BEWARE of Posting Affiliate Links on Your Blog (Part 1)

This may sound rather funny but it is true: FTC is planning to crack down on bloggers, licit and illicit, who use affiliate links in their posts, UNLESS the affiliate either discloses the fact that he is receiving compensation through that affiliate link OR proves it through “scientific means” that the product has indeed helped him (in case of a make money product, a Paypal screenshot might do ;) ).

Here are some links where you can get more information:

FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments (notice the irony: just below this article you would see Google ads promoting money making schemes, with no disclosure or proof whatsoever!)

Here is the common man’s perspective:

FTC Going After Bloggers = Epic Fail

But probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard is, the US government is trying to protect us, “internet users”… from cookies???

Cookies Be BANNED!

Notwithstanding the fact that most modern day browsers are sophisticated enough to protect the average internet surfer from cookies, good or bad!

When will government realize that people are NOT stupid? :D

Just reminds me of Paypal trying to freeze accounts of internet marketers for selling resell rights products, when they don’t even know the meaning of the term “resell rights”! ;)

True, to an extent we internet marketers ARE responsible for what we promote, and to that extent, I think the regulation is fine! At least it would rid people of the 100s of tainted affiliate pitches that flood their inboxes daily! But beyond that, I guess this is just a superfluous regulation!

Personally, I don’t use too many affiliate links and on the footers of pages where I have affiliate ads, I include a link to a standard disclaimer statement. But guess that is not going to be enough now. Looks like now you would have to make your declaimer statement bigger and bolder than your affiliate endorsement (which in turns means a considerable drop in conversions)!

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: After posting the above article on FTC cracking down on affiliate bloggers, I received a ton of comments and emails, lol. One subscriber emailed me asking whether the rule applies to static websites as well, while another said she deleted her blog post containing the affiliate link!

Well folks, from what I am seeing, FTC is planning to start with blogs because they are much more popular than static sites. But I am sure that over time it may just apply to non-bloggers as well! Changing your content publishing platform is not the key!

I would suggest that you include a short disclosure statement underneath the blog posts containing affiliate links, and also create a separate page with a longer disclaimer and link to that page from the footer of your website.

Below I have posted two sample “disclosure” statements you can use on your blogs. The short one should be used just under the blog post containing the affiliate link, while the longer one maybe linked to through a separate page. Hopefully it helps! :)

NOTE: Replace “Blogname” with the name of your blog, and “productname” with the name of the respective affiliate product!

———————–
Long Form Disclosure:

“Blogname hereby discloses the fact that it contains endorsements for third party products, and that it receives compensation for such endorsements. Although Blogname is interested in presenting you with advertisements for quality products and services, it cannot spend the time to do the due diligence it takes to ensure that only reliable services and products are advertised with us.

So you should understand that Blogname does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the advertisements in our blog or the quality of any products, information or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any advertisement.

Blogname encourages you to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product, whether it is offered here or anywhere else for that matter, before purchasing. Please use your own judgment and carefully check out those products that interest you.”

NOTE: If yours is a “make money product”, you may also want to add the following:

“The testimonials and examples used are exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.  Each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation.  As with any business endeavor, there is an inherent risk of loss of capital and there is no guarantee that you will earn any money.”
——————–

—————————–
Short Form Disclosure
:

“Disclosure: Blogname hereby discloses that it is affiliated to the productname and that it receives compensation for the above endorsement. However, Blogname does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of the above endorsement, neither would it be responsible for any consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from the use of this product. Reader is asked to do their own due diligence before purchasing productname!”

NOTE: If yours is a “make money product”, you may also want to add the following:

“The testimonials and examples used are exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.  Each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation.  As with any business endeavor, there is an inherent risk of loss of capital and there is no guarantee that you will earn any money.”
————————

As with any “template”, you should customize the above disclaimer statements to suit your blog, product and niche! ;)

There is no need to stop blogging because of this rule. Personally I think FTC’s proposed rule doesn’t hold enough water to get it legalized; not to mention that it would be quite an impossible task for FTC to crack down on hundreds of thousands of bloggers, with hundreds more cropping up almost everyday! But we bloggers should take the necessary precautions should the contrary happen!

Oh, and here is one personal suggestion. Whenever writing an affiliate product review, try to make it an honest review and not a biased one, okay? Think about it, if you were the consumer reading the “tainted” affiliate product review and purchased the affiliate product only to get disappointed, would you feel very nice about the affiliate who wrote that review?

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ten − 3 =