Hi guys! I'm Amira, a lawyer, blogger, and business coach from ASelfGuru.com. Thank you, Alexis, for interviewing me to answer the top 15 questions on how to blog legally and to discuss the different legal contracts bloggers need for their business.
I have been working full-time as a lawyer for more than 8 years now, and I'm also a part-time blogger, so I work with bloggers and entrepreneurs daily.
I love teaching you how to blog legally, so you can avoid the legal pitfalls and sleep in peace knowing your business is legally protected.
If you fail to comply with all the legal requirements as a blogger, then you risk getting sued and paying thousands in fines and lawsuits.
We all know that lawsuits are super scary, intimidating, and expensive!
So avoid them by ensuring you are not breaking any laws and make your blog legally compliant before you launch!
Let's go over your top 15 legal questions below.
Before we get started, here's my legal disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Although I'm a lawyer by profession, I'm not YOUR lawyer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any kind of attorney-client relationship with me. I'm not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.
Top 15 Legal Questions Answered for Bloggers
1. How do I ensure my blog is legal? What blog legal pages do I need?
The easiest way to ensure your blog is legal is by having legal pages on your website before you launch. Legal pages on your website protect you in so many different ways while ensuring your compliance with the different laws out there.
They form a legally binding contract with your site visitors and legitimize your online business. They also keep you and your content protected while letting others know about your website rules.
There are 3 legal pages you need on your blog to fully protect you:
- Disclaimer (including your affiliate disclosures)
- Terms and Conditions
Even if your blog is a hobby blog, you are still most likely collecting personal information from your visitors through your email list, ads on your site, Google analytics, comments or cookies on your site, etc.
Take a look at Facebook and Google here for being sued for billions because they failed to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.
3. What is a blog disclaimer, and how does it protect me?
Blog disclaimers are there to limit your legal liability for the content you publish, so your readers don't take anything on your website as advice and later sue you for relying on that information and facing a terrible outcome.
For example, if you are a personal finance blogger – you would want to make it clear that you are not serving as a financial advisor or CPA for anyone reading your content.
You can look at my legal disclaimer above as another example. The purpose is the same to limit your legal liability for anything you publish or share with your readers.
Another example, let's say you blog about health and fitness and recommend a dietary supplement on your website. Someone reads your blog and decides to purchase that supplement based on your recommendation, but that supplement ends up causing an adverse reaction to that person's health making them sick.
That person could now sue you for their health injuries.
This is why it's always important to have general or specific disclaimers on your blog to protect yourself. You should also tailor your disclaimers based on your blogs niche and the type of content you publish.
To get a professionally written Disclaimer template for your blog, grab my Disclaimer template here.
4. What are the terms and conditions for blogs, and do I need them?
They are needed to dictate your website rules like what kind of behavior you allow or don't allow.
Questions like below are often answered in your terms and conditions page because they help clarify to your readers what your website policies are:
- What is the lawful or unlawful use of your website?
- How people can or cannot use your content, products, programs, etc.?
- Do you offer refunds for your products?
- How will you resolve legal disputes?
- What are your intellectual property rights to prevent content theft?
You should have a terms and conditions page on your blog to protect yourself but make sure they are comprehensive and detailed enough to cover all legal aspects of your business.
Writing terms and conditions for your blog is difficult, and if you do a sloppy job, then chances are that your terms and conditions won't be upheld in court.
You can use my Terms and Conditions template here to get done with this legal page for your blog quickly and save yourself tons of time and headache!
5. How can I easily create these 3 legal pages for my blog?
You can easily create all 3 legal pages you need for your blog with my best selling Legal Bundle.
It's the only Legal Bundle you need to comply with the law and protect yourself legally. It includes:
- Disclaimer template (plus affiliate disclosures)
- Terms and Conditions template
- 9 additional bonuses worth $1175
It won't cost you thousands to purchase the Legal Bundle.
It's incredibly affordable and super easy to customize and use, making your blog legally compliant within minutes.
Here's what other bloggers and entrepreneurs have to say about the Legal Bundle.
6. What bonuses are included in the Legal Bundle?
For a limited time, I'm giving away 9 awesome bonuses worth $1175 with the Legal Bundle to save you tons of money, time and headache:
- Bonus #1, GDPR visitor rights policy, so you know what information you must include on your site for EU visitors ($150 Value)
- Bonus #2, GDPR compliance / Email Marketing policy, so you comply with the email marketing laws ($150 Value)
- Bonus #4, Earnings Disclaimer, you need it if you publish any income reports or success results on your website ($75 Value)
- Bonus #5, Testimonials and Product Reviews Disclaimer, you need it if you publish product reviews or testimonials on your website ($75 Value)
- Bonus #6, Sponsored Posts Disclaimer, you need it if you publish any sponsored posts on your website ($75 Value)
- Bonus #7, Lawful Use of Your Website Clause, so you can prevent abuse ($150 Value)
- Bonus #8, Third Party Links Disclaimer, to prevent the risk of legal liability from third party links on your website ($150 Value)
- Bonus #9 Mandatory Arbitration Clause, to lower your risk of legal liability and long, expensive lawsuits! ($250 Value)
This total package of bonuses worth $1175 is free for you with the Legal Bundle.
These are professionally written legal templates I provide to my clients in my legal practice, but you get them at a huge discount.
Any experienced lawyer like me would charge you $500-$1000 to custom write these legal pages for you, but with my Legal Bundle, you get the same quality templates for way less.
7. Are blogs copyrighted? How do I prevent my blog content from being stolen?
Great question! Copyright law protects your original creative work in a tangible form such as your blog content and you are provided automatic copyright protection from the moment you create your content.
This means when you start writing your blog posts, they become your intellectual property, and other people need permission to use your content.
However, you need to register a copyright for your blog to file a lawsuit against an infringer and be able to collect statutory damages.
To register, you can easily file the copyright application with the United States Copyright Office here.
Registering your copyright will give you the right to sue someone if they steal your blog's content.
One of the ways you prevent others from stealing your blog content is by clearly outlining your intellectual property rights in your terms and conditions page of your blog.
This way, people reading your blog are put on notice that they cannot copy your blog content.
If someone still violates your terms and conditions and steals your blog content, you can then take appropriate legal action against that person.
8. What should I do if someone copies or steals my blog content?
You should never COPY anyone's blog content or any other work because that's copyright infringement and you don't want to be sued. But unfortunately, there are still times when someone may steal your blog content.
If that happens, here's my two step formula to have your copyright content removed from the infringer's website:
- Once you have confirmed that your blog content is indeed stolen, then you should send a cease and desist letter or email to the infringer demanding your copyright blog content be removed.
- After sending the cease and desist letter, if your copyright blog content is still not removed then send a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown notice to the infringer's internet hosting company, search engine, etc.
You can grab my free cease and desist letter template here to send to the infringer if you find that your blog content is stolen. This letter has helped tons of bloggers already.
Lastly, you can always sue the infringer, but for that, you would need to hire a lawyer, so it's best to save money and try the above two methods first.
9. As a freelancer, do I need a freelance contract to work with others?
The short and simple answer is yes, you do! Legal contracts should be your best friend in business because they protect you and your valuable business and personal assets.
A freelance contract (also known as an independent contractor agreement) is a written contract you need when you work with clients as a freelancer to do any kind of work.
Both the freelancer and the client need this written contract to work together to avoid legal disputes.
For example, without this freelance contract, you risk not getting paid for the work you performed for your client. I've seen this happened to bloggers who failed to enter into this contract with their clients as a freelancer.
At least with the freelance contract, you can take legal action and enforce your rights in court if something goes wrong. It defines what you and your client agreed to at the beginning.
10. How do I write a freelance contract? What essential terms should I include in it?
Aside from getting paid on time, your freelance contract should include essential terms like:
- Define the relationship of parties
- Independent contractor status for the freelancer – this is an important distinction for tax and legal purposes
- Scope of work that the freelancer will provide for the client
- Term of the work
- Governing law for legal disputes
- Ownership of intellectual property rights – who owns the intellectual property rights to the content freelancer created?
- Much more
You can easily create your freelance contract with my template, which works for both the client and the freelancer. It also comes with 3 additional bonuses worth $500 that you will receive for free.
11. What other legal contracts do I need as a blogger or freelancer?
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish, and your legal contracts will differ based on your specific work.
For example, let's say you are trying to collaborate with someone and have to share your business secrets with that person.
In this case, you would need a confidentiality agreement to protect your business ideas and secrets from being stolen by the other party.
Second example, let's say you are setting up your affiliate program and need to define your affiliate terms and conditions then you would need an affiliate program agreement in that case.
Third example, let's say you are hired by a brand to write a sponsored blog post then you would want to make sure you enter into a sponsored posts contract with the brand first.
The list goes on.
As a blogger or freelancer, you will need different kinds of legal contracts for your specific needs to protect yourself financially and legally.
12. What's an NDA, and how does it protect my business ideas from being stolen by others?
An NDA stands for Non-disclosure Agreement. It's also referred to as the Confidentiality Agreement between the parties.
This legal contract is needed to protect your secret sauce, as they say, meaning protecting your business confidential and proprietary information, so others don't steal your ideas, trade secrets, and become competitors.
The most common example is when you hire someone as an employee, you would want to get this NDA signed by your employees to protect your business confidential information from being disclosed or shared with others such as your competitors.
You should have this contract in place before you start talking to anyone about your business, such as:
- Talking to a friend to bounce off ideas on your new product
- Discussing a partnership opportunity with someone
- Hiring a virtual assistant to help you with your business
- Collaborating with others in your business
- Discussing a joint venture proposal
Any time you discuss your business with someone, you should have that person sign this NDA first.
This is the only way you can freely discuss your business with that person without worrying about them stealing your idea or becoming your competitor.
13. What's included in your NDA template?
Just like all my legal templates, my NDA template is:
- Comprehensive and detailed
- Easy to understand and customize
- Super affordable!
It's NOT your generic free legal template that doesn't cover everything you need. Instead, it includes all the legalese you should have in a well-written NDA to protect your business.
Also, for a limited time, you will receive 3 bonuses worth $500 for free with the template.
Those bonuses are:
- Prevailing party attorney fees legal clause to provide you more legal protections in case of lawsuits
- Mediation Agreement template, so you can resolve legal disputes amicably and avoid long, expensive lawsuits
- Non-compete Agreement template, so you can prevent someone from becoming your competitor
You can grab your NDA template here at a special price and receive 3 additional bonuses worth $500 for free with your purchase.
14. What is a sponsored posts contract, and why do I need one?
Sponsored posts are where brands pay you to write a blog post, post on your social media or create a video, for example. They are a great way to make money as a blogger, influencer, or freelancer.
But often bloggers end up in a pickle when they diligently perform their end of the bargain, but the other party doesn't live up to their promise.
For example, you working for days or hours writing and publishing the sponsored blog post and then not receiving payment for your work on time or not receiving payment at all.
This is why it's essential to have a sponsored posts contract when you are ready to collaborate with brands. This contract outlines the expectations for both parties (you and the brand) and includes the key legal provisions that back you up in case something goes wrong!
It prevents brands from taking advantage of you, establishes trust and fosters a lasting partnership with them while also showing that you value their partnership, take sponsored work seriously and will live up to your end of the bargain.
15. What are the key features of your sponsored posts contract template?
Now that you know why it's so crucial to have a sponsored posts contract, the next step is to get a sponsored posts contract template when you are ready to work with brands.
I've created a sponsored posts contract template that's very easy to customize and use. I use the same template for my sponsored work. It includes tons of key provisions you need in a well-written sponsored posts contract such as:
- Services to be provided by you
- Clear payment terms so you get paid on time
- Ownership of intellectual property you create
- Legal compliance and FTC disclosures
- Confidentiality provisions to protect you and the brand
- Termination clause so you can get out of the contract
- 20 more legal provisions! This sponsored posts contract template is 11 pages long so be assured, it's not a generic template you can get for free. It includes all the important legal provisions you need to protect yourself.
Here's the best part – it also comes with 3 awesome bonuses worth $500 which you get for free.
Check out the sponsored posts contract template bonuses here and see what others have to say about the contract template.
What legal contracts are you currently using in your blogging business? Do you have all 3 legal pages on your blog to protect yourself?
Comment below to let us know!
About the author:
Amira Irfan is a lawyer, blogger, and business coach. She blogs at ASelfGuru.com, where she teaches you how to protect your online business legally along with the business skills you need to become your own boss! Check out her newsletter to get free business and legal tips.