Earning Money From Your Blog? Better Post a Disclosure Policy

Be Transparent with Your Disclosure Policy

Image copyright Entienou – iStockphoto.com

[This post is part of a series on Exploring Affiliate Marketing.]

If you’re going to earn money from your blog in any way, there are two very important reasons why you need to have a disclosure policy. First, if your blog is based in the United States, it’s the law. Second, and perhaps more important, it helps strengthen the trust you’re developing with your readers.

After becoming a StudioPress affiliate, I had to put together my disclosure policy.

Disclosure policy hows and whys have been done to death in the two-plus years since the FTC added the new guidelines. You can easily Google the “disclosure policy” and find a wealth of information, but I think John Saddington’s post on TentBlogger is a good place to start.

If you need a policy right away, you can quickly generate a boilerplate policy, which can be used until you have time to write a custom version that better echoes the tone of your blog.

I took the time to write my own from the start, and here it is below.

How I make money

I make money on this site through an affiliate program. If you click an affiliate link or ad banner and buy the product, you help support this site because I’ll get a percentage of that sale.

Currently I’m an affiliate for StudioPress.

What this means for you

  • I do not put the cart before the horse and recommend a product just because I’m an affiliate.
  • I become an affiliate because I use and believe in the associated product.
  • I do not recommend products just for the sake of money.
  • I recommend products because I think they are valuable to my readers.
  • I do not let the compensation I receive influence the content, topics, posts, or opinions expressed on this blog.
  • I respect and value my readers too much to write anything other than my own genuine and objective opinions and advice.

Just like this blog, my Disclosure Policy is a work in progress. As the revenue streams evolve, so will this page.

I’ve placed a link to the policy in my theme’s footer so readers can easily find it without cluttering up the blog.

Next in the series, I’ll talk about another critical element for safely monetizing your blog: the privacy policy.

Feel free to post a link to your disclosure policy in the comments. I’d love to see what others are doing.

Article by Bryan Kerr

I love breaking down the techie side of blogging into easy-to-understand tutorials. That's mostly what you'll find here on The Hobby Blogger.

Comments

  1. Simply put, the disclosure policy is what saves your authority while allowing to earn money from what is rightfully yours – your reader’s attention.

    By the way, the post like this (in your case – this post) serves as a disclosure policy by itself, once it can be easily found.

    • Yeah, I could have used this post for the policy and linked to it from the footer, but I wanted the actual policy page to be more succinct and not have the intro section that’s on this post. Close call either way, though.

  2. I have been looking ALL over for a good explanation of a disclosure policy, thanks for making it simple! I will be working on getting one of these up this week!

  3. Thanks for the info Bryan. Just finished my disclosure and privacy policy. Your advice was very helpful in getting them completed. I’m sure they will evolve as the website grows.
    Thanks again

    • Bryan Kerr says:

      Sure thing Scott. Love your Genesis theme by the way. Its responsive design looks great on my phone.

      And I like the “The short version” of your privacy and disclosure policies, especially the “Yes that’s how the internet works” statement on your disclosure. Well done.

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