Should I let my readers know about the comissions that I get?

23 replies
Hello,

I know that some of the blogs are clearly letting visitors know when it's an affiliate link.

I wanted to know whether I should mention that too? I know I've listed it on my about me page, but perhas I should put it directly:

"Link to HostGator Web Hosting" (I get a comission if you buy something)

or just put an affiliate link without any mention?

Which one is better for conversions?
#comissions #readers
  • Profile picture of the author AmanD
    If you want to know which of these two approaches works best for you in your niche, you're going to have to test it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author TymBolla
    I think in most niches this isn't necessary at all. Many people wouldn't even know what an "Affiliate link" means, so you'd just confuse them.
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    • Profile picture of the author salegurus
      Originally Posted by TymBolla View Post

      I think in most niches this isn't necessary at all. Many people wouldn't even know what an "Affiliate link" means, so you'd just confuse them.
      Do the letters FTC ring a bell with you?
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  • Profile picture of the author backlinkmasters
    In my opinion, it never really hurts to just say that you get a small commission if they purchase something through your link, but I also believe it really isn't necessary either in most cases.

    Usually there isn't a noticeable difference in the page whether the user accessed it through your affiliate link or just from a regular link.
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememan
    Or you could create a page called earnings disclaimer. That tells people if they click any links on the site, you may earn a commission. Thinking about it! - I must do. Makes it clear to people up-front. Thanks for the reminder!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      When it's appropriate, I put it in my About and Disclaimer pages. Then I simply identify affiliate links with (affiliate). It's a null link that, if hovered over, displays a message that if they buy, I may get a benefit.
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      • Profile picture of the author talfighel
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        When it's appropriate, I put it in my About and Disclaimer pages. Then I simply identify affiliate links with (affiliate). It's a null link that, if hovered over, displays a message that if they buy, I may get a benefit.
        Most affiliates do this and add the link at the bottom of their home page.
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        • Profile picture of the author discrat
          My very first initial contact with Prospects I let them know that periodically I will suggest Products that I feel could very much help them. And that I do get a little commission from this which I put back into my business and it does enable me to occasionally splurge on some things like a new pair of Manolo's for my wife.



          - Robert Andrew
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by sunoy14 View Post

            I read that affiliate link disclosure is going to be a legal requirement. I will go with Carl Davies. Creating a confident earnings disclaimer can be a good thing. You won't have to put (aff link) next to your affiliate links everytime. And you will also be abiding by the rules.
            True enough, but like many of the things I do which I don't technically have to, I have a reason.

            By consistently using that null link (clicking it doesn't do anything except change the color to show it's been clicked) next to the real link (which is either a naked url or the product name or description), I believe I create a form of "banner blindness", where people don't pay any attention to whether it's an affiliate link or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author teeowl
    It should be in your disclaimer page.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunoy14
    I read that affiliate link disclosure is going to be a legal requirement. I will go with Carl Davies. Creating a confident earnings disclaimer can be a good thing. You won't have to put (aff link) next to your affiliate links everytime. And you will also be abiding by the rules.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by mandos123 View Post

    Should I let my readers know about the comissions that I get?
    Yes, definitely, in my opinion.

    People love openness and honesty. They respect you for it. And since affiliate income is largely determined by how much your subscribers/visitors trust and respect you, that's a huge plus.

    Also - and this is the main point, perhaps - doing so enables you to provide express and detailed reassurance that nobody will ever spend a penny more by buying through your affiliate-link than they would by buying "directly" from the vendor. And if you don't tell them that, some people will misunderstand it and that will cost you some commissions. So it's pretty important.

    Originally Posted by mandos123 View Post

    Which one is better for conversions?
    In all my niches, over the years, I've noticed that the more information I give people about "affiliate marketing", and how it works, and why and how I'm doing it, and what I spend that money on, the more sales I make.

    To me, it feels pretty much a "black and white" issue.

    I explain it openly on my site (for people who look, anyway) and I give a much longer-than-normal "affiliate disclosure", very much "in my own words". I then explain it again, in even more detail, in the free report I offer subscribers in exchange for their email addresses. And yet again with the first promotion. And again, periodically, after that, too, in my email series. The more often and in more detail I do this, the better. I'm making it sound like a big and important thing to me, talking about it here, because it is a big and important thing, for me. It's really helpful to me.


    .
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Since 2009, the FTC has specified affiliate disclaimers in reviews, articles, blogs, and websites must fully disclose material connections (ie payments or free products) and be frequent, clear, and conspicuous.

      FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials | Federal Trade Commission
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    • Profile picture of the author IrisMKH
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      In all my niches, over the years, I've noticed that the more information I give people about "affiliate marketing", and how it works, and why and how I'm doing it, and what I spend that money on, the more sales I make.
      Do you have a separate page for it? I only wrote a bit of explanation on my about page, but you make me think that I should dedicate more to it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by IrisMKH View Post

        Do you have a separate page for it? I only wrote a bit of explanation on my about page, but you make me think that I should dedicate more to it.
        I do, actually. I don't know that it's "necessary": maybe on an "about" page is just as good?

        Originally Posted by TymBolla View Post

        I think in most niches this isn't necessary at all. Many people wouldn't even know what an "Affiliate link" means, so you'd just confuse them.
        You'll go a long way, with that attitude: possibly even right into court.

        Be aware, also, that the FTC can exercise control over your access to your domain-name registrations, if you use international TLD's, whether you live and/or do business in the US or not (as all those offshore poker sites found out a few years when they could suddenly no longer use their .com domains, which were seized by US legal/regulatory authorities).

        .
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    If you are endorsing a product or service as an affiliate, the FTC wants you to disclose this within the endorsement itself. A separate disclaimer page isn't good enough since nobody reads those.

    So if you say "I've had a great experience using X web hosting" and then provide an affiliate link, technically you need to disclose the relationship.
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  • Profile picture of the author GregSCN
    You can just add a small terms in your footer stating that some links contained your blog you will receive commission etc, covers you mate
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  • Profile picture of the author Les Harvey
    Yes you should have a separate disclaimer page on your blog, and also in any emails promotions that you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author NeedBucksNow
    Being as honest with your readers as possible, is always the best bet. I think it is better when you can tell people I made $321 using this method & you can too kind of thing. There are so many scams online that most people are just looking for something that actually works & when you do this, you should make even better commissions that you can tell them about later. I recently added a Facebook page to my sidebar in order to update people on what I'm doing & will probably do the same thing as it goes
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  • Profile picture of the author iansinfo
    your disclaimer page is a legal requirement and that covers you however I usually though not always add a line down the bottom of the page indicating that I may get a small commission if they make a purchase
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    I don't seem to worry about these things. Most people online are not stupid. The great majority of people will know you are an affiliate marketer but if you have given them value, most won't care about your commissions.

    Too much thought. People can see you and feel you even behind your computer no matter what your website says and what your picture looks like.

    Stop worrying about getting this marketing stuff perfect because you never will. I never will & I am okay with that.

    My point is...

    If you are 'naturally' sincere in life, your marketing will reflect that and people will naturally trust you.

    However, if you are a more shady type of character in your personal offline life, but come here and try to be more 'transparent' in order to get everyone to like, know and trust you, it will back fire.

    What ever you are in the inside has to reflect on your outside. It just has too.!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
    Of course I'm not a lawyer,...

    On all my sites I place this text in the footer so it's displayed on all the pages throughout my site:

    "Legal Stuff: Material connections may not be made known at every single advertisement or affiliate link. You should assume there is a material connection and we may receive compensation from anything you purchase as a result of visiting this website and that we may be paid merely by you clicking any link."

    If you don't know how to edit your themes footer, there's a free plugin that will allow you to add anything: https://wordpress.org/plugins/add-to-footer/

    I also make mention of it on my terms of service page.

    If you search Google for: ftc affiliate disclosure

    Or search for: Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    You will find more information.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoboyz01
    As everyone else has been pointing out, there are valid legal reasons for pointing out your affiliate connection to a product. And, I have seen this affiliation expressed in different ways. The one that turns me off most to a product is the one where the person posts a tiny 'affiliate earnings disclaimer' link on the bottom of a blog post. It's like they are trying to minimize it so much that it's not noticed. And, if they are hiding that, what else are they hiding? Is the product worth anything at all? Being upfront about affiliation is likely the best solution.
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