Legal protection is one of the few blogger tasks that always seems to fall through the cracks.
Most Start A Blog resources usually focus on choosing a domain name, finding the right web host, things like that.
Don't get me wrong, those are indispensable for having a successful blog.
But legal protection should be on your radar, too.
If you're curious about the steps you need to take to make sure your blog has all the legal protection it needs, don't worry – you're in the right place.
Before we talk about how to make your blog legal, though, let's talk about what happens if you don't.
The Cost Of Illegal Blogging
Blogs, at the core, are just websites with a lot of content.
They have to abide by the same rules and regulations that are enforced for any kind of website on the internet, specifically data and privacy concerns.
In plain English:
People need to know what data you're collecting, how you're tracking their behavior, and whether the content on your website is monetized or sponsored in any kind of way (i.e. affiliate marketing).
This is the main reason websites create legal pages. Things like Privacy Policies, Disclaimers, and so on.
Naturally, you might wonder why you'd even need to disclose that kind of information.
Who's looking? What's the worst that could happen?
As far as the who: the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is the governing body that oversees a lot of the legal guidelines that blogs need to follow.
One particularly harrowing fine that they enforce: for every email that you send from your blog that doesn't comply with the CAN-SPAM act, you face up to $40,000 in fines for each email sent.
Multiply $40,000 by the number of subscribers in your email list and it becomes clear that one small mistake can quickly bring a lot of trouble to your blog.
Similarly, if you fail to disclose the presence of affiliate links on your site, the FTC can issue you a cease-and-desist order. If they find shady or unlawful business tactics from your end, they could even threaten to sue.
It's natural by this point to feel a tiny bit panicked.
You're dealing with large agencies that have lots of regulations which aren't really up for any negotiation.
How do you know if you're playing by all of their rules, or that you're not missing anything important that could cost you in the future?
Long story short: trust in people who know their stuff, and use the resources they recommend.
I'm not an expert by any means, and this is certainly not legal advice, but I have experience from turning this blog legal to give you a few pointers on where to look and who to trust.
Don't Make The Mistakes I Did
When I was doing all this for my blog way back before I launched, I was incredibly nervous about getting it all right.
Legalese is confusing, intimidating, and downright terrifying.
You may be tempted to go to another person's website (one that seems to have their ducks in a row), copy-paste their legal pages, and replace their website name with yours.
Easy, simple, and free.
I'll admit – this crossed my mind several times during my blogging journey and I actually made it as far as finding some legal pages I did want to copy.
Luckily, I stumbled onto a lawyer's legal blog (we'll talk more about Amira in a second), and she convinced me how bad of an idea that was.
Ironically, you can get into trouble (a lot of it) by trying to copy someone else's legal pages as a way to protect your own blog. The world is a funny place.
Definitely don't make this mistake.
It's just not worth it.
Everyone's website is different, and besides the copyright infringement charges you may face, copying someone else's legal disclaimers may not actually provide you the protection you think it does.
Each website requires legal disclaimers that are specific to:
- How it functions (blogs are very different than e-commerce sites, for example)
- The location of the audience it serves (i.e. European cookie compliance versus American cookie compliance)
And plenty of of other factors.
So, what do you do?
You can't copy someone else's stuff, but you also know you need to have legal protection for your blog – is it time to call a lawyer?
Nope, no need for that. There's an easier (and cheaper) way, and I'm sure you're dying to know.
Let's dive in.
So What's The Right Approach?
The right way to protect your blog legally is to use a customizable Legal Bundle.
Unless you've registered as an LLC, these three pages are enough to get by for the majority of bloggers.
Here are the steps you need to take to get these three essential pages up and running on your blog.
1. Grab Amira's Legal Blogger Bundle
Remember the lawyer blog I talked about that helped me avoid a huge legal no-no? Well, the brains behind that operation, Amira, has her own set of legal bundles and they're exactly what most bloggers need.
Apart from the fact that Amira is a talented and knowledgeable lawyer, she's also a blogger herself.
The templates you get from her are tailor-made for online creators, and from start to finish, the whole process is easy and clear.
Here's how the bundles look on her site:
Amira offers 3 different bundles: Starter, VIP, and Premium
What really tipped the scales for me were the freebies that Amira bundles in with her products. For each of the three essential legal templates, you get a handful of free extensions that give your blog even more legal coverage.
Here are some of the included freebies:
And plenty more. Huge hats off to Amira for doing that, you can really tell she wants to spread high-quality information to help you set up your blog's legality the right way.
I opted for the Starter Bundle when I first launched my blog, and although it was one of the pricier investments I initially made, the peace of mind is priceless.
Even some really big bloggers (we're talking 100k+ monthly incomes) like Create And Go, Her Paper Route, and The Savvy Couple use Amira's templates for their legal pages.
When you purchase any legal bundle from her, you get access to your own dashboard, with detailed instructions on how to customize the templates to your needs:
We'll talk about customization more in the next step.
For now, just remember: free legal templates that are made by Jane or John Laywer won't give you the legal coverage your blog needs.
Put your trust in a legal template bundle that's designed for bloggers, and offers detailed instructions, tips, and personalized support.
2. Customize The Templates For Your Brand
Now, for the fun part.
After you purchase Amira's legal bundle you'll receive an email with your dashboard's login credentials and some quick starter tips.
Once you're logged in you'll see all your downloads at a glance, accessible by the navigation bar:
Let's hop over to the Starter Legal Bundle tab since it's the product that most bloggers should choose.
Awesome! Let's download the doc and start customizing.
Before you get into the meat of the template, you'll first see a page that contains a key about what information you need to fill in where – for example, any highlighted field labeled with 1 needs to have your company name:
From there, just scroll through the whole document and replace all of the highlighted boxes as instructed. In total, I think it took me about 3 minutes.
Piece of cake!
The freebie sections are already included in the documents, by the way. You don't have to do anything extra, just make sure you read through the entire thing and fill in your information as necessary.
Amira guides you through everything and makes it simple and fast.
3. Add Legal Pages To Your Blog
Once you've customized all the legal docs, it's time to put them on your blog.
I recommend creating a whole new category on your blog called Legal or Legal Information.
It can have whatever name you want, but I find it helpful to have a specific category to group all my legal articles together, for easy access and organization.
At that point, you need to create three new posts:
Copy and paste the content from each of your legal templates into the corresponding article, and that's it, friend.
Your blog is legally protected.
Legal Bundle FAQs
I've been getting a lot of questions recently about Amira's Legal Bundle, so I thought I'd round up a few essential FAQs.
How much is the template?
The Starter Legal Bundle goes for $197, but if you sign up for any of Amira's freebies you can probably snag a decent 15-20% discount in most cases (I bought my templates for around $155 USD).
While Amira does offer 2 more products, the Premium or VIP Legal Bundles ($297 and $597, respectively) aren't really a great value for most bloggers just getting off their feet.
Truthfully, when compared with the cost of hiring a lawyer (which could easily be $200-$300 per hour), any of Amira's three templates look like a steal.
The Starter Bundle is what I recommend for most bloggers because it has the absolute essentials, plus a handful of really awesome freebies that will give your blog a solid legal foundation.
Her more expensive packages are geared towards blogs that are maintaining multiple streams of income such as courses or memberships, and as a result have more information and privacy concerns to deal with.
Is there a refund policy?
Due to the digital nature of Amira's bundles, she doesn't offer refunds. As someone who also sells digital products, I have to agree with this move.
It would be nice to offer customers the ability to get refunds on their purchases (if they bought something by accident, for example).
But, the few bad apples out there who buy digital products, download them, then immediately request their money back are the reason why no-refund policies are common for online stores.
That being said, Amira is really responsive via email and she's always trying to help her customers (and affiliates) get the most value from her products.
If you really have a problem with her templates or made an honest error in your purchase, reach out to Amira directly and I'm sure she'll be able to set things straight.
Am I 100% guaranteed to never have legal trouble or a lawsuit ever?
Unfortunately, nothing legal is guaranteed, and Amira clearly states that every blog requires different legal attention depending on its needs.
What Amira's templates can offer you is a blanket of legal protection that all blogs can benefit from, regardless of any other specific needs.
Short answer, no – they can't guarantee anything. But what I can guarantee you is that you can get into a lot of trouble without having those essential legal pages in the first place, so it's a good idea to protect yourself as best as you can!
Eventually, as your blog grows in size and makes more money, it's always a good idea to have some form of legal consultation.
The Bottom Line
Creating a business involves so many moving parts, it's natural to let a few things fall by the wayside.
But if one of those things is keeping your website legal, I'm glad you're reading this post.
Don't postpone getting your business in good legal standing – it's not worth the hefty fines or potential lawsuits.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) watches over internet traffic like a hawk, and if you're not compliant with their rules, it could mean a lot of legal headaches.
Of all the solutions I came across, the simplest and most recommended wasn't to hire a lawyer – instead, I realized anyone can take care of their blog's legal work right from the comfort of their own home.
Amira is dedicated to her craft and makes the customization process simple: as soon as you download her templates, there are detailed instructions on how to modify them to your blog's specific needs.
I can't thank her enough for creating these templates, and am more than happy to spread the love! They were an easy purchase decision while I was still designing and launching my blog, and the peace of mind is absolutely priceless.
If you need a quick and painless legal solution for your blog or website, be sure to check out Amira's legal bundle here and refer back to this post for instructions on how to get them set up.
Are your blog's legal pages set up already, or are you planning on trying out Amira's bundle? Let me know in the comments either way, I'm happy to help!