A common procedure that affiliate marketers use to disguise their affiliate links, is what’s known as link cloaking. There are a number of reasons why it’s useful to use link cloaking which I’ll discuss soon. I’ll also run through the following with you:
- Why Link Cloaking is Important for Affiliate Marketing
- This Plugin Will Help With Implementation
- Track Your Pretty Links
Before I do this, if you’ve never heard of Affiliate marketing, or you have but are unsure what it is, pay attention. Anyone can become an affiliate marketer and it’s an industry that is rapidly growing. Here’s how it works.
Basically you help sell online stores products such as bags, by promoting them on your website. You sign up to their affiliate program, access your unique affiliate links that contain your ID, and place these on your website. If someone clicks on this and proceeds to make a purchase on the merchants website, you’ll make a commission.
When you have hundreds of articles all ranking in Google, all promoting various products, with potentially thousands of visitors per month, this can easily add up to a nice income each month.
Before you think this sounds like a piece of cake, you may be mistaken. It’s far from easy because it does take time, persistence, motivation and consistency. There’s also a learning curve involved.
If you’d like to learn more about affiliate marketing, you can either download my free guide, or read about the No.1 affiliate marketing educational platform on the internet here.
Anyway, let’s push on and see why link cloaking is important, and how you can implement it.
Why Link Cloaking is Important for Affiliate Marketing
There’s a few reasons why cloaking (or disguising) your affiliate links is important. Firstly, they look unsightly. Because they look unsightly, they also look unprofessional.
The other problem with this, is that you may include an affiliate link in an email that you’ve sent out to your email list. When a recipient browses through your email, they may think the affiliate link looks spammy, and decide not to click on the link. Sale lost!
Another reason for cloaking links, is that it makes it more difficult for scammers to attempt to replace your affiliate link with their affiliate link. Yes, this does happen and you’d be fairly pissed off if you worked so hard to make loads of commissions, only for some rotten sod to rip you off.
There’s also some potential buyers that may see that they’re about to click on an affiliate link, and instead decide to remove your ID affiliate section of the link. This will just take them directly to the product and you will not receive a commission. Link cloaking does away with this.
You may find that cloaking affiliate links may will also bypass ad-blockers such as AdBlock Plus.
One last benefit of link cloaking, is that they are easy to manage and modify. If an affiliate link changes in future, you only need to modify your single cloaked link, and all your related links through your posts will be updated. Nice hey.
This Plugin Will Help With Implementation
Download it now if your going to use link cloaking, it’s called…Pretty Links. This is a brilliant plugin that will allow you to enter messy affiliate links, and convert them to clean, simple, attractive links.
It’s also easy to setup new links. Simply enter the ‘Target URL’ field with the original ‘ugly’ affiliate link, and a new description for your new link. As you can see in the description below, the short description will go after your website name. In my case, after ‘https://newonlinecareer.com/‘.
It’s also a good idea to give your new link a title, generally a description of which site the link is being directed to. As the image also shows, notes can also be added.
As you can probably guess, after a while you can have loads of affiliate links, which means loads of Pretty links. That’s why Pretty Links has as Grouping section. So for instance, lets say you have a store that you partner with as their affiliate. Let’s call them ‘Store X’. You can set up a group called ‘Store X’, and have 10 different affiliate links under this grouping. These links will be directed to various parts of Store X.
Or, you may call a group after an affiliate network, such as ShareSale. Then have 10 programs that you promote through SharaSale and would group them all under this ‘ShareaSale’ label. This makes finding your affiliate Pretty Links much easier.
Track Your Pretty Links
It’s always nice to have the option to track how your website is progressing. The most common method is setting up Google Analytics, but here’s another way. Pretty Links has a tracking facility integrated in their plugin, even with the free version. This is ideal for checking how many click through’s you get from each created link.
Even though you won’t get any (or many) clicks when you first begin a website, due to the fact you’ll have no traffic, it’s still worth the effort to set up Pretty Links when you begin.
If you have the same link on multiple pages, the tracking information will show which page was the referrer for the click. This information is available underneath the displayed graph.
Tired of seeing Scams or endless fraud sites?
As you can tell, there’s more reasons to cloak your affiliate links that just to make them pretty. Although this does make them more appealing cosmetically, the real value comes by disallowing potential hackers and scammers to access your affiliate links, and therefore replacing them with their links via malware.
You will also find that your click through rates will become higher, as more people trust cleaner looking links, than a bunch of identification letters and numbers.
There are a number of link cloaking plugins that can do this for you, but I’ve found Pretty Links does the job perfectly for me.
Just one last thing before I end this article. As much of this article talks about security in regards to your affiliate links, there’s another type of security you may been keen to pursue. I use a password protection program which stores all my passwords securely encrypted. It’s a paid service, but these are better than the free password facilities. I use Keeper Security for my whole family, check it out if you’re not using a similar program.
I hope you found this article helpful, and if you have a comment to make in regards to link cloaking, please leave a message in the discussion area below this article.
Like many people, I struggled in my early attempts to make money online. It's really frustrating when you try product after product, searching for that elusive opportunity that is really genuine.
Eventually though, I learned how to achieve success in the online world with my own website. This website was created to show others how to do it. I direct people away from the poor opportunities and advise the good ones.
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Disclosure: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links will not cost you any more. More info at my disclaimer page
The opinions in this article are solely mine, are are not intended to offend or discriminate. All information in this review has been researched on the public domain of the internet.