(In this post, we discuss the ins and outs of how to display affiliate links in WordPress … and in a way that makes everyone happy.)
Affiliate marketing is an important monetization element on many WordPress sites. The reasons for this are that it has a really low barrier to entry, and that you can usually find very interesting products to promote as an affiliate, regardless of your niche or market.
How exactly? Here’s the way it works:
What’s affiliate marketing?
The concept is very straightforward. As an affiliate marketer, you promote other people’s products, and get rewarded with a commission when anyone buys that product directly through your recommendation.
In practice, when you sign up with an affiliate program, you get your personalized links, which you can then use instead of the standard, general links.
For example, a normal link to a product might look like:
http://someproduct.com/, while your affiliate version might be:
The links will both lead to the same place, but the additional URL parameters in the affiliate version will associate every click with your account.
Now, the best part:
How to display affiliate links in WordPress
Disclosure: The following text does not provide legal advice in any shape or form. Everything written here is for entertainment purposes only, and should be treated as such.
In the simplest of cases, you could just link to products using your raw affiliate links, instead of the normal links, but this creates some problems.
Chief of which, based on where you live/operate, there might be laws set in place that require you to disclose your affiliations and make it clear to your readers that what they’re clicking are affiliate links.
In the US, the organization to pay attention to is FTC. Here are the official FTC endorsement guides. Make sure to read through them before you begin promoting any affiliate products.
For other countries, different rules will apply. It’s your responsibility to find out what those local rules are, and make sure that you abide by them no matter what you do. (There are serious fines if you fail to do so.)
Where to show your affiliate disclosure
In most cases/countries, you will need a kind of an affiliate disclosure. In simple terms, such a disclosure is a short paragraph of text that informs your readers that there are affiliate links on your site.
You can use Google to find some disclosure examples. It’s best not to write this on your own … you know, legal stuff.
Now, where to actually display this thing?
There are different methods. So feel free to opt for whatever seems the most sensible for your blog and in your individual case:
- You can display small “(aff)” notes next to each individual affiliate link, and have a full disclosure appear on cursor hover.
- You can display affiliate disclosures at the bottom of the posts and pages that feature any affiliate links in WordPress.
- You can display a general affiliate disclosure in the footer of your whole WordPress site. That way, you have the disclosure on every single post and every page – a kind of a “set it and forget it” solution.
How to display affiliate links in WordPress
So as I said, you could just grab your affiliate links and display them as is. But it’s not the most optimized solution.
First off, while you do get tracking with every affiliate program, to really keep your finger on the pulse, you should also have another layer of tracking set up within your WordPress site.
Additionally, you might want to not display raw affiliate links (like
http://someproduct.com/?id=somenumbers1247). Instead, something like
http://yoursite.com/go/someproduct is going to look much better.
Linker lets you configure link redirections, and then tracks how many clicks each one is getting. With Linker, you can create custom links exactly like,
As an added bonus, this also makes it easy to change all your affiliate links in one go (if you’re using the same link across multiple posts). You only need to make the adjustment in the Linker’s panel, and not go through the individual posts one by one.
Example stats available on the plugin page:
Setting your affiliate links to “nofollow”
In short, the “nofollow” link attribute lets Google and other search engines know that they should not follow that given link.
It’s a good SEO practice to use the “nofollow” parameter whenever displaying an affiliate link anywhere on your site.
You can add this parameter when editing your post/page in the Text editor view:
Just add this to your standard link (bold):
<a href="http://youraffiliatelink.com" rel="nofollow"></a>
Where to display your affiliate links in WordPress
Technically, you can display them anywhere, but that doesn’t really make that much sense.
Since you’re building up your WordPress blog as an authority site, it’s much more beneficial to cover a given product directly (through a review, or a comparison), and talk about why anyone would like to give it a try. Then, link to that product via your affiliate link.
What’s your opinion of affiliate marketing? Have you tried monetization via affiliate links in WordPress?