How to write an affiliate disclosure for your blog posts

Learn how to write an affiliate disclosure for your blog posts - the right way! Get important tips from a lawyer to protect your blog legally while making money from home with affiliate marketing.

How to write an affiliate disclosure for your blog posts

If you are promoting affiliate products on your blog, you need to make sure you’re doing it the right way. Your affiliate disclosure has to keep the FTC happy and be written in a way that your readers can easily understand.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at how to write a legally compliant affiliate disclosure for your blog posts.

Before we begin, please let me clarify something.

I have been helping thousands of bloggers and online entrepreneurs with courses and legal templates for websites and blogs but please keep in mind that although I am a lawyer specialised in International and EU Law (LLB, LLM, PhD) by profession, this article is only meant for educational and informational purposes. 

It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I will not be held liable for any damages or losses caused by acting or failing to act on the ground of the content of this article. Should your circumstances require, I encourage you to seek legal advice through other avenues. Please read my full disclaimer for further information.

What you will learn today is extremely important and you will use it over and over again so you may want to pin this post for later.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in US$.

What are affiliate links?

 

Affiliate links are supplied to bloggers and influencers by a company or brand. These links lead to a specific product being referenced or recommended. Any time those links are clicked, they get tracked and commissions are paid to the marketer if any sales are generated

Many companies rely on their affiliate programs to boost their sales. It’s a brilliant way to reach a bigger audience. The blogger does the promotional work for them and takes a small percentage of the sale. It’s a beautiful thing!

If you are brand new to affiliate marketing and want to learn more, check out this helpful post: How to Succeed at Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing and the law

 

Affiliate marketing almost sounds too good to be true! But let’s be clear. It’s not as easy as just putting a link on your site and collecting the cash.

You are required by law to disclose ANY personal relationship, compensation, affiliation, or other conflicts of interest that you promote on your blog.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission – the folks in charge of making sure people do business in a fair way) has guidelines in place that regulate affiliate marketing to ensure honesty and transparency.

To comply with these guidelines, you need to be upfront and honest about any affiliation you may have with the product or company you are suggesting your audience buys from.

Some affiliate programs also require their affiliates to disclose some things in a specific way.

It’s important to fully read a company’s affiliate agreement and terms and conditions before you begin promoting their products.

My mind instantly goes to the ever so popular Amazon Associates program. This can be a very lucrative affiliate program for bloggers.

But their disclosure requirements are very specific. If you do not comply it’s very likely you’ll be removed from their affiliate program.

You are required by law to disclose ANY personal relationship, compensation, affiliation, or other conflicts of interest that you promote on your blog.

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How to properly disclose affiliate links

 

If you choose to use affiliate links on your blog, you must have a legitimate disclosure statement.

This is easier said than done. Many think just saying, “This post contains affiliate links” is a sufficient disclosure.

But it does not cover you legally. Your readers might not know what affiliate links are. Since the statement above isn’t entirely clear to all readers, it does not comply with FTC guidelines.

Your affiliate disclosure must follow these guidelines:

  • The disclosure must be easy to find on the page – the reader should not have to search for it.
  • Your disclosure should be easy to read (meaning, not in a tiny, pale font your audience may not even notice).
  • It should be worded in a way that your average reader will fully comprehend.
  • It must be located before any affiliate links appear, and as close to the link as possible.
  • It needs to be visible on every page or post where an affiliate link appears.
  • Your disclosure statement should also link to your full disclosure policy page (more on this below).

Here is an example of a fully legal affiliate disclosure:

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in US$.”

It’s simple and straightforward enough for anyone to understand without needing to consult with a lawyer.

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Full Disclosure Policy Page

 

Your blog should also have a detailed disclosure policy page. It’s on this page where you must go into detail about your complete policy for affiliate links, sponsored content, or any brand collaborations you may have.

This is an important page all bloggers should have to be legally compliant. Not only that, many companies won’t work with you if you do not have one. It also makes your site look more professional and trustworthy.

How to Create Disclosure Statements & Pages

 

So now you know what affiliate disclosures are and why you need them. But that doesn’t help you actually bring them to fruition.

One thing you definitely DO NOT want to do is copy and paste someone else’s disclosures. This is highly illegal and may not even be relevant to your blog.

Depending on where you live, you may have a completely different legislature than the person you’re copying from. Not only that, every site offers different services, products, and advice. You need to make sure your policies reflect YOUR site, YOUR location, and its specific needs.

If you’re not sure how to properly create a full disclosure page specific to your site, you can do so quickly and easily with my Affiliate Disclosure Course and Template.

You’ll have access to a fully legal affiliate disclosure template as well as a template for a full disclosure/disclaimer page. It also offers a helpful bonus section to guide you through making your blog or website compliant with the specifics of the Amazon Associate program.

P.S. If you haven’t set up ANY legal pages on your blog, you may want to check out the popular Legal Bundle Value Pack, where you’ll have access to both the affiliate disclosure template and the full disclosure/disclaimer page template. This course is for you if you are starting from scratch and will need multiple templates (privacy policy, terms/conditions/disclosures) before even tackling affiliate disclosures.

If you’re not sure if you are blogging legally or have no idea where to start, check out this post below to guide you through what you absolutely need:
4 Critical Legal Pages You Must Have on Your Blog

Disclosing affiliate links on social media

 

Affiliate disclosures don’t start and end within your blog posts. If you are promoting affiliate links on social media, you need to disclose that fact as well.

While social media platforms do have some disclosure policies built-in, it’s important to not rely solely on them. You don’t need to provide a full disclosure statement, but you do still need to let your viewers know you have something to gain from the suggestions you’re making.

Since we are limited in the number of characters available on social media posts, the easiest way to disclose affiliations and sponsorships is to use hashtags.

You can add:

#affiliatelink
#affiliate
#sponsored
#ad

You can also simply say “this is an affiliate link”. But unless your audience is other bloggers or influencers, don’t shorten the hashtags to something like #aff (which I see all the time). Other bloggers may know what that means, but the average person likely does not and you don’t want to be deceptive.

Affiliate disclosures don't start and end within your blog posts. If you are promoting affiliate links on social media, you need to disclose that fact as well.

These templates are great for bloggers based in US, UK, Canada, Australia, EU, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and several more countries!

Disclosing a sponsored post

 

Do you need to disclose sponsored posts? Absolutely, you do!

Much like using affiliate links, the same legal guidelines apply to sponsored posts on your blog. Even if you do not have an affiliate link within that post, you need to disclose that the content is being sponsored by the company in question.

Here is an example:

“This is a sponsored post by __________.  All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal views and experiences. See my full disclosure for more information.”

And then link to your full disclosure page, as you would within your affiliate disclosure statement.

Sponsored posts are a great way to monetize your blog. Just make sure you’re being upfront and honest with your audience to avoid any legal issues.

If you post a lot of sponsored content, you may want to make sure you’re doing so correctly with my Sponsored Post Agreement Template.

Sponsored posts are a great way to monetize your blog. Just make sure you're being upfront and honest with your audience to avoid any legal issues.

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Creating a Legal Disclosure for Affiliate Links

 

You should now have a much better idea of how to properly disclose your affiliate links on your blog. Not only is it the law, but it is important to build trust with your readers by being as transparent as possible.

To many, the legal part of blogging can seem tedious and overwhelming. But taking the time to do it properly will not only protect you but will also make you look more professional. Because of this, brands will be much more likely to approve you as an affiliate for their products.

To take your affiliate marketing to the next level and make passive income from home, you can start with these FREE resources:

RELATED POSTS TO HOW TO WRITE AN AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE FOR YOUR BLOG POSTS

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How to write an affiliate disclosure for your blog posts
Lucrezia Iapichino

Lucrezia Iapichino

Hi there! I’m the co-founder of Blogging for New Bloggers® and Tinylovebug® + an international lawyer, university lecturer & GDPR expert (LLB, LLM, PhD), and co-host of the Facebook Group Blogging for New Bloggers (25K+ members). I use the combination of my research, teaching, and blogging experience + over 15 years’ legal expertise to show new bloggers, like you, how to blog profitably and legally. I've helped 10,000+ bloggers start and run a successful blog. Whether you want to grow your traffic or make money blogging, I will help you achieve your full potential! Take my FREE course - Blogging for New Bloggers Fast Track or my FREE  Legal Course for Bloggers - Legally Blogs™ and set yourself apart from the average new blogger!

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