Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Further clarification on that FTC disclosure policy


It just occurred to me that I should point you to a couple of resources you can use if you wish to create a disclosure policy for your blog or website. Take a look at mine, if you wish. It may not work for you, and it may have far more or less than you want. But it’ll give you some example of what I’m doing. You’ll find it linked to as “Privacy” in the navigation links of this website.

If you look at the last paragraph in that “Privacy Statement,” you’ll find specific discussion of advertising and third-party products and/or product reviews. I don’t know whether or not my “Privacy” page does all it should or could, but it sounds right to me. If I advertise on this site or others anything from writing supplies to acne medicine, my statement urges site visitors to be aware that I may (I HOPE anyway) be making some money from that and they SHOULD always check out any ad claims on the site and do “due diligence” before buying anything.

Pretty common sense stuff, I would think.

The big issue, in my opinion, is not specific disclaimers or privacy statements. The big issue is that almost no one coming to a website really reads and understands privacy policies or disclaimers anyway.

On my affiliate marketing sites, all of my “About” and “Privacy” pages emphasize that I am NOT a merchant, but a “merchant partner” who directs site visitors to merchants via links on my pages. But I still get several dozen messages a year from people wanting to know whether I stock such and such an item. I’ve gotten customer service type questions from other folks.

Anyway, do with this information what you will. If you’re writing a blog or other website content trying to make a few bucks online, you need to try to get all the details sorted out and be compliant with Uncle Sam (or whatever affectionate terms you have for the government where you live).