Recently, the Federal Trade Commission released their new rules for Disclosure Compliance. These new rules are set in place to ensure that readers or viewers of web media (blogs, Youtube videos, etc) know if the blogger/presenter is sponsored, endorsed or partnered with a different company. In blog terms, the readers need to know if the blogger is making money by sharing a link or product. I want to discuss how these new rules come into play at Empowered Sustenance.
At the moment, it is important for me to make some income through blogging. I don’t have the time to blog, finish my education, heal my body AND get a job. So I am trying hard to make my time blogging (literally) pay off! My goal is to keep blogging as a way to help fund college… it’s a huge goal (thanks in part to $330 textbooks), but it keeps me motivated!
The goal of this post is to explain how the new FTC rules are going to effect Empowered Sustenance posts. Also, I want you to know how I use affiliate links and sponsored items. Are you ready for the scoop?
First and foremost, I never, ever endorse a product or service that I would not purchase myself. I only share resources that I have personal experience with and can therefore recommend without reservation. No exceptions.
Now I want to explain about the use of affiliate links on Empowered Sustenance. What are affiliate links? I use two main types of affiliate programs on my blog:
1. Amazon affiliate links
Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Prices are exactly the same for you if your purchase through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link. If a blogger links to Amazon with a special code embedded in the link and a reader purchases an item through that link, the blogger gets a small percentage of the sale.
Amazon links are not “pay per click.” So that means I don’t get anything if you click on the link. If you click on the product link and stay around Amazon and purchase something else, however, I will get commission on that sale.
Amazon suggests that bloggers explain it like this, and I think it is an excellent definition:
Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliation links supports our cause at no additional cost to you.
Anytime you see a link that looks like http://amzn.to/.…. it is an Amazon affiliate link. You will see these often if you follow me and other bloggers on our Facebook pages. And if a link in a blog takes you to a page on Amazon, you can be 98% sure that it is an affiliate link for that blogger.
2. Ebook and product affiliate links
Again, if I share a product through an affiliate link it must be a product of the exceptional quality and value I demand from an item or service. Recommendations for these products are based on my knowledge of the item, my knowledge of the author’s expertise and track record, and the value for the item.
These affiliate links work the same way: if you click the link and buy the product, then the blogger gets a percentage of the sale. You’ve me and other bloggers promoting things like e-book bundles and e-courses… these are usually affiliate links.
Again, prices are not different if you use these affiliate links. You will not pay more by clicking through the link. These links are not “pay per click.”
What about sponsored content?
If a post is sponsored by a company, I will disclose this clearly in the beginning of the post. Again, I will only discuss a product if I’ve had a wonderful personal experience with it.
I try to play by the rules and I want you to always know if you are purchasing something from an affiliate link. So, there will be a couple changes here with the new FTC rules.
First, now I have a affiliate link disclosure under every post and on my Shop page.
As for my Facebook page where I use Amazon affiliate links for product recommendations, I will include a link to this post or put *(affiliate link)* before the link. UPDATE: After discussing this with an Amazon representative, it sounds like a disclosure for Amazon links in social media is not necessary. Unless I hear otherwise, I will not be putting affiliate link disclosures for my Amazon links that I post on Facebook.
So… there’s not really any earth-shattering changes.
Thank you so much for your continued support of Empowered Sustenance. Even if you don’t purchase items through affiliate links, so many of you show support through your comments, Facebook messages and emails. Although it doesn’t cover my blog newsletter fees or horrifically pricey textbooks, it always brightens my day!