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You’ve got the topics nailed down, the shiny new website, fun new social media graphics picked out, and your adorable dog/cat/child is ready to play model for all the pictures you could possibly want to post… you’re almost ready to announce the launch of your brand spankin’ new blog!
But woah… hold up for just a minute, buckaroo!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to The Contract Shop. If you decide to purchase one of their products, I’ll receive a small commish at no cost to you… mama’s got to pay the bills so thanks for your support.
Some of you are nodding along, and some of you are going, ‘Wait, what?! What the heck is that?’
These two bits of legal-ese aren’t 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.
So let’s talk about what they are, and what you need to do.
Privacy Policies are intended to create transparency between users, readers and yourself.
If you read blogs (and I’m assuming you do, since you’re starting one) then you know that you leave little bits of your personal information behind when you visit. Things like your IP address, your name (or username), and email. A site that is selling something will collect more personal information.
Not only is it legally required, but having one builds a greater sense of trust with your readers and makes you look more professional.
A basic Terms and Conditions policy legal page tells people what they can and cannot do with your original content (like your photos, your content, or that cool idea you talked about in your last post.) If you sell content, it can protect you in the event that someone wants a refund or shares your content illegally.
It’s not at all uncommon for photos and content to be shared — with or without the permission of the creator — and often without credit. If this happens to you, what recourse do you have?
This is where a Terms and Conditions can help protect your interests. If you’ve spelled out that you need to be asked for permission before your content is shared. You’re on firmer ground to send a cease and desist letter or claim copyright infringement.
You can start with a solid, attorney-approved terms & conditions template. Customize this legal page to your needs which should covers everything you need and some things you might not have thought of.
I want to mention a couple other things before I wrap this up.
Second, don’t stress too much about making sure your policies cover every tiny thing. You can always update them as you go along. (Be sure to mention that the policies can be updated at any time.)
The moral of the story? Privacy Policies and Terms of Conditions are important. Don’t ride the range without one! (Or launch a blog… you know what I mean. 😉 )
Author Bio: Christina Scalera is the founder of The Contract Shop. She hopes her little shop is uniquely situated to help you in whatever way it can.
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