Write A Disclaimer

What you give to your readers is why they come back to your website time and again. In the information age, everyone has something to offer and every other blog in your niche is set apart by what it gives to its community. Asking yourself just what you are giving - by which I mean providing - your readers can help take you from zero to hero in just a few easy tweaks!

Hey there how there Readers! Today I want to share a little bit of life experience advice and words of wisdom about having a disclaimer on your blog and why you really do need one. 

You see, as much as I would love to believe that people are generally good the truth is that there are just as many people who will steal your content, copy your images and then sue you for copyright infringement. Now I'm not talking about social media platforms that will zap you for altering their logos in your social media bar. That's completely within their right. I'm talking about the everyday reader who comes to your blog via Pinterest or wherever and then turn around and use your information as their own. Or even better, the people who read your posts and when they try whatever it may be you are discussing they blame you for it not turning out exactly right. Even better are the people who will click on your affiliate links and then get upset that they were affiliates. You can prevent all of this with one simple thing:

A disclaimer.

If you take a look at the footer of this very blog you will see a place that says "Please Note:" and then some text and a few links. Simply put, this is my disclaimer. It states basically that I cannot be held responsible for anything that happens should my readers try anything as I show them or misread my advice. It also links to my full terms of use and to my privacy policy

Now I know what you're thinking: Hey Elle, how do I get one of those? Well m'dear I am glad you asked. Because I am going to show you right now. 

Crafting an effective disclaimer shouldn't take you very long. It should be a simple and short blurb somewhere on your main page that is easily spotted. It should simply contain the following information

  • Who you are
  • The nature of your site
  • That you are not a licensed >insert occupation relating to your blog | site<
  • A link to your TOU & Sharing policy
  • And a thanks for understanding. 

Once you have all of that, basically you are done. Writing up an actual page sharing the in depth details is something that I highly recommend as well. But that's a post for another day :) Instead of going into all that mess of details, I'm going to hand over a few links you can use to guide you on your way to the perfect disclaimer. 

Free Privacy Policies | Privacy Policy Generator |  How To Write A Disclaimer | Business Dictionary

Now on to why you need to post your disclaimer in certain types of posts as well as having it on the main sections of your blog. I'm looking at you sponsored and affiliate posters. 

Whenever you are writing a sponsored post or a post with affiliate links, It's a good idea to state up front (yes, in each one of those posts) exactly what the post will contain. You can go into all the detail you like or you could simply say:

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my TOU and privacy policy before reading. All opinions are my own.

Or

This is a sponsored post from >insert company here<. I was compensated for my review however all opinions herein are my own.

Easy peasy. 

I like to include a short blurb about who the post is for/about along with my short disclaimer. This is a great way to transition right into the meat of the posts, which your readers now know is all your own. What I do is simply right up a general disclaimer for the various products, services or companies I write for and then save it in my handy dandy OneNote, modifying only the necessary URLs. If you want to go the extra mile you can also link directly to the service or companies own disclaimer (especially helpful when doing giveaways!)

Overall, the goal is to protect yourself from the many people who seem to love to stir up drama. The bigger your blog gets the more "haters" you will end up having. My general consensus is you aren't anybody until you have haters so embrace them with grace and a smile, having already taken the measures to protect yourself. 

Do you use a disclaimer? What are some of the ways you have found helpful in writing one up or adding into in your posts?  Follow along on Twitter and join the discussion!

 

 

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Elle Ay Esse

I'm Elle, a California girl transplanted to the Midwest with a goal of landing in New Orleans some time in the next five years. I'm self taught in all aspects of design, harking back to the bygone era of MySpace custom flash layouts. I have an eye for pattern and a love for color that makes me a perfect candidate for working as a web designer. Combining my love of design with coding and helping others and I am a natural teacher of all things blog related. My first ever blog was created on AOL Hometowns back n 2003 so I have had a lot of time and experience watching Blog Land grow and evolve and become a place of sharing stories, reviewing products and even making enough money to help support their families.