How to Disclose Affiliate Links: Stay FTC-Compliant

Do you want to make affiliate marketing part of your business? You need to learn how to disclose affiliate links to comply with the law.

How to Disclose Affiliate Links | Hannah B Flute

Plus, you can avoid breaking any rules of specific affiliate programs related to disclaimers. Keep reading to learn the basics of affiliate disclosures.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is an Affiliate Link Disclosure?

An affiliate disclosure is a short sentence that tells your readers or followers about the partnership you have with certain brands you link to. The disclosure doesn’t have to be super long or complicated.

It just needs to get across the fact that your content includes affiliate links.

Importance of Disclosing Affiliate Links

For one, it’s a legal requirement to disclose affiliate links. If you live in the US or have followers who do, you must comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

According to the FTC, you have to disclose any sort of sponsorship or affiliate partnership.

Not only that, but it’s just good practice to disclose when you could get paid for a sale you generate. Then, you can build and maintain trust with your audience, so you can build your business.

How to Disclose Affiliate Links

Whether you publish blog posts or share affiliate links on social media, you NEED to know how to disclose affiliate links properly. Now, I’m NOT a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice.

However, there are a few things I’ve learned about affiliate disclosures. If you have any questions, contact a lawyer.

When in Doubt, Disclose

If you’re ever not sure whether you should disclose a link, just disclose it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

You may not always need to disclose a link, such as if you’re promoting your own products or services. But if there’s ever any questions, just add a disclaimer.

Disclose First, Link Later

When it comes to blog posts, emails, and other long-form content, you have to include a disclaimer before the link. That way, readers will see the disclosure before they have a chance to click.

It may seem annoying to disclose the affiliate link first. But it’s insincere to include a disclosure after, especially if it’s multiple paragraphs later.

Keep the Wording Clear

The next thing you’ll want to do is make the disclaimer easy to understand. Keep it short and avoid super technical language. Scroll to the top of this post for an example of how I do disclaimers.

That way, you can avoid confusing people or coming off as scamming.

Use Relevant Hashtags

If you want to use links on social media, you can use the #ad before the link as a basic disclaimer. You can also use the #sponsored or #affiliate.

The #ad is a good option because it short. That means it won’t take up a ton of characters in your Pinterest description or Instagram bio.

Link to a Longer Privacy Policy

I’d also recommend adding a privacy policy page to your website and linking to it in any blog post that uses affiliate links. This is required if any of your affiliate links are for products on Amazon.

But even if you don’t use Amazon Associates, it never hurts to cover your bases. You can explain your partnerships in more detail than in a short paragraph.

Is It Illegal to Not Disclose Affiliate Links?

Not disclosing your affiliate links is illegal, at least in the US. Even if it’s not illegal where you live, it’s unethical.

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a blog or share affiliate products on social media, you need to know how to disclose affiliate links. Luckily, it’s not too difficult once you get started.

If you want to learn more about how to be successful with affiliate marketing, enroll in Affiliate Marketing Superstars. I’ve been going through the course, and I can’t recommend it enough.

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