Are you an affiliate marketer?

Affiliate marketing is gaining popularity day by day and every blogger is stepping into this stream to fulfill his money earning potential.

Affiliate marketing is the only way to earn sufficient money from our blogging if you choose the right products to promote.

I started my blogging career one year back and recently started focusing more on affiliate marketing to suffice my needs, I wrote so many articles on this affiliate marketing topic to share my knowledge as well to learn something new every day.

Today I am going to share about link cloaking which simplifies our life as an affiliate marketer to manage our affiliate links.

So let’s jump into our topic.

You will learn

  • Link cloaking introduction
  • Link cloaking advantages
  • How to use link cloaking on WordPress
  • Available link cloaking WordPress plugins to choose

What is link cloaking?

As per the wiki cloaking is a technique used by internet marketers to hide the content or link which is different what the users see on their browser rather than showing the original content.

For Example,

This is my original Aweber affiliate link

http://www.aweber.com/easy-email.htm?id=459304

Here is the cloaked link

http://rahuldigital.aweber.com/

When a user clicks on my cloaked link he will be redirected to my original Aweber affiliate link.

Why we should use link cloaking WordPress plugins to our affiliate marketing?

​There are so many advantages with these link cloaking plugins, here I am going to share some of the important advantages with it.

    • Replaces long and ugly looking affiliate links
    • Provides stats information
    • Easy to remember
    • We can split test with different cloaked links to know which articles are giving best results.
    • Easy to organize affiliate links

Now I am going to share about some of the top WordPress plugins which are allowing us to cloak our affliate links to get better information and pretty look to our ugly links.

Top 5 link cloaking wordpress plugins

1. Pretty link lite

Pretty link lite occupies the first place in link cloaking WordPress plugins because it allows us to create cloaked links with our own domain name, unlike other URL shorteners bit.ly, TinyURL.

Pretty link even tracks and reports detailed information about URL hits, browser information, operating system used, Internet service provider, location and host.

We can use those pretty URL links on our email newsletters, social media, forums and other places which look very decent comparative to the ugly affiliate links.

Pretty link lite comes with standard features which are sufficient for bloggers, if you want to use more features like split testing, exporting links, URL rotation, URL replacement, keyword replacement then we have to go for Pretty link pro.

I am using Pretty link lite from last one year, I find it very useful to cloak the URL with basic reports.

2. Thirsty Affiliates

Thirsty affiliates is another popular link cloaking WordPress plugin used by a lot of bloggers and it works same like Pretty link lite.

Thirsty affiliates have some advantages over Pretty link it adds a button to WordPress editor so creating new links and inserting existing links is very easy without leaving the post editor, whereas in Pretty link we have to leave the WordPress editor to create new links.

Here is the list of some features

  • Dofollow / Nofollow option to links
  • Inbuilt link shortening/ link cloaking
  • URL prefix customization option
  • Handy quick tool to create new links without leaving post editor
  • Backup compatibility
  • Link categorization/segmentaion
  • Supports banners, images to insert affiliate links

3. WP Wizard Cloak

WP Wizard cloak occupies the third place in my list of link cloaking plugins because it acts same like Pretty link lite and the developers of this plugin are regularly updating this plugin to maintain the quality and performance of the plugin at par with above two popular link cloaking plugins.

Here is the list of some features

  • Generates URL hit reports
  • Automatically inserts links to your desired keywords
  • We can export data to CSV file
  • URL prefix customization
  • Geographical link destination for Amazon links

4. WP Shorties

WP shorties is another link cloaking plugin which has so many features like, we can assign multiple links to single URL to open all the links in different windows which look spammy in front of the visitor, but it is useful to Amazon affiliate marketers.

Some other features are “redirect clicks”, “multi-directional destinations” etc

WP shorties generate reports on URL clicks to know about the users  IP address, referral URL, date, time and geographical information.

This plugin is not updated from last 3 years so we have to be cautious using with our latest WordPress version.

5. Simple URL

Simple URLs is another great link cloaking WordPress plugin with more than 10,000+ active installs and the developers are updating this plugin very frequently to maintain the performance at par with latest WordPress version.

Simple URLs adds a post type admin menu to our WordPress where we can create, customize and track outbound links from our site.

It doesn’t generate reports like above plugins, but it stores the click counts information in the custom post in the menu.

Conclusion

I shared top 5 link cloaking WordPress plugins information in this article which will help you to create and track you affiliate links efficiently to know what’s happening on your blog.

I request you to kindly share your opinions, experience and thoughts about these plugins in the comments section so that other readers can learn more information about this topic.

Written by 

Rahul Yadav is Digital Marketing consultant and Expert in Delhi, India. He provides SEO, Social Media Marketing & PPC Consulting Services worldwide. Follow Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

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