In today’s modern area, the whole WordPress community, meaning just about every blog admin, is out to make a bit of revenue from their blogs. Why do 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 addresses to send out weekly or monthly emails then you are missing out on some extra revenue. If you sign up to an autoresponder service, the best plugin to use on your blog to integrate subscription form is the Bloom plugin which WPOutcast is currently using.
Cloaking Affiliate Links
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’re hiding the ugly link and making a pretty link to post online. Some Cloaking plugins for WordPress will show you detailed stats 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. Let’s get straight to 3 of the most popular Cloaking plugins for WordPress.
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 anywhere 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 an 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 index my cloaked links even though they look pretty. I play things safe in regards to how Google is with their search guidelines.
- Suggested Tutorial: How To Set Up The Yoast SEO Plugin
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 too 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 statistics. 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 every day when you look at older blog posts. Go explore the Pretty Link homepage to get more details on the features. This plugin has the added bonus of being very affordable.
The Thirsty Affilates is similar Pretty Link Pro but even better. The main features that make this one so special are 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 my old blog.
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.
Easy Affiliate Links
The Easy Affiliate Links plugin is very similar to the thirsty affiliates one that we are using in features. A friend asked me to recommend a plugin to him and I did a search online instead of sharing this blog post URL with him. I like this plugin so much that it’s now a plugin I recommend on WPOutcast because my friend has made commissions while cloaking his links with this plugin.
Here are the main features of the free version which I recommend.
- Create shortlinks to cloak your affiliate links
- Easily access your links in the visual and html editor
- Assign categories to your links
- Tracking of monthly and lifetime clicks
- Import affiliate links from XML (Thirsty has this)
- Ability to export your links to XML (Thirsty has this, means I can switch to this plugin and not have to create hundreds of links over a couple of years)
There is an option to nofollow the affiliate URL which I recommend you do use
This plugin has some premium add-on’s just like thirsty affiliates plugin. You really don’t need them but then again, you may want to for some reason. It’s free to install. Let me know your thoughts on this plugin.
Bringing It Back To You
There are a lot more plugins out there for cloaking affiliate links although, 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 decide which one to use.
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.