Disclosure (full version here): Some of the links you’ll encounter are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I may get a commission. Thank you!
Here you will learn what an affiliate disclosure is, and how to write one for your WordPress site.
If you do affiliate marketing, then this is a must-read post for you.
So let’s get started right away.
Table of Contents
What is an Affiliate Disclosure? And 3 Reasons Why You Need To Have It On Every Post Of Your Blog
Affiliate disclosures are short text blurbs present on all pages on your site that host affiliate links.
Their purpose is to explain to your site’s visitors what affiliate marketing is, and how you’re compensated for recommending certain products and services. You also need to explain to them you’re ethically collecting their data for marketing purposes, and that they can opt out at all times if they wish.
Here are 3 reasons why you need to include affiliate disclosures in all your blog posts.
#1- You’re Required By Law
FTC (Federal Trade Commission) requires you to write and post a disclosure where you explain how you profit from recommending certain products to your audience.
Failure to do it can get you severe monetary fines at best, and shut down of your entire business at worst.
#2- You Build Trust With Your Audience
Your readers are not stupid and they know you probably don’t write content purely out of the goodness of your heart.
They can guess there’s money involved and by letting them know their hunch was spot on, you show them your respect.
And in turn they’ll buy more because they’ll trust your product recommendations more.
#3- Be a Proper Marketer
Purposely not writing or hiding an FTC disclosure is something only shady marketers would do.
If you want to have a future in affiliate marketing you need to NOT be like them.
How To Write A Simple (Yet Effective) Affiliate Disclosure
Writing an affiliate disclosure sound complicated, but it’s actually a cinch and anyone can do it.
Heck, you can even copy it from some other blogger if it’s short enough not to cause any duplicate content issues.
Here are 4 golden tips to write a solid affiliate disclosure today.
Affiliate disclosure can and should be succinct and to the point. Don’t go on a tangent. Keep it simple, clear concise and maximum 5 sentences long.
Your goal is to convey as clearly as possible that you’re getting paid for some of your recommendations.
Note: you will see some great examples further down this post, so stay tuned.
Pro tip– affiliate disclosure within your posts should be succinct, but you can go all out on a dedicated disclosure page.
For example, look how Pat Flynn goes into detail explaining his site’s mission and goal, and how it ties into affiliate marketing.
It’s almost like a true blog post.
Pay special attention to your words as you write your affiliate disclosure. You must use normal speak that your visitors use and understand.
And you must avoid fancy words that make you sound smart but your disclaimer text becomes difficult to read and understand.
Also, don’t use marketing jargon and words like PPC, API or ROI.
You can’t assume your reader know what these acronyms mean.
Your disclosure must be easy to read and distinguishable for the rest of the article. Consider writing it in a different font and prefacing it with the word “disclosure” or “paid advertisement”.
Where To Place Affiliate Disclosure On Your Website?
You must put your affiliate disclosure somewhere where it will be equally visible on both mobile and desktop devices. This means that putting it in your sidebar and footer isn’t enough.
It’s because both sidebar, footer and even navigation get pushed way below the content on mobile display.
Remember, your disclosure must be prominent and unavoidable, regardless of device used to access your site.
Here are your choices below.
#1- Disclosure At The Top Of Blog Posts
Right below the headline and before actual content, your affiliate disclaimer will be unavoidable. And in fact, that is what I do on my blog as you can see from the image below.
You will also notice that my disclosure links to my disclosure page where I talk in more detail how I earn from affiliate links.
#2- Disclosure On a Separate Page
It helps your credibility and it’s a trust factor to have your FTC disclosure somewhere on the site (linked to from the footer is great)
This makes you transparent and honest, and let’s anyone interested easily find it and read it.
Keep in mind that it’s not enough just to have a disclosure page published somewhere on your site.
You also need to have a disclaimer notice on each blog post that has affiliate links, and that disclaimer needs to link to your disclosure page.
#3- Next to Affiliate Links
You can also label your affiliate links by putting mini disclosures in parenthesis next to it.
“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”
After you’ve include this line, your job is done. You’re not allowed to talk about your affiliation with Amazon. And you’re especially not allowed to include anything that even suggests Amazon endorses you in any way.
That’ll get you booted out of the program for good.
Bonus #2- How To Disclose Affiliate Links On Social Media
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