A.K.A. Affiliate Disclosure
1. Why I have affiliate links
There are certain products and services which I use and know can help grow your business profit. These are products which I would recommend even if they didn’t pay me – simply because I know they’ll help you, my reader and (past, present future) client.
However it’s bad business to leave money on the table. If I’m going to recommend something that I know will help you, why shouldn’t I also receive a commission? As long as I’m ethically disclosing, there’s no reason! And you should too – point 3 covers this in more detail.
2. Why it matters
First of all by law, as a U.S. based business, the FTC requires I disclose affiliate relationships. However even if it were not required by law, I believe ethically it is the right thing to do. If it really bothers you that I would receive a commission you could choose not to use my link and simply Google for the service instead.
Second, if a recommendation you read here is part or all of the reason you make a purchase, and you are NOT satisfied then let me know. I will do what I can to help make it right.
3. How are you handling affiliate links?
Do you even have affiliate links? If not, why not? I’m sure there are at least a handful of products, services or people which you regularly recommend. There is nothing wrong at all with receiving a commission for promoting a quality product or service.
If you do not use an affiliate link when making the recommendation you leaving money on the table. Generally entrepreneurs are seeking more ways to build their revenue stream, and this is one way. Don’t get crazy with links everywhere (then your website becomes SPAM), however if it makes sense, share it.
If you are also based in the U.S. it is the law to disclose that relationship. While I can’t comment on the legality in other countries, ethically I would say you should disclose.
Nicole Fende, A.S.A.
The Numbers Whisperer®
President, Small Business Finance Forum