Do you disclose affiliate links in your blog at the end of the post? At the beginning? Every time you post a link? Where???
This post will give you an easy to follow guide on how to add proper disclosures to your blog, and where to add them too!
Affiliate links on your blog or social media are one of the most popular ways to monetize your website! Did you know that there are specific FTC regulations that you will need to comply with? You can do so by properly adding affiliate disclosures in the right place on your blog posts.
If you have been using affiliate links, or if you are just getting started, you need to know that each affiliate link you use comes with a disclosure or disclaimer. Each vendor you work with may have a different policy so it is important to be sure to pay attention when signing up and be aware of any stipulations they have in how you disclose.
What exactly does “affiliate disclosure” mean?
When you disclose affiliate links, it tells your audience for your post when you are using an affiliate link. It’s that simple! In your disclosure, you are required to let your reader know that you may profit in some way if they follow your link and purchase an item. Be transparent with your readers and they will appreciate it!
Why are affiliate link disclosures important?
Well, first of all, they are important because you are legally required to do so! The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has specific laws and guidelines mapped out for you. You can read more about that here. But you probably didn’t come to this page to read a lengthy law, so I will do my best to give you an easy guide with the highlights of the rules.
Not only is it legal but it will up the trust factor. With Blogging’s popularity, many readers are aware of how bloggers use affiliate links to make money. Not everyone is familiar with this fairly new form of media and advertising, though. That’s why it’s still so important that you are telling them about the link.
Truth in advertising is important in all media, whether they have been around for decades (like television and magazines) or are relatively new (like blogs and social media). – FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines
Your readers may even appreciate the link and be more willing to purchase through your link because of the service or information that you provided them! It is a win-win.
What should you say when you disclose affiliate links?
First, you need to read through any specific rules for your affiliate links. Some affiliate companies will have specific requirements or guides that they want you to use when you disclose affiliate links. Amazon, for example, actually makes it easy to disclose affiliate links. They require you to use their disclosure with their wording:
X is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to (“your website name” (amazon.com, or endless.com, MYHABIT.com, SmallParts.com, or AmazonWireless.com)
Simply copy and paste to your post and change the wording to reflect your own website name! Marketing With Sara has a fantastic article on Amazon Affiliate links, and she has the low-down with exactly what needs to be done, if you have more questions on that.
If your affiliate link is something that requires just a general affiliate link disclosure, you need to make sure that you state that you may make a small profit or commission if they click on your link. It is that simple! Some people include “at no cost to you,” or other personal things like “which will be used for my coffee fund or to fund this website,” etc.
You want your readers to know you may make a profit if they shop through your link. That is the main point for affiliate link disclosures.
Where should you put your affiliate link disclosure?
Make it obvious! That is the number one rule for where your affiliate link disclosure should be posted. You don’t want your reader having to hunt for the disclosure, or never seeing it before clicking on the link. To make it obvious and clear, you have a few options. You can post your link near the top of the page. Your reader will see it before scrolling through your whole post. Another easy option is to put it right before the link is posted, or in close proximity. If you want to be sure you are covered, add a widget that includes a basic disclosure, such as:
(Your website) is a part of affiliate programs, which means that if you click on the links, we may make a small commission at no cost to you! This commission helps us keep our site running, so thank you for your support!
I hope this post was helpful to you as you enter the world of affiliate links and making money from your blog!
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