What legal stuff does my blog need

Posted on Posted in Blogging Tips, Lessons, Resources

You may find yourself asking the question “What legal stuff does my blog need?” or it may have never crossed your mind.  But there’s a few things you need to know to legally cover your blog.

Legal Documents

 

What Legal Stuff Does My Blog Need?

Legal Documents to Cover Your Blog

Disclaimer- I am not a lawyer.  The following information is for informational purposes only.  If you feel that you need legal counsel then please contact a BAR certified attorney.

Yup, believe it or not there are some legal necessities to get out of the way- who knew that being a blogger could bring about legal issues- did you know that you could be sued….or even fined by the government?! SCARY!!

So I decided this needed to be a TOP Priority.  Don’t worry, there’s not a whole lot that you have to do.

1. Copyright

First, you need to copyright your blog.  You may not think you need this but you do!

So, why should I copyright my blog? I read about a blogger who’s articles were copied verbatim along with the pictures and even the typos and someone else claimed it as their own with no link back to the original post.  Well the site that stole the blogger’s information got ranked higher and therefore received more traffic and wasn’t even producing it’s own content. So the original writer lost out on getting recognized for his/her work, didn’t get the backlink (which increases SEO- we’ll be going over this soon), and people interested in the original blogger’s content were dupped.  Plus, stealing is wrong and I don’t think people should profit from stealing other’s work.  By placing a copyright on your blog you are letting potential thieves know that you don’t tolerate intellectual theft!  It took less than 5 minutes to place a copyright on my blog.

Most themes now offer a copyright script but if not go to Web Weaver and use the copyright generator for free to get a copyright.  Then add an html gadget to your main page with the copyright inserted.

You should also add a copyright to any photos that you take.  This blogging community is so close knit that if someone sees that your image was stolen then it’ll be easy for them to track you down and let you know.  Why let someone else profit from your hard work!

2. TOS

Now that your blog is copyrighted you need a Terms of Use/Service for your blog.  This is some major legal language about how you’re not responsible for how people use and post on your site.  You can use the free Terms of Use generator from TermsFeed.

This is lengthy and comprehensive but will help cover you for those few crazy people out there who try to sue you over something on your blog.  For example, they didn’t like the recipe you created or they tried that fancy faux painting you did and it didn’t turn out right for them.

(You want to put each of these on it’s own page because that will help increase your SEO).

3. Privacy Policy

Next up is a privacy policy. A Privacy Policy is extremely important for your blog if you host any linky parties where readers will input their email or if you collect emails for a newsletter or if your blog generates cookies, etc.

Basically a privacy policy for blogs says whether you will sell their emails, how often you will use their information to contact them, and so on. It’s a lot more legal language that I don’t fully understand but luckily there’s an app a generator for that! Go to http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/ or http://www.generateprivacypolicy.com/ to generate one in less than 5 minutes.  Then copy and paste it into a blog page.

4. Disclosure Policy

Do you have any ads running on your blog? Do you make money from sponsored posts? Do you receive or accept free product for sponsored posts? Do you get or want to get compensated in any way through your blog? IF so, then you need a Disclosure Policy.

Many sites like networks that provide you with sponsored posts require you to have a Disclosure Policy easily accessible on your blog in order to participate.  You can use this Disclosure Policy Generator to easily make one. And, yet again, just cut and paste it into a page.

5. Disclaimer

Finally, you need a Disclaimer Policy for your blog.  A disclaimer policy protects you– your rights, free speech, your content, ect.  More basically, this covers your butt if someone does one of your projects (like painting their countertops) and it doesn’t work right- they can’t come sue you and make you pay for their DIY fail. I know a lot of this seems to overlap with each other but better safe than sorry! Luckily, yet again, there is a free generator that will take care of all the legal speak for you.
I urge you to please take the 30 minutes it took me to set all of this up so you are protected!

What questions do you have about blogging? Leave a comment below!