C-Y-A Pages Every Blog Must Have

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Just in case you missed the memo, there are a few critical business pages that must be present on your blog. I refer to these as “C-Y-A” or “Cover-Your-Assets” pages.

In WordPress, use Pages and not Posts for these elements. Generally, Posts are reserved for the blog content while Pages are for static content.

For a service provider’s website, that structure typically consists of a few “standard” pages:

  • About – where you talk about yourself
  • Testimonials – good things previous clients have to say about you
  • Services – what you do and for whom you do it (this applies to people with service offers)
  • Contact – how potential customers can get in touch with you
  • Blog – where you share information clients need to know
  • Legal pages – privacy, terms, and disclaimers

If you are using a static style website, now a blog style, your Home page should let readers know instantly what your site is about. When a new visitor lands on your site, you have only seconds to tell him or her what your business does, so make sure it’s very clear by creating a short, meaningful tagline, using graphics wisely, and prominently displaying your site navigation, so visitors can find what they really need.

Probably the most read page on your site is the About page. For an authority bloggerprovider, it’s important to share a little about you, but even more about what you DO. Don’t make the mistake of telling the world that you’re a stay-at-home mom or that you’re only doing this to earn some money while you look for a real job. Keep it professional, with just a touch of personality thrown in. And don’t forget to include a photo of you.

Next, if you offer services, include a Services page so visitors can see exactly what you do. A simple list is fine. Keep in mind that it’s often better to show your expertise in one area than to have a list of 101 things you can do. Potential customers want to know that you’re an expert, not a “Jane of all trades,” so don’t worry that your services list is too short.

You’ll also want to provide a variety of ways people can reach you. On your contact page, it’s a good idea to include a form they can fill out. Contact Form 7 is a flexible, free plugin for WordPress that does the trick nicely. Include an email address as well, and if you can, a phone number. Potential clients will find you much more trustworthy if they know they can reach you by email or phone.

The Blog page is actually a placeholder providing you a page to insert as the top of your blog. Create a page called Blog (or whatever you want-blog seems to make sense.)

It is usually a blank page and activated in the WordPress dashboard Settings…Reading…Front Page Displays…A Static Page…Posts Page. You can also add it to your menu bar so people can quickly find your blog.

Finally, if you are going to blog, make the commitment to consistency. The last thing you want is for visitors to find an abandoned blog on your site. It will only make it look like you’re no longer in business.

One more word about your blog – keep in mind the perfect audience. Chances are, it’s not other service providers, so avoid writing blogs about how to get clients, how to market your site, and how to learn new skills. Instead, write about topics of interest to your ideal client. And remember, you don’t have to have a blog to have a successful website, but it is a great marketing tool if you use it correctly.

All About Your Terms, Privacy, and Disclaimer Pages

If you’re doing business – whether online or off – there are some legal details that must be dealt with, including adding the appropriate disclaimers to your website.

For most service providers, that means including three pages: Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and a Disclaimer. Here’s what each does for you.

Terms and Conditions

This page is typically where you will spell out your payment terms, refund policy, and other information about doing business with you. For example, you might say that payment is required in advance, or that refunds on web design work will be pro-rated and not include design time already invested.

You may also want to mention that your content is yours alone, and that it cannot be republished anywhere without written permission. This falls under copyright laws, but it can’t hurt to include it.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy is where you’ll mention what you intend to do with the email address you’re collecting (you are building an email list, right? More on that later…), and how you handle confidential information. Many merchants require a privacy policy before they will approve your blog as a platform for marketing.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Do you promote products for which you earn a commission? This is where you’ll include a mention of that. In fact, if you sell anything through an affiliate relationship, the FTC requires that notification of that relationship appear on your website somewhere. Most merchants require this important business page too. Also, Amazon Affiliates must publish a specific statement.  Check with the Amazon Affiliates section for that verbiage and keep up with any changes. Failure keep it visible and current will cost your approval rating.

The Right Words

If you’re handy with a phrase, you can probably simply pen your own terms and conditions, privacy policy, and disclaimer pages. Take a look at some other sites, read their legal notices, and then spend a few minutes creating your own. Just be sure to cover all the points above.

If you are a wellness entrepreneur homed in the United States, then you are familiar with restrictions regarding promises of curing, healing, and similar phrases regarding health. It's worth having a reference to an FDA disclaimer on your blog displayed in a prominent location.

Here is one recommended by an essential oils company. Feel free to swipe it and tweak it for your blog.

FDA Disclaimer

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product/service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”

If you’re more comfortable with something a bit more formal, though, there are plenty of places online to find templates. Check out:

  • Free Net Law: http://www.freenetlaw.com/free-templates/
  • SEQ Legal: http://www.seqlegal.com/free-legal-documents
  • Legal Zoom: http://www.legalzoom.com/

Just to name a few.

Finally, be sure to go back and check your legal pages for continuing validity and accuracy. If you ever run into a dispute with a client over payments, for example, be sure to update your pages to avoid having that same issue in the future. It’s also a good idea to keep up on changing laws, such as the recently enacted cookie law in the UK. Those types of changes definitely require an edit to your legal pages.

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer

I recommend you provide a medical disclaimer on and wellness blog.

Here is one:

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this website is for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended as medical or professional advice. You should always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, nutrition or exercise program.

Your Next Step

I always encourage people to have a legal service. As your business matures, you may become a target for scammers and rip-off shenanigans. I've used LegalShield.com for over 30 years for everything from wills to collection letters, taxes and more. They offer various plans for business and personal legal needs. One free consultation is worth a year's worth of subscription fees.

Here's a video demo of a plugin that will set up your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy pages.

 1. Watch the video. I demonstrate a plugin that helps with the legal pages. Note: You must perform due diligence to ensure validity for your country, state, local.  The plugin is called AutoTerms of Service and Privacy Policy by Tourkick.

2. Check with your affiliate merchant/home office to see if they have a specific disclaimer requirement.

3.  Set up your business pages today!

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