Must I disclose Affiliate Links? Won't it turn people away?
Disclosing affiliate links. Is it necessary?
As I delve a little further into building my blog site, and even further with the courses here at WA, I realized that I needed to ensure that I was doing everything by the book. A simple search confirmed what I had thought, that I am required by law to disclose affiliate links on each page that I have one. (FTC rules which, while are U.S. Based, still reach into Canada if you plan on doing any business with U.S. customers - better safe than sorry. I cannot speak beyond North America at this point)
I also found this post by kmclean where she discusses this very issue here at WA.
The question becomes...
How do I write reviews are articles about products and still ensure that people feel positive about what I am writing? I mean if people KNOW that I am going to be benefitting from this link, will they still believe what I say?
Found a great article here by Brian Clark at CopyBlogger about some ideas for how to tell people that you have affiliate links, and will be earning money from those links if they purchase.
Some of Brian's great points:
- Be HONEST. Don't apologize for being an affiliate, be proud, and put it right out there. Go for something bold and clear and straightforward. "And you're darn tootin this is an affiliate link! I love to find out about amazing products, and write about them for you, AND I want to keep doing it, so these links help me pay my bills!"
- Don't be AFRAID of your audience. You have value in what you are offering, and your writing has brought them there! Maybe you have an email list that keeps you in touch with them. Get to know them! They in turn will get to know you, and that fear will never exist. And lastly, the point that really hit home with me...
- Find the RIGHT audience. Brian says it best "And if it turns out that the majority of your audience actually does mind you making some money for your efforts while delivering honest reviews and recommendations…
Perhaps you’ve attracted the wrong audience."
Go Boldly forth and write, share, be genuine and your audience will LOVE you!
(The Canadian girl with the scary drill)