Website Tips

The One Page Your Website Needs to be Legally Protected

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I am so thrilled today to have one of my dear creative industry pals on the blog! Over the past couple years, I’ve gotten to know Attorney for Creatives, Christina Scalera, and have turned to her contract templates numerous times for my own business to feel confident that all my legal ducks are in a row. One of them I use right here in the MMC home on the net: The Contract Shop’s Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions template to ensure I am running a legally protected website.

 

And while I usually like to share on more fun (read: pretty) parts of running a biz like branding, marketing, and growth strategies, none of that matters if you aren’t running a legally legit company.

 

Friendly heads up: This post contains affiliate links. I only share about tools I use and love in my own business and think you will, too!

 

I can already hear you saying, “But Megan, I’m just in Smalltown, USA running a service-based business. Why do I need this?”

 

Do you use any sort of software to track analytics? Google Analytics? Something pre-built in your website builder? Those softwares are collecting your website visitors’ personal data. (And if you’re specifically using Google Analytics, it is actually required under their terms that you post a Privacy Policy.

 

Are you growing an email list? You definitely need one.

 

Do you want to have control over how other people use the content on your site? (Aka, please don’t copy all this content and use as your own kinda thing!) Then pull up a chair, you’ve got a new website page to create.

 

Oh, and don’t forget that whole GDPR thing! The buzz may have died down, but it is still sorta kinda really important that you have a Privacy Policy in place so you can play nice with Europe!

 

And since I’m no attorney or legal expert, I invited Christina to help us break down what a Privacy Policy is and what a Terms and Conditions policy is and where to get them so you’re covered!

 

Why your website needs a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy Template, How to make your blog legal, tips for bloggers, The Contract Shop

 


 

Shiny new website with the perfect domain name… check! Content planned for the next few months… check! Ideas pumping and ready to rock the online world… check!

 

Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions ….?

 

At this point, some of you are nodding along and shouting “check!”… and some of you are going, ‘Wait, what?! What the heck is that?’

 

Don’t freak yourself out. While these two bits of legalese might sound complicated and totally foreign, they’re not actually 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.

 

Let’s break down what they are and what you need to do.

 

Privacy Policies

 

Privacy Policies are required (by the good ol’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on any web page that collects information from its users and/or uses cookies. They exist to ensure transparency between you (your blog and website) and your users (your blog readers).

 

When somebody reads your blog they leave behind little breadcrumbs of identifying information like their IP address, name (or username) and email. If you’re selling stuff on your blog, you’re collecting even more personal info.

 

Your Privacy Policy tells your readers exactly what information you’re collecting on them, what you do with it (e.g. adding it to your mailing list), and who else has access to that info (like your hosting company).

 

Having a Privacy Policy on your blog doesn’t just mean you’re making nice with the FTC, it also makes you look more professional and builds more trust with your readers.

 

But… how do I get one?

 

Creating and implementing a privacy policy sounds a lot trickier than it actually is. You can simply start with an attorney-approved template and then add in your own details.

 

You may also want to have a look at what other bloggers are including in their Privacy Policies. (No, not so you can copy and paste what they’ve written. Instead, look for some details you missed and gather ideas on how your Privacy Policy can represent your brand.)

 

If you really just want to get ‘er done, move on and not have to worry that your Privacy Policy looks like a modge-podge ransom note, click here to snag up some templates that The Contract Shop® has already put together for you.

 

Terms & Conditions

 

Your Terms & Conditions policy has your back and covers your butt. It exists to tell your readers and other visitors to your site what they can and can’t do with your original content (your photos, your content, or that earth-shattering idea you shared in your latest post).

 

If you sell content on your blog, your Terms and Conditions can also protect you in the event someone wants a refund or shares your content illegally.

 

We’ve all seen it: sometimes a blogger’s content gets shared without his or her permission and without credit. How rude! If this happens to you, your Terms and Conditions can help protect your interests.

 

If you’ve clearly explained you need to be asked for permission before your content is shared, you’re on firmer ground if you need send a cease and desist letter or claim copyright infringement.

 

Like your brand-spankin’ new Privacy Policy, your Terms and Conditions build trust with your readers and consumers by showing them you give a *bleep* about what you’re creating and giving them clear direction on how they can interact with your content.

 

OK, but how do I tick this one off the list?

 

Like your Privacy Policy, start with a solid, attorney-approved Terms and Conditions template and then make it yours. This way you can make sure you’re covered in all the ways you need (and maybe even in ways you didn’t think you needed).


PSST, and because these two things go hand-in-hand, you’ll get both a Privacy Policy AND a Terms and Conditions template within one file. (What can I say, I’m a big fan of keeping things simple.)

 

Now go get ‘em!

 

A couple more things to mention before you go out there and start sharing your amazing content with the world.

 

Number one: Make sure your Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions can be found by posting them to your blog and putting an oh-so-obvious direct link in your footer.

 

Number two: Relax. Don’t stress about making sure you’re 100% covered over every tiny thing. You can always update these policies as you go along. Just make sure you let readers know your policies can be updated at any time, and include a “last updated on” date.

 

Number three: (You probably guessed this one was coming) – GDPR. If you have (or may have) any visitors from the European Union, check out this article to make sure you have that extra step covered.

 

The Contract Shop - Contract Templates for Creatives, Photographers, Wedding Planners, Graphic Designers, Calligraphers, Online Course Creatives and more!

 

The Girl Scouts had it right: be prepared. This not-so-complicated legalese is so important if you really care about protecting yourself and your soon to be #instafamous blog, so don’t launch without it!

 


 

Thank you, Christina, for sharing and helping us protect our businesses legally!

 

Why your website needs a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy Template, How to make your blog legal, tips for bloggers, The Contract Shop
Why your website needs a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy Template, How to make your blog legal, tips for bloggers, The Contract Shop

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