We understand reading through the latest Amazon Affiliate disclosure guidelines can immediately make your eyes glaze over. Luckily, we're reading it for you! And breaking it down in easy to understand terms.
Let's get started!
- Why is it important?
- How to identify yourself
- Where should the affiliate disclosure appear in my post?
- Examples of affiliate disclosure best practices
Why is it important to follow Amazon Affiliate Disclosure Guidelines?
It's important to be straightforward with your readers. Let them know upfront that while you absolutely love this cute little heart-shaped cake pan, you also make a (very) small amount from that purchase. Most readers understand that developing quality content takes time and are happy to make this small gesture in your favor.
It's the rules
The chances are slim Amazon is going to single out your blog for not following the guidelines, but if they do, you will be banned. Banned in a serious way from participating in their affiliate program. For many bloggers, Amazon's affiliate income is a great way to supplement site revenue and jeopardizing that arrangement will put that revenue at risk.
In our minds, it’s easier to follow the rules and know you have nothing to worry about.
How to identify yourself
According to Amazon, your phrasing needs to be close to or in the same spirit of their suggested line for identifying yourself as an affiliate:
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
And don't take it any further than that. Don't give readers the impression that you are sponsored or closely associated with Amazon, misrepresenting or inflating the relationship. Basically, don't go telling everyone Jeff is your uncle and you get special deals.
A second and important piece is slightly anecdotal but substantiated by multiple bloggers who have received this notice from Amazon, even though it does not appear in their terms:
You cannot offer any person or entity any consideration, reward, or incentive for using your links, or request support through use of your links (for example, by referring to proceeds from orders going to a particular charity or organization, or promoting use of your links to support you or your company).
In simple terms, you cannot say ‘Thanks for supporting my blog!‘ or ‘All affiliate proceeds go toward feeding homeless cats!‘ You are in those terms, incentivizing the reader to click.
Where should the affiliate disclosure appear in my post?
This is the source of much debate. According to Amazon, here's where it should be placed:
On your Site or any other location where Amazon may authorize your display or other use of Program Content
You got that, right?
Kidding! It's as clear as mud, so we turn to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for some additional guidance. Sounds fancy, right? Not at all. It's super helpful and written in a way that is easy to understand.
The FTC has some really great guidelines for endorsement disclosures and best practices across a variety of situations and publishing platforms, including blogs, social, video and more.
According to the FTC, this is where the disclosure should appear in your post:
As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. The closer it is to your recommendation, the better. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a “terms of service” agreement – isn’t good enough. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. Consumers should be able to notice the disclosure easily. They shouldn’t have to hunt for it.
Clear and conspicuous, we can do that.
Examples of affiliate disclosure best practices
It's always easier with a real-world example to follow along with. Let's use Pinch of Yum as our example, where they occasionally share affiliate product recommendations. Here are a few ways Pinch of Yum does affiliate disclosures.
Disclaimer right at the top
First things first, here's our affiliate disclaimer. Clearly communicates to readers that what they are about to read most definitely contains affiliate links.
Disclaimer in the recipe card
If you're using the Tasty Links plus Tasty Recipes power combo, you'll have the option of adding your favorite equipment directly to the recipe card. When that is the case, we use the topmost note to call out those products as affiliate links.
Automatically insert affiliate disclosures
If you're using Tasty Links, you'll also have the option of automatically adding your affiliate disclosures after each link or above the post content. Either option is in compliance with both Amazon and FTC Guidelines and makes affiliate links a breeze.
Here's how that looks in a post and within Tasty Links settings.
Hopefully, we've shed the light on Amazon Affiliate disclosures for you. Keep in mind, disclosures don't need to be complicated or all over the place. Clearly communicate with your readers and they'll give you the clicks you're hoping for.
Have other questions about Amazon Affiliate links? Let us know!
Interested in Tasty Links?
If you’ve been tossing around the idea of giving Tasty Links a try, automatic affiliate disclosures might just make you pull the trigger! We’re always looking for new ways to improve Tasty Links, and you can be confident that we’ll keep supporting you on your blogging journey.
Take a look at all the amazing features Tasty Links has to offer, and don't forget about our 14-day money-back guarantee – trying Tasty Links is completely risk-free!
& Check out our latest blog on the 5 Best WordPress Plugins for Affiliate Link Management.