll have all the legal documents you need to keep your blog legally compliant and can start blogging confidently without worrying about any legal issues.
More Blogging Legal Tips
Besides all the documents mentioned above, there are a few more tips that you can use to make sure your blog is legit, even if you don’t have a lawyer.
- Always use original content and properly cite any images or videos you use in your blog posts.
- Include an affiliate disclaimer if you’re working with sponsors or products that you receive commissions from.
- Never, under any circumstances, use someone else’s work without their permission.
Blogging nowadays is becoming a more serious job, so it’s important to make sure that your blog is legally compliant. With the options I mentioned above, you can easily create all the necessary documents for your website in no time.
No matter if you opt for free legal templates, hire a lawyer, or get pre-written legal pages, make sure to do your research and read reviews before making any decisions. With all the hard work you’ve put into creating your blog, you don’t want to risk having any legal issues arise due to negligence.
So make sure to take all the necessary steps to keep your blog legit and protect yourself from potential risks!