Affiliate Marketing May Require Disclosure

I just found a couple of posts on this interesting development in the world of affiliate marketing. One, at Copyblogger, the other at Problogger.

I have always been a fan of full disclosure. In fact, I actually stopped promoting an excellent product when I received an affiliate email encouraging me and providing me with step-by-step instructions on how to hide the fact that I was using an affiliate link.

I consider myself to be on the path of the enlightened entrepreneur and therefore integrity is one of my highest personal values and a value that absolutely must be present in my business.

Brian Clark at Copyblogger, points out that he wants to give his readers enough credit to think that they will know he is using affiliate links. I’m not convinced that all blog readers are savvy enough to catch that, especially when the affiliate codes are embedded in already long, complicated links.

So, even as I cringe at the need for outside regulation – as opposed to internal, self-regulation – I, applaud this possible update to the affiliate marketing world and see it as a positive development.

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      4 Responses to “Affiliate Marketing May Require Disclosure”

      1. Devin on December 19th, 2006 3:27 pm

        Odd, I’m with Brian on this one. You should realize the link is for some sort of benefit. Even if you don’t (reader) ignorance is bliss, right? If anything, disclosing sounds more like “please buy through me”. But, of course I can see the other side…

        Mmm, bloggers and money always make for sticky conversation.

      2. Edward Mills on December 19th, 2006 5:06 pm

        Hi Devin
        I’m not sure I agree with you about ignorance being bliss, in this case at least. Although I’m open to convincing! I guess because of the readers for whom I am writing – many of whom are less tech-savvy than the readers of other blogs – as well as my commitment to integrity in all aspects of business, I feel compelled to disclose my affiliate links.

        Like I said, I’m open to convincing that non-disclosure is the way to go. But for now, I’m sticking with the (aff) label in my posts.

        Great site, btw.

        ed

      3. Devin on December 19th, 2006 5:48 pm

        Hey Ed, I guess I was only half-serious when I said that part about the ignorance. I sometimes mis-communicate the humor in my comments. In any case, I agree, integrity is important and as a reader I’d certainly hate to one day realize you were making money off of me without my knowing.

        Thanks, I like yours too. 😉

      4. Edward Mills on December 19th, 2006 10:36 pm

        Hi Devin. Yeah, it’s easy to miss the humor sometimes. That’s always been one drawback of virtual communication! But even though I missed the humor, I didn’t take offense at your comment. There are definitely folks out there who do believe that ignorance is bliss. And who knows, perhaps they’re right.

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