(Last Updated On: January 19, 2017)
In todays modern area, the whole WordPress community, meaning just about every blog admin, is out to make a bit of revenue from their blogs. Why you ask? Well, don’t you have web hosting costs and a monthly cost for your autoresponder service. If you do not use one to collect email address’ to send out weekly or monthly emails then you are missing out on some extra revenue if done correctly. If you sign up to an autoresponder service, the best plugin to use on your blog to integrate subscription form is the Bloom plugin in which WPOutcast is currently using.
So what does cloaking affiliate links mean? Look at the featured image above, my affiliate link is on the left side and after cloaking one link, on the right hand side is the pretty URL I can promote anywhere on the internet. Basically you hiding the ugly link and making a pretty link to post online. Some Cloaking plugins for WordPress will show you detailed stat’s on clicks on certain URL’s you created plus a lot more.
If you do promote affiliate links on your blog, you should have the Akismet Plugin installed as it will help block spammers in the comment system.
I have not told the truth, when I see a long link that has a bunch of numbers and letters or special characters I tend to not click on them as I don’t know if that is a phishing link that could take control over my laptop or certain accounts I have online. Let’s get straight to 3 of the most popular Cloaking plugins for WordPress that WPOutcast strongly favors.
Genesis Simple URL’s
The Genesis Simple URLs plugin created by StudioPress staff is currently the plugin that I am using to cloak affiliate links for any where I post online. I switched back to them a few months ago and it was easy because I didn’t change URL formats so I did not have to fix a ton of links! This plugin is so simple to use. If you have SEO plugin installed, when you create a cloaked link, be sure to make sure the link is nofollow or noindex. I never let Google or any search engine bot to index my cloaked links even though they look pretty. I play things safe in regards to how Google is with their search guidelines.
Here is one example of how easy it is to create a cloaked link to use on your blog or any website in the world.
If the image is to small, here is the pretty affiliate link that I made a long time ago: https://www.wpoutcast.com/recommended/aweber/
Download the plugin today and start making those links pretty. For a guide on the may ways to use this plugin, visit our Track Product Downloads blog post.
Pretty Link Pro
The Pretty Link Pro plugin is a paid plugin but is well worth it as you get a hell of a lot of features that help you manage your links and get statistic’s. With this plugin, you can shorten links, cloak links, redirect links and even automate them. If you are serious about tracking everything and managing your affiliate links, do give this plugin a chance.
This plugin will automate links as in you can specify certain keywords or keyword phrases and turn those keywords into an affiliate link of your choosing without you doing this everyday when you look at older blog posts. Go explore the Pretty Link homepage to get more details on every feature. Low price to get this plugin.
The Thirsty Affilates is just about the same as the Pretty Link Pro but even better. The main features that makes this one so special is that you can cloak affiliate links, accurate stat tracking, auto keyword link and import links. This means you can import affiliate links from Amazon as that is one place I promote a lot of products from on my old blog. Wish I had this plugin back then.
A view of creating a link
- Multiple redirect types (301, 302 or 307 temporary)
- Full backup compatibility via standard WordPress backup solutions
- Handy affiliate link picker tool (with full instant search capabilities) makes it easy to insert affiliate links in posts, pages and comments!
- DoFollow/NoFollow options (global or per link)
Plenty of more good features this plugin provides. I’d suggest you first use this plugin as you can download it for free from WordPress. Visit the Thirsty official website and read about all of the features that this plugin has to offer before you make a decision. When you pick 1 plugin to use, it’s best to stick with it forever as some plugins it’s not easy to import links from other plugins. (My Thirsty Review)
Bringing It Back To You
There are a lot more plugins out there for cloaking affiliate links. The ones that I have used or would use if I was looking to make a switch to a different one, are the ones I listed above. We go from a simple plugin, to 2 premium plugins with a lot of features for any affiliate marketer to track everything. If you have used any one of these plugins before, drop a review in the comment section. It might help someone decided on which one to use.
You may also just use Google AdSense to earn money from your blog. We are using the The Official Google AdSense Plugin to put up ads on this blog. Excellent plugin in my opinion.
Please consider sharing this blog post with your followers and let them know there is an answer to hiding those ugly affiliate links. Believe me, hiding those links does help in getting commissions.