I’ve recently had the privilege of communicating with Amira from ASelfGuru.com. She’s a full-time lawyer with a successful side-hustle as a blogger. Amira’s blog is an amazing success because she plays off her strengths while helping others (mainly us bloggers) with all that legal stuff that’s so confusing.
Let’s get to know Amira and learn what legal stuff we must do as bloggers…
1. Hello Amira! Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?
Hi Steve and Ashley, thank you for this interview opportunity! I’m a lawyer, blogger and business coach from Florida. I blog at ASelfGuru.com where I teach bloggers and online entrepreneurs how to protect their online business legally while also providing them valuable business tips on how to become their own boss.
I still work full-time as a lawyer and have been for the last 8 years and blogging is my creative outlet that I pursue on the side.
2. What is the common legal mistake you see bloggers making?
Before we get started, here’s my legal Disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Although I am a lawyer by profession, I am not YOUR lawyer. This interview 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.
We will discuss why disclaimers are so important for your blog later in this interview.
Going back to your question, the most common legal mistake I see bloggers making all the time is that they fail to include any legal pages on their blog.
But it still amazes me when I see my fellow bloggers exposing themselves to lawsuits by procrastinating on their legal pages!
Otherwise, what you don’t know or omit on your blog can hurt you and get you sued!
The simple and short answer is to protect yourself from lawsuits!
Examples of personal information that you may be collecting are:
- email address,
- credit card information,
- address, phone numbers,
- date of birth, etc.
Besides these, there are other ways you’re collecting personal information from your blog as well such as through the use of Google analytics, ads, cookies, etc.
You need to be able to explain those reasons for collecting the personal information from your visitors and under what circumstances, will you disclose that information.
The FTC regularly brings lawsuits against companies for violating consumer privacy and visit their website here to read about the other lawsuits.
As if that wasn’t enough, we also have to comply with the GDPR requirements and know that non-compliance with the GDPR results in serious huge fines leading up to 20 million Euros or 4% of your annual revenue, whichever is greater.
5. Can you tell us how the GDPR affects us?
Sure, the GDPR is an important data protection law, basically another privacy law that is put in place to ensure proper handling of personal data related to EU citizens. So no matter where you reside, you need to have proper protections in place to comply with this law.
Any time you market goods or services or have visitors from the EU visiting your website, the GDPR applies to you.
- A disclaimer, which includes your disclosures for affiliate links and sponsorships.
- Terms and Conditions, which are your website rules. Any time you sell any products or services from your website, you’d want your users to first accept your Terms and Conditions to make sure you don’t get sued down the road.
7. What is a disclaimer?
A disclaimer, just like it sounds, is a way to “disclaim” or “deny” legal liability for the content you publish on your site. It limits your legal liability by informing your readers that the information on your website is “as is” and does not constitute advice of any kind.
Look at my legal disclaimer at the beginning of this interview for example.
A disclaimer serves to limit your legal liability for omissions, inaccurate information on your website.
You should tailor your disclaimer to your specific niche whether that’s medical, finance, legal, etc. or if you don’t have a specific niche then you should still have a general disclaimer on your website to protect yourself legally.
8. What should you include in a disclaimer?
Typically it includes important things like:
- Content should not be construed as or substituted for professional advice – all kinds of legalese to limit liability.
- Disclosure of your affiliate relationships under the FTC for the products and services you recommend on your blog.
- Denying responsibility for the third party links on your blog such as ads, affiliate links.
- Earnings disclaimer, so others don’t expect the same financial results and later sue you.
- Sponsored posts, testimonials and product reviews disclaimers.
- And much more!
9. You mentioned a third legal page – Terms and Conditions earlier, can you tell us more about it?
Most bloggers miss this important page on their website because they don’t realize how important it is until after they are sued when it’s too late!
The purpose of your Terms and Conditions is to legitimize your business and protect you from all kinds of risks and legal liabilities down the road.
They cover important topics like:
- What is considered lawful use of your website such as no spamming or abusive content. You need to outline these properly.
- Describe your intellectual property rights for the content you publish.
- Explain the intended age of your users.
- How and where you will resolve legal disputes – very important!
For example, I live in Florida but if my customer lives in California, I don’t want to have to worry about a lawsuit in California down the road. So there’s a choice of law provision that needs to be included in your Terms and Conditions clarifying where you will resolve legal disputes.
10. How can we easily create all 3 legal pages for our blog?
Your best and most cost-effective option is to go with paid legal templates written by an experienced lawyer because these are professionally written legal templates that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
If you can afford to hire a lawyer, then great but I know from being a lawyer myself, lawyers are expensive and at least here in the US, you’re looking at up to $1,000 for a lawyer to write these legal pages for your blog.
But with the paid legal templates, you won’t have to worry about paying thousands to a lawyer. This is where I’ve helped hundreds of bloggers + thousands of my clients easily and quickly with my best selling Legal Bundle.
You can quickly and easily customize the legal templates and begin using them on your blog in about 15 minutes! It’s that easy.
Check out the Legal Bundle here and watch the video testimonials from other bloggers and entrepreneurs who purchased it and felt a huge burden being lifted off their shoulders!
11. Thanks, Amira! Do you offer an affiliate program for your legal templates as well?
Yes, I do! I have a high paying affiliate program that you can join for free. You’ll make 40% commission on all my products. No purchase is required to sign up as an affiliate.
So if you would like to sign up now, you can and start making money because each month, I pay thousands in commissions to my affiliates. For example, last month alone I paid $5,500 to my affiliates.
Here are the instructions on how to join my affiliate program.
12. Any other tips or helpful resources that you’d like to share with our readers?
But some of the templates are not yet posted on my blog, so if you’re looking for something specific such as an Affiliate Program Agreement, Partnership Agreement, LLC Operating Agreement, Media Release Agreement or anything else, feel free to email me directly and I’ll send you those templates.
It’s so important to have legal contracts in place whenever you work with anyone in your business. So for example, if you’re a freelancer or a client looking to hire a freelancer to do any kind of work for you then you both need a written contract before working together.
You can look into my Independent Contractor Agreement template, also known as the freelance contract for this. Both the freelancer and the client hiring the freelancer to do work can use this contract template effortlessly.
If you would like to learn more about the legal side of blogging then please visit the guest post page on my blog to see the complete list of articles I’ve published on the topic.
Lastly, I’d love for you to join my free Facebook group to become friends with me! I love connecting with new bloggers and entrepreneurs and offer tons of legal and blogging tips in our group.
About the Author:
Amira is a lawyer, blogger and business coach from Florida. She blogs at ASelfGuru.com where she teaches you how to protect your online business legally along with the business skills you need to become your own boss!
Sign up for her free 3-day email course here to make sure you’re blogging legally.
Amira, your passion for helping bloggers is a blessing! Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us!
Friends, now it’s your turn! Do you have any comments or questions? Have you made any legal mistakes that you’d like to help other bloggers avoid? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
And if you haven’t taken the time to check out Amira’s Legal Bundle, click on over and check it out!