Well to answer the title, of course you don’t…
In today’s digital age there are some important things to consider before you begin to write blog posts using affiliate links. Affiliate links are a great way to make money but they can cause you to get fined if you don’t use them the way the FTC requires.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Fyre Festival?
Billy McFarland, the 26-year-old founder of the nightmarish Fyre Festival that left hundreds of attendees stranded in the Bahamas last year, has was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit $26 million. The entire promotion was a bust from the minute it began.
McFarland used paid influencers on Instagram to post information about the Fyre Festival on their Instagram, Facebook, and Snap Chat accounts. These posts were in view of millions of people, many of which signed up and paid large amounts for tickets that promised meet and greets with famous people.
The event and the meet and greets never happened and the Fyre Festival went bankrupt before the event could ever take place. Hundreds of people were left without a show and without their money back.
The people that were burned by the fiasco lawyered up and they went after the influencers.
After the FTC got involved they created clear guidelines for any influencer, blogger, or affiliate link advertiser.
The rules are simple:
If you advertise on your social media page for products, services, events, etc… You have to put the following at the end of your post #ad. This will inform people that view the post that you are being paid to post the content that you have shared.
If you are a blogger you have to write something like this before the article that contains affiliate links.
“I may receive a small commission if you click on any links in my blog post. If you choose to use the link and purchase the item you will not pay anymore than you would if you went to the site without clicking on my link. The small commissions that I receive go towards the expenses of running my blog.”
The description above goes for any websites that you use to promote products that contain affiliate links.
Although, people that violate the FTC’s rules will probably get a warning at first, it is not worth the risk of getting fined or sued by the FTC or an individual that may have a bad experience after clicking your affiliate link and making a purchase.