5 WordPress Plugins for Affiliate Link Cloaking
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways of earning money online for bloggers. Most popular bloggers use affiliate marketing to monetize their blogs. The main reason for using affiliate cloaking is the better and recurring payout. It also earns better than display ads. You only need to promote products and get commissions when someone buys the product. In some SAAS tools, you get a commission every time the person you referred pays for the subscription. Now it is up to you how you can promote your product. But you may have seen most of the blogs using cloaked links in place of original affiliate URLs.
In my blog, I usually post about some plugin or paid theme. But you can see that I usually add URLs like:
Best Managed WordPress HostingWPEngine is the best and most secure managed hosting provider
But it redirects to bluehost.com with my affiliate link. This process of changing the affiliate link is called Link cloaking.
What is Link Cloaking?
Link Cloaking is the technique to hide link affiliate URLs into shorter, branded, and meaningful URLs. Affiliate links are generally lengthy, with parameters to pass affiliate usernames and tracking variants.
For example, below is the affiliate URL for the Bluehost web hosting.
But I use link cloaking to make it look like the below URL.
There are many benefits of doing this. You can easily remember your affiliate URLs for different products. It helps the management of affiliate links easy. If someday, a service or product changes the affiliate system and your affiliate URL changes, you just need to update it in one place and your existing cloaked URLs will keep working. You will not have to update all the articles where you included affiliate links. This is for hiding the affiliate for the search engines. You are not passing the PageRank juice to advertisers. So, I recommend the use of the cloaking process to post affiliate links.
In this post, I am posting the 5 best affiliate links cloaking WordPress plugins.
Affiliate Link Cloaking WordPress Plugins
1. Thirsty Affiliates
Thirsty Affiliates is one of the best affiliate link cloaking and link manager plugin for WordPress. It lets you easily manage your affiliate links from the WordPress dashboard. You can cloak links from the post/page editor of the plugin’s admin section. I personally use this affiliate link cloaking plugin on my blogs to include affiliate links.
Another great feature of this affiliate plugin is that it can automatically replace the selected keyword with affiliate links. You can make these links dofollow or nofollow in a single click.
This plugin is free but there is a pro version with more features including Automatic Keyword Linking, Geographic Redirects, and more. If you are serious about earning from affiliate marketing, I recommend you get the pro version. You can start with the free version but get the pro when your blog starts generating revenue.
2. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is another good affiliate link cloaking WordPress plugin. This plugin also enables you to shorten links using your own domain name. You can create clean links and also track hits on each link. This plugin generates a random 3-4 character slugs for your URLs, but you can also edit the slug to make it readable as per your choice. You can set 301, 302, and 307 redirects for links depending on your choice. The plugin offers tracks Clicks per link and unique clicks per link. The reporting interface is nice and shows proper charts. You can also filter data. The click detail also includes the IP address. This data can also be exported. This affiliate link cloaking plugin uses the cookie-based system for tracking visitor activity. If you do not want your clicks to be counted, you can exclude your IP address from the stats.
3. Easy Affiliate Links
Easy Affiliate Links is also a good plugin that lets you create and manage affiliate links. You can create cloaked pretty links and also get tracking data. The plugin is compatible with both Classic Editor and the new Gutenberg Block Editor. For affiliate links, it also adds UGC and sponsored attributes automatically. You can also manage affiliate links in categories. If you want advanced analytics, this plugin offers that in the premium version. The Premium version also offers conditional geo-targeting or device targeting. This feature is useful for promoting amazon associate products in different countries.
4. WP Auto Affiliate Links
WP Auto Affiliate Links is also an interesting plugin that lets you associate words with affiliate links. After that, this plugin automatically turns those words into affiliate links. If you have several old posts and you don’t have enough time to edit posts to add links manually, this plugin automatically adds links. You can also limit the number of links shown in every article. At most, it can automatically insert 5 links.
This plugin can also use APIs of several affiliate programs such as Amazon, Clickbank, or Shareasale to put links of these affiliate links in your blog posts automatically.
5. Simple URLs
Simple URLs is the complete management system that lets you create cloaking links and track the performance. You can edit and manage your affiliate URLs from the dashboard. Track the performance of your affiliate links and see which is working better. This plugin claims to increase your link clicks by over 30%. I am not sure if their claim is true, but the plugin is really helpful in managing affiliate links. The plugin offers a link management dashboard to manage all affiliate links. You can easily add new links and set if the link should open in a new window or new tab. It also lets you add a new affiliate link directly from the WordPress post editor. If you are making an Amazon affiliate website, this plugin has a lot of things to help you.
These are some affiliate link cloaking plugins that you can use to hide your affiliate URLs. The thirsty affiliates plugin is most popular among bloggers due to the many features it offers. If you are new to blogging or do not want to invest, you can try other available plugins. I personally use the ‘Affiliate Link Cloaking’ plugin which is at number 2 in the above list. I started using this a long time back and I am still using the same plugin without any issue. It helps in cloaking links and tracking click performance. You can also use that plugin without any second thought.
What affiliate link cloaking plugin do you use? Share it with us via comments.