Having an affiliate link is a great way to earn extra money by referring people to a specific product or service. Often this is done by using social media. You can ask your followers to click the link in your bio or swipe up on your Instagram story. If they do, they’ll be using your affiliate link.
If you do this often enough or in the wrong way, it can come across as money-hungry, which is why we wanted to discuss everything you need to know about affiliate link disclosure.
Below you read about how to disclose your affiliate links without coming across the wrong way. We will teach you why disclosure is necessary, what it is, and how you can use it to your advantage.
What Is Affiliate Link Disclosure?
It is commonly known that when an affiliate link is on your website, your social media posts or anywhere else, there’s likely a commission made. When you have an affiliate link, you must let your audience know that you will be making money if they use your link.
You also have to disclose if you will be making a commission from sponsored posts, endorsements, or the like. Essentially, the disclosing of an affiliate link is letting your audience know that you will be making money from their purchase, but it will cost them absolutely nothing.
If you leave links and sponsored posts undisclosed, you have the chance of getting into legal trouble. Disclosure of affiliate links was created by the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that business is handled reasonably online. By disclosing it, you’re protecting yourself, as well as the people using your link.
Why Should You Be Using It?
Some people don’t like the idea of having to disclose when they are making a commission off a link, sponsorship, or endorsement. With that being said, there are important reasons why this practice is in place.
Disclosing affiliate links e allows social media influencers and marketers to have an even playing field. This can establish trust between the audience and the person with the affiliate link. Most people would rather be aware that by using that specific link someone is getting paid.
Trust is incredibly important between influencers, their audience, and marketers. Being as transparent as possible and disclosing the fact that you will make a commission off a link or post is a great way to build trust.
There are some easy to follow general guidelines when it comes to affiliate link disclosure. For starters, make sure that everything is disclosed with clear and concise communication. You can do this by simply adding “AD” on your post, but we’ll get more into the other methods later on.
It’s best to be direct and honest with your audience and website visitors. This ensures that there is no miscommunication or misinterpretation between you and them. This will prevent legal troubles and can save you money in the long run.
Best Methods For You To Try
Now that you’re aware of the general guidelines, what an affiliate link disclosure is, and why you should be using it, we wanted to give you some of the best methods that you can easily try when you have an affiliate link, sponsored post, or an endorsement.
Put The Disclosure In The Proper Place
One of the most important methods that everyone should be following when it comes to disclosing affiliate links is putting the disclosure in multiple places. Let’s say you run a blog that has an affiliate link within the blog post. It is in your best interest to put a disclosure at the beginning of the blog post and the end. If you want to be extra thorough, you can put a disclaimer within the blog near the product or service you have an affiliate link for.
If you have a sponsored post on Instagram, you should start the post with “#ad” and/or “sponsored”. This can be done if you’re releasing content through YouTube as well. You can add text on the screen, allowing people to know that what they’re about to see is a sponsored post or you can also mention it at the beginning of the video as well as the end.
Be Clear With What You’re Doing
You also want to make sure you’re being very clear about what you’re doing. You don’t want to beat around the bush and not be upfront with your audience and web page visitors. Being honest about your affiliates makes it easy for them to understand that you will be getting a commission from their purchase or just them clicking on the link.
There are certain words you want to make sure you’re using when writing your disclaimer. You may want to avoid the word “affiliate” because not everyone knows what that is. Consider using the words “paid”, “compensation,” or “commission” so that it is clear and concise to your audience as to what is happening.
If you’re not entirely sure what you should say, there are plenty of templates available online that give you a general idea of what you can write or what can serve as a script.
Something that’s often missed when it comes to being clear and concise with an affiliate link disclosure is making sure that it is visible on all different types of devices. After you post the disclosure, check to make sure that it’s visible and legible on computers, mobile devices, and tablets.
Make Sure You’re Proactive
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not you need to put a disclosure on a post. It is in your best interest to post one if you’re unsure. This can help you avoid legal troubles, and again, builds trust with your audience. If you don’t want to put a disclosure every time, there are a few ways that can help you determine whether or not your post needs one.
If you are being paid via a sponsorship, a review, an affiliate link, or an endorsement, you must disclose that information. If you have a blog or website, you must disclose that you will be making a commission wherever your affiliate link is used. This means if you have a blog post that doesn’t have your affiliate link on it, you do not need to disclose anything.
You should also be proactive when it comes to tracking the click-through rate. If you have your disclosures available to read via a link, the click-through rate will show whether or not people are clicking on it. If the click-through rate is low, you may need to make the link more visible.
Where Should I Post Disclosures?
If you’re wondering where you should be placing affiliate link disclosures, we are here to help. They need to be obvious to the viewer. This means you shouldn’t be hiding it within text or making it hard to find. If you try to hide a disclosure, it’s showing your audience and website visitors that you’re not entirely truthful. On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission may not be okay with the disclosure being non-transparent.
The best place to put a disclosure link is at the top of a post. Putting it at the start is a way to ensure that it is one of the first things people see. It shows honesty and transparency, which your audience and the FTC will love. Also, it’s a good idea to repeat the disclosure at the end of your post as well.
When you have a blog post, most of the time there is a call-to-action at the end of the post. This is a great place to put a link disclosure. Also, don’t be afraid to put a disclosure several times throughout a post. You can do this on a YouTube video by mentioning it at the beginning of the video as well as having a written disclosure in the description section of that video.
Using affiliate link disclosures is a great way to build trust and authenticity between you, the marketer, and your audience. This can help create an overall better relationship and help you earn even more money. We are hoping that with the methods above and learning a bit more about why you need to use an affiliate link disclosure, you’ll be on your way to using them where and when they’re required.
This is a great way to stay out of legal trouble and it takes practically no work on your part! Remember that it’s OK to post your disclosure of your affiliate link in multiple areas of one post. This will increase the chances of your audience reading it as long as it’s clear and concise. Using a disclosure is never a bad thing and when it doubt, should always be posted!