NovaXyon Affiliate Marketing How To Cover Your Associate Hyperlinks And Why You Must

How To Cover Your Associate Hyperlinks And Why You Must


Affiliate link cloaking is very important in affiliate marketing. If you’re
new to affiliate marketing, you’ve probably been told that you can promote your affiliate links all over the web and make money instantly.

And if you’ve already tried this tactic, you know that this strategy is
highly ineffective. For one, direct linking is an ineffective affiliate marketing strategy. And for two, no one wants to click on a long and ugly affiliate link. They just don’t trust it. There’s no telling where the link will send someone.

Because of this, it’s important that you “hide” your affiliate links by cloaking them. There’s
nothing unethical about cloaking your affiliate links, and it’s highly recommended that you do it.

Let’s go over some of the reasons why you should cloak your affiliate links and the benefits of doing so.

What is Affiliate Link Cloaking?

Affiliate link cloaking is the process of
masking or hiding your affiliate link’s destination URL. When someone clicks on your cloaked affiliate link, it will redirect them to the affiliate product’s sales page.

There are numerous advantages of doing this, such as:

  • You have a better-looking URL
  • People are more likely to click on it
  • You can manage the link and track the stats on it
  • Reporting on the link is easier
  • The link is easier to share
  • In many instances, you can protect your affiliate commission

Cloaking your affiliate links gives you the upper hand when it comes to closing more sales. Depending on the
affiliate program you’ve signed up for, the link provided to you can look trustworthy – or it can look unappealing.

Why Should You Hide Your Affiliate Links?

As I briefly mentioned above, you should hide your affiliate links for many reasons. Let’s expand on the reasons why hiding your affiliate links should be done.

1) Link building is easier to manage

Usually, when doing affiliate marketing, you wouldn’t perform
SEO link-building campaigns using affiliate links. But there are instances where you will want to include an affiliate link as part of a guest blog post that you’ve written.

If you insert a raw affiliate link into the guest blog post, you have no control over the link once the article goes live. And if the
affiliate product you’re promoting goes down, or if you experience problems that force you to switch affiliate programs, your link can’t make you money anymore.

But if you’ve cloaked your affiliate link, and the affiliate product you’re promoting goes down, all you have to do is
change the destination URL of the cloaked link, and you can begin promoting something else in replace of the fallen affiliate program.

This way you can keep the link and
still make money regardless if the old affiliate program goes down or if the link becomes defective for some reason.

2) You can prevent commission theft

With some affiliate links, it’s easy to hijack a commission. You could
build an email list and send out an email promoting a particular affiliate product. Someone on your list could see that you’re using an affiliate link and decide to change the parameters of the link and insert their own affiliate ID in replace of yours.

When this happens, they’d receive the commission instead of you – thereby
receiving a discount on the purchase that they made from you. You don’t earn any money since the link was changed, and it’s a waste of a marketing effort.

But if you were to cloak your link, the reader would have no idea if you’re using an affiliate link or not and would have a
tremendously hard time trying to insert their own affiliate link.

Believe it or not, this scenario happens all the time, and rookie affiliate marketers are
too lazy to cloak affiliate links because they think instant riches are on the way. However, they are sadly mistaken.

3) People don’t like clicking on affiliate links

Have you ever seen an affiliate link before? I’m sure you have, and I’m sure you know that it’s incredibly ugly. For example, would you click on a link that looks like this?


Probably not.

But if you saw a link that looked like this, wouldn’t you be more inclined to click on it?


When people see a long, ugly affiliate link, they immediately become suspicious, and some people just don’t like the idea of others making money from them. In cases like this, affiliate link cloaking needs to come into play.

When you cloak your affiliate link, you give people a link that they
don’t have to think twice about. And it’s best if you can get the link to be cloaked under your own domain name – as it looks more credible.

4) Tracking is more thorough

Some affiliate programs give you
affiliate tracking tools to track statistics on the links they give you, but it’s not in-depth. However, with most affiliate cloaking tools, you get more tracking information that you can use to show you the
in-depth results of the product you’re promoting.

And honestly, some affiliate programs’ tracking reports are biased, inflated, and inaccurate. But with 3rd party cloaking tools, you get information that is dependable and honest.

Affiliate Link Cloaking Tools

There are many 3rd party tools that you can use to hide and cloak your affiliate links. Most of them come in the form of
WordPress plugins. Here are some of the most popular affiliate link-cloaking tools:

Thirsty Affiliates

Thirsty Affiliates is a WordPress plugin that gives you all the essentials to cloak your links. Here are some of the features that it provides for you:

  • Protects against commission theft
  • Google Analytics integration

Thirsty affiliates start at $49 per year, and if you rely on
affiliate programs as your main source of income it’s a great buy. Here’s another affiliate link cloaking tool you can use to hide your affiliate links:

Pretty Links

If you’re a full-time affiliate marketer, you probably promote multiple affiliate products. In cases such as this, you have many URLs to manage and it can be a hassle to manage them all. Pretty Links can help in situations like this.

Pretty Links is a WordPress plugin that is very effective for link management.

If you’re inserting affiliate links throughout your website, the process can become time-consuming and tedious. But Pretty Links has an automated system that inserts your affiliate links in the
most effective places on your site.

This helps to manage your links and it’s also great for cloaking. Plus it gives you better link placement and helps with your overall
success with the affiliate program you’re promoting.

Pretty Links starts at $49/year and is a great investment if you’re on a budget.

Simple URLs

Simple URLs is one of the most
basic affiliate link cloakers that is also a WordPress plugin. It takes your long and ugly affiliate link and turns it into something nice and clean.

If you’re a
beginner to affiliate marketing and
creating WordPress affiliate sites, this is recommended for you. It’s user-friendly, easy to learn, and free to download.


Voluum is an independent link-cloaking tool that can be integrated into many
different advertising platforms. If you want a tool that offers analytics, conversion tracking, link cloaking, and different options for automated advertising, this is the tool for you.

It’s a very comprehensive tool, and because of its power, it starts at $69/month.

Easy Affiliate Links

Easy Affiliate Links is a WordPress plugin that comes with a wide variety of features that you can use to improve the link tracking on your site. It comes with
Amazon Associates Program compatibility and allows you to uncloak specific links on your site.

This feature is important if you’re using the Amazon affiliate program because Amazon states that you can’t use cloaked links or redirects when
linking to different Amazon products. Plus an
affiliate disclosure is necessary whenever you promote Amazon products on your site.

Easy Affiliate Links helps you
uncloak Amazon links on the fly while still cloaking other links on your site that aren’t Amazon affiliate links.

Linkly is an independent affiliate link cloaker and tracking app that helps you to manage your affiliate links simply and easily.

Signing up is free, but it does require you to go into the
DNS control panel
of your
web hosting account and make edits. But once you do, you can create customized affiliate links that display your domain name instead of an affiliate program’s domain name.

With Linkly, you
don’t have to download any software or add any scripts to your site. It works with
any website and web hosting service that you have access to the DNS control panel of.

Final Thoughts On Affiliate Link Cloaking

Affiliate link cloaking is very important if you want to
make more commissions with the affiliate programs that you’re promoting. Hiding your affiliate links isn’t a hard thing to do, and most of the programs available on the market are easy to use and give you in-depth information on the performance of your links.

Successful affiliate marketers practice affiliate link cloaking for 1 reason: It works. With the right cloaking tools, you can create links that people don’t mind clicking on and buying from. Plus, you can hide your affiliate links from people and automated scripts that want to
steal your commission.

If you have any questions about affiliate link cloaking, leave them in the comments section below. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about it.


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