Affiliate marketing is a business like no other. It lets you make money online through blogging and social media activities.
Find a product in your niche, test how it works, and share your honest opinions with unique referral links. This is the way affiliate marketing should work. Such promotions will help you to generate a recurring income from a numerous blog posts and basic search engine optimizations.
Link cloaking is a major part of affiliate marketing. Mostly, you will get a long and ugly tracking URL to promote products. It is not beneficial in many ways. So you should mask them using a link cloaking plugin.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Link Cloaking?
- 2 What is ThirstyAffiliates?
- 3 Key Advantages of ThirstyAffiliates Pro
- 4 ThirstyAffiliates Pricing
- 5 FAQ
What is Link Cloaking?
Link cloaking is a process of hiding links within the content of your website. It is an effective way to avoid being penalized by Google or other search engines for using “doorway” pages. Since it serves links from your domain directories, search engines will treat them as internal URLs and not passing link juices to them.
Moreover, link cloaking makes affiliate marketing effortless. It helps you to organize and monitor your tracking links from one place. There will be a common prefix for all your affiliate links. Usually, it looks like this, example.com/recommends. Add your product name at the end and paste it anywhere on web to start promoting and tracking links.
Today, I am going to review ThirstyAffiliates, a popular link cloaking plugin for WordPress.
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What is ThirstyAffiliates?
ThirstyAffiliates is a great link management plugin for WordPress. It lets you mask long affiliate links and insert smart links in posts, pages, widgets easily.
Auto keyword linking is one of the important features of the plugin. Assign a keyword for your link and set a limit. It will automatically insert your affiliate link for the selected keyword in every page. This is a useful method to save your time and boost revenue.
It can redirect users to a specific URL based on their geographical location. For instance, you can send global visitors to Bluehost.com website and Indian visitors to Bluehost India website if needed.
ThirstyAffiliates monitors inserted links and alerts for 404 errors to avoid losing revenue. It will also apply link fixing scripts to make sure that your links and up to date.
Integrated with Google Analytics, it tracks your links in real-time and generate performance reports to find which brands work best for you. Their performance status for the last 7 days, 30 days, and total are useful to analyze the effectiveness of your recent marketing campaigns.
ThirstyAffiliates is a powerful link cloaking or uncloaking solution for businesses, bloggers, and Amazon affiliates.
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How to Cloak Affiliate Links on WordPress?
It is easy to hide your affiliate links on a WordPress website. ThirstyAffiliates cloaks and inserts links wherever you need. After activating the plugin, open settings to manage your links.
Visit Link Appearance tab to set a link prefix on your site. By default, it applies the following slug to your links. example.com/recommends. Click drop-down box to view other options and enter a custom prefix.
Scroll down to manage link attributes and other relevant options.
To apply no follow attribute, set ‘yes’ for ‘Use no follow on links?’ option. It will ensure that you are not passing link juices to the destination URLs. By default, ThirstyAffiliates will open links in a new browser tab. Leave it as yes, there too.
With the recent Google algorithm update, it is essential to add rel=”sponsored” tag to your affiliate links. Otherwise, you will get Google penalty.
Thanks to ThirstyAffiliates. It can automatically add sponsored tag at the end of your tracking links. Enter your tag in the Additional rel attribute field and save. The plugin will do the rest.
How to Create Affiliate Links on WordPress?
Sign in to WordPress and expand ThirstyAffiliates menu from the left pane of your dashboard.
Click on New affiliate link. It will show options like this,
Enter a brand or product name on the top. Collect your affiliate tracking link and paste it into the Destination URL field. ThirstyAffiliates will create a cloaked URL as per the configurations you made in the last step.
Select or add a new link category from the right sidebar. It helps you to organize links under similar heads like affiliate networks, sponsored links, etc. It is purely an internal matter and others can’t know about your link categories in any way.
Scroll down to enter your autolink keywords and geolocation URLs, if needed. On the right side, it displays link options to override default link settings for redirection type, link attributes, and tags.
How to Insert Affiliate Links on WordPress?
Sign in to WordPress and head to Posts > Add New or edit. ThirstyAffiliates has link insertion and quick link add options in both block and classic editors.
Select a text where you want to insert a link. Click ‘TA’ button on the menu bar. A small box will appear. Search for your merchant link using the name. Choose it from the drop-down list.
That’s it. You’ve successfully inserted the link.
Click on update to save.
How to Monitor Your Affiliate Performance on WordPress?
ThirstyAffiliates tracks link clicks and display statistics for each link. It will tell you how many users clicked a link for the last 7 days, 30 days, and in total.
It monitors and updates status in real-time. Optimize your content creation and marketing strategies to generate more user clicks. No need to say that, it will also boost your income.
Key Advantages of ThirstyAffiliates Pro
ThirstyAffiliates is the #1 link cloaking plugin for WordPress. These are the main benefits of using this plugin.
1. Easy to use
ThirstyAffiliates is super easy to use. After activation, do basic configurations and add your partner links. Then, you can insert links in the content from the post editor directly.
If you forgot to create a link in the past and want to use it in the current post, just click the quick add icon (Block/classic editor > menu) and enter required details. Save changes.
ThirstyAffiliates can automatically insert links in content using keyword autolinking. It is a useful feature to get more clicks without taking any extra effort from your side.
2. Automatic 404 checker
Sometimes, your partner may change their affiliate platform or stop serving customers. But as we all know, it is not practical to check your link status at frequent intervals.
ThirstyAffiliates monitors your affiliate links to detect broken links and sends admin email notifications if any issue found. It will give you a chance to fix them to avoid redirections and losing commissions. Busy marketers needs this kind of feature to take timely actions and safeguard their affiliate marketing interests.
3. Localization for Amazon affiliates
This is another interesting feature of ThirstyAffiliates. It can import your Amazon affiliate links in to WordPress and automatically redirect users to their local Amazon stores.
Import your links and enable geolocation feature to send US customers to Amazon.com, Indian customers to Amazon.in, and so on. It makes sure that you will get paid for the transactions made by them. The plugin can also uncloak certain URLs to meet Amazon affiliate guidelines.
Do you have multiple websites? If so, creating affiliate links is a time-consuming process. You should copy-paste tracking links in all those sites to start promoting items.
ThirstyAffiliates can export and import links in 1-click. Export them from one site and import them in second place using their CSV importer tool. It will take maximum 1 or 2 minute.
5. Link scheduling
On special occasions like Black Friday, you may need to promote products on certain days. Removing those promotions after the expiration date is a laborious task. But if you do not, it will affect your online reputation and invite an account ban.
ThirstyAffiliates lets you schedule a link for a future date. It is also possible to redirect visitors to another URL before starting or expiring the campaign. Next time your merchant emails you about any promotional event, feel free to schedule it. All you have to do is send visitors to the custom page during the campaign and to the regular URL other days.
6. Boost internal traffic
Internal linking is a proven method to boost traffic between internal pages and reduce your bounce rate. With ThirstyAffiliates, no need to install any other plugin to insert links in your content.
Follow these steps to boost your internal traffic with the plugin,
Step 1: Open ThirstyAffiliates settings > Modules first.
Enable Link Fixer and Uncloak Links modules.
Step 2. Create a new category for internal posts. Visit Link categories > Add new for that. This is the post where you are going to save internal post links.
Step 3: Uncloak links by category. Head to settings > Link appearance and scroll down to the bottom.
Select your internal post category from the list. Save.
Step 4: Create a new affiliate link. Enter a title on the top.
Under destination URL, paste your internal post URL and select relevant category from the right sidebar.
Add autolink keywords one by one. ThirstyAffiliates will automatically place links for them until the limit specified in the next field.
ThirstyAffiliates has 3 subscription plans- Basic, Plus, and Advanced.
- 1 site
- All features
- 5 sites
- All features
- 10 sites
- All features
Their pricing starts at
$249 per year for 1 site. If you have multiple sites, go with their Plus plan to use ThirstyAffiliates for up to 5 sites. For 10 sites, you should pay $499 per year. Their premium subscription comes with all features mentioned in this post.
ThirstyAffiliates is my favorite link cloaking plugin for WordPress. It is perfect to cloak your affiliate links and drive visitors to other internal pages.
Being easy to use and powerful, it adds more mileage to your affiliate promotions. It also provides click statistics to guide you about user engagements and commissions. Optimize your marketing campaigns accordingly to bring more visits and improve earnings.
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