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Blog Exercises: Comments Policy

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.We started with the Bloggers Code of Ethics in our blog exercises on site policies, starting you off on the right foot by knowing where you will draw your lines in the sand when it comes to your rights and responsibilities as a blogger. In this Blog Exercise, we are going to tackle the next of the site policies you may be required to have on your site: Comments.

The basic policies required to be on your site are copyright, disclosure, comments, liability, and privacy. Different countries and cities have different laws for what policies you are required to have on your site. While these pertain specifically to commercial sites, which include any site with advertising, sales (direct or in-direct), non-profits, and government agencies, these are good policies to have on your site to protect yourself and your readers.

A comment policy does multiple things.

  • It protects you from commenters.
  • It establishes the guidelines for acceptable comments.
  • It sets the rules by which you may edit or delete comments.

While a comment policy serves to protect you from commenters, it also sets the tone by which you will comment and respond to comments. Like writer’s guidelines, learn how to comment properly so you do not spam other sites with inappropriate forms of comments nor your own site.

The guidelines for “acceptable” comments can be anything. You may wish to ban profanity or open up the door to it. You may wish to restrict language and subject matter that offends or is derogatory. Do you allow personal attacks? Or maybe your site thrives on that. Either way, you must clearly state what your rules of engagement are on your site.

, queen of blog comments and social web interactivity, summed up her blog comment policy for many years with two words: play nice. She didn’t need to explain it. Everyone understood the rules of the sandbox. You don’t play nice, you’re out of the sandbox. Your comment policy may be simple and precise, or expansive.

I’ve written extensively on comments, covering guidelines on how not to comment and how to write a comments policy, and here are more resources to help you create your own comment policy.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise is to create a comments policy on your site.

Add it to your Legal or Policies Page on your site, or add a subPage titled “Comments Policy” or “Comments Guidelines” to help your readers find it. After publishing it, you may wish to announce it on your blog and social media sites.

Remember, your policies may be featured separately on one or separate web pages (called Pages in WordPress, not posts) titled “Policies” or “Legal.” The structure of your Pages depends upon how many policies, policy points, and how verbose you are with your policies.

If you wish to share this blog exercise with your readers include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

8 Comments

  1. Posted May 3, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Can you see if the link is broken in Bloggers Code of ethics ie. rights and responsiblities? As a relatively new blogger I’d enjoy reading that.

  2. Posted May 3, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle – what a great idea. I know exactly what I want to say. Now I just have to find the footer that I put in and how to edit it or add another one. I know it is in one of your earlier exercises, so I will go seek. Thanks for a very great idea.. maybe not so new, but new to me :)

    • Posted May 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      The footer is accessed from within your WordPress Theme under Appearance > Widgets. If your WordPress Theme has a widgetized footer, you can add a text box to it and make a link to whatever you want like your comments policies. Thanks.

    • Posted May 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      doooohhhh… and I spent hours trying to insert code into the css part of Customize!! Told you I am a code spas! So sorry and thanks so much.
      As always Lorelle – you ARE the very best.

  3. Posted May 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle, that was really useful

  4. Rina
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, if my english not good
    I also like to make a comment policy in my blog to give signs are clear to the commenter that between me and them there are no losers.
    Thanks :)

    • Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      You make a good point. However I don’t think the comment policy can make that point as much as you can by setting an example by keeping your comments encouraging supportive and appreciative. We set a tone of voice in our articles and in our responses to comments which truly dictates the type of person and character we want to comment on our site. I believe that if you encourage good you will perpetuate good. Thanks.


5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Blog Exercises: Comments Policy […]

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  3. […] what people can say in the comments, editing or deleting them as you go. Do you have a clear comments policy stating the rules of your comment […]

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