There are several good reasons why I put together the following affiliate disclosure examples.
The first is that I remember how tough it was to develop the right wording for my disclaimers when I started in affiliate marketing.
Nothing seemed to sound right, and I had no idea if the disclosure statements I came up with were sufficient to pass the guidelines laid down by the affiliate programs I was signed up to.
The second is that now I’m a little older, a lot wiser, and much more successful at affiliate marketing than I was back then. I’m passionate about helping others succeed in their affiliate business too, and you can’t do that without proper disclosure.
Below, I’ll share a few examples of the best affiliate disclosures I’ve seen online. I’ll also offer guidance on how to use them and explain why we need disclosures in the first place.
What is an Affiliate Disclosure, and Why Do I Need One?
An affiliate disclosure is a simple statement that informs your website visitors that you receive compensation (financial or otherwise) when users purchase products after clicking a link from your site.
If your affiliate business is going to get off the ground, there’s no way of getting around this, nor should you want there to be.
After all, it’s the honourable thing to do and can create a level of transparency that plays a small but significant role in building trusting relationships between you and your readers. In turn, that trust can go a long way to boosting the number of referral commissions you earn as an affiliate.
And if there’s some bizarre reason why you don’t care about being honest, transparent, and inspiring trust in your readers?
Well, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says you need an affiliate disclosure, as do most of the top affiliate networks and programs you’ll sign up to.
What Does the FTC Say About Affiliate Disclosures?
The Federal Trade Commission Act is a US federal law. Section 5 of this act outlines what it calls “unfair and deceptive practices” concerning advertising and endorsing products.
This states that:
“An act or practice is deceptive where
A representation, omission, or practice misleads
or is likely to mislead the consumer;
A consumer’s interpretation of the representation,
omission or practice is considered reasonable
under the circumstances; and
The misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.”
Although you and I know that affiliate marketing is big business, the average Joe Smith probably doesn’t. So, when they land on your review for “Shiny New Product X” and you don’t tell them that you earn money for driving customers to buy that product, they could assume that you’re only raving about “Shiny New Product X” because you’re a big fan of it.
Of course, you may well be a fan, but you must disclose your association with that product’s manufacturers to avoid being construed as an omission that misleads.
After all, wouldn’t your perception of a product recommendation change depend on whether you knew that the person recommending it was being paid or not?
Mine certainly would, and so would plenty of others, which is why the FTC put together their Endorsement Guidelines, placing an obligation on affiliates to disclose that they make money through their referral links.
Where Should an Affiliate Disclosure be Placed?
If you were hoping to place your disclaimer on a separate page and link to it, that isn’t going to cut it.
The FTC repeatedly states that any disclosure should be as “clear and conspicuous” as the affiliate links themselves and visible on the same page as those links.
That doesn’t mean you can’t add a full disclosure elsewhere on your site. It simply means that, even if you do that, you’ll still have to put a disclosure somewhere on the page where it’s reasonable to assume that the average reader can see it.
In fact, it may be a good idea to provide extra transparency by creating a page that outlines all of the affiliate relationships your site has.
The most common places to add your affiliate disclaimer include:
- Within the post content (it’s better to do this at the beginning of your post before you share any affiliate links)
- In the sidebar
- In the footer
- In the header.
You only need to feature this disclosure once on each page with an affiliate link, but it does have to be on every page with an affiliate link.
This is especially important to remember if you’re using a leading website builder that allows you to assign custom headers, footers, and sidebars to individual posts and pages.
If you’re doing that, be sure that each header, footer, or sidebar you create still includes your affiliate disclaimer.
How to Write and Publish an Affiliate Disclaimer?
Including an affiliate disclaimer on your website doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s much better if it isn’t.
The language you use should be short, to the point, and written in Plain English so that even someone with zero knowledge of affiliate marketing or eCommerce can still understand what’s going on.
The examples I’ll share below should give you a good idea of what to include.
It isn’t enough to include it on every page with affiliate links when it comes to publishing it. You’ll also have to ensure that the disclosure is legible.
To put this another way:
Publishing a disclaimer in a microscopic font size buried at the bottom of your footer is bad.
On the other hand, publishing it in roughly the same font size as your content is good.
10 Affiliate Disclosure Examples
Here I have listed 10 examples of affiliate disclosure that can help you as a blogger.
1. Full Financial Disclosure (Review.com)
Home services review site Reviews.com offers a great example of writing a comprehensive affiliate disclosure while keeping things short and simple.
The opening sentence, which states that they make money through affiliate links, is sufficient enough to satisfy the requirements of both the FTC and most affiliate networks outside of Amazon (more of which in a moment).
Still, the brand goes a few steps further by clarifying that its editorial team isn’t influenced by how much money it can make when writing its content.
They even include a link to a page about their website monetization strategy to improve their transparency further.
2. Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer (Delightful Adventures)
Suppose you use the popular Amazon Associates program as your only affiliate income source. In that case, the service’s terms and conditions insist that you include a unique disclosure to that platform.
This can be as simple as including the single sentence, “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Gwen Leron of Delightful Adventures does a great job of including this disclaimer right at the start of her blog posts, ensuring her audience is clear about the nature of any products she recommends.
3. Making it Personal (Fried Dandelions)
Another great food-based blog that does their affiliate notice well is Fried Dandelions.
As with our first example, the initial sentence would have been enough, but Friend Dandelions’ creator, Sarah, also notes that she only recommends products she’s personally familiar with.
Remember I talked about building trust and transparency earlier? This is an effective way to do it as it assures readers that this blog isn’t just promoting any old random product to make money but recommends items she’s tried, tested, and found valuable.
4. Address Reader Concerns (Bar 101)
If you read my guide to making money in affiliate marketing without a website, you may recall that I mentioned how addressing the fears and concerns of your audience can help boost conversions.
Although I was talking about sales copy then, Bar Games 101 still does this by including the phrase “at no extra cost to you.”
It may only be five words, but this can make all the difference if a visitor is skeptical about clicking on your links because they worry it would cost them more than if they went directly to the brand or product website.
5. Keep it Simple (Joybilee Farm)
“This post contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you use these links to buy something. Thanks.”
I told you these things didn’t need to be complicated, didn’t I?
That simple sentence says everything that needs to be said, and Joybilee Farm gets bonus points for including its disclaimer at the top of every post, setting visitors’ expectations from the word go.
6. Disclosure Policy
Of all the affiliate disclosure examples I’ve shared so far, the one offered by Minnesota blogger Mikki of QUirkyandTheNerd.com is my favourite.
First, the in-post disclaimers she posts at the top of her content tick all the right boxes.
- It’s clear.
- It makes sense to even those with zero knowledge of affiliate marketing.
- It appears before the content on every single post.
It also links to Mikki’s comprehensive disclosure policy, which details everything.
Here, she covers everything from why the disclaimer exists in the first place, makes it highly personable (and therefore relatable to her audience), and alleviates fears by making it clear that clicking a link won’t cost the reader anything.
7. Use Brand-Appropriate Language (Engadget)
Engadget is a significant tech blog for people who are serious about all things technology and digital, and the language of their affiliate disclosure certainly reflects that.
It’s more formal and less chatty than some of the bloggers I’ve shown you, but it’s appropriate for Engadget’s brand.
8. Mixed Links (Money Saving Expert)
If your posts contain a mixture of affiliate and non-affiliate links, follow the affiliate disclosure example provided by UK-based personal finance website Money Saving Expert.
Here, the team uses a footnote-style approach by marking their affiliate links with an asterisk and then providing a detailed description at the bottom of the article.
Though it would still be better to provide this disclaimer further up the page, it’s a sufficient and effective way to do it.
9. Influencer Disclaimers (BaxtertheBusyBee)
It isn’t just blogs and websites that require a disclaimer. Anywhere you post an affiliate link, you should be posting a disclosure along with it.
An excellent example of how to do this comes from popular Instagrammer Baxterthebusybee, who includes a full disclosure in every post containing a link.
10. Top of the Page (Wirecutter)
Wirecutter is an enormously popular website run by the New York Times, proving that even the major players need to have their disclosures in place.
In this example, Wirecutter includes theirs right at the top of every page, including the homepage, ensuring that there’s no way their monetization efforts could ever be construed as “misleading.”
How to Create an Affiliate Disclaimer: Key Takeaways
If you came to this post because you’re now once like I was; worried and daunted about how to create an affiliate disclaimer that is FTC compliant, I hope I’ve successfully alleviated those concerns for you.
As you’ll have read above, complying with the rules set down by the Federal Trade Commission and various affiliate programs isn’t that difficult.
All it requires you to do is to add a simple sentence that lets your readers know that you earn money if they purchase after clicking on one of your links.
Make those few sentences accessible on any page with affiliate links, and you’re all set to start making money from your blog without the risk of running foul of the law.
Frequently Asked Questions About Affiliate Disclosures
Do I have to disclose affiliate links on YouTube?
Yes. Any content you create that includes affiliate links should also include an appropriate affiliate disclosure. That includes YouTube videos and other social media content.
How can you add an affiliate disclosure to WordPress?
Suppose you use the block editor or a page builder such as Elementor. Some affiliate marketing plugins will automatically add your disclosure for you. In that case, the easiest way to add your affiliate disclosures is to create a reusable block/element with your disclaimer and add it to each page containing your links.