If you are posting affiliate links in your website or social media, it’s important that you are properly disclosing your affiliate links to your audience. In this post, I’m going to show you how to properly disclose your affiliate links – including some standard examples of phrasing and plus ways you can really put your personality into them.
What is an Affiliate Link Disclosure?
An affiliate link disclosure is a statement that lets your audience know that there are affiliate links being used and that you may gain some form of compensation should the reader click on the link to sign up for something and/or make a purchase.
This practice is very important because not only is it an ethical business practice – in most countries, it’s the law!
Why do I need to disclose my affiliate links?
You may be legally required to.
While it’s not a legal requirement in every country, it’s a good practice to get into because you never know when the law for your country will change. The Federal Trade Commission or FTC is the law in the United States that regulated and enforces the rule pertaining to affiliate link disclosure. Here’s a FAQ Guide if you’d like to properly familiarize yourself with it.
It creates a sense of trust.
Contrary to popular belief, disclosing your affiliate links doesn’t necessarily turn someone off from making a purchase. If anything, people appreciate the transparency. Your readers aren’t stupid. They know when they are being sold to, so you may as well be up front and honest about it.
How to properly disclose affiliate links
There’s a right way and a wrong way to disclose your affiliate links, but fortunately there’s really only two things you need to worry about:
- Putting your affiliate disclose in the correct place
- That your disclosure phrasing is clear enough
So where DO you put your affiliate disclosure?
Scroll back up to the top of this blog post and you’ll notice that my affiliate disclosure is at the top of the post – long before I include any affiliate links. According to FTC Regulations, “A disclosure is more effective if it is placed near the claim it qualifies or other relevant information.” so in the case of this post, this satisfies their requirements.
Basically, your affiliate disclosure needs to be on the same page as the affiliate links. Readers shouldn’t have to click away to read a disclosure. This means the all too infamous “Disclosure Policy” pages aren’t enough! The disclosure needs to be as close to your affiliate links as possible.
You also need to be careful to not be sneaky about it or to try to hide your affiliate disclosures. This means they need to be easy to read. I go as far as to highlight mine in a special feature box that came with my WordPress theme. It brings attention to the disclosure before the audience begins to read.
In the case of social media posts, you may include them at the end of your text, but before the link. Because of character limits, you may utilize #AffiliateLink or simply write “This is an affiliate link” to convey a disclosure.
What do I need to disclose exactly?
According to the FTC, your disclosure just needs to be “clear and conspicuous” – so basically you just need to clearly state in a way your readers can understand that you may earn money or some other form of compensation if they utilize your affiliate link.
How to phrase your affiliate link disclosures
I totally get it… I don’t like to sound stuffy either. In fact, you shouldn’t use jargon in your affiliate link disclosures at all because not all readers may be familiar with affiliate marketing or what that means.
Personally, I try to be creative with my disclosures – being careful to make sure that I always include phrasing that can be understood by any reader. And the good news is… The FTC is totally down with that and on record stating that “Advertisers have the flexibility to be creative in designing their ads, as long as necessary information is communicated effectively and the overall message conveyed to consumers is not misleading.”
Pro Tip: Please keep in mind that some affiliate programs have specific requirements for affiliate link disclosures. Amazon, for example, requires its affiliates to all use the same statement. Check out their affiliate agreement here. If you aren’t sure, you can always check your agreements with the brand you’re working with.
Want some of my favorite affiliate link disclosure examples that aren’t totally boring and full of suck?