There was a debate on the recent Net Income Show between the host, ShoeMoney, and his guest, Rand Fishkin about disclosure of relationships when blogging.
This is been a pretty polarizing topic for good reason – readers want to be able to trust what they read in a blog.
In my opinion, as a blogger on affiliate marketing, I’d think people would be surprised if I were not including contextual ads in the content.
The problem is when the ads become the reason for the content. When posts are written for the purpose of promoting products or services, that’s crossing the line.
However, I consider it entirely acceptable for relevant affiliate links to be included in a blog post I’m already going to write affiliate marketing.
Personally, the links I include are typically for hosting, domain registrars, software etc. that I am using, books I’ve read, products I’ve tried out.
I don’t think any affiliate links I’ve incorporated in the past and will insert in the future would be considered gratuitous – if you disagree, feel free to call me on it.