Why your blog post needs a disclaimer

Why your blog post needs a disclaimer

Blogging is fun AND it’s a key marketing tool for businesses. Well written blogs reinforce your messaging and branding, educate and provide value for your audience, and can be an income stream.
BUT…
Blogs can also offer advice and opinions and if taken the wrong way or in a way not intended by you, can impact negatively on you and your business.

The difference between expert advice and personal experience

For example, if a blogger wrote about their own personal weight loss journey and detailed the exact steps they took to lose weight, made recommendations about exercise routines and food choices, and suggested particular supplements, they could sound like an expert.
Except they are not an expert – they are just blogging about their PERSONAL experience or interest.
A reader could assume that this person is an expert in health, nutrition, or exercise physiology and decide to take the information in the blog and apply it to themselves.
It might work out, but then again it might result in harm to the health of that reader.

How a blog disclaimer can protect you

To manage this situation, particularly if you are in the health, financial, legal, or any related sectors, you need to have a disclaimer on your blog that limits your liability and educates readers that you cannot be held liable for the information contained in your blog.
This statement does not have to be a long-winded string of legal jargon – it can be a precise statement at the footer or sidebar of your blog. Or, if it’s a longer statement, it can be a separate page accessed via a link on your blog.
A disclaimer doesn’t stop someone from suing you.
A well-drafted disclaimer will provide you with a good defence, will help avoid potential liability, and advise readers that you are not responsible if they have issues with your blog or rely on your advice or opinions.
A disclaimer will educate your audience about your service capability and limitations before they take on any of your advice.
Just having a link to a disclaimer is an effective notice to readers that there are limitations to the information provided in the blog and that they are to engage with your content at their own risk.

Tips on ensuring your blog disclaimers are clear and relevant:

    1. Own the culture of your blog.

      Describe the nature of the information you provide on your blog. Unlike a website, blog content is dynamic and conversational and can include advice and opinions that relate to personal experience and may not always be referenced to a credible source. It helps for you to describe the nature and context your blog – what kind of content are you covering and why.

    2. Deal with opinions specifically.

      If your blog contains your opinions, someone else’s opinion, or an organisation’s opinion that you may be affiliated with, then ensure that your disclaimer clearly states that:

      a) your opinion is YOUR opinion only
      b) you do not endorse the opinion of third parties (unless you specifically do so)
      c) that your views are not necessarily the opinion of XYZ organisation that you may be affiliated with.
  1. Errors and mistakes. 

    Point out that these may occur despite all care to ensure the accuracy of the content of your blog.

  2. Purpose of the information on your blog.

    Ensure that you state clearly the purpose of the information – i.e. information, entertainment, etc., and that such information should not be confused with medical, legal, or financial advice.

  3. Are you a “Professional?”

    Are you professionally qualified in the industry or sector topic you are blogging about? If not, then you need to state that you are not a qualified medical, health, finance, or legal professional, etc. This is so your readers are clear that you are not a professional and your opinions and advice should not be substituted for individual professional advice.

  4. Are you an “Expert?”

    If you are an expert in your field or the niche topic you are blogging about, elaborate on your ‘expert” status and explain to what extent you are able to stand by your advice and opinions. However, it is is still important to explain that the advice you provide as an expert in your field is nonetheless, general information and advice only and not professional medical, health, legal or financial advice.

  5. Changes.

    It is advisable to include a statement that reserves your rights to shift or change the focus, content and nature of your blog at any time.

 

For assistance with drafting a blog disclaimer that is customised for YOUR business, send me an email now or book in for a free 10 minute consult.

Shalini x

#loveyourlegals

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