Starting a blog or website of your own means you have to deal with copyrights, blogging laws and policies. We are going to talk about 5 blogging laws you must know if you own a blog so that you protect yourself legally.
When I first started blogging I basically ignored it for a couple of weeks and hoped it would go away. It did not.
Owning a blog that generates money means you own a little business of your own and you need to protect it. As crazy as it is to believe, your blog can be sued if it does not follow certain rules( as any business can). It can also be taken advantage of.
I am not going to frighten you any further because there are solutions to this. It does not take loads of time or money but it does need to be taken care of.
Even if your website is not getting as much traffic, you still need to be following certain rules. It is always better to be safe when it comes to something like this.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer so if you have any questions about blogging laws, you can choose to consult a lawyer if you want more detailed information. This is not legal advice and you should consult an attorney if you have any more questions.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you buy a product or sign up via my affiliate link I would receive a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I love and trust.
This is one of the most important pages for your blog. It outlines the way your website will store data, collect it and use it. According to the law, every blog needs to have one.
These privacy policies apply to anyone who owns a website because your traffic could be coming from anywhere.
Lawsuits take place every day against companies that do not adhere to these rules which is why you need to make sure you have taken care of it.
- Credit Card Information
- Cookie Tracking
- E-mail address
The policy should explain why you collect the information you do, what you use it for, whether you disclose it to third parties, how you will protect it, exactly what information you collect, etc.
You should also mention how a reader can opt-out of data collection. This could be an unsubscribe button or contacting you via email.
I recommend using Amira’s legal bundle which includes everything a new blog needs to be legally compliant (we will talk about what else is needed and what her legal bundle includes in the next few points).
Here is what comes with her legal bundle:
- Terms and Conditions
- +9 Bonuses
Do I need legal templates for my blog?
If you are a blogger, entrepreneur, creator or website owner, you are going to need these pages inevitably . Amira provides them at a great price and she is a lawyer as well as a blogger so she is extremely dependable.
A lawyer costs clients hundreds of dollars an hour (!) which is why Amira’s legal bundle is one of my favorites. It is legally compliant with every law that a blogger needs to follow.
The great part about her bundle is that all of the templates are over 20% off as compared to when you buy it singularly. Considering you need everything in the bundle, I consider it one of the best deals a blogger or content owner can go for.
She has thousands of happy customers and is great at what she does.
How will I customize the templates and when will I receive them once I buy them?
You will receive the legal templates as a word document with about five customizable fields for every template. Every template also includes the instructions necessary to fill in those fields.
You can then paste those pages on to your website and sleep soundly knowing you do not have to worry about the legal status of your content.
You can customize your pages in under 15 minutes and be done with it all. Phew!
Can I find these legal templates for my blog for free online?
Most of the pages you will find online will miss important fields, not be suitable for your business or be wrong altogether. You also have absolutely no idea if the pages have actually been made by a lawyer.
You want to be confident in the legal content you put up on your website or for your content and some free stuff that you find on the internet is not going to do that for you.
#2. Blog Terms and Conditions
Starting an online business of your own means you need to protect it from being misused. You cannot have all of your hard work being stolen by someone else or portrayed in a negative light.
The Terms and Conditions page essentially outlines the use of your website by visitors. It tells visitors how they can use the information you are posting, the content you are creating, the images you have produced, etc.
The second major component that the Terms and Conditions page should cover is the e-commerce of a website. If you are selling products of any kind (digital or physical), you should outline the refund policy, payment policy, etc. in your terms of service.
Here are a few things that every T&C page should include:
- Contact information
- How visitors can use the information on your website
- Refund and payment policies if you run an online shop
- Future changes to your terms and conditions and how you will notify readers.
- Intellectual Property Rights
As I have mentioned above, Amira’s legal bundle comes with a terms and conditions template that you can customize in minutes depending on your needs. This awesome bundle comes with great bonuses as well.
She does sell all of her templates separately but you will get the best deal if you go for her best-selling legal bundle.
#3. Blog Disclosures for Affiliate Links
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
I would consider this rule a very basic one for any blogger and I hoping you know about it already if you are an affiliate for any products. Disclosing the fact that you are earning a commission of ANY KIND on a blog post is necessary.
You could be getting a free pizza for writing about a brand- you still need to disclose it.
This is because you need to be making it known that your opinion may be affected by these factors. It is one of the many ways the FTC protects its consumers (your readers).
So, for example, if you are an affiliate for a product that you are advertising through your blog you need to make it known. This is not hard at all. It is as easy as adding two sentences.
For example, look at the one I added below the subtitle disclosure. This means that some of the products I link to within this article may be affiliate links.
Do not get annoyed by this necessity. A lot of bloggers think that if they add a disclosure to their blog articles, it will make readers wary of buying products.
That is not true at all! Most of my readers and any reader appreciate honesty and will depend on your opinion with more certainty.
Here is my disclaimer checklist in case you are interested:
- Disclose any affiliate relationship, sponsorship, or endorsement that may affect the content of your blog post. If you are being sponsored by a brand, you can mention that ‘Brand XYZ’ is sponsoring your post.
- The affiliate link must be clearly visible. It cannot be hidden by using hyperlinks or placing it somewhere like the footer area where it will not be read. If you do place it in the footer area, it is okay but also make sure to mention that within the blog post.
- Only become an affiliate for products you trust and love. If you become an affiliate for something you know nothing about, it will show. Your readers are not stupid.
As I have mentioned before, Amira at Aselfguru has a Legal Bundle offer that provides all the affiliate disclosure templates your blog will need.
#4. Blog Disclaimers
This one sounds super similar to disclosures but it is NOT. They are totally different. If you want an example, scroll up and look at what I have said about not being a lawyer.
A disclaimer is used to tell your readers that you will not be held liable for any information that can be found on your blog.
It is important to state that you are not a lawyer, medical professional, etc if what you are writing is based purely on opinion or experience.
This will help your readers understand that even though your opinion can be trusted it should not be the only opinion they ask for. I always add this sentence within my disclosure:
If you have any further questions about this subject, it is advisable that you contact an attorney.
This means that yes, I believe in what I am saying but if you more detailed information on the subject you should consider a pro.
In short, a disclaimer is your way of telling your readers that you will not be held liable for any issues that they have with your information. You should add this no matter how sure you are of what you are saying.
It keeps you protected and your readers informed.
You will get the disclaimer template as part of Amira’s legal bundle or you can also buy it separately if you would like.
#5. Blogging Image Rules
No. You cannot. If the image is not created by you, you need to ask for permission to use it.
Do not worry though. There are images available that you can use with no permission needed but you cannot just take the first one you find on Google Images.
Here are some stock image websites that you can use to find free images that need no prior permission to use:
If you cannot find exactly what you need by visiting these websites, here are some alternatives:
- Buy Royalty-Free images: You can buy royalty-free images if you want something a little more specific.
- Ask for permission from the creator: You can ask for permission to use the picture. This can be done by simply sending an e-mail to the creator and getting written permission to use it on your website.
Never use an image without permission from the creator if it is not a free image. You could be sued for it and it is not something worth messing around with. Your blog can also be shut down for copyright infringement so it is always best to follow the rules.
Most people are more than happy to let you use their image. You will also be able to connect with someone new. It takes a minute to ask and if you really like an image, it is worth it.