Disclosing Affiliate Links on Blogs [POLL RESULTS]

A couple of weeks back I asked readers to respond to a Poll with the question – ‘Do You Disclose Affiliate Links?

Over 800 readers responded. 19% said that they didn’t use affiliate links – but of those that do use them the break down was as follows:


It’s a fairly even breakdown isn’t it?

The discussion on the post was fascinating also with a real range of opinion shared.

Below I’ve included a few quotes that highlight some of the threads of conversation, diverse opinions and practices. My hope in sharing them is that the conversation will continue to develop.

What do you think?

Those that Don’t Disclose:

“I mask them using a php redirect. I find it’s better to hide the URL, because people who don’t want to give me the affiliate sale could just mouse over the link and see the actual domain and go straight there on their own. If it’s hidden, they’re almost always forced to click.” – Chris Jacobson

“I don’t for the simple fact that I think that people assume that they are anyways. And just because I have an affiliate link to the place doesn’t mean my opinion is biased…. I do php redirects, but not for the reason of masking, but for the ease of changing those links that it affords.” – thatedeguy

“I don’t hide affiliate links. I also don’t publicly broadcast them either. In all honestly most people don’t realize they’re affiliate links (or don’t care) and I can’t be bothered with the effort to hide them.” – Staphane Grenier

“When you go to a bookstore, employees don’t run around to all the customers, “I should let you know that we’re going to make a profit if you buy that magazine.”” – Dave C

Those that Do Disclose:

“All my aff links are clearly marked. If your neighbor suggested you buy a certain type of insurance and you later found out that he received a commission for suggesting it, how would you feel? Deceived? Used?” – Michael

“I have a disclosure policy that I link to from within every article, but in general I don’t disclose each individual link. I am more inclined to disclose whether I purchased the product or received a free sample, which I think makes more of a difference, or even whether I am writing about something I haven’t purchased.” – Andy Beard

“People who try to hide affiliate links are scum, IMO. It is absolutely unethical to go around accepting money and trying to hide that fact. As far as disclosure goes – I think it is a bit foolish to not inform your readers you’re getting paid (a simple “this post contains affiliate links” is enough for me) – but it isn’t as bad as purposely hiding them.” – Jeremy Steele

“I disclose affiliate links, but I only really think this is an issue if you are recommending the product being linked to. The reason is twofold. One, if I’ve said anything positive about the product, I feel like I am ethically obliged to disclose this to readers, because the disclosure gives them the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they feel their was any sense of bias. Second reason – to me, it almost makes me more inclined to buy if I see that the affiliate link has been disclosed, because it makes me feel that the recommender is so comfortable with the integrity of his advice that disclosing his economic interest would not negatively dissuade me from buying. It’s a weird bit of reverse psychology, but it actually works for me, at least as a consumer.” – Jonathan Fields

Those that Sometimes Do and Sometimes Don’t:

“I don’t always explicitly label affiliate links as such at the actual link, but I don’t go out of my way to hide that they are affiliate links either and I try to make clear on my sites that I do have affiliate or referral links….. I suppose a real internet newbie might be surprised to find out that when I link to a book on Amazon, I get a nickel if they buy it, but I think most people recognize an Amazon affiliate ad by now and most readers are more than happy to use one when they want to buy something at Amazon.” – Tom Hanna

“Yes, if I write a review of a program, product or service and it’s obvious that I am promoting it. Then I mention that the links are affiliate links. No, if I just write an article about a topic of internet marketing or blogging; then I include affiliate links to products and don’t mention them.” – Tomaz Mencinger

Paid Reviews – Have You Written Them on your Blog?

This week’s Reader Poll is sure to cause some interesting discussion as there’s lots of debate about paid reviews with some bloggers dead against them and others who see them as a great way to make money from their blogs.

So lets see what the community thinks. Have you written paid reviews on any of your blogs?

Have You Ever Written a Paid Review on your Blog?
View Results

I’d love to not only see the result of your vote – but to hear some of your reasoning why you responded the way that you did in comments below.

  • Do you think Paid Reviews are a good thing?
  • Have you done them? Do you still do them?
  • If you stopped – why?
  • If you do them – why?

Looking forward to seeing the conversation that this one generates.

How Old Are ProBlogger Readers? Poll Results

Last week I asked readers a simple demographic question – ‘how old are you?’

My reason for asking wasn’t because I’m gathering data for advertisers (although I’m sure they’d be interested) but to test a theory that I’d been hearing a number of commentators say recently – that blogging is just something that ‘young people’ do.

In constructing the original poll I messed up the categories a little by having some 5 year ranges and some 10 year ones. This made it seem that the 31-40 year old range was the biggest – however when you add the 21-25 and 26-30 groups together it shows quite convincingly that the biggest group is actually 21 to 30 year olds.

Here’s how the spread of results look:


For those of you preferring to see the percentages:

  • 57% of respondents are 30 or under
  • 77% are 40 or under
  • 88% are under 50


I guess the question of whether blogging is just for young people depends how you define ‘young’!

Don’t forget to vote in this week’s Poll which asks whether you disclose affiliate links.

Do You Disclose Affiliate Links?

It’s time for another ProBlogger Poll. This week’s question is:

Do you Disclose Affiliate Links?

It is a question that I’m sure many of you will have strong opinions on and which others of you are probably grappling with on a regular basis (I know I do).

Vote here or in the sidebar:

Do you Disclose Affiliate Links?
View Results

I’d also be interested to hear your reasons why you answer as you do in comments below.

I’ll post the results of last week’s poll in the next 24 hours.

How Can Bloggers Be Environmentally Responsible?

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day Today is Blog Action Day – the day where thousands of bloggers around the world are all blogging on the same topic – this year it’s ‘the Environment’.

So on a day like today I thought it might be good to have some discussion around the topic rather than me just spouting off on my theories – after the stated goals of Blog Action Day are to ‘get people thinking, discussing, questioning and talking about the environment’.

So my question for us bloggers is:

‘how can we as bloggers be involved in saving the environment?’

Surely there are a at least a few things specific to bloggers that could reduce our ‘footprint’ on this wonderful world we live in.

Here’s a few to kick us off:

  • Get a more energy efficient monitor
  • Turn off Your Computer at the End of the Day
  • Donate a Days Earnings to an Environmental Cause
  • Keep your computer longer and learn how to recycle it when you do upgrade (learn more about the ‘computer problem’)
  • Consider offsetting the carbon emissions from blogging with some tree planting

I’m sure there’s a lot more we could do – keen to read your suggestions.

Is New Media a Threat to Journalism?

Here is a quick question for your discussion. I’m writing a short column on the topic for a magazine (ironically) and while I’ve already written most of it thought it’d be a better article with your ideas. The topic:

Will the growing popularity of digital user-generated content pose a threat to the traditional journalist?

I’ve been given the task of writing in the affirmative and presenting the case for digital user generated content – although don’t have to take the extreme.

Get Something Off Your Chest

Get-Something-Off-Your-ChestIt’s time to ‘get something off your chest’ about blogging.

I listen to a sports radio station here in Melbourne and every Wednesday morning while I’m dropping my son off to his Grandma’s house for the day a segment comes on called ‘get something off your chest’. In the segment listeners are asked to call in to share something that they’re frustrated about, something that they dislike etc. They get about 30 seconds each to say their piece.

It’s a great segment for a number of reasons.

  • Firstly it’s fun to listen to people rant.
  • Secondly it causes some interesting debate.
  • Thirdly it leads to solutions to problems (quite often questions are asked, confusion is clarified or problems are solved).

Every time I hear this segment I wonder how it would go to do it here at ProBlogger on the topic of Blogging.

So lets give it a go.

Here are the ‘rules’:

  • Tell us something that you’ve been wanting to get off your chest about blogging.
  • It could be a frustration, a problem you have, a concern you’ve been keeping to yourself – really anything that you want – just try to keep it to the theme of blogging.
  • Attempt to keep it to 150 words of so maximum (I’m not going to police this – but it’d help us all to digest everyone’s comments if they were shorter than longer).
  • No personal attacks please – while I don’t mind if you critique things or even others – try to keep things civil and don’t get too personal in bringing others down.

Hopefully this won’t be too negative (crossing my fingers) but can actually be a constructive experience and lead to us learning something about the medium of blogging.

PS: in a sense this is similar to my previous What’s Wrong with Blogging? posts from last year and the year before which led to some interesting discussions.

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How Many Visitors Do You Get On Your Blog? – Poll Results

Last week I asked ProBlogger readers this question:

How Many Unique Visitors Does Your Biggest Blog Get Per Day?

Considering that a previous poll found that over 50% of my readers have been blogging for less than a year the following results don’t surprise me (as it generally takes 2-3 years to build a blog to it’s potential).

2144 readers responded and 35% of respondents get less than 100 visitors a day.


Here’s the percentage breakdown for each category:

0 – 100 – 35%
101 – 250 – 16%
251 – 500 – 12%
501 – 1000 – 10%
1001 – 2500 – 10%
2501 – 5000 – 6%
5001 – 10000 – 3%
10001 – 20000 – 2%
20001+ – 5%

While these statistics may be a little depressing – I think they are very worthwhile knowing for a number of reasons:

1. If you’re a PreBlogger (or a new one) – it’s worth knowing that building a blog with thousands of readers is not something that is as simple as signing up for a free blog tool, writing a few posts and expecting people to show up. Blogging takes work – time on a daily basis and time in terms of months/years of consistent blogging.

2. If you’re a blogger who is feeling discouraged by blogging and having a lack of readership – you’re not alone. Many (if not most) bloggers struggle to grow a blog’s readership.

3. There is hope – 5% of you have blogs with over 20,001 daily visitors. While this is a relatively small group when compared with other categories – it can be done.

One Last Thought

As I look over the above chart it strikes me that together as a community we have an enormous reach. I just quickly calculated an estimate of our combined readership by multiplying the number of recipients voting in each category by the mid point of that category (and by multiplying the 117 form the top category by the minimum value).

Using this calculation we have a combined Daily Visitor reach of 4,846,375. Considering that this blog is read by considerably more than the 2144 people who actually voted in this poll (we have about 15 times that many RSS subscribers) the numbers of who we reach each day is quite staggering.

I’m not sure what to do with that knowledge – but it does make me think that we should be working together more to support and build up one another in our readership. Food for thought.

How Old Are You? POLL

Time for this week’s poll. This week I’m asking a pretty basic demographic question:

How Old Are You?

I’m asking this because I’ve heard a number of people recently speak about blogging as a young person’s thing – however in talking to many ProBlogger readers I’ve found that the age range is quite broad.

How spread are the ages of ProBlogger readers? We’ll soon find out.

If you’re reading this in RSS you’ll need to come on over and vote here.

How Old are You?
View Results

Looking forward to seeing the results on this one!