When you’re creating content online and you own your website, you must have 3 legal pages that are easily accessible to your visitors. And depending on your published content, you may need to have several other disclosures, like an Affiliate Disclosure. Does your blog have the necessary legal documents needed to protect you and your visitor?
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS I’LL RECEIVE A COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINK, AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
Legal Pages Every Blogger Must-Have
Starting a blog is super exciting and often a creator will focus on their content ideas and plan before setting themselves up with legalities. Trust me, it’s a common mistake that most new bloggers make because when you are first starting out, you may not even be aware of the legal stuff needed before you even hit the publish button on your very first post.
This is where I can help, as a seasoned content creator who creates, brands and launches new blogs for a living. Today, I’m sharing 3 Legal Documents Every Blogger Needs For Their New Blog.
One of my biggest regrets when I first started creating online blogs and publications.
As a new creator and new blogger, it’s super easy to overlook legalities. My biggest regret when I first got started online years ago, is not protecting my blog legally with lawyer-built templates, that I could customize to fit my blog and my growing business. I found free, DIY templates, but they honestly were super basic and come to find out, didn’t cover very much at all.
Once I educated myself on those legal pages and the things I needed for my specific niche blog, I knew I needed something that could help legally protect me, if ever I found myself in a tough situation. Don’t make the same mistake I did, no matter how enticing the words “free template” are. There could be very real ramifications if you do.
How can I legally protect my blog?
Think of your new blogging website as your online, virtual home. What things should you do, to be a great hostess? The first thing that comes to my mind, is making sure my guest feels safe and welcomed. The ambiance is important (i.e. how your website looks and how your blog functions), but so is the safety. This is where writing specific, legal documents is vital.
It should never be overlooked and having them linked on your website before you even launch, is recommended for ultimate success.
What if I plan on using affiliate links on my new blog?
A lot of bloggers who want to make money from their posts will often look to affiliate marketing as an income stream. If done correctly, it can be incredibly lucrative. In short, you definitely need a main affiliate disclosure on your blogging website.
Bonus tip: if you join any affiliate programs, you should also read and learn what each company’s rules are. Some will require extra steps, like the Amazon Associate’s Program does. Don’t be in a rush when choosing affiliate programs to join, either. I’ll be writing a post specifically on this subject in the very near future.
Where should my affiliate disclosure be on my blog?
Your Affiliate Disclosure should be included and easily found on the Disclaimer Policy page.
What I love about Amira’s Blogger Legal Bundle is that the templates are very specific and allow you to easily figure out what your blog needs for these legalities. She also tells you EXACTLY where to place things like the affiliate disclosure. I cannot recommend this template back more. Seriously.
This incredible tool has made my blogging keyword research strategy much easier! I utilize it for all of my Pinterest Marketing. I also use it as a starting place for keyword research (SEO) with Google and even YouTube. I’m such a fan AND it’s a software that I have right on my desktop, for easy, 24/7 access.
Do I need anything else before I hit publish on my first blog post?
There are a lot of things you should do before hitting publish on your first blog post, however, it can be incredibly overwhelming when someone gives you this big list of items to check off. I personally think that once you’ve set up your blog with a self-hosted WordPress site, branding and professional template, you should write your legal pages, link them in your website’s footer and then start blogging.
You can keep adding things that you need, as you go. And if you find your blog growing and making money, definitely revisit Amira’s legal shop for the single legal templates you need, as you reach those incredible milestones!
Her single templates are perfect for beginning bloggers on a budget.
The short answer here is NO. You definitely need three separate pages that lay out all the basics, which are pretty detailed. This is why a free resource most likely won’t cover you legally. And in fact, it’s BEST if you consult a lawyer as soon as you start earning income with your blog. When making money with your blog, you’ll most likely want to do things like change from a sole proprietorship to an LLC and perhaps go even deeper with business legalities like hiring an employee and offering digital products in an official “shop.”
I’m skipping ahead here, but my point is this, when you are first starting a blog and you intend to publish and share that blog publicly, definitely start with legal templates, made by an actual, licensed lawyer, who specifically caters to bloggers and online creators and influencers. Use those in-depth, easy to follow instructional templates to write incredible documents that are specific to your blog.
As soon as you’re earning money and your blog is growing into a business, consult a local lawyer or work with Amira herself, and make sure all your legalities are up to date and that you are fully covered as an official business.
What I'm personally buying next for my media house business
Because my media house is home to many different types of publications and we work with many different brands, sponsors and ad-representatives, I have to make sure I’m covered with a Sponsored Posts Contract. I also partner with other incredible creatives and bring them on board by helping them create and run their own niche blog. Technically speaking, a Guest Blogger Agreement is something they sign that covers my exact rules and specifications so we can work together without any questions or what-if’s. It also covers me because the content they create needs to give me permission to publish it as the media house host.
A Media Release is pretty important too, if using ANY other person’s words, voice, photo and video content.
As A Blogger, Do I Need These Documents As Well?
YES! Eventually you will, if you plan on working with brands, collaborating with other bloggers and content creators or plan on using any one else’s copyrighted material on your site. So I’ll also be using these for this food blog, as soon as I’m ready to pursue any of those three above situations. I’ll also be using these when my partner-publications are created. The first one is getting signed soon, in fact!
Good luck on your blogging business!
I’m in love with blogging and even more in love with creating passive-income-making blogging websites. If you’re just getting started yourself, I wish you all the luck in the world! Just remember to take it slow, have realistic expectations, set goals both big and small and most importantly, protect yourself legally! You’ve totally got this! I’m rooting for you.
Post Disclaimer: I am sharing personal advice based on years of being an entrepreneur, owning several businesses and being an online content creator. I have worked as a creator, an influencer, a service based business, a product based business and online marketing house. I’ve worked with other influencers, bloggers and have even earned 5 figures from ONE brand partnership with a large corporate brand. I currently own and operate a media house that hosts several online blogging publications. The exact above products have been purchased myself and I highly recommend them to others who are just starting out in their blogging adventures. Please do your own research and consult a lawyer, as I am not one, myself.
Throughout the years as a graphics artist and website designer I have worked with many blogging platforms and hosting services. Let me tell you, WordPress is IT for me, hands down, when utilizing a blog for passive-income-making-goals and Siteground is who I personally use for hosting.
Ease of use, included professional email addresses, incredible customer service, website-hacking-preventions, safety and privacy features and the ability to have many websites under one account, are some of my favorite things. I’ll be writing a specific resource post soon, but you have to check them out, if you’re considering starting a blog.