When I started my blog as a hobby, I had no idea that there were so many back end financial and legal elements that went into running a blog. I thought I could just sit down and write my posts and that would be it. Once I knew I could make money from my blog, however, I wanted to make sure I was running my business the right way. Today, I’m going to be talking about the basic legal issues that bloggers need to think about and the legal pages every blog needs to have.
Before we get any further into this discussion, I want to point out that I am not a lawyer. I don’t have any legal experience or any legal training. This article is based on research I did for my own blog, so be sure and do your own research or talk with your own attorney if you have any legal questions! This article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not legal advice.
This post contains affiliate links, including those from Amazon, which means I may make a commission on sales at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out my Disclaimer for more information!
Legal Considerations for Bloggers
The most important legal consideration for bloggers is to be sure you have the necessary legal pages included on your website. These keep your business protected and in compliance with all laws and regulations. There are couple questions I see from new bloggers on a regular basis about these pages:
- What legal pages am I required to have on my blog?
- Where can I find templates for these pages?
- Why can’t I just use a free template I found on the internet? (or copy one from someone else’s blog?)
What Legal Pages Are Required for Your Blog?
There are three legal pages you are required to include on your website:
- Terms and Conditions
Having these pages in place will help protect you against lawsuits or other legal issues. Each one of these pages serves a different purpose.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions page of your website lays out the expectations and rules between you and your blog’s visitors. This is where you lay out things like refund policies, your contact information, and explain what the content on your blog can and can’t be used for by visitors.
This page acts as a contract between you and the visitors who come to your site. Without it, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation for now laying out your expectations up front.
Having a disclaimer on your blog acts to limit the legal liability you have. It lets your readers know the limits that come along with your content.
For example, at the beginning of this post, I let you know that I am not a lawyer and that nothing in this post should be considered actual legal advice. This is a disclaimer. Having a Disclaimer in place for your entire blog helps to limit the legal liability of all your content.
If you use affiliate marketing as part of your monetization strategy, you will also have required disclosures and disclaimers that go along with that.
Where to Find Legal Page Templates for Your Blog
If you are making money from your blog, or plan to in the future, you need to be running your blog like a business. This means you need to make sure you have the legal issues taken care of from the beginning. This is why I highly recommend paying for legal pages for your website.
I purchased the Legal Pages Bundle from Amira Law. She’s a real, full-time lawyer who blogs for her side hustle! Because of this, I felt confident that her templates would cover everything that would be needed to keep my website protected.
She has created some great templates for all three of the required legal pages (as well as for a bunch of other legal contracts as well!). You can plug in the information for your own business and get them up on your website in half an hour. She makes them so easy to use. There’s really no reason not to use them, honestly.
Purchasing legal pages for your business is definitely an investment… but it’s one I think is well worth the money. If you pay to protect your blog from the start, you won’t end up shelling out a ton of money later for not having the right protection in place. It only takes one unhappy customer to cause a problem if you aren’t protected!
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Free Template
Now, I know you might be tempted to just head out to google and try to find some free versions of these three legal pages. I want to warn you against doing that, and there are a couple of reasons why.
First, there’s no way to really know that the pages you pull off the internet are going to include all the necessary legal language and clauses that your blogging business will need. A lot of the free templates I’ve see are for general business websites and don’t take into account the special considerations that come with blogging.
Second, you don’t know how up to date those templates are. There’s no way to know when they were written or if they include everything required by current laws and regulations.
Finally, you don’t want to just copy and paste the legal pages from someone else’s blog! Besides the fact that this is probably copyright infringement, you will have no idea if their pages are of good quality. You won’t know if they will cover all the different pieces of your blog or if they include everything you will need.
To me, these free templates just seem a little bit suspect… if an actual lawyer would charge you several hundred dollars to prepare these if you went to their office, then why is someone offering them for free on the internet?
Making sure your blog is protected from the start can end up saving you time, stress, and money in the long run. You don’t even want to be in a position of having to go to court to defend yourself or even facing the possibility of losing your business because you didn’t take the legal steps you needed to when getting started!
Don’t put your business at risk… invest in some great legal pages and set up your business the right way.