Every once in a while an account shutdown occurs that sends ripples throughout the online community. You’ve probably heard horror stories – a Blogger site is deleted, a Facebook Page disappears, an AdSense account is closed with no warning. The truly scary thing is, these corporations are so large there is often a “zero tolerance” policy in place and gleaning more information about what went wrong can be rough.
Recently I’ve heard several cases where Amazon has revoked access to a blogger’s affiliate account, due to a failure to follow Amazon’s affiliate disclosure policy. The email blogger’s receive looks something like this >>>
While reviewing your account, we have noticed that your website contains links to Amazon that are not properly labeled, which makes it unclear that you are sending customers to the Amazon website.
The Associates Program Operating Agreement that governs your participation in the Associates Program requires that links to an Amazon Site must not be confusing or misleading, and must be clear that they link to an Amazon Site. For more information, please review the Participation Requirements and Linking Requirements found here:
We insist that you cease this activity and remove all Amazon content from your site(s) immediately. Moreover, because you are using the Associates Program in violation of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, your account has been closed and you will not receive further payment. Any other accounts you may have or may open in the future which are found in violation of the Operating Agreement may be closed and advertising fees withheld without notification.
Hmmm. Okay…that’s no good. As someone who regularly uses Amazon as a source of income, it’s even a bit scary. I’d hate to loose a couple hundred dollars a month due to confusing or misleading links.
Hard to tell what it means though, right? All the vague statements and legalease can be more than a bit confusing.
Amazon Affiliate Disclosure Policy
What’s Amazon really looking for? Proper disclosure as outlined in Amazon’s affiliate disclosure policy. This is a bit different than what the FTC looks for. Initially I thought I was safe by simply placing a statement at the top of my site indicating that a post contained affiliate links as required by the FTC. Not so. Amazon is looking for a specific Amazon Associates statement found in the associates agreement (agreement #10).
You must clearly state the following on your site:
[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com or myhabit.com)].
Do you have the Amazon Associates disclosure on your site? Take a minute and make sure it’s in a visible location.
My recommendation is to have the disclosure on every page. I like to be safe. You can easily do this by creating a new text widget in your sidebar or footer. Having said that, it may suffice to include the disclosure on a page located somewhere on your site. I’ve got it on my contact page.
How to Add the Amazon Affiliate Disclosure to Your Site
It’s really quite simple to add the Amazon affiliate disclosure statement to every page on your blog. I am sharing how I’ve added it to the bottom of my sidebar on WordPress, but the process is crazy similar on Blogger.
Navigate to the “Appearance” tab on the backend of your site. Select “Widgets” from the menu.
The Widgets page will look something like this…
Drag and drop that text widget into your sidebar (or footer, depending on where you’d like it to appear on the site. Copy and paste Amazon’s very specific disclosure statement and save.
This is what the disclosure statement looks like at the bottom of my right sidebar…
Looking to make more money with your Amazon account, check out these posts:
I’d love to know if you’re currently using Amazon’s Associate program on your site. How’s it working for you? Any favorite tips or tricks you’d like to share?