Why You Should Be Cloaking Affiliate Links or Use Link Shortners on Your Blog

If you are a blogger, especially if you are a WordPress blogger, and if you monetize your blog using affiliate products, it’s a pretty useful tip for you that is going to save you a lot of time in the long run.

Whether you are using Amazon affiliate, Clickbank, or any third-party affiliate, this is going to be pretty helpful for you.

Let’s start with why it is important to use a link shortener.

For example, you are affiliated with a product that you heavily promote on your blog and you keep mentioning it in your articles.

Over a period of time, it will be impossible for you to keep a track of all the articles where you have inserted links, at least not possible to memorize them.

Even if you have kept a record, something like a spreadsheet where you have the links to all the articles where you have mentioned the product, you will have to go to each article manually to find the link.

There can be many reasons why you would want to go back to the articles and edit the links one of the reason would be maybe the product is not converting well and there is a new version of the product by the same company or a better product you want to promote.

The good thing would be to still utilize all the traffic your older articles get, and by doing it manually is going to take a lot of effort.

It is also it is not a creative job to keep a record of all the articles where you have inserted your affiliate links. It’s more like an admin job, and it sucks.

The second scenario could be something like the company has decided to change their URL structure and now is asking you to change your affiliate link whenever you have used it.

Recently, ExpressVPN, a product that I promote on my tech blog, has made changes to their affiliate link structure and asked affiliates to change the link. It would have been a nightmare if I had to go through hundreds of articles where if I have mentioned ExpressVPN.

There can be many other scenarios where you would want to go back and edit the link. And this is why a link shortener can be useful.

Not all the link shorteners can be used for the use cases I mentioned above. Only the services that let you edit the links would be useful. And if you are using a WordPress blog, it is a bit easier for you since there are a lot of plugins that let you do it in-house.

One of my favorite WordPress plugin for shortening the links is PrettyLink. It uses your blog URL and allows you to short in the affiliate link by adding one or two words to your blog URL just like an article URL.

For example, on this blog, I promote a particular hosting that I used for several of my blogs, and I can simply use this URL to recommend to people that particular hosting.

This particular link is handled by PrettyLink, there is a section in my WordPress dashboard for PrettyLink, where I can add links and it allows me to update the target URL.

So, the next time if I have to make any changes to the target URL, I can do it without having to worry about where and how many times I have used the short link.

Suppose, if I have used it in more than 20 articles, I can make changes to the link in all those twenty articles by simply updating the target URL in the pretty link section. Cool, isn’t it?

When I make a search for the Link Shortner in the WordPress plugin repository, it gives me 15 results. Out of which 4 have got a rating of 5 stars including PrettyLink.

Two plugins have got a 4-star rating, and 1 plugin has got a three-star rating. Other plugins don’t have any ratings at all. But still, you have got a lot of options to choose from.

I have already made the comparison and decided to go with PrettyLink, which I am using for the last few years. I am using the free version however there is a provision as well which offers more features which you can this URL to recommend to people.

If you are a blogger, beginner moderate, or advanced, you should subscribe to this blog. I have been blogging since 2007 and have been sharing all my learnings and experiences on this blog which other bloggers can find useful.


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