If you are an affiliate marketer then I don’t need to tell you how important it is to cloak your affiliate links. Nothing worse than doing a pile of work to find someone has hijacked your links and you are not getting paid. The solution to link hijacking is link cloaking.
The WordPress community has created a ton of plugins for link cloaking. If you are interested in a free wordpress link cloaker plugin then here’s a few to check out:
- Link Manager
- WP Marketer
- Hidden Affiliate Links
- Pretty Link
- Booklinker (just for books)
- Link Hopper
- WP Link Changer
- Go Codes
I think I’ve tried all the free versions and purchased a number of the paid ones like:
and, of course, there are others that I’ve left out 🙂
I don’t use any of them anymore. They are all laying dormant on my hard drive now.
The problem with a WordPress Affiliate Link Cloaker plugin is that they are only really useful if you have a couple of sites. This means it’s easy enough to log in to each site and add the link you wish to be cloaked or edit it.
I have more than “a couple of sites” and that’s where the problem is. I don’t want to spend all day logging into each site to add a link or editing a link. When an affiliate program changes I have to do extra work by running around all sites editing links. Not only that, I also have to remember which site is promoting the particular program. With a couple of sites this is not going to be a problem – with lots of sites this is a headache I could do without. Personally, I would prefer to spend my time sipping cocktails 🙂
The other problem with using a wordpress plugin to cloak your affiliate links is that it only works with WordPress. As much as I love my WP there are times when you need to act outside of WP and this is one of them (for me anyway). If you are a writer, like me, then a plugin is not much use to cloak affiliate links in your ebook 🙂
In order to save time it’s much easier for me to use a domain redirect as an affiliate link cloaker. That means I have one domain and then I just add my links to it. You can do this manually just in your web hosting panel but I prefer to use a script for this task.
Using a script to cloak my affiliate links means that I now only have one place to go to add links, edit them and delete them. I can use the cloaked links on my wordpress sites and in my ebooks so it is multi purpose which saves duplicating work and frees up time in my life.
The script that I like is called Easy Redirect Script and it really is easy. What I like about is that the interface is clear, there is no clutter and no way to get confused.
When you log in you will be greeted with a slick easy to understand interface.
You just add your link add where you want it to be redirected to in Simple Mode and that’s it. Done. You can also view your links and edit them from the handy admin panel. Not only that, you can quickly and easily create a QR code which is great for marketing a product in this day and age. I love the category function because it allows me to assign a particular affiliate link to a category eg. health. This saves me a ton of time if the links have changed. I don’t need to sort through all the links that I’ve created I just need to go to the category and edit the link. Simple. The other feature I like is the Description field. This is a useful space to write a few notes about the affiliate program for example, the email address, when commissions are paid and the amount and some details about the product/service.
If you want more Advanced Features then there are other things that you can do with the plugin including creating categories, seo links, promotional links and the like.
It’s been an expensive and time consuming exercise deciding not to use a WordPress link cloaking plugin but for me the domain redirects or using a simple script like Easy Link Cloak is the best solution for managing multiple sites and products.
By the way, if you purchase the link cloaker plugins or script through my links then I will get a small commission. It won’t be enough to retire to a beach but I may get a few cups of coffee out of it