Social Media & Makers: Watch Where You Click

I have an issue with affiliate marketing. Well, not so much with affiliate marketing but rather with the way people are misusing it.

What is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is when a business gives a person a commission for sales made through their special affiliate link.

How does it work? Basically the special affiliate link comes with a sort of tracking beacon. When a person clicks the link they’re taken to a website. I’m going to share one of my affiliate links as an example. ➡️ This is an affiliate link to Blitsy.com⬅️ That link has a special code attached to my account on an affiliate marketing website (one called ShareASale). When someone clicks that link and buys something from Blitsy I will get a small commission. The commission varies from website to website. Sometimes it’s as little as 0.5% and sometimes it’s as much as 25%.

Furthermore with a lot of these links once you click on it all purchases you make on that website up to several months (each site varies with its specifics) afterward will garner the affiliate marketer a commission. Even if the next time you go on that site you do so via a search engine.

As I demonstrated above, I have affiliate links. I have an account with a couple of affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketing isn’t awful.

My issue is when people don’t disclose that the link they’re sharing is an affiliate link. Or when they trick you into clicking it. That pisses me off.

I see people sharing affiliate links all the time and saying things like, “Oh, why don’t you click on that link and tell me what you’d buy”, or “Hey, guys! Take a look at this amazing deal!” Or they’ll have people click on their link in order for them to be entered to win a prize.

I am HUGE on consent. That is why I always ask permission to share people’s personal social media links or images. That is why, when I give someone an affiliate link, I make sure that I tell them that I’m giving them an affiliate link and that they understand fully what that means. When I share affiliate links in blog posts I make it clear at the very top of the post that I’ve included affiliate link/s.

I’m sick of people not disclosing. It’s abusing the system and it makes us all look bad.

People should get a choice! Please stop tricking them into it. If you’re going to have them click on a link please, before they click it, tell them that it’s an affiliate link and that you will earn a commission.

Because a lot of people are unaware of it I want to share another method people use for their links. It’s a tool called LinkDeli. LinkDeli is a service that allows you to put all of your links in this tidy little arrangement. It costs about $15 per month (that’s the lowest price option) for the service.

Below is an image of a LinkDeli “product list” taken from an article on the LinkDeli website teaching people how to add these to their newsletters. If you were to click on any of those links and buy something the affiliate marketer would earn a commission.

They don’t always share that, though, do they? It might make you think twice about what you click on.

I’m too angry to write a cute, rhyming closure today, guys.

Until next time,

Samantha

6 thoughts on “Social Media & Makers: Watch Where You Click

  1. Great post. Im new to blogging and affiliate marketing, and I have several accounts. I try hard to make it obvious that they are affiliate links, and have just started saying so in the first line. Is that enough?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel that doing that is enough for me. Some people would say if you just put it somewhere on your blog that would be enough, others would say you should put it in front of every link. I think it’s a bit of personal preference/ personal comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

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