And while I usually like to share on more fun (read: pretty) parts of running a biz like branding, marketing, and growth strategies, none of that matters if you aren’t running a legally legit company.
Friendly heads up: This post contains affiliate links. I only share about tools I use and love in my own business and think you will, too!
I can already hear you saying, “But Megan, I’m just in Smalltown, USA running a service-based business. Why do I need this?”
Are you growing an email list? You definitely need one.
Do you want to have control over how other people use the content on your site? (Aka, please don’t copy all this content and use as your own kinda thing!) Then pull up a chair, you’ve got a new website page to create.
Shiny new website with the perfect domain name… check! Content planned for the next few months… check! Ideas pumping and ready to rock the online world… check!
At this point, some of you are nodding along and shouting “check!”… and some of you are going, ‘Wait, what?! What the heck is that?’
Don’t freak yourself out. While these two bits of legalese might sound complicated and totally foreign, they’re not actually hard to understand and use. But, it is a good idea to have them displayed prominently on your blog. In fact, you could be violating federal law if you don’t.
Let’s break down what they are and what you need to do.
When somebody reads your blog they leave behind little breadcrumbs of identifying information like their IP address, name (or username) and email. If you’re selling stuff on your blog, you’re collecting even more personal info.
But… how do I get one?
Terms & Conditions
Your Terms & Conditions policy has your back and covers your butt. It exists to tell your readers and other visitors to your site what they can and can’t do with your original content (your photos, your content, or that earth-shattering idea you shared in your latest post).
If you sell content on your blog, your Terms and Conditions can also protect you in the event someone wants a refund or shares your content illegally.
We’ve all seen it: sometimes a blogger’s content gets shared without his or her permission and without credit. How rude! If this happens to you, your Terms and Conditions can help protect your interests.
If you’ve clearly explained you need to be asked for permission before your content is shared, you’re on firmer ground if you need send a cease and desist letter or claim copyright infringement.
OK, but how do I tick this one off the list?
Now go get ‘em!
A couple more things to mention before you go out there and start sharing your amazing content with the world.
Number two: Relax. Don’t stress about making sure you’re 100% covered over every tiny thing. You can always update these policies as you go along. Just make sure you let readers know your policies can be updated at any time, and include a “last updated on” date.
Number three: (You probably guessed this one was coming) – GDPR. If you have (or may have) any visitors from the European Union, check out this article to make sure you have that extra step covered.
The Girl Scouts had it right: be prepared. This not-so-complicated legalese is so important if you really care about protecting yourself and your soon to be #instafamous blog, so don’t launch without it!
Thank you, Christina, for sharing and helping us protect our businesses legally!
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