How to Clearly Disclose Affiliate Links on Your Website

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and purchase, I may earn a commission. Rest assured, I only recommend products and services I believe in and think you will find valuable.

Disclosing affiliate relationships on your website is not just ethical but is often required by law.

The lack of transparency can erode trust with the audience, potentially leading to a loss of credibility and a diminished reputation for the website or the individual behind it.

Ethically, clear disclosure is essential to maintain honesty and openness with users, allowing them to make informed decisions about the content and recommendations they encounter on the site.

From a legal standpoint, many jurisdictions require the disclosure of affiliate relationships to ensure transparency and protect consumers from deceptive practices. Non-disclosure may result in penalties, fines, or legal action by regulatory authorities.

In this article, we’ll explore three effective ways to clearly disclose affiliate links on your website, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Affiliate Disclaimer in the Footer

Many affiliate websites include a clear and concise disclaimer in the footer of their pages. This disclaimer often states that the site contains affiliate links, and if users make a purchase through those links, the site owner will earn a commission. The language is straightforward and placed prominently on each page, ensuring visitors are aware of the affiliate relationships.

For example:

This website contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through these links.

Online examples:

Pros

  • Visibility: A footer disclaimer is on every page, ensuring widespread visibility.
  • Simplicity: It is a straightforward and easy-to-implement method.

Cons

  • Potential Oversight: Visitors might miss the disclosure if they don’t scroll down to the footer.
  • Less Prominent: Some users may not notice or pay attention to footers.

Dedicated Affiliate Disclosure Page

Some affiliate websites create a dedicated page that thoroughly explains their affiliate relationships, policies, and how commissions are earned. This page is often linked in the website’s main navigation or in the footer. The content on this page provides transparency about the nature of affiliate links and reinforces the site owner’s commitment to honesty and integrity.

For example:

Affiliate Disclosure: Our website participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites. This comes at no extra cost to you. Advertisers or affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

Online examples:

Pros

  • Comprehensive Information: A dedicated page allows for in-depth explanations about affiliate relationships.
  • Educational: It can be an educational resource for visitors curious about the website’s monetization methods.

Cons

  • Accessibility: Users may not actively seek out the disclosure page.
  • Extra Click: Requires an additional click for users to access the information.

In-Content Affiliate Disclosures

Affiliate websites commonly include in-content disclosures within articles or product reviews. These disclosures are strategically placed near affiliate links or at the beginning of a post to inform users about the affiliate relationship. The language is typically concise and designed to be easily understood by the average reader.

For example:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase, we may earn a commission. Rest assured, we only recommend products we believe in and think you will find valuable.

Online example:

Pros

  • Contextual Reference: Placing disclosures within the content ensures users see them in the relevant content.
  • Reader Engagement: Encourages readers to consider the transparency of the content.

Cons

  • Potential Distraction: Too many in-content disclosures can distract from the main content.
  • Placement Challenges: Determining the right placement without affecting the user experience can be tricky.

Take Away

Choosing the right method to disclose affiliate links depends on your website’s design, user experience, and your audience. Combining these methods may offer the best approach, ensuring that your audience is well-informed about your affiliate relationships while maintaining a positive user experience.

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Alisha McFarland Face Circle

About the Author | Alisha McFarland

As someone who has been earning a living in the technology industry since 1998, I've seen and done a few things. It's been a fun ride most of the time but mistakes and missteps are seldom enjoyable.

That's why I chose to use my experience and knowledge to be an objective, professional opinion to anyone who may be struggling with what they should do to refine their website. 

If you are curious how your website can do more for your business, I’m here to help with simple and effective strategies.