Transparency, Affiliate Links and Abundant Thinking

I don’t know if it’s a theme or a meme, but there is a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about transparency, ethics in blogging, professional codes …

Not sure where I stand. Mainly watching and listening at this point.

One thing that’s been occupying my less intense moments is how to handle the issue of affiliate links within posts. To date, my mantra has been: communicate in the center (where the blog posts are), sell in the sidebar.

Might sound, catchy – well, I think it does , but lately I’ve been wondering how practical it is.

If I’ve given something a plug and included an affiliate link, my practice has been to mention the fact (whether I have done that every time I simply couldn’t say, but I’ve endeavoured to make it my practice). I’m starting to think that’s a bit naff.

Darren, like others, puts (aff) after a link which is an affiliate link.

As far as other people’s sites go, my personal view is that I feel capable of making up my mind as to whether something is worth buying or at least investigating, and if the person who has flagged or even recommended it gets a commission, good luck to them.

But I understand that some people take a sterner view and I have some sympathy for that point of view (it was in fact mine not so long ago!)

Mike appears less sympathetic to the “no affiliate link” attitude and expresses his point of view rather humorously in Yes, I know that’s an affiliate link.

Methinks the jury is out.

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. Anonymous says:


    Forget about the thought police and all the rot about affiliate links. If you find a product or service that you like and decide to give it a plug, that’s fine by me. I don’t need to know if it’s an affiliate link or not. What next? Are you supposed to tell me how much you’re getting out of it? What about your own products? Can’t you give them a plug without some sook complaining that maybe you’re making some money from your blog?

    Forget the control freaks. When I read a blog I can tell if the blogger is fair dinkum or just plugging products. If they’re just pushing products I leave and don’t come back.

    If you plug a product that is useful to me, I’m grateful that you brought it to my attention. If I buy it and you get a few cents from the sale, well good luck to you. It’s none of my business and I don’t need to know.

    If you plug a product that I’m not interested in, well that’s OK too. Some people like Fords and others prefer Bentleys.

    Sorry if I sound a bit hot under the collar. But I get so fed up with those who feel they have a right to control everyone. They must spend their miserable little lives looking for things they can complain about.

    It’s your blog. Do what you feel is right. Personally I don’t want affiliate links identified (or removed).