Even if your blog isn’t what you consider to be your “full-time job” it does contain information that is available for anyone anywhere to access whenever they want. Because of this, there are certain legal loose ends you need to tend to so that you don’t end up getting caught in any legal crossfire should someone feel you misled them with information that you did, or didn’t, provide. This doesn’t mean you need to rush out and hire a lawyer, but you do want to take a few minutes to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. This is where privacy policies, disclaimers, and disclosures come into play.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy, long-winded policy, but it does need to clearly state where their information is going and what they should expect from sharing it. Your readers have the right to know right away what’s happening with their personal information.
Disclaimers remind your readers that the content expressed on your website are yours and yours alone (unless the post is written by a contributing writer, in which case the opinions expressed belong to them and not you). It’s a good idea to also remind readers that it is your website and even though you appreciate differing opinions, you reserve the right to delete any content posted by another individual on your site.
Disclosures, on the other hand, alert your readers that you are being compensated in some way to do something on your blog. Maybe you’ve written a post for someone else that you’re being paid for, maybe you’ve received a free product in exchange for your review of the aforementioned product, and maybe you have partnered with a company for promotions or something of the sort. Regardless, your readers need to be aware of this otherwise you can come off as looking untruthful to your readers. Once your integrity is compromised it can be hard to regain your readers trust.
Better Safe than Sorry
Even if you don’t necessarily think that your blog generates enough traffic to include these on your site you really are better off just adding them in for peace of mind. The last thing you want is to incur some legal ramifications because someone feels you wronged them by not being open and honest with your readers about anything and everything on your blog.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.