3 Legal Agreements To Protect Your Affiliate Income

October 12, 2023

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If you’re in the online business space, you’ve inevitably heard the term ‘passive income’ a time or two.

Business owners love to preach the power of passive income and talk about all of the ways you can make money without having to lift a finger. 

And as a business owner myself, I get it – passive income does sound really nice and there are a LOT of ways that you can earn it. 

But where this whole idea starts to go awry is when you’re making lots of passive income with no legalities in place to back you up.

Because yes, making passive income is completely legitimate and can be a great addition to your monthly revenue, but it doesn’t do you much good if you’re just going to have to pay it all back later.

And unfortunately, THAT scenario is what can happen if you skip out on 3 key legal agreements to protect your affiliate income.

In this blog post, we’re diving into this scenario specifically for those who use their blog to earn affiliate income.

So, if you’re a blogger, influencer, or business owner who actively utilizes your blog to link products and offer affiliate codes, THIS is for you!

How To Legally Protect Your Affiliate Income So You KEEP What You Earn

It seems like everywhere you look these days, someone on Instagram or TikTok is saying “use code XYZ for 15% off” and to you that might just seem like a sweet deal to take some extra money off your purchase, but to them it often means extra cash in their bank account. 

And there’s nothing wrong with this and the cool part is that almost ANYONE can be an affiliate of something. 

Aside from being an affiliate for product itself, there are also so many platforms out there that offer affiliate codes when you join and most of these platforms are what business owners are commonly using, such as FloDesk or Honeybook for example.

With this influx of affiliate marketing, SO many people are using this as an opportunity to earn extra money without really having to do any extra work.

And let me just be clear – I’m here for it! I have an affiliate program for The Boutique Lawyer contracts that people can be a part of AND I’m an active affiliate for other programs out there. 

But what I’m NOT here for is when people don’t disclaim their affiliate use and even more so when they don’t protect their potential earnings.

If you are an affiliate of ANY kind and promote other products and services through your blog, email, or social media accounts, you must first let people know that you can potentially earn money through their purchases, and second have certain legal agreements in place so you can keep that earned income. 

The legal agreements in question include:

  1. Privacy Policy

If you’re selling products or services, tracking your website visitors with cookies, using affiliate marketing or even collecting email addresses, a privacy policy is a REQUIREMENT for your website!

And it’s not just to protect your customer or website visitor – it’s also to protect YOU as the business owner. 

Although the term “privacy policy” might sound like some scary legal jargon, I promise you it’s really not that complicated. 

A privacy policy is simply a detailed notice that is published on a website, typically found in the footer, that outlines how that specific website collects, uses and manages a user’s personal information.

Essentially, this policy lets people know what personal information is collected, how that info is collected, how it’s used, and, most importantly, how it’s protected.

  1. Website Terms of Use

A Terms of Use agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and ALL of your website visitors that typically covers topics like if or how they can use your website images (including your logo), how they can backlink to your website and even how they can quote your blogs. 

Similar to your Privacy Policy, your Terms of Use Agreement should be displayed in the footer of your site so that it populates on every single page. 

Without a Terms of Use Agreement on your website, you run the risk of people stealing your content or misusing your website and you’re left with no legal leg to stand on. 

This is a SUPER common issue for those in the blogging and influencing space, so take the necessary steps to protect yourself and avoid yet another legal headache.

  1. Disclaimer

A general disclaimer is important for ALL business owners, but if you’re involved with affiliate marketing and have the potential to earn income through certain links and codes, this one is a nonnegotiable. 

If your website includes ANY affiliate links, you’re required to have a General Disclaimer that can be linked in the footer of your website along with your Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. 

The main purpose of this disclaimer is to provide transparency and disclosure to your audience by letting them know that you can potentially earn commission from links throughout your site.

In addition to your General Disclaimer, you also want to make sure that you are disclaiming your affiliate links in ALL of your blog posts, Instagram stories, and social media posts.

While this technically isn’t a structured legal policy, it IS a simple statement that can save you from legal trouble in the future. 

Failing to disclaim affiliate links, sponsored collabs and even gifted promotions, can land you in a lawsuit real quick and is one of the 4 most common legal mistakes that I see ALL business owners making. 

For blog and social posts, you can say something as simple as this:

“P.S. This blog post contains affiliate links, but I only ever recommend products or services that I love and use myself!”

How To Legally Protect Your Affiliate Income With Ease

So, if you’re a blogger, influencer, or simply a business owner who has the chance to earn affiliate income, consider this your green light to GO FOR IT with certain legal agreements in place!

Implementing each of these into your business can be the thing that protects you from having to pay any affiliate income you earn back. 

Because yes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) checks for these things and the worse case scenario is that you could get sued. 😅

And just take it from someone who has had a front row seat to a lot of lawsuits… you don’t want that headache. 

So go ahead and do the simple and smart thing NOW to avoid any of that craziness later!

In The Boutique Lawyer Contract Shop, you’ll find everything you need to implement as soon as today and you can purchase each contract individually OR grab a bundle that has everything you need wrapped into one.

For bloggers, influencers, or business owners earning affiliate income, I’d recommend The Blog Protection Bundle, which includes the 3 things mentioned above so that you can get all of your legal ducks in a row with ease! 

P.S. If you’re a business owner that wants to implement an affiliate program in your business, CLICK HERE to learn more about the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and discover the 2 contracts you need specifically!

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