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Create a Simple Privacy Policy for Your Blog (Example Included)

[This is a part of the "Getting Started with Blog Advertisingblog series.]

You can always opt-out.

If you’re headed into the blog monetization you’ll of course want to cover yourself legally from all of the possible angles that may impact you. For instance you’ll want to make sure that you have a Disclosure Policy that covers your rights as a blogger and advertiser to your readers.

In addition to a Disclosure Policy you’ll also need a Privacy Policy that covers your use of cookies and use of log files that your blog is using to capture information from your users to customize their advertising experience.

Why is this important? To start off it’s just the right thing to do -that is, sharing candidly and honestly what you’re doing with your reader’s information. I think by having one it shows your audience that you honestly care about them and how you manage not only their experience with your blog but also their information that they give you (whether they know it or not).

But just as important is the fact that many third party advertisers require that you have a more explicit Privacy Policy that clearly outlines and explains what information that you (and they) collect and how it is used on your blog.

Here are a two popular services that require you to have one:

Google Adsense Requirement

Google Adsense

Did you know that Google Adsense requires you to have an active Privacy Policy that states your use of their system?

This is one of the most commonly overlooked requirements for using Google Adsense and it’s been reported that more than a few prominent blogs have lost their account due to the fact that they simply forgot (or didn’t read the fine print) have a Privacy Policy.

It’s not worth losing all that advertising revenue simply because you somehow overlooked this, right? Google makes it quite simple and has outlined explicitly what is required of you:

  • Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user’s prior visits to your website.
  • Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it and its partners to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and/or other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the advertising opt-out page. (Alternatively, you can direct users to opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.)

Don’t forget these elements!

Amazon Affiliates Requirement

Amazon Affiliates

Here’s another very popular service that requires that you use to fully disclose your use of their service on your blog.

I have also heard of a number of bloggers (typically blogs with a lot of sales and high traffic) of being banned or flagged by Amazon as they’ve audited their blog and having not found a Privacy Policy. That’s a shame and a bummer!

Other Third Party Services

There are so many other third party advertising, affiliate, and ad-serving systems out there that it wouldn’t be possible to list them all out but the point is this: If you’re selling advertisements or using affiliate programs to monetize your blog you’ll need to create a Privacy Policy that is accurate, updated, and readily available to your readers.

For example, I use BeaconAds as an advertising network and ad-serving platform for direct sales opportunities for businesses and organizations. I have disclosed my use of this service and the resulting use of cookies here in my Privacy Policy.

Cookie? Wah?

It’s ok if you’re not sure what a “browser cookie” is. It’s not too hard of a concept:

Cookies are small pieces of data that save information when you visit websites so you don’t have to re-enter it every time you return.

For example, cookies help search engines remember that you want your search results in English and help online stores remember the items saved in your virtual shopping cart.

Advertisers can also use cookies to deliver ads that are more relevant to you. You can always decide which cookies to accept – or whether to accept cookies at all – by going into your browser’s privacy settings.

Easy, right? Here’s a video overview if you’re still a bit confused:

[tentblogger-youtube anfj4V5i7hs]

And… here’s another good one:

[tentblogger-youtube 2YItmumfVnk]

Consider yourself a “pro” now! Ready to create a Privacy Policy? Hop to it!

A Simple Privacy Policy Sample

The most simple Privacy Policy out there is this one right here:

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.

You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on Month, Day, Year. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: xxxx@xxxx.com.

Feel free to modify that and use that for your blog or you can feel free to browse my Privacy Policy and use some of that format for yours as well!

Ultimately your policy should include the following basic elements in the sample above, such as contact information, the last time it was updated, and the use of cookies.

Good luck and have fun advertising and monetizing your blog!