There is no doubt Affiliate Marketing is a great source of income. You simply have to start a blog, drive traffic, and generate sales.
Affiliate marketing is not as easy as it sounds.
Managing affiliate links is a tedious and time-consuming process. You have to sign in to the affiliate dashboard each time to get links and you have to update them manually. You might lose a lot of money if your affiliate link gets broken.
Another issue is that affiliate links are ugly and difficult to remember.
So what is the perfect solution to it?
Link Cloaking! It will save you time and make your affiliate links visually nice and easy to remember.
What is Link Cloaking?
Link cloaking or URL cloaking is a method to convert long and bulky links into short and pretty links.
And when someone cloak affiliate links with help of link cloaking software, tools, and plugins this is known as Affiliate Link Cloaking. You may have heard about URL Shorteners like Google URL Shortener and Tiny URL. These are the best example of Link cloaking Tools.
Here is an example of an Affiliate Link:
After cloaking it with URL Shortener:
Above you can see the length of the link gets reduced but still is not look pretty and not easy to remember.
So at the end of this post, I will share the 2 Best WordPress Plugins that you can use to cloak affiliate links properly.
But before that, you should know about the working on link cloaking.
How Does Link Cloaking Work?
Cloaking is just another name redirecting. When you cloak a link tool/plugin creates a new link with the redirect (Temporary and Permanent redirect).
When you click on that link your browser will redirect you to the original URL.
Here is an example:
Affiliate Link: http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-8452066-12015878
Cloaked Link: https://blogginggenie.com/suggests/11-hosting/
When you click on the cloaked URL your browser will redirect to the original URL.
Why is Affiliate Link Cloaking a Must Practice?
As I have already discussed a few benefits of cloaking affiliate links with you but here are some other benefits.
1. Ease of Management:
One of the great benefits of link cloaking is Easy Management. Those days are gone when you have to search for each link and update them manually.
If you are using the Link/URL cloaking plugin(WordPress) then there is no need to update each affiliate link manually. You can modify and replace your affiliate links with a few clicks and it will be implemented on the whole site. It will help you to save time.
2. Easy Tracking:
Cloaking helps to keep track of clicks obtained on your affiliate link. Some advanced tools can collect their Geographic location, Operating system, Screen resolution, and referring pages.
And you can access the detailed reports easily and this will help you to understand your readers’ behavior.
And with help of those data, you get to know which product is the hot favorite among the audience and you can plan out your strategy.
3. Reduce Commission Loss:
As being an affiliate marketer I know how hard it is to get clicks on affiliate links and converting into sales. If your affiliate links are naked then you can lose your affiliate commissions.
There are some Blackhat tools that can strip out your affiliate ID and replace it with scammers’ affiliate Id.
There are some other people who will copy your affiliate link and strip out your affiliate ID and visit the main site directly.
In that case, you will lose lots of money and you never got to know.
Also by cloaking the link you can easily add a No Follow tag to affiliate links that will stop the Search Engines from indexing your affiliate links. So it’s a good idea to mask your affiliate links from visitors and search engines by cloaking them.
How to Cloak Affiliate Links in WordPress?
If you are an advanced WordPress user you can use scripts to Cloak affiliate links. You can use this guide.
But if you are a newbie and want an easy solution you can use WordPress Plugins. Some of the Best WordPress plugins to cloak affiliate links are:
1. Pretty Links
ShortLinks by Pretty Links is another great WordPress plugin for cloaking your affiliate link. It helps you to make your affiliate links clean and short. Its tracking feature allows you to track the clicks record.
- Detailed Click reports (Include IP, referring sites)
- Auto Link Keywords
- Auto-create Pretty Links
- Link Grouping Feature
- Can Control the redirect type
- No-Follow Option
- You can choose a custom slug starting with your Domain Name. Eg www.yourdomain.com/your-slug.
Thirsty Affiliate Link manager is my personal favorite. I am currently using Thirsty Affiliates on my blog. It is a simple and effective solution to cloak your affiliate links. Its link categorization feature makes it easy to manage.
You just have to add an affiliate link to the dashboard and Thirsty affiliates will cloak it automatically. While adding an affiliate link you can change redirect type, No Follow/Do Follow setting, and Open in new tab settings.
- Affiliate Link Picker Tool allows you to add an affiliate link in the WordPress editor.
- Customizable link prefix: Can change link prefix easily. Eg abc.com/recommends/affiliatelink or abc.com/go/affiliate link
- No-Follow option.
- Click Reports.
- Import and Export Feature.
- 3 Different Redirect type supported: 301, 302, and 307.
- Can add the image to the affiliate link.
Final Notes On Affiliate Link Cloaking
If you are an affiliate marketer then link cloaking is a must practice for you.
If you are not cloaking your affiliate link you should start it from now. I am personally using Pretty Links on my blogs. Cloaking not only protects your commission from fraudsters but it will also make your life a lot easier.
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