Do you tell your visitors that a link to a product or service is an affiliate link that makes you money? Darren over at Problogger does it with a ‘€œ(aff)’€? after the link which is somewhat common, although not so easily understood for some readers.
Do you need to tell your readership that you make money if they click a link? Is there an ethical dilemma here too, as with the Payperpost thing?
I’€™m just asking here, because I see a lot of sites pimping products and services, and using affiliate links to rake in the cash of its visitors. Whether or not they actually like the product is impossible to know, just as with paid posts.
If the blogosphere wants to be all ‘€œwe have to be transparent’€? that’€™s fine, but we should look to our sides every now and then as well. Payperpost is in the line of fire at the moment, perhaps rightly so, but they are not the only ‘€œproblem’€? here. It all comes down to your very own integrity and if your readers believe in you. And what you do with your power. Print media knows this, and since I’€™ve dabbled in that field I know that this mess is small potatoes compared to what’€™s going on elsewhere.
But it’€™s good I guess, you should question yourself and your business. However, if you’€™re going to do it, please do it right. All the way.
To aff or not to aff?
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.