Chances are, your online business has a blog.
In fact, it’s quite possible that your online business is a blog, monetized with advertising and affiliate links.
You put a lot of yourself into each piece of content you create. You work hard on it. You might spend hours and hours making sure an individual blog post is just the way you want it.
From researching what’s already out there so you can craft the perfect skyscraper piece that blows it out of the water…
To meticulous keyword research and social media research to find the right topics for your audience; to actually writing and editing the piece itself…
There’s a lot of work involved.
You put a lot of time, energy, and passion into your content. And so, you want to protect it.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep your site, and its content, protected.
*Disclaimer* – keep in mind, we are NOT lawyers. (See what I did there?)
So how do you go about this?
In a recent post, Social Media Examiner explains it in detail.
You may think the necessity of saying something like, “You agree that you will not modify, copy, reproduce, sell, or distribute any content in any manner or medium without permission” is obvious. However, having this legal language on your website strengthens your position when someone does steal your content.
Your website is often the storefront of your business, and specific legal policies will protect not only your content but your business and income as well. As a blogger, keep in mind that although you may not own the content that readers share in your Comments section, you still have the right to manage it so your Terms should outline this as well.
To create the text for your Terms, you can hire an attorney who understands websites and online businesses (not all do) or buy a templatefrom an attorney or company that offers attorney-drafted templates. Do not copy terms from another business because that’s copyright infringement. Also, do not try to write your own; lawyers went to school for several years to learn this stuff for a reason.
After you have your website Terms, put your Terms in the footer on every page of your website, including your blog.
You also want to have Disclaimers. These vital paragraphs (often included within the Terms) protect you from liability (that is, getting sued) should someone misuse any content you post on your blog. Bloggers need to make it clear that their content is information they’re putting into the world and they aren’t liable for what readers happen to do (or not do) with that information.
Think of the reader who uses a health blogger’s green smoothie recipe and ends up hospitalized. Obviously, the hospitalization is not the blogger’s fault, but people have certainly been sued for less. With Terms and Disclaimers, you protect your blog content and have easy access to evidence of your business policies should you need it.
You can learn more about keeping your website and content protected over at Social Media Examiner.