GUEST INTERVIEW WITH AMIRA: THE THREE LEGAL MISTAKES MOST BLOGGERS MAKE
Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links on here meaning that if you purchase anything through my affiliate links I receive commission at no additional cost to you! My views and opinions are never swayed because of this! I only recommend products and services I love!
Thank you, Ell for the warm introduction and for providing me the opportunity to discuss the legal side of blogging, which is extremely important.
Before we get started, here’s my legal Disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Although I am a lawyer by profession, I am not YOUR lawyer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any kind of attorney-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE FIRST LEGAL MISTAKES YOU SEE MOST BLOGGERS MAKE?
Otherwise what you don’t know can hurt you and get you in lots of legal trouble!
Lawsuits come in all sizes, big or small, so as a business owner, it’s not worth taking the legal risks when you can easily take the steps to comply with the laws.
So obviously, this is not the most cost effective option! I recognize that as a lawyer and a business owner myself.
I teach by examples so let’s look at some free legal templates –
Let’s look at another example –
Still not convinced, want more FREE legal templates? Here’s a third example –
Look the point is simple – I can keep auditing more free templates and find all kinds of loopholes in them exposing you to legal liability.
This is fun for me! I know it sounds crazy but I actually enjoy legal auditing and have years of experience in it.
But the bottom line is that these free templates are never going to offer you the complete legal protections and peace of mind you deserve.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE SECOND LEGAL MISTAKES YOU SEE MOST BLOGGERS MAKE?
The second legal mistake I see most bloggers make is not having an appropriate Disclosure and Disclaimer on their website. Most bloggers know they need a Disclosure under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if they are posting any affiliate links on their website.
But what they don’t know is that they also need a Disclaimer if they want to protect themselves from lawsuits.
I recently conducted a legal audit for a blogger friend who has been blogging for two years now, so she had a Disclosure on her website but no Earnings Disclaimer even though she was publishing income reports for a year now. This is the kind of oversight that could get you sued!
Without the Earnings Disclaimer, you are essentially guaranteeing the same results to your visitors if they followed everything you did. Think about how detrimental that could be for your business? Let’s say I relied on everything you posted and still did not achieve the same results so what’s my recourse? Well, now I can sue you for money damages!
My blogger friend did not even know what an “Earnings Disclaimer” was and all this time, she thought just a general Disclaimer was sufficient on her website. I don’t blame her because as a blogger, you are not an expert in the legal realm so how would you know any of this unless you took the time to really research and learn all this.
Even then, there are all kinds of Disclaimers you need on your blog based on your niche, what you are publishing, selling, etc. You wouldn’t necessarily know what to look for or what particular language must be included to protect yourself.
Just like we go to the doctor for a health ailment, you need a lawyer to guide you through this process so you are not wasting valuable hours and days trying to be a “lawyer” yourself.
HOW CAN BLOGGERS GET A DISCLAIMER TEMPLATE FOR THEIR WEBSITE?
But just for fun, I’ll do another legal audit of the FREE Disclaimer template offered on this website.
It is a one-page template with ONLY an affiliate disclaimer! Nothing else. You need much more than that. There’s no limitation of liability provision in there either.
I just showed you above how my experienced blogger friend did not even know about the additional Disclaimers she needed on her website.
Imagine the predicament new bloggers face? How would you know what is missing in these free templates?
I know all this legal stuff is daunting. That’s why I sell a Disclaimer template for your blog which covers all the required affiliate and third party disclosures you need to comply with the FTC along with all kinds of bonuses filled with additional Disclaimers that you need.
For example, I provide free Sponsored post, Earnings and Testimonials/Product reviews Disclaimers as part of my Disclaimer template because I know sooner or later (as you grow your business), you may need them on your blog. This way, you have it now instead of scratching your head later and having to paying for it.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE THIRD LEGAL MISTAKES YOU SEE MOST BLOGGERS MAKE?
I’ll give a simple example – I live in Florida but if there’s a legal dispute with someone in California, where do you think I would want to resolve it? Florida of course! Who wants to travel all the way to California to attend court hearings or trial? (Now I’d love to go to California for fun but definitely not for court!)
You get the point. This is the kind of stuff that needs to be spelled out in your Terms and Conditions along with many other important provisions such as your intellectual property rights, right to terminate, indemnification clauses, third party links, etc.
If you are selling any products or services on your website then you should make sure your buyers are accepting your terms and conditions prior to their purchase. This will not only help prevent legal disputes but will also help resolve lawsuits expeditiously if one arises down the road.
HOW CAN BLOGGERS GET A TERMS AND CONDITIONS TEMPLATE FOR THEIR WEBSITE?
I think it’s safe to say we are done with the free templates! So unless you have a lawyer helping you personally, you can get a very detailed and thorough Terms and Conditions template that I sell which would save you tons of time and work! You also don’t have to worry about WHAT to include in your Terms and Conditions because I’ve done all the work for you!
All my legal templates come with additional bonuses as well. Even if you don’t need a particular bonus right now such as an Earnings Disclaimer, you can save that language for future use. This saves you lots of time and money.
CAN BLOGGERS BUY ALL THREE LEGAL TEMPLATES ABOVE AT A DISCOUNT?
As you can see from the testimonials, most bloggers buy the Legal Bundle because this way, they can quickly get done with all the legal policies they need for their blog!
The feedback I often receive is “you are a life saver,” “totally worth the money,” or my favorite is “money well spent, time well saved!”
Maybe it’s the lawyer in me but you will always hear me say, “Time is money.” If I have been able to accomplish anything in my life, it’s because I have valued time from an early age. I do not like to waste time at all!
If I don’t know anything, I like to defer to the experts! I don’t have the time to sift through the free stuff and figure out things myself when I can make my life easy and achieve my goals faster by learning from an expert in the area.
I’ll give you a recent example – I did not know ANYTHING about blogging so before starting my blogging journey, I didn’t hesitate buying a Pro Blogger bundle that cost me almost $700.
Most people would agree that’s a huge investment. But guess what? I have already recovered that money! The course paid for itself when I started making money within my first month of blogging! So in my opinion, it was the best investment.
I’m sharing this because I want to genuinely educate and help bloggers with the legal side of their business. I don’t want to see you compromise with the most important aspect of your business just because of the cost.
You should know how to protect your business legally from the start. That’s why I’m providing you all these resources. It will cost you WAY more to have your legal policies redone if you get yourself into hot water.
WHAT ELSE IS INCLUDED IN THE LEGAL BUNDLE FOR YOUR WEBSITE?
In addition to the three best selling templates above, the Legal Bundle also comes with three different bonuses that are included with each template (valued at $1,175). All the legal templates are written in such a way where it’s very easy for you to customize and use them right away.
With the Legal Bundle, most bloggers get done within minutes! Imagine all the DAYS and WEEKS worth of time and headache saved where you don’t have to go through other people’s legal policies in order to write yours!
You can’t COPY anyone’s legal policies either because that’s copyright infringement.
You are welcome to join the Facebook private support group even if you don’t purchase any of my legal templates. This Facebook community is open to all bloggers and online entrepreneurs, and I share all kinds of legal and business tips for free!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THE LEGAL BUNDLE?
When I started my blogging journey, I joined a lot of Facebook groups. I believe about 15+ groups at the time. In EVERY Facebook group, I saw a common problem – a lot of bloggers and online entrepreneurs were confused, struggling and intimidated about writing their own legal policies.
I was not surprised to see them confused or struggling because I know it’s really tough to write these legal policies on your own unless you have a formal legal education and know what you are doing!
I thought to myself that I had already been helping business owners for over ten years, so why not use my years of legal expertise now to make a valuable contribution to our blogging community?
So I didn’t waste time! I created these legal templates for any blogger, online entrepreneur, coach, consultant, marketer and course creator within couple of weeks of launching my blog.
My ultimate goal was to make the templates substantive, easy to navigate, comprehensive and affordable, giving you peace of mind knowing these are written by a real lawyer. But at the same time, they won’t break your wallet!
The hardest part was figuring out all the backend stuff like creating four different sales pages, product images, payment integration, etc but like I said, I had an awesome blogging course that guided me through this entire process swiftly!
DO YOU HAVE AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM FOR YOUR LEGAL BUNDLE?
Yes, all my legal templates whether you purchase them individually or as part of the Legal Bundle come with an affiliate program. I’ve quite a few affiliates promoting my Legal Bundle already. As an affiliate, you will earn a generous 40% commission on each product. You can read more details about my affiliate program and how to sign up here.
If you have any specific questions, you can always email me. I love making new blogger friends!
DO YOU OFFER LEGAL AUDITS OF BLOGS?
Yes, I do! As I already mentioned, I love conducting legal audits to ensure you are complying with all the legal requirements and are not missing anything in your website’s legal pages.
I have done this already with several bloggers and coaches, and they all have found this service to be extremely helpful. Because it requires a lot of my personal time and commitment, it costs more to schedule an audit than to purchase the Legal Bundle.
It was more cost effective and efficient for them to purchase professionally written legal policies from a lawyer instead of trying to supplement or revise their website’s legal pages on their own.
It really comes down to peace of mind. If you are not a lawyer, you won’t be confident in your ability to write the legalese yourself.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ANY OTHER TIPS WITH BLOGGERS?
Yes, there are three things I don’t recommend scrimping on – 1) the legal stuff, 2) your taxes, and 3) your health! All three have serious detrimental consequences on your life making you lose your sleep very quickly!
When it comes to the legal stuff, my recommendation is don’t cut corners and opt for the free templates because you never know when you could end up in legal trouble, and it will cost you THOUSANDS of dollars to hire a lawyer and fight those expensive, draining lawsuits.
So please take the right steps to protect your blog from the beginning. Whether you purchase my Legal Bundle or not, please be smart and take the time to buy the legal templates that are actually drafted by a lawyer. Those are the ones that will truly serve to protect you and your business!
Please comment below to let me know if you are doing that? Is your blog legally protected with solid comprehensive policies or are you making these legal mistakes like most bloggers?
About the Author:
Amira is a lawyer, blogger and business coach from Florida. She blogs at ASelfGuru.com where she teaches business and legal skills to online entrepreneurs and helps you become your own boss!
Thank you again Amira for sharing all of your knowledge with us!!! It is more than appreciated!!! I highly recommend Amira’s Legal Bundle!!!
Hope you all enjoyed this interview and found it helpful (: I learned a ton!