You’ve probably seen some verbage about affiliate links and disclaimers on various websites. But what is an affiliate link? What’s a disclaimer? Briefly, I’ll tell you what each of those terms means.
An affiliate link is a link to a specific item on an online store – in my case, it’s Amazon. The link has the blogger’s specific ID in the URL, and contains a tracking cookie (don’t worry, it’s safe and doesn’t cost you anything).
The distinction between an affiliate link and just a normal link is that the author (the person who put the link there in the first place) has an affiliate account with Amazon or another program; if you buy that item from that affiliate link, your cost is the same, but the author gets a small percentage.
For example, if I link to an item on Amazon that’s $20, you’re going to pay $20 whether it’s from my link or just off of Amazon itself. The distinction is that I get a cut of that $20 if you buy it from my link.
Additionally, if you follow an affiliate link and browse around, and buy something else in that same browser window, the author still gets a cut. So maybe you didn’t end up buying my $20 item but you clicked around (without closing the window) and got something completely different, I still get a cut.
Affiliate links are no additional cost or fee to the reader; you probably wouldn’t even have any idea that a percentage is going elsewhere, but us bloggers are required by law to let you know if we use those links.
Disclaimers can tell you other info too, like if I got a product that I’m reviewing for free. It’s fair for you to know that this may influence someone’s review – though in my case, it doesn’t. I reject product offers which don’t fit the niche of my website, or that I don’t think I would like. (Yes, people contact me and ask me to review their stuff if they send it to me for free; most of the time, I politely decline. Don’t want to be a sellout and annoy my readers). And I always make a point to list pros and cons of everything I can if I do choose to review, to be fair to my readers. Basically, if I agree at all, then I only agree to write my honest opinion. Nothing more.
All of the disclaimers and disclosures must be in accordance with Federal Trade Commission law.
Whether you’re wanting to start a blog of your own, or you’re just interested in the process, I hope that this article has helped clarify the purpose of affiliate links and disclaimers!
If you ever have any questions or concerns, please contact me. I’m always here to help!
Here are the main sites I’ve used to ensure my facts are accurate: