Link Cloaking And Affiliate Link Redirecting (Part 2)
From Willie Crawford.
In part-1 of this article we looked at why link cloaking or redirecting your affiliate links is absolutely essential.
If you missed that article, you’ll find it at: http://WillieCrawford.com/RedirectingAndCloaking/
Now let’s look at specific methods of cloaking or redirecting links.
Link shortening services such as TinyURL.com can be used to make long, ugly affiliate links more palatable. I use these on sites such as Twitter, and to shorten LONG URL’s on my blog. I generally don’t use them in emails anymore because I’ve been told that some ISP’s have blacklisted some of these services. Since mostly marketers use some of these services, that would make sense…
htaccess redirect – This involves creating and uploading an .htaccess file to your server. It’s simple and easy, but also intimidating to some, so I won’t explain it here. Your web host probably has a tutorial on how to do this if you’re really curious.
Your .htaccess file can affect many aspects of the way that your website performs, so unless you want to take the time to really understand it, you should probably not use this method. Do it wrong and you could suddenly find yourself unable to access certain files on your server!
HTML redirects – I use these a lot. I create an .html file with redirect html commands embedded in the “header” section of the html page. That file is then uploaded to your server, and when the url is accessed, the visitor is automatically redirected to your affiliate link.
Download a sample file and complete instructions on how to set up an html redirect here: http://WillieCrawford.com/HtmlRedirect.zip
PHP redirects – I also use these a lot and have found them faster than .html redirect in many cases. I create a .php file with redirect html commands embedded in the “header” section of the file. That file is then uploaded to your server, and when the url is accessed, the visitor is automatically redirected to your target link.
Download a sample file and complete instructions on how to set up a .php redirect here: http://WillieCrawford.com/PhpRedirect.zip
Link cloaking Software. My favorite is Affiliate Cloner. It allows you to create links that will set an affiliate tracking cookie, and then send your visitor to any specified page.
One reason that you might want to do this is that you’re promoting a great product with a horrible sales page. So, you can write and host your own sales page, and create an order link on that page that sets the cookie and then links directly to the order form.
You may also write such great emails, that they do a great job of selling. If your customers are already sold, you may not want to then send them to a long sales letter which might “unsell them.” Instead, you can send those ready-to-buy customers directly to the order form.
Affiliate Cloner does this beautifully, and you grab a copy at http://WillieCrawford.com/AffiliateCloner/
There are also tons of scripts out there that you install on your domain, and then redirect the affiliate links through your domain. Those are suitable for many purposes, and actually allow you to log-in and CHANGE what product a particular link promotes – with just a few clicks of a mouse. This means that if you later change your mind about a specific product, and are promoting it in thousands of places, with just a few clicks of your mouse, you can send that traffic to an alternative product.
Some affiliate marketers love these scripts, but I don’t currently use one. In the internet marketing niche, I think that the most popular ones also signal that you’re promoting an affiliate product, and lower your response rates. That’s just my opinion though.
I’ve just given you numerous ways to redirect or cloak your affiliate links starting today. If you are not doing this, you ARE losing sales! ——————
Willie Crawford is a website traffic generation expert. He often distributes content (articles, videos, podcasts, and press releases) to generate highly targeted website traffic. To do that efficiently he uses the automated submission service at: http://ibmm.com/epbt
To help you succeed Willie has created The Internet Marketing Inner Circle, a membership site where he frequently brainstorms solutions to problems such as those discussed in this article. Join that discussion for your success at TheInternetMarketingInnercircle.