Cover Yourself by Adding a Simple Disclaimer
Making money on your website can help pay the bills in a big way. But you need to ensure you are affiliate marketing legally. Affiliate marketing is legal in the United States - as long as you disclose it to your readers. Since it's a topic with a lot of misinformation out there, we thought it might help to have a few tips on adding an affiliate disclaimer to your website.
What is a Disclaimer?
A disclaimer is a statement that is intended to reduce or limit your risk as a blogger. It’s a way to communicate that you are making money by promoting a specific product but that you aren’t responsible if the buyer hates the product. It’s also required so that your readers understand that you are making money by promoting this product.
Where Should you put your Disclaimer?
The disclaimer should be close to the product referral. Don’t bury it on a completely separate page. It should be before the product links. For example, if you are promoting a list of your favorite books that readers can buy on Amazon, the disclaimer should be before the first book.
It’s important to note that you don’t just have to add the disclaimer to your blog posts; you also have to disclose them if you are doing email promotions.
Why do you need a Disclaimer?
If you are making money on affiliate marketing, the FTC states that you must disclose your relationship with the seller. The Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising states that you must use your honest opinion and you are subject to liability if you use false information.
Will Disclosing your Financial Relationship mean Lost Readers?
It’s unlikely that disclosing that you are making money from affiliate marketing will result in lost readers as long as you are only promoting products and services that you personally use and like. The fastest way to lose readers is to tell them a product is amazing when it’s not.
How Should you Word your Disclaimer?
You don’t need to overthink your disclaimer. Make sure you disclose the financial relationship you have with the product or service you are promoting and you should be covered.
Here is a sample from Second Income Generator: “This website contains endorsements for products and services, which means when you click on a link that we recommend, we may receive a commission. Not every link is an affiliate link, but some are.”
Disclosing that you are going to make money if your readers purchase something under your link is less likely to deter them than a dishonest product review. Want more information? Here's an article on how to make money on your blog.
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