A Terms and Conditions agreement is like a how-to guide for the use of your site. It covers topics like sharing intellectual property, community standards, use restrictions and helps to protect you from liability.
Whether you share your daily workouts or blog about marriage advice, you should consider having one - even if you don't make any money from blogging.
We'll show you why having one is a smart move, and how you can go about creating and adding one to your blog.
Why Have a Terms and Conditions on Blogger
You might think that a Terms and Conditions agreement (T&C) sounds too formal for your style of blogging. But anyone on Blogger can benefit from it.
Think back to your school years. During the first day of school, you'd meet your teachers and each would go through a list of rules and expectations. The day was an easy one because they didn't assign homework, but you still learned something.
Understanding what your teacher expected of your and what you could reasonably expect from your teacher made your classroom run smoothly. Everyone knew their role, and those rules were a point of reference in case you turned your homework in late.
The same principle applies to Terms and Conditions for Bloggers.
T&Cs Manage User Expectations
What can a user reasonably expect from your blog? Let them know.
One way to manage user expectations in your T&C is to add a liability clause. It states that you're not liable for any damages caused by using or being unable to use the blog.
Sounds strange, right? Not if you share recipes, your workout tips, beauty hacks, or relationship advice.
Your T&C says, "Hey, I blog, and I welcome you to read it, but please apply my blog to your life at your own risk."
Here's an example of what this looks like from Gal Meets Glam:
These types of clauses tend to be fairly boilerplate and standard, but they're still very important, especially if you sell products or offer advice that can in any way create a risk of liability.
T&Cs Protect Your Work
Whether you create art or share your thoughts, you wouldn't want someone stealing them and using your content around as their own.
Your Terms and Conditions stops that by letting readers know how they can use and share what they find on your site, as well as how they cannot do so. It also gives you the right to ask someone to remove your content from their site if you feel the need.
Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge shares a clause on intellectual property rights in her T&C. It says that she owns the rights to the website and that you can use it as far as accessing it from the web, but you can't take any of the graphics and use them without the text.
Your comments section brings life to your blog, but anyone who has spent more than five minutes online knows that comments can take a strange turn in the blink of an eye.
If you want to ban someone from the comments or message boards, you can. But you should outline what behavior leads to being removed from the site in your Terms & Conditions. It lets people know what kind of behavior isn't allowed, but it also tells those who don't typically engage in negative behavior what kind of site you run.
Into the Gloss, a popular beauty blog, added a section about User Content into its Terms & Conditions:
The blog's T&C says that its users can't add content that violates the law or harms anyone else thereby creating a safe and legal community. Note that this is only an excerpt of a long clause, so check out the entirety of the agreement to see what other kinds of restrictions are common with user content.
T&Cs Manage Monetization or eCommerce
As bloggers, you have the opportunity to scale and monetize if you choose.
If making money is your goal, then your Terms & Conditions becomes vital. You need to share information about:
- Ads and sponsorships
- Affiliate programs
- Third party use
- Payment processing
- Sales and returns
Here's an excerpt from a clause from Glossier that outlines requirements for payments, ordering and subscription services:
How to Add Your Terms and Conditions to Your Blogger
We recommend adding your Terms and Conditions to the footer of your site so that it's easily accessible to visitors no matter where they are on your site. If stylistically you prefer adding it to your navigation bar (or you put an emphasis on community), the top of the page works, too.
We'll show you how to create a new page on your blog for your T&C and how to link it to your footer.
Step 1: Login to Blogger and go to your account dashboard.
Step 2: In the left side menu, select Pages.
Step 3: Select New Page
Step 4: Title your new page "Terms and Conditions" and add the text of your agreement in the main text box. Click Publish when done.
Step 5: In the left side menu, select Layout.
Step 6: Find the Footer section and click Add a Gadget.
Step 7: In the window that opens, scroll to find the Pages gadget and click the blue button next to the gadget to add it to your footer.
Step 8: The Configure Page List window will open. Check the box next to your Terms and Conditions page to add it to your footer. Click Save when done.
If you want to add your T&C link to a different section of your blog instead of the footer, go back to step 6 and choose a different area in layout rather than the footer. The rest of the steps remain the same.
You can add a Terms and Conditions agreement to your Blogger site in only a few clicks. We recommend creating this page and adding a link to whatever part of your layout is best suited for it, usually your footer.