Beginners Guide To FTC- Everything You Need To Know!
Disclosure (full version- https://nikolaroza.com/affiliate-disclosure/): Some of the links you’ll encounter are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I may get a commission. Thank you!
In this beginners guide to FTC you’ll learn what FTC as an acronym stands for, and what you as a blogger and affiliate marketer need to do to be compliant with their guidelines at all times.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Disclosure Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I get compensated when you click on my link and buy a product.
Thank you for your support, you’re awesome!
Unforeseen Scenario That’s Best Avoided…
You’re finally making money from your blog. Your affiliate links are working their magic and day after day you earn money while you sleep.
You feel happy, elated and feel like you could fly on a cloud with happiness to sustain you mid-air.
But then, one day, just as everything is going perfectly, you receive a cease-and-desist email from FTC where they warn you that you’ve been advertising products without letting the people know about it.
So you were basically misleading your audience.
Your hopes, dreams desires; ENDED!
Well not quite, it’s possible to bounce right back after such an email, but it’s best never to end up in such a situation
Let’s make sue you’re prepared.
4 Tips for Making Your Site FTC Compliant
Before we start, FTC stands for Federal Trade Commission, and they are a US government agency whose job is to:
prevent unfair, deceptive and anti-competitive business practices through education, advocacy and law enforcement, without straining legitimate businesses too much.
Note: I ripped this from their about page 😎
Here are the tips below.
#1- Your Disclosure Must Be Frequent
Your disclosure must appear on any page on your site where you promote any product or service.
This include regular X vs Y posts reviews and any-and-all articles where you have even a single affiliate link somewhere on the page (this includes navigation, sidebar and footer)
#2- Your Disclosure Must Be Clear
You must make it unavoidable and crystal clear to the users reading your page that your review is biased because you’re an affiliate for the product
You need to make them aware that you will receive a compensation in case they purchase a product through your affiliate link.
#3- Disclosure Must Be Conspicuous
This means it need to be unavoidable and easily distinguishable. It preferably should start with the words “Disclosure” or “Paid Advertising” or something similar.
Your disclosure must not be tucked away in the footer so that people need to scroll down to see it.
Instead it must be visible at all times.
Also, your disclosure needs to be clearly visible, so for example, writing in much smaller font than your regular blog font is considered to be deceptive.
#4- Your Disclosure Must Require No Action
Your affiliate disclosure should not be hidden behind a link so that the person has to first click the link and visit another page in order to read it.
FTC Disclosure- An Example From My Blog (Promoting SEMrush)
For example, I promote SEMrush as an affiliate.
And I have dozens of SEMRush-related articles in my SEMrush tutorials category.
And guess what? Each and every SEMrush article, from the one promoting SEMrush cracked, downloadable version (with affiliate links) to the one about SEMrush features (no affiliate links) still have a clearly visible affiliate disclosure.
That way I can safely promote SEMrush and my readers are informed and don’t feel cheated at all.
Concluding This Beginners Guide to FTC Disclosure For Bloggers…
If you’re a blogger or affiliate marketer, then you need to have an FTC disclosure on your site. Not to mention if you’re running an eCommerce store.
Running an eCommerce store online comes with plenty of regulations, PCI compliance being one of them. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard has been created to protect online users’ card information and we all know how important it is to be able to use your bank cards online. No online shop would be able to survive without it. That’s beyond this guide here, so here’s a PCI Compliance Checklist for Your Ecommerce Store that should get your e-commerce store customer ready.
And now after you’ve read my guide and hopefully learned something there’s just one more thing left to say…
WARNING– Listen, I’m not a lawyer and this beginner guide is here just to acquaint you with the topic. Don’t take as gospel anything I said here.
Instead visit the FTC official guidelines (https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-revises-online-advertising-disclosure-guidelines/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf) and learn of their requirements there
Thank you for reading!
You’re awesome 😀
Nikola Roza is an affiliate marketer and blogger behind Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. He writes for bloggers who don't have huge marketing budgets and who still want to carve out a niche online and a better life for themselves. Learn about Nikola here, or read his blog posts and guides here.