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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0409: Where Should I Put My Affiliate Disclosure Statement?

AP 0409: Where Should I Put My Affiliate Disclosure Statement?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 409 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody. Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 409 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Before we get to today’s question from Jason, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com making it extremely easy for all of us to manage our business finances. They help over three million other small businesses and they help us manage our income, our expenses, and our invoicing. They also have an award-winning mobile app making it very easy for all of us to check the health status financial wise in our business as well. They make it very easy for us during tax season too which is probably going to sneak up on us as we all know. If you want to check it out, you can try it for 30 days for free by going to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and making sure to enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. Again, FreshBooks.com/AskPat and enter “AskPat.”

Here’s today’s question from Jason.

Jason: Hey Pat, this is Jason from San Antonio, Texas. I want to thank you very much for all the information that you provide for us to use to advance our income. I got my first payout through Google AdSense so I was really excited about that. Anyway, Pat, my question is what are some methods that you have to disclose where your affiliates are and where do you put your disclosure or your disclaimer on your page for your website? Thanks Pat. I just want to thank you very much again.

Pat Flynn: Hey Jason, what’s up. Thank you so much for the question and of course for all the amazing support. I appreciate that and the kind words you mentioned in your question too. In terms of disclosing affiliate relationships on your website, in the US this is the thing you want to do. There are regulations out there and even though your site might be small, you just don’t want to take a risk. It’s always good too whenever you mention a link to make sure that it’s also an affiliate link.

There’s a number of reasons you want to do this. One is like I said. They just want to make sure that you do that and that it’s clear but of course laws change over time, Make sure you check with a professional for what you should be doing as well. I like to just mention it anyway all the time because a lot of people don’t know about this affiliate thing and what it means.

I always like to mention as much as possible that if I’m sharing something that is a course or a tool or a product or a service that I have an affiliate relationship with, I’ll often mention that I do get a commission if people do make a purchase. I do that because I want to be transparent and honest of course but also a lot of people are like, “Wow. If I go through this, Pat gets something back in return.” If you’ve given enough value and share enough wisdom with people, they’re going to want to pay you back. That’s a very quick and easy way for people to pay you back.

I also mention that there’s often times typically no additional cost to somebody making a purchase through an affiliate link. It just comes out of that company’s pocket and that’s always a reassuring thing to know. Some people don’t understand that. I know for example I’ve got a lot of emails from people who have said, “Thank you for letting me know that you actually get paid for me going through that link.” Some people, I’ve done this in the past before I knew any of this kind of stuff existed, whenever someone mentioned a product, and maybe they had a link for it on their blog post or wherever I was reading about this product. But then at the end of the article I would just open up a new tab and find that product that way. I know a lot of people who have emailed me saying, “Thank you for mentioning you get something back in return if I go through your link. I made sure to go through that link for you.” I think that’s really cool and always a great way to mention that as well.

I actually mention it whenever I mention it on the podcast as often as I can or on a blog post I’ll put parentheses and say this is an affiliate link, I do get a commission at no extra cost to you if you go through this link and that’s always good. I also mention that well, if you feel like you have any questions about this or need support on it before you make a decision of buying it, let me know. I think that also puts into people’s minds a comfortable feeling, the fact that I can support them if they need it as well. I only recommend products that I’ve used or have gone through as much as possible to feel comfortable with sharing.

You know that trust that you’ve built with your audience is very important. It’s more important than anything. If you lose that trust by maybe sharing a product that has an attractive commission but you’re not exactly sure what that product is, that would just be insane. Even if it is a product that you know what it’s about but you haven’t gone through it or you don’t trust the owner of that product, then you’re risking that trust. What if that product doesn’t do justice? They’re going to bad at that product and that product owner but they’re going to be more mad at you because you were the one that promoted it for them. That’s never good. Again, disclosing those affiliate relationships are really important as well.

Probably the other place and the final place I want to mention is my resource page on Smart Passive Income. If you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/Resources, that will take you to my most profitable page on my website. This is a page that has a number of different links, tools, resources, services that I’ve used and mentioned in the past. Some of them have an affiliate commission when people purchase, some of them don’t. They are just there primarily to help people. If there is an affiliate of course I’m going to put it on there but again, it’s not about the commission, it’s about serving people. Your earning is a byproduct of how well you serve your audience.

On that page, because there’s a number of different links on there that are affiliate links, the top of the page I mention, and it has specific language related to the fact that I do earn a commission actually. Let me go there right now so I can read that to you so you can get a feel for that. Again, that’s right up there at the front, blue text because I want people to see it. I’m going to go there at SmartPassiveIncome.com/resources and it says right here, Resources. I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your passive income needs. I’ll add to it as I learn more but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often, which I do. I recommend bookmarking it for your future reference and convenience. Enjoy. It’s helpful for my audience but it’s also great because I earn a passive income when people go through these recommended products.

Here’s the disclosure in blue text because I want people to see it and not miss it. I guess it could be red but a lot of other colors on my site are red so I have it here blue specifically because it stands out and I want people to read it. It says right here up top it says, “Disclosure. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links” and this is bolded “and at no additional cost to you,” unbold. “I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.” I’m very clear that my primary goal here is to help my audience but I do earn a commission and it’s at no additional cost. I can probably add another part there that says if you need any help or have any questions about these, please let me know. I think that would probably actually help so I’ll add that very soon.

Hopefully that helps you and gives you some idea of how I treat affiliate links and how I disclose my affiliate relationships. It’s always been positive. I don’t try to hide it. I used to think that you would want to blend it in and make it seem like it’s your own product and that’s never good. You want to be honest as much as possible with your audience. Jason, thank you for the question today. I really appreciate it. We’re going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you would like potentially featured on the show, thank you so much for all the questions because obviously this show wouldn’t be here without them. Head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. We answer five questions a week and I hope to get to yours at some point in the future too.

As always, I want to also thank today’s sponsor which is FreshBooks.com. Thank you for making it easy for me and for everyone else out there, the three million other small business owners, for helping us making it easy to manage our finances. When I first started this online business thing I didn’t know what I was doing and I was using Excel to manage everything and luckily I didn’t have too many expenses but I had a lot of income coming in from the ebook I was selling. Excel kind of worked and it made it very difficult during tax season but then I got hooked up with FreshBooks, made it super easy and guess what. You can check it out for 30 days for free by going to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and by entering “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. Again, that’s FreshBooks.com/AskPat, enter “AskPat.”

Thank you so much for listening in this week. I appreciate it. If you want to head on over to iTunes and do me a quick favor, leave a review for AskPat. It helps out so much. I appreciate that. It helps with the rankings as well. And of course, as always, I love to end with a quote. Today’s quote is from Peter F. Drucker. He says, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Cheers. Take care and I’ll see you next week in the next set of AskPat episodes. Cheers. All the best. Bye.

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