You’ve heard of affiliate disclosure, right? If you have a WordPress blog and recommend products or services which might make affiliate commissions, you’re legally obliged to tell people about it. This is VERY important, so today I’m going to discuss how to add affiliate disclosure to WordPress.
Why You Need Affiliate Disclosure
Before we further, it’s worth being clear about why you must disclose information about potential affiliate commissions.
The basic idea behind such transparency is clearly explained by the US’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines.
Failure to disclose your affiliation with a company, or not making your affiliation “clear and conspicuous” is a “deceptive marketing practice” according to FTC guidelines. If you breach these, you can find yourself in legal hot water.
Regardless of law, how can you build trust with your readership if you’re not transparent and honest with them?
Disclosing your relationships with suppliers you recommend makes sense any way you look at it.
WordPress Affiliate Disclosure Plugins
There are a number of plugins that will handle affiliate disclosure for your WordPress blog. I don’t personally run my disclosure with a plugin so I won’t recommend a plugin for you. I’ll tell you a little later on how I’ve added my disclosure manually.
Many WordPress bloggers will likely feel the easiest way to add affiliate disclosure will be through a plugin. There are many that will do the job for you for sure.
Login to your WordPress Admin area, hover over the “Plugins” link and click “Add New“.
This takes you to the plugins area of your blog, from which you can search for the plugin you need.
Make a search for affiliate disclosure or ftc compliance and check out the results.
Be sure to read reviews and find out how popular each plugin is to understand if it’s right for you.
An alternative might be to search for a plugin that is not affiliate disclosure specific. There are many that enable adding blocks of text wherever you want on your posts and / or pages.
Find out more about WordPress plugins.
How to Add Affiliate Disclosure to WordPress Without a Plugin
The way I add my affiliate disclosure requires you to edit your WordPress theme files. Be sure to make a backup of any file you edit, in case you need to rollback changes you make.
If you’re uncomfortable with this then I’d probably go with installing a plugin to run your disclosure for you.
Assuming you feel confident to edit WordPress theme files, here’s what I do.
Firstly, you need to locate the file used to create all your posts.
You can edit your files by clicking the WordPress Admin Appearance link (pictured). It’s perhaps safer to edit the files directly on your server though.
I’ll stress again here it’s vital you make a backup of any file you edit, in case you need to restore it. If something doesn’t go to plan you can simply recreate the old version of your file as it was.
Editing Your File
Since I use the MH Newsdesk theme, the file I have changed is called “content-single.php”.
You may need to edit a file with a variation on this name, perhaps even single.php itself.
Look within your post template file for the code that generates the post title… it’ll look something like this:
<h1 class="entry-title"> <?php the_title(); ?> </h1>
I placed the following HTML directly beneath the closing </h1> title tag:
<p class="disclosure"> This page may contain affiliate links from which I may make a commission at no cost to you. See <a href="https://www.sidegains.com/how-sidegains-makes-money/">How SideGains Makes Money</a> for more information. </p>
You can simply copy this and at it to your file. Of course you’ll need to edit it to substitute my details for yours:
<a href="https://YOUR-SITE.com/YOUR-DISCLOSURE-PAGE">How YOUR SITE NAME Makes Money</a>
Within the affiliate disclosure I link directly to a disclosure page, which provides more details about how I make money. I’d suggest you’ll need a page like this too, to which you can link from your affiliate disclosure text.
It’s likely you’ll need to create CSS rules for how the disclosure displays on your blog by editing your CSS. I’ve used the class .disclosure.
Once you’ve backed up your file and made the changes, the affiliate disclosure text will appear on all your WordPress posts directly beneath the title.
The steps above only add affiliate disclosure to your WordPress posts. If you have affiliate links on your pages, you will need to add disclosure text there too.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.
Perhaps you have added affiliate disclosure to your WordPress blog in a different way? Let me know by dropping a comment below.