The last thing you want after working hard and starting to make some money online from your affiliate marketing websites is to get banned from a network such as Amazon Affiliates. Whether you’re monetizing through Amazon Associates, Google AdSense, Media.net, or any other ad network or affiliate program, you should safeguard your time and effort with proper disclosures.
Even if you’re not making any money yet, you should have these in place. It’s better to overdo it with safety than it is to repair the damage done.
When it comes to the Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer, better safe than sorry.
When I first learned the importance of having a legally valid FTC disclosure on my niche blogs, I went all out.
After learning all about affiliate disclosure policies, I started looking for ways to add it to my main niche blog which currently already is getting a bit of Amazon Associates sales and daily clicks. It’s on Genesis and uses a third party child theme.
While this blog post is meant to show you how to put the affiliate disclosure above blog posts on affiliate marketing websites using a Genesis theme, I believe it’s also translatable to other themes using hook-type plugins or within the functions.php file. When I do this for my other site on MyThemeShop, I will update this post and explain the process on how to do it with any MyThemeShop theme.
My First Attempt at the Amazon Affiliate Disclosure Failed
I tried following some blog post’s step by step tutorial on it. But it didn’t work. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t look into it past the fact that it didn’t work and I followed all the steps.
Instead, I opted to do it another way. I downloaded the Simple Hooks plugin as this seemed like the perfect instance to use a “hook.” This is actually the first hook I’ve used on my Genesis theme niche blog. This second attempt at the affiliate disclosure on blog posts was successful.
I forget where I found the exact disclosure copy and code. I might have found it on someone else’s site. But this is how it’s done.
Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer with Genesis Simple Hooks: The Successful Attempt
First, download the free Genesis Simple Hooks plugin if you haven’t already got it installed.
Next, scroll over the Genesis “G” on your left-hand side WordPress dashboard, and then select Simple Hooks.
If you’re putting the disclaimer after the title, find the Hook box labeled, “genesis_before_entry_content Hook”
Then add this phrase and link in your affiliate disclosure page:
<p>This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our affiliate policy <a href=https://YOURWEBSITE.com/affiliate-disclosure/>here</a>.</p>
This is what it will look like after adding it into the before entry Hook box:
If you’re on Genesis, this should do the trick.
It’s a perfect way to do it, and you don’t need to use any plugins.
What about the actual disclosure?
This ShoutMeLoud blog post has some great info on what you need to cover when creating your actual affiliate disclosure page.What I did, was I copied a similar website’s affiliate disclosure and then reworked it to fit my blog’s brand.
Now I have it linked above each and every one of my blog posts and I feel safer because of it. After you do this, you’ll see that this disclaimer or disclosure is on ALL your pages.
But what if I don’t want it on every page?
This Hook adds it to EVERY page.
But what if you don’t want it on your About Me page or other pages it doesn’t make sense to have it on?
In those cases, you must add a WP conditional above the <p> tag and then close it off below it all within the same Hook box. I found this solution while browsing around on forums. It wasn’t on a Genesis forum, nor Genesis related, but using a “WP conditional” worked in Simple Hooks all the same.
This is the conditional I used:
<?php if ( ! is_page( 10 ) ) : ?>
Stuff in here will display on all pages except page ID 10.
<?php endif; ?>
In order to use this, the only piece of information you need now is the Page ID you’re trying to not have this disclosure on. To do this, in WordPress find the page you don’t want it on and go to the edit screen. You will find the Page ID in the browser tab. It will be the number after “post=NUMBER”
The Page ID for the About Page on Authority Growth is 108.
So next, you’d take this “108” and put it in the WP Conditional (replace the number 10 which was just an example Page ID), and then put the disclosure inside too.
This is what the Hook will now look like:
<?php if ( ! is_page( 108 ) ) : ?> <p>This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our affiliate policy <a href=https://authoritygrowth.com/affiliate-disclosure/>here</a>.</p> <?php endif; ?>
And this is what it will look like inside the Genesis Simple Hooks plugin dashboard.
Page ID, WP Conditional, and Affiliate Disclosure are all in there.
LAST STEP: Tick the box that says, “Execute PHP on this hook?”
And click the blue SAVE button on that same page (not pictured).
And that’s how it’s done.
Now, the disclosure will NOT show above page 108… above on my about page.
My current Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer Dilemma: blocking multiple pages
(I interchange the words disclaimer and disclosure as I know one or the other is the correct use of the term, or maybe they’re one in the same?).
While I can successfully not show this disclosure on my About page, when I added a comma and then another page ID, it didn’t work on the other page. So this method, or this conditional only works for a single page.
I need to learn how to make the conditional work for multiple pages, and after browsing other conditionals and trying them out, I couldn’t’ figure it out. I’ll get back around to it, as I’m sure it requires a different type of conditional. But there are a few other things above this on the to-do list. As of now, I know my niche blogs are safe. I’d recommend anyone making money online with affiliate marketing websites, niche blogs, or the various types of blogs in between that use affiliate marketing, to make sure you’re safe with the affiliate disclosures.
While this method will put it above all your blog posts, it also puts it above all your pages. The solution to keep it off the pages you don’t want it on is still a work in progress, but at least the sites are safe. And the disclosure doesn’t look bad.
Will revealing an affiliate disclosure discourage people from buying or even reading?
I will need to find the study and link it, but they’ve actually found that using a disclosure does not deter people from clicking and buying. Quite the contrary, it promoted more affiliate link clicks and sales. Perhaps there is an honesty factor here? I believe so. In fact, I myself make it a point to buy through affiliate links of people I respect and learn from, if I am going to buy something. This makes it a win win win situation. I get the product and the discount offered by the marketer I learned from. He gets the sale recognition and affiliate commission. And the company gets a sale too where perhaps they might not have if it were not for the affiliated marketer using and blogging about their tool.