When you write a blog, you want people to read it, right? And 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. But what is a disclaimer exactly and how to write a disclaimer for a 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.
But what else should you put in your disclaimer and which words should and shouldn’t you use? Keep reading, because I’ve found the answer:
Why a Disclaimer for your Blog is Important
Since you are the writer of the articles, you are responsible of everything 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.
To see an example disclaimer for blogs, have a look over at my own sample blog disclaimer, to show you what I’ve done with it. You can also find it at the bottom of this website. I think it’s become a pretty funny blog disclaimer, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!
Below I’ll write down each and every part that you could add to your disclaimer, so you don’t miss a thing:
Writing A Disclaimer for Your Blog Step By Step + Blog Disclaimer Sample
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. This means that you have to make sure that all your text and photo material on your site IS your own. If you use any content from others, you have to credit or quote them correctly. This is especially important when using photos.
Only use embedded content from Social Media sites, or to be safe: ALWAYS ASK FOR PERMISSION or use Royalty Free Stock Images. One of my favourite sites for this is pixabay.com, as everything on there can be used and altered freely and without credit. Another site I use a lot is flickr.com, but have to be careful and really look well at the licence (under the photo on the right). You can filter the photos on using just Creative Commons photos and on their site you can read all about their licencing: creativecommons.org.
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 people that comment on your blog. (Keep in mind that you ARE, however, always responsible for anything that gets posted on your site/forum, so if something considered defamation (libel or slander – google all of these words if you need to), you can be sued even if it wasn’t you posting it).
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. Seems logical, but when people get angry, everyone has ‘done it’ in their eyes and you’ll probably be first on their list.
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)? Let them know in your disclaimer!
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.
Again, my example of funny disclaimer (at least, I think so!) can be found here: www.thetraveltester.com/disclaimer
This lady in Vietnam told me I would have 2 husbands and 7 children. Should’ve read her blog disclaimers.
I hope this help you in teaching how to make a disclaimer! Did you put a (personalized) disclaimer on your own blog? Please share the link to it in the comment section, I would love to read them and show other readers your blog disclaimer examples!
Are you looking to start a blog and make money? Then we HIGHLY recommend Monica Stott’s “The Blogger Course”, a 12-week online course that will teach you everything about turning your blog into a business: courses.thebloggercourse.com
Want to know more about Copyright, Trademarking and Intellectual Property and learn better how to write disclaimers? 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
In order to succeed, every entrepreneur needs a strong understanding of how intellectual property laws affect his or her work. Do you have what it takes to be your own best advocate? Join Rachel Rodgers and learn the intellectual property concepts every small business owner should know. You’ll learn how content marketing can expand your brand, and how to ensure that your brand, content, and ideas are protected. Drawing on her experience as an attorney, Rachel will demystify potentially confusing concepts like patents, trade secrets, and more. You’ll leave this class ready to defend your business and grow it to new heights.
1 Intro to Advanced IP for Entrepreneurs
2 Looking at Business Through The IP Lens
3 What’s Your IP Worth?
4 Copyright & Content Marketing
5 How-To: Copyright Registration
6 Trademark Registration
7 Conducting a Trademark Search
8 Patents & Trade Secrets
9 Protecting IP with Contracts
10 Policing Your IP
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Designers with Rachel Rodgers
Your designs are just that – yours. Do you have the legal disclaimer blog knowledge and skill to protect your intellectual property, copyright, and trademarks? Join Rachel Rodgers for a deep dive into the intellectual property concepts every designer should know. You’ll learn about properly copyrighting your work, creating client service agreements, preventing infringement, and much more. No matter what kind of design you do, you’ll leave this class equipped and inspired to protect your unique work.
1 Intro to Advanced IP for Designers
2 Looking at Design through the IP Lens
3 Using your CSA to Protect your IP
4 How to Incorporate CSAs into Your Business
5 IP Infringement Clause
6 No Guarantees & Cancellation Clauses
7 Boilerplate Clauses
8 Making Your CSA Work
9 Copyright for Designers
10 Hiring Subcontractors
11 Copyright Registration
12 How-To: Copyright Registration
13 Design Theft Prevention
14 Fair Use Disclaimer & Infringement
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Filmmakers with Rachel Rodgers
It’s one thing to know terms like “copyright infringement” or “intellectual property” – understanding and applying those concepts as a filmmaker can be much more challenging. Join Rachel Rodgers to learn everything you need to know to become your own best advocate. In this class, you’ll learn when and why you need signed releases. You’ll also learn how to create client service agreements that protect your best interests. Rachel will also help you troubleshoot common copyright infringement issues filmmakers often face. Documentary filmmaker Eric Proux will join the conversation to share his been-there-done-that expertise. No matter what type of films you make, this class will give you the skills and confidence to both defend and profit from your unique creations.
1 Introduction to Advanced IP for Filmmakers
2 Looking Through the Lens of IP
3 Client Service Agreements
4 Grant of Rights Clause
5 Rights of Copyright
6 No Guarantees Clause
7 Works for Hire
8 Boilerplate Clauses
9 Building your Contract Monique Johnson
10 Copyright Benefits and Coverage
11 How-to Copyright Registration
12 Copyright Infringement in Films
13 The Public Domain
14 Trademark Registration
Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Photographers with Rachel Rodgers
Whether you photograph weddings, capture senior portraits, or shoot high-fashion images, understanding key concepts like intellectual property, copyright, and trademarks is an essential part of succeeding a working photographer. Join Rachel Rodgers to explore the core concepts of intellectual property that every photographer should know. You’ll learn when and why you need model releases. You’ll also learn how to create client service agreements that protect your best interests. Rachel will also guide you through common infringement issues many photographers face. The skills you learn in this course will enable to you to be your own best advocate, and both defend and profit from your images.
1 Intro to Advanced IP for Photographers
2 Looking Through the Lens of IP
3 Protecting Your IP
4 Client Service Agreements
5 Grant of Rights and Copyrights
6 The 5 Rights of Copyright
7 Guarantee and Cancellation Clauses
8 Boilerplate Clauses
9 Lessons Learned: Christa Meola
10 Copyright Registration
11 Works for Hire
12 How-to: Copyright Registration
13 Ways to Prevent Photo Theft
14 Ways to Handle Copyright Infringers
15 When It’s Not Infringment
Legal Survival Guide for Creative Businesses with Craig Heidemann
Ready to turn your creative side project into a thriving business? Join Craig Heidemann for an introduction to the business and accounting principles every creative professional needs to know. In this class, Craig will take you step-by-step through the process of setting up, running, and growing a small business. You’ll learn how to use QuickBooks to manage your finances, including managing client contracts and invoices. Craig will also help you navigate the potentially-confusing tax, legal, and copyright issues surrounding small businesses. You’ll also learn how to contract and/or hire people to do the tasks you can’t do yourself. Whether you’re just starting out as a business owner or you’re a longtime entrepreneur ready for a refresher course, this course will give you a roadmap to business success.
1 Class Introduction
2 Small Business Failures
3 The Business Plan
4 Four Types of Business Structures
5 Creating an LLC
6 Domain Name and Operating Agreement
7 Obtaining a Federal EIN
8 Sales Tax
9 Employees and Contractors
10 Contracts and Electronic Signatures
11 Releases and Permits
12 Relevance of Copyright
13 Copyright Registration
14 Copyright and Infringement
15 Licensing and Transferring
16 Licensed and Copyrighted Music
17 Accounting and Goal Setting
18 Financing Your Business
19 Quickbooks Overview
20 Tracking Profit and Loss with Quickbooks
21 Quickbooks Accounting System
22 Estimates and Invoices
23 Customizing Invoices
24 Bookkeeper vs Accountant
25 Unhappy Clients and Potential Liability
26 Protecting Personal Assets
27 Health Insurance and Retirement
The use of legal documents is standard in business, but the understanding and implementation of these documents in photography businesses is less common. So many photographers land in hot water for not having or understanding the proper documents. Join Rachel Brenke, TheLawTog®, as she helps get you armed against liability and issues by discussing what releases should say and how to read contracts and waivers to set you up for success.
The Brenke Group, LLC, doing business as TheLawTog® (“TheLawTog”) provides an online legal portal to help customers identify business and legal problems commonly encountered by individuals in the photography industry. TheLawTog is not a law firm and does not and will not perform services performed by an attorney. TheLawTog is NOT a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Instead, TheLawTog provides templates and education to individuals who voluntarily chose to prepare their own legal and/or business documents, submit templates to licensed attorneys for modification, and/or for education purposes prior to contacting a licensed attorney.
1 Class Introduction
2 Basics of Contracts
3 Contract Requirements
4 Types of Legal Documents: Contracts, Model and Print Releases
5 Product, Payment, and Third Party Agreements
Intellectual Property 101 with Rachel Brenke
Understanding how to create and defend your intellectual property is one of the trickiest issues plaguing photographers today. Join Rachel Brenke, TheLawTog®, as she gives you a 101 crash-course to make sure all areas of your business are covered, not just your photographs!
1 Class Introduction
2 Types of Intellectual Property: Trademark
3 Types of Intellectual Property: Copyright
4 Intellectual Property & Working with Others
5 Final Q&A
Some other handy guides on blogging, disclaimers for blogs, other legal stuff and (oh yeah!) writing:
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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!