Eye-Opening Affiliate Disclosure Experiment

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Eye-Opening Affiliate Disclosure Experiment

Interesting thing happened here on the blog last week…

I posted a video deconstructing the design, copy and strategies employed on Chris Guillebeau’s new landing page for Adventure Capital.

At the end of that post, I said “hey, go check it out yourself.” Then I gave everyone two ways to visit Chris’ page.

  • Option 1 was an affiliate link - If the program also happened to be a match and you enrolled, I’d get a commission.
  • Option 2 was a plain link - Clicking that one would eliminate the possibility of a commission.

And I made it clear which was which.

I then tracked the percentage of people who clicked on each link.

Wanna know the result?

In a second. Before we get there, I also got a number of messages, from comments to emails, asking why in the world I would do something like that? And why I even care about disclosing affiliate links on the rare occasion when I use them. One e-mail asked:

Hi Jonathan,

I’ve been reading you off and on for years and always wondered why you stepped so far out of the way to call out affiliate (or non-affiliate) links.

The most recent example being at the bottom of: http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/adventure-capital/

Have you found that it increases the trust factor that much that it outweighs the annoyance or confusion of the average reader? Or do you have other related data to support the practice?

Curiously yours,

So, why do I care so much about not hiding affiliate links?

A few reasons -

1. I am legally required to disclose affiliate links by the FTC. So is every other blogger and marketer, even though many don’t. But that’s actually not why I do it. In fact, I was disclosing affiliate links long before the FTC started requiring it. Because…

2. It’s the right thing to do! I could use affiliate links all the time and generate a decent amount of income from them. But I don’t. I generally reserve them for the occasional mention or review of something I believe genuinely in, have used or experienced and have a strong, direct relationship with the person or organization that created it. And, even then, I often don’t use them.

I also work really hard to cultivate trust. That is the single most important metric with my readers, viewers and listeners. So, whether some legal authority requires it or not, even though I will only recommend or mention things I believe in and, even then, will call out things that could work better, it’s important to me to stand in integrity. To let you know, “hey, if you end up getting this, I’m going to benefit in some way.”

Have I forgotten to do this somewhere along the line over the last 7 years? Who knows? Probably. I don’t remember any times, but I’m human, so maybe over the thousands of links I’ve shared it could’ve happened. Dunno. But I really do my best to keep things transparent.

In fact, I often not only call out my relationship, but try to do it in a way that’s massively blatant and even funny. My standard affiliate disclosure footnote, for example, reads:

[FTC Disclosure (because being transparent should be fun, dammit!) - You should always assume that pretty much every link on this blog is an affiliate link and that if you click it, find something you like and get it, I'm gonna make some serious money. Now, understand this, I'm not talking chump change, I'm talking a huge windfall in commissions, bling up the wazoo and all sorts of other free stuff. I may even be given a mansion and a yacht, though honestly I'd settle most of the time for some organic dark chocolate and clean socks. Oh, look, a squirrel.... K, I'm back. And if I mention a book or some other product, just assume I got a review copy of it gratis and that me getting it has completely biased everything I say. Because schwag is like a drug to me, put it in my hand and you own me, you've been warned (disclosure to the disclosure, that was a joke, or was it?). Huggies and butterflies. Oooooh, shiny...]

So, in response to the email above that asked -

“Have you found that it increases the trust factor that much that it outweighs the annoyance or confusion of the average reader? Or do you have other related data to support the practice?”

…it’s not about data, I have none (at least I didn’t before this).

It’s about doing what’s right for my community, and for me. My judgment call, and I’d never deem to say what’s right for anyone else. It’s just how I roll.

Also, I don’t see how calling out affiliate links or giving people an option to choose an affiliate versus a non-affiliate link leads to annoyance or confusion. If anything, it adds clarity and transparency. And yes, increasing trust is the most important thing for me. Totally worth it, even if it lowered any income generated. Money isn’t my leading metric.

But, I’ve still been teasing you for this whole read…

What about the data?

How many people chose the affiliate versus non-affilate link in last week’s post?

Offering both links was a bit of an experiment. I was curious, given a choice, what percentage of my readers would be fine with me benefiting if they dug something I turned them on to. And how many would prefer to remove the possibility of me benefitting, even if it would’ve cost them nothing.

As I mentioned in the post, I’m totally cool either way. It’s more about my fascination with human nature.

Especially because I’d not only written the post, but put a fair bit of energy into creating a video that was purely marketing education, no selling at all. It was a total give.

The results were eye-opening…

76% of you chose the affilate link – chance of financial benefit to me

24% chose the non-affiliate link – no chance of financial benefit to me

I’m so interested in the psychology behind this, why people might choose one or the other.

What do YOU think about this? The percentages, the way I disclose, my decision to disclose at all and the experiment I ran with this last post?

And, if you clicked on one of the links, why did you choose the one you chose? No judgments either way, just so interested in your “why.”

Share your voice in the comments below…

With gratitude,

Jonathan

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68 responses

68 Responses to “Eye-Opening Affiliate Disclosure Experiment”

  1. Given a choice, I will always choose the affiliate link because if you never earn any money from your blog, you might stop writing. That would be sad.

  2. Melody says:

    If a blogger/writer posts something that is interesting enough to make me want to click on a link (whether it be an ad or affiliate link), I absolutely HOPE they benefit by my click. I read a lot of blogs and learn a lot from them, and the beauty of it is that I am getting this information for FREE.

    My husband and I live on our sailboat and blog about our travels and although he does most of the blogging, I know first hand that it is a lot of work. Writing, re-writing, proofreading, finding the perfect photo, editing said photo, inserting SEO info, sharing with social media… each post takes a considerable amount of time – so if I can click on something and make someone a few cents or a few dollars for hard-earned work and information that I am benefiting from, I am more than happy to click that affiliate link. It’s a small way to show appreciation.

  3. Jennifer Smith says:

    Hi J-
    I am a huge fan and I would have clicked the affiliate link because what does it cost me to support you? Nothing I assume, but you have supported me in so many ways. It is the least I could do for you.

    Cheers,
    Jennifer

  4. David Ross says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’m not surprised at all by the results of your experiment. I’m one of those 76% who clicked the affiliate link. why? Partly because of your transparency (and the funny disclosure notice, which I have always loved). Partly because of the trust you’ve built up by being transparent and honest. I wanted to return that trust. As it happened, I didn’t sign up with Adventure Capital, but if I had, it would have given me a buzz to know that you had benefitted at the same time. I ‘receive’ from your posts, your videoes, and your talk from the heart. So I was really happy to give something back if I could.

    David

  5. Elona says:

    I clicked the affiliate link because I like you. It’s that simple. I love what you write, I love how genuine you are. You are an example of what I aspire to be, not in terms of your vocation, but in terms of how to be in the world. Sharing money is a way of showing appreciation. I appreciate you!

  6. Erno Hannink says:

    Disclosure is great Jonathan, clear, open, and trustworthy.
    I clicked the non-affiliate link and thought “If I want this program I will go back and click the affiliate link.”

    Not sure how this would annoy the average reader though.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Interesting, thanks for sharing your take on this!

    • Sarah Peck says:

      I’m curious about this — maybe I’m not clear on how affiliate links work…

      From what I understand, no one makes any money unless you actually buy the product. So if you click on the affiliate link in this case, Jonathan wouldn’t have made any money. If you wanted the product, then he would get a (small) cut.

      Do affiliate links track the first or last time you click a link?

      • Jonathan Fields says:

        It depends. That’s actually one of the contentious issues in affiliate lands. The “merchant” can choose whether the give the commision to the first person who sends a visitor or the last person to send visitor, even if that visitor was already sent via someone else’s link. They both have pros and cons for both parties. So it’s important to be really clear.

  7. Next time, switch the positions: non-affiliate first, affiliate last. Or put them side-by-side.

    If I were paying attention, I’d click the affiliate link. If I were distracted, my default state, I’d click whichever was handy. If the non-affiliate link is at the bottom when I’m done reading, I’ll just stab the mouse wherever I see underlined blue text.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, I was wondering about that, too. I’ll probably rotate the order next time. Though I do so few aff links, not sure I can ever get a big enough “n” to get real data. lol

      • I’m curious about that. What’s your reason for not allowing us to reward you for sharing a useful link?

        If I can take money from Amazon’s pocket and put it into someone else’s, I will. Affiliate links combine the joy of buying with the joy of giving. I don’t think it makes you smarmy or selfish because you use affiliate links.

        • Jonathan Fields says:

          I’m actually rethinking the whole thing after this experiment all the conversation in the comments here. But basically, it’s just about keeping things clean. But, yeah, I get your point, along with everyone else. :-)

          • Sarah Peck says:

            It’s amazing how even these comments have reframed the conversation from “I don’t want to put affiliate links everywhere to deceive/bother/promote” to the response “I would always click a link to help support you because I see the value in the work you do, and why not?” — it’s apparent that perhaps by pre-emptively NOT creating affiliate links, you’ve taken away the opportunity for people to give back to you when they WANT to give. Stunning. Never would have thought of it this way.

          • Jonathan Fields says:

            Yep, so interesting, right?

  8. Pam Hirsch says:

    Hi Jonathan – thanks for the great post. With respect to affiliate links, I think they get a bad rap when the site owner is always about promoting and making money from products that have no real connection to what ever the site is about.

    In this particular case, it makes perfect sense that you’d promote Chris’s new program. It’s in keeping with your overall topics and you have a close relationship with Chris already. You’re doing your audience a favor, actually, and IMO, you should receive a commission for that. Plus, I trust you. :-)

    The only reason I can see that folks would not use your affiliate link is if they felt they wanted Chris to keep all of the money. Or they are mean spirited…but I doubt that your readers are like that.

    I’d use your link but I got in on Chris’s program during the beta!

    Thanks again!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Great point about wanting to let Chris keep the full amount.

      Funny thing is, he’s actually so service-oriented and giving that Chris will often go out of his way to make sure his affiliates use his links and get something in exchange for helping him, beyond just doing a favor for someone they love and something they believe in.

      He’ll often promote other people’s content with their affiliate links on social media. Just the way Chris is. A truly amazing guy!

  9. Because if you steer me to something useful, I’m happy for you to get a cut of whatever I spend on it. It would seem churlish not to use the link.

  10. Tim Brownson says:

    Jonathan, I did the exact same thing with my newsletter and blog readers about a year ago.

    I got similar results, but there was definitely a difference between blog readers and newsletter readers.

    My blog readers were similar to yours (maybe tad lower on the affiliate link), but well over 90% my newsletter readers clicked the affiliate link.

    I think that tells and interesting story in terms of engagement.

    And I wish more people were aware of their legal obligation because I even see people tweeting affiliate links with no disclosure. To me that is not only illegal, but also an abuse of the trust offered to them by their followers.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Really interesting. I just went back to calculate the percentages for my email vs blog and it’s about the same. Not sure what that says, lol!

      • Tim Brownson says:

        I *think* my set up is different to yours JF. My blog posts do not go to my newsletter readers (I pretty much only send unique content) and the amount of people who are subscribed to both is probably less than 20%.

        I have a much stronger personal connection with my newsletter readers than I do my blog readers. I’m pretty sure that’s the main reason. Anybody could have landed on that blog post and may not even know me, whereas with the newsletter that’s not the case as I seldom publish the URL via Social Media. So for the large part it’s only being seen by people who are actively engaged (on the whole) rather than drive-byes and link followers.

        BTW, just started Lissa Rankins book and liking it a lot, so thanks for the heads up on that!

  11. Bob Dunn says:

    The results doesn’t really surprise me to be honest. I think the majority of people are more than happy to do the affiliate link in most cases. Typically they have come to your blog, enjoy your content, and figure “what the heck, I’m going to buy it anyway, why not thank you for your content”.

    I’m amazed how many times a reader from my blog will decide to buy something they know I have recommended in the past, and take the time to contact me asking if I have an affiliate link.

  12. Kevin Riedel says:

    If I had to guess, the 24% have a weird form of resentment. I’m willing to bet a small portion of your readers secretly hate you because you convey to us that you live an extraordinary life that many would love to live (me included).

    There’s a little jealousy demon sitting on my shoulder telling me to hate you. It’s human nature. People do things because they are human. Some can control the urges while others can’t.

    So those 24-percenters probably thought to themselves… “F him. He’s got it so good already, I’m not going to give him any free money.”

    As for me, I didn’t click either. I’m on Chris’ list so the program was on my radar screen already. If I was to do it, I would have clicked the affiliate link. I’ve learned so much from you and you’ve played a role in who I’ve become and who I’m trying to become. It’s the least I could do….

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Really interesting insight, Kevin.

      What’s so funny about that, too, is that I feel just as human as the next person, sometimes aspiring to what others have and comparing my inside to other peoples’ outsides. Ack! As much as I know the research and have a pretty committed daily mindfulness and meditative practice, apparently certain things are pretty hard-wired into use. lol.

      If I’m really being honest, too, for a lot of my life, I felt that same secret desire to see others’ fall. But it’s become a lot more tempered over the last 10 years or so, to the point where I rarely ever feel it. Maybe because of my practice. Maybe being a parent and experiencing the joy of watching someone you love so deeply succeed, you feel it as your own. Maybe because I’m doing what I love a lot more and see the world through the lens of abundance instead of scarcity. Or, heck, maybe it’s just really good coffee!

      But, every once in a while… lol! Gotta love human nature. :-)

  13. [...] was fascinated by this approach, and was curious to know his results. Well, today, Jonathan posted that X% of clickers chose the affiliate link, while Y% chose the non-affiliate link (sorry, dear [...]

  14. Tom Webster says:

    I was so fascinated by this, that I wrote a post with some more questions–hope you don’t mind, but it seemed rather book-length for a blog comment :)

    http://brandsavant.com/a-fascinating-experiment-in-the-psychology-of-affiliate-marketing/

  15. Jason Hull says:

    Jonathan–

    Here’s research which confirms the results that you found, and supporting the reason that for the uneducated (which, we, your readers are, in relative terms, compared to you), disclosure, even if it’s a conflict of interest, increases the trust between discloser and recipient, leading to an increase in behavior that the discloser recommends.

    http://www.cbdr.cmu.edu/mpapers/CainLoewensteinMoore2005.pdf

  16. Lisa Jacobi says:

    I hear fireflies { looking upward }

    Thank you for the mid-morning distraction, now back to the salt mines.

    LxoJ

  17. Susan Kuhn says:

    BRAVO! You proved empirically that trust is good for business. This should become a case study.

    When we as consumers find a business we trust, we bend over backwards to keep that business in our lives.

    You and I have chatted about how far this ethic can go…I believe that restoring trust in business gets too little attention as a factor in our recovery from the Great Recession.

    I salute you and others who light the way.

  18. Rex Williams says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiment with us, Jonthan, and the data. Everyone learns more that way. Great idea.

    I clicked on the affiliate link for the same reasons as most everyone. I know you’re looking for the explanation of the 24%, which I’m curious about too.

    From the comments above, it looks like our standard assumptions may be way off.

    Nice work.

  19. wendy says:

    Great experiment. People and money, myself included. I have not been following along so didn’t see the original post but I think it’s and interesting view of human nature and the nature of fear. Some are afraid of losing money and they also may not want someone else to gain. Then there is the “read it wrong” possibility. Like at my work where it wasn’t clear about what “extended shifts” were and many didn’t realize that an 8.5 hr day was an extended shift and were thinking 10s and 12s so they didn’t vote for the very shifts they were working. After the vote… there was clarification and upset but the union said it was in stone and there would not be another chance. Read twice, ask questions, make decisions. Maybe your count for your benefit would have been higher without the “confusion” factor that one fellow mentioned. All the best to you!

  20. I am at a point in life where I do not want to accumulate stuff. However, I value the writings and the insights that come along with a few blogs I routinely follow, this one definitely included. Thus, I would always choose the link that would benefit the blogger. It is the least I can do to support someone whose efforts I appreciate when I am occasionally deciding to make a purchase.

  21. I appreciate transparency. I haven’t clicked on any links lately, because I’ve been dealing with pressing issues (and I’m on Chris’s lists). *IF* a link leads to a business whose practices I don’t want to support (a third-party provider, normally, not direct to the source of the Good Material the blogger is pointing out), I will not use it but will wish I could kick a commission to the blogger anyway. And I will endeavor to find the originator of the material and order from that person, to maximize their income. *IF* a link leads directly to, say, another independent business, everybody wins and I’ll use the affiliate link.

    I don’t use affiliate links on my blog. I should probably say that somewhere. I just can’t deal with it, personally. I feel like I’m missing a boat in that regard, but it’s one I’m willing to miss. I am sometimes provided with books or other materials to review. Then I disclose; it’s been obvious in the past that supplying me with a copy of something won’t produce a review that ignores the item’s problems, although I do endeavor to strongly point out its good aspects. I mostly work in a very specialized area where readers will want to have copies of even flawed contributions. That’s kind of nice; so my job becomes helping readers appreciate the benefits without tripping over the shortcomings.

    All without the affiliate bonuses. Oh, well!

  22. David says:

    I clicked the non-affiliate link (gasp!) because I honestly had no intention of buying Chris’s service but just wanted to briefly check out the web page out of curiosity. I assumed you would only benefit if I actually bought his service (not just clicking a link). It seemed logical to me that if I clicked the affiliate link, I might draw attention as a “potential buyer” which I’m decidedly not. If I ever DID intend to buy, I certainly WOULD use your affiliate link. So, sorry if I skewed your data, but I’m probably not the only one. It certainly was intended in a malicious way!

    • David says:

      Doh, I mean NOT in a malicious way (too early in my day)! That’s NOT malicious. Sorry!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, great point. I think there’s probably a lot of anxiety around affiliate links, because many folks don’t exactly know how they work. Definitely something to ponder.

  23. Amy Oscar says:

    Another of the many reasons I adore you – and your work. You are my first (and still my best) teacher of all things social media and self-publishing – your integrity and the quality of your work are a constant inspiration. Thank you.

  24. Tara Gentile says:

    Thanks for posting the results of this. I would have LOVED to also get data on how the two links converted. Was there a higher tendency to convert to a sale when an affiliate link was clicked or when the non-affiliate link was clicked?

    Of course, it’s too late for that now but it’s got my brain spinning!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      yup, would’ve been interesting, though I’m sure how we could’ve tracked non-affiliate sales, except maybe on a db level.

  25. Helen H says:

    Hello,
    I’m an occasional reader. I like you. I understand disclosure requirements. Yet, I intentionally clicked on the non-affiliate link. As I think about it, I realize there are a number of reasons why I did that. It’s not that I didn’t want to potentially help you out though. First, I wasn’t in the market to buy anything, so I just clicked through because I was curious. And, sometimes I just like to feel more anonymous by not have another tracking cookie associated with my name in someone’s system. Either way, If I had decided to buy, I know I would have forgotten to go back and click on the affiliate link. Yet, I really appreciated having the non-affiliate option which showed me that you would endorse that program even if you didn’t profit by doing so. It made me trust you and the program that much more.
    Anyway, those are just my random thoughts at the moment. Hope it helps in some way. And, thanks for sharing the results.
    Helen

  26. Sam says:

    I clicked the unaffiliated link because, at the time, I didn’t really know what “affiliated link” entailed. I only clicked out of curiosity to see the design elements. I remember being confused by the end of your blog post, but didn’t think that much about it.

  27. Jeff Rose says:

    Sorry to skew your data, but I actually clicked both. :)

    I was just curious if I could see a noticeable difference between the two, which I did not.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      lol, no worries. This time page was identical either way, though there are ways to alter page design and content based on the path or link someone takes to get to a page.

  28. Interesting little experiment Jonathan. I’m always clicking the affiliate links of my favorite bloggers when possible simply because it’s my way of giving back. :)

  29. Irene Ross says:

    This is EXACTLY why I’ve been following you for so long, back in the days when I first got to know you from Sonic Yoga.

    I always, always, always disclose an affiliate link because, as you say, it’s the RIGHT thing to do. I recently asked someone (who claims to be so transparent and “deeply spiritual”–I find that people who have to talk about it usually aren’t)–but I digress. He said “I never worry about disclosing them.” Well, that made my trust factor instantly do down, down, down.

  30. I do like supporting other bloggers. However, I may be one of the rare people who dislike or feel irritated seeing the word “aff link) on a post, especially if it’s just for a book. It’s better when the idea is spelled out, epsecially if it’s for an expensive program.

    • Eden says:

      Sandra,
      You make a good point, as someone who has a target market of baby boomers I often wonder is there a more socially acceptable word, rather than ‘affiliate’?
      I’m concerned our readers won’t understand the term and continually giving a lengthy explanation will bore those who do.
      Would love your thoughts.

      • Eden, the word us old folk use is “commissions.”

        If you’re concerned about confusion and boredom at the same time, perhaps explain in one place what your “commission links” are, and then link an asterisk or whatever to that explanation. The link itself can include the text “this is a commissioned link” or something similar.

        We’re all familiar with the concept of a salesman who makes his money based on what he sells. What we all call affiliate links are commissioned sales.

      • Had a quick look at your site, Eden. I’ve heard Belize is spectacular.

        You might also consider the simple wording (wherever you put it) “I make money if you buy this from them” or something like that.

        Simple is best. Repeating yourself is rarely a problem, if you consider how hard it is to get anyone to pay attention. (There’s this experiment involving a Barry Manilow t-shirt . . .)

  31. Kate says:

    I love that you posted about this. I actually clicked on the non-affiliate link by accident (I was quickly skimming and just kind of clicked really fast) and then felt bad when I read closer. If I had bought the program I would’ve gone back and hit the affiliate link for sure :-)

  32. renee says:

    love it, thank you!

  33. Mike Martel says:

    Jonathan,
    Thanks for the interesting post. As so many other people have commented, transparency is a great driver. The fact that you laid it out there for them was an incentive for them to help since you put something on the line for them. I have seen it over and over again, do something for others and it comes back to you.

  34. Tracy Hall says:

    Thanks for giving us an insight into the workings of how you run your business and life. It’s great to have role models who live with integrity instead of just preaching it, especially in an online world that increasingly pushes more than it provides.

  35. Mark says:

    Oh wow!! Didn’t expect that result…human generosity rules…apparently. Nice thought, well done you for the experiment!

  36. So great to see this conversation and thanks for starting it Jonathan. It’s refreshing to see people saying they’d always click the affiliate link because they’re happy to give you credit where it’s due. I wish more people looked positively at affiliate marketing, or what I like to call `Trust marketing’ because when done right – open, honest and transparent it’s a win win for both your community and you. You do al the hard work building the brand, finding the resources, reviewing the best of the best and in return you get a commission. Easy as that.

  37. Lori says:

    If I were buying, would have clicked the affiliate link to benefit you. I totally believe in the collaborative nature of this community AND the value of collaboration (vs competition) as the way to do business now and in the future!
    I think most of us who have been following others doing business online for a while have developed a sense of who to trust. You are definitely one to believe in.
    I would love to see you report on your community’s thoughts on affiliate promotions…do they do them, why, and why not. You could target 10 of your friends in the business of spiritual & conscious marketing (keep their names under wraps if you want) and report your findings.
    It would be interesting to see! Thanks, I love your stuff…especially GLP!
    (PS). My thoughts….unabashedly promote every aspect of entrepreneurship…including affiliate marketing. Rename it if you want to…but, for those young people following you, the seed you plant about how to make money on their own is invaluable! You know as well as I do that the cream always rises to the top!

    • Lori says:

      One last thing…then I promise to stop ;)! I choose to see it this way….people are not promoting the offers because they are affiliates…they are affiliates of the offers they truly believe in enough to promote!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Interesting idea for an article. Seed planted! Thanks. :-)

  38. Olivia says:

    Hi. I think that people who sign up for your newletter and want to hear from you on a regular basis are more like you that others. If you have some sound life principles, are open and honest and you treat them with respect, the chances are that you attract honest and respectful subscribers.

  39. RachelP says:

    If I am buying a program that has an affiliate program (or I assume it does) I will always use the link from the person who led me to the program. If there’s no person attached to the program, I will sometimes ask some people I want to support, “Are you an affiliate for [program]? I’m about to buy it so send me your link.”

    Share the love and the yachts, I say!

  40. Anne says:

    hi
    in this situation I would click the affiliate link because I would want to support what you do and I know you only recommend stuff you would use yourself. And why not?

  41. [...] was fascinated by this approach, and was curious to know his results. Well, today, Jonathan posted that X% of clickers chose the affiliate link, while Y% chose the non-affiliate link (sorry, dear [...]

  42. Jan says:

    I have no trouble with affiliate links when openly disclosed, but I was one of the 24%. I had no intention of making a purchase at the time and was weary of the commercial offers and links I’d already followed out from the other blogs I’d consumed that day. A non-affiliate link just seemed cleaner and less complicated at the time. Some days I require simplicity, you know?

  43. Darlene says:

    I’m with you.. and I disclosed affiliate links long before it was mandates by the FTC.. or maybe I should say “long before I knew it was mandated”

    I guess I’m still surprised 24% would go for the non-affiliate link. I really don’t get people sometimes. I go out of my way to try and help people who’ve help me (like someone whose spent their time and energy researching a product for me to consider.)

    ~darlene

  44. Emma says:

    It’s all about providing value to your readers. Everybody is in the business of making money in one way or another so if you provide quality content most reasonable people will actually want to reward you for that.