Mark at 45n5 (what does 45n5 mean anyway?) is talking more about disclosure on his blog these days. It’s good conversation, but it got me thinking.
I’m a long-time full disclosure guy, having fought the PayPerPost battles and many other blog battles over the years and recently. So I get the need to disclose, heck, I even invented these blog honor badges.
Disclosure is all about deception and intent. If it is your intent to fool or deceive someone for your own personal gain, then you have bigger problems than disclosure, you have ethical issues you need to deal with. Some, like me, would also tell you to watch your karma.
The point is, disclosure is good, but not always necessary. Sure, I’ve used the (aff) before, but you know why? I have used it to specifcally draw attention to a an affiliate link so that my friends and readers would use it because it would be clear to that that it would help me. I do that all the time on blogs that I read.
For example, this is my personal blog. I’m an affiliate marketer. I’m also a blogger. I’m also a “self proclaimed expert” in the industry of which I practice.
So, should I blatently disclose when I have an affiliate link on this blog?
Should it just be expected that I promote affiliate links because “that’s what I do” and therefore it should be know I’m not trying to “get over” on anyone by tricking them?
So What’s The Difference?
Again, it comes back to intent, and throw in some earned trust. Do I intend on making some money from my blog? Yes. Do I intend to promote products that suck so I can make a buck maybe? No.
You will find affiliate links on this blog.
And when you see them, I hope that you’ll understand that they are there because that’s part of how I make my living, and frankly, why not? I’ve earned the trust on my name through years of experience and work in the industry. I am NOT trying to trick you.
When developing your own ideas about disclosure, be sure to think about what your readers expect from you, and how much they trust you first.