Specialized writing online: Do careful research and be wary

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Do you believe everything you read on the Internet? No? Then you also should be very careful about what you write on the Internet.

I mention this because some of the long-time “money maker” blogs and websites are those devoted to 1) health advice, 2) diet advice, and, 3) financial/credit repair advice. All three of those areas are popular because nearly everyone is looking for information about health, dieting, and investing or repairing their credit.

But how do you know whether or not such sites you might go to are legitimate?

You don’t know anything about their legitimacy, of course, unless they are linked to creditable offline medical, nutritional, or financial institutions.

Nevertheless, you might have valid, useful information about those areas of expertise that you’d like to share online. Maybe you’ve done extensive research and even battled personally with diet and health issues, from low-fat dieting to neck acne to foot pain, and you wish to share all that with people who visit your blog or other website. How do you go about it?

I have no specific instructions — but I do have one important caution: Use a site-wide AND article/post specific disclaimer statement. If you have the best intentions and seemingly harmless information you want to share about diet, medical conditions, nutritional advice, investing advice, whatever, you really need to protect yourself and clarify your information with a good disclaimer.

Of course, many people who might search for advice through a search engine, find your site and visit, may never see or read your disclaimer. But you owe it to site visitors AND to yourself to put a disclaimer into the mix.

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