This post contains affiliate links. Because this is an affiliate marketing blog, so, #duh. This means I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post.
Guys, let's talk about this. I know you don't want to, because you feel a little smarmy about it, but we need to. OK? OK.
The FTC disclosure.
You gotta do it. I know you think it'll turn your readers off, but trust me, it's for your own good. It's also pretty necessary in order to work with a number of companies. If you disclose that you received a product for free in a review, or that a post is a sponsored post, why wouldn't you disclose that you could be receiving a little skrilla — at, ahem, no extra cost to your readers — for posting a link that they may make a purchase through? It's the right thing to do, y'all.
I know with The Broke-Ass Bride, when we first came across the disclosure issue, we went back and forth on how, where, etc., because we didn't want to seem “salesy”.
But guys? YOU ARE BEING SALESY.
But that's the glory of working in affiliate marketing — you're being salesy in the most organic way, because you're choosing what companies you promote rather than talking about a company you have absolutely zero idea about (how many times have you gotten totally stymied writing a sponsored post?).
With affiliate marketing, you're telling your readers “Hey! I like this company, so I'm linking to it!” which, in turn, builds reader trust and brand recognition. Disclosing that you might make money, too, may even increase your sales (it did for us) because your readers like you, and they want you to succeed and if they're going to be buying wedding stationery anyway, you may as well provide an option where they can buy from a company you trust and you make a little somethin' somethin' in the meantime. Ya dig?
I asked Adam Riemer to divvy up his two cents on why disclosure isn't only good, but necessary:
TL;DR: Just disclose.
You're not going to scare your readers away, but if you don't do it, you could really end up hurting yourself, mmmkay?
I use the FMTC Disclosure Plugin, which automatically codes it in to each and every one of my posts. I would highly recommend signing up for their Publisher Toolkit as well, as it has oodles of fun goodies for bloggers.