When you write a blog, you want people to read it, right? You also might like people taking your advice on certain topics, after all you’ve done your research and wrote a blog that might inspire or help others. A disclaimer is something you will always need on your blog.
Sometimes, people that read blogs and websites assume that ALL the information on it is accurate.
They will take a bloggers advice on certain topics without seeking additional medical advice or professional help. And when things go wrong, some of them will sue.
So it’s very (did I say VERY yet?) important to make it absolutely clear to your readers that the information you provide is for informational (and probably entertainment) purposes only and that when the readers is in doubt, they should seek help from a professional.
Why a disclaimer for your blog is important
Since you are the writer of the articles, you are responsible over anything that appears on your blog. With a disclaimer (that is accessible from every page on your blog) you can protect yourself from some nasty things happening to you, legally speaking, that is. It does not prevent you from getting the flue or being dumped by your boyfriend, I’m afraid.
Even though a disclaimer is serious business, this doesn’t mean it cannot be fun to read. As a matter of fact, a disclaimer that doesn’t just use stiff, law school terminologies is much easier to read and understand by visitors.
Have a look over at my disclaimer, to show you what I’ve done with it (at the bottom of my website)
Writing A Disclaimer for your blog – Step by Step
In the first part of the disclaimer, you explain to readers that all information provided on and taken from your blog is at their own risk. They are reading your blog of their own free will.
2. Copyright Policy
Write down that unless otherwise noted, you are the legal copyright holder of all material on your blog and that others cannot use it to reprint or publish without your written consent.
3. Hold Harmless
Explain that all the information provided on your blog is for entertainment purposes only and that you are not providing medical, legal or other profession advice (unless you actually do, of course, in that case you might want to get help from a lawyer to ensure you write a fitting disclaimer). Make sure your readers understand that they are reading and/or using any of the information from your blog at their own risk.
4. Privacy Statement
Tell your readers that you will not sell any of their personal or contact information to another company. You will not put their information on spam lists. But also (and that is important!) that you are not responsible for the privacy practices of any of your advertisers or blog commenters.
5. Reserve Rights
6. Advertisers and Sponsors
Explain that you are not responsible for the actions of your advertisers or sponsors. For example, when your readers buy a product of service based upon a link from your blog, they must take action with that exact company to resolve any issues, not with you.
7. Letters to the Editor
Let your readers know what will happen with any letters, messages, tweets or e-mails that they send to you. What is your policy? Will you share (parts of) those letters with your other readers? Will you keep everything confidential? Will you claim ownership of those letters to later use them in an up-coming book, blog or column (or will you allow the writer to keep ownership)?
A thorough, but easy to read disclaimer is an absolute must for a blog. Better be safe than sorry, right? When you have any doubt about things to put in your disclaimer, have a look at what other bloggers have come up with and learn from them. And of course you can always ask a lawyer when you’re not sure entirely.
This lady in Vietnam told me I would have 2 husbands and 7 children. Should’ve read her disclaimer.
Want to know more about Copyright, Trademarking and Intellectual Property? On my favourite online learning platform Creative Live, there are some great courses you can refer to:
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs with Rachel Rodgers
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Designers with Rachel Rodgers
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Filmmakers with Rachel Rodgers
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Photographers with Rachel Rodgers
Legal Survival Guide for Creative Businesses with Craig Heidemann
Some other handy guides on blogging, legal stuff and writing:
Please note these are affiliate links, when you decide to purchase anything through these links I get a small commissions at NO extra cost to you, it helps me to keep running this blog
Did you put a (personalised) disclaimer on your blog?
Please share the link to it in the comment section!
This post is also available in: Dutch