A vast majority of bloggers use affiliate marketing as a way to make money online. Link cloaking is an important tool used by some of the most successful affiliates. What is link cloaking and why do we need it? In simple words, it replaces your affiliate id with some keywords or anything you want. Here are a few benefits of doing this:
- It replaces your ugly looking affiliate URl link with some tidy and useful link having related keywords. Generally , people do not like weird looking links having a lot of numbers and letters having no meaning. For example, you can replace the below affiliate url:
“productname.hop.clikbank.net/affiliate id=36789″ with ” http://yourdomain.com/keyowrds/productname”.
The later form does not appear to be an affiliate link and is more tidy and neat to watch.
- Link cloaking also helps in increasing the conversion rates for your blog. Visitors click more on cloaked links rather than affiliate links which results in more sales and profit.
- Cloaking your links saves you from your affiliate links being stolen. It happens when the sales are made but you do not get the credit. Buyers sometimes sign up as affiliates themselves and buy from their own links. Thus, the product which was to be bought from your affiliate link gets bought bought from someone else’s affiliate link. So, it is best that you hide the affiliate link from your buyers.
- Last but not the least, you can use keywords in your cloaked link which will also add to the SEO score of your blog.
Now the main thing is to cloak the affiliate links. There are many services available online which give you link cloaking services. But you need to be really careful as there have been many cases of link thefts where affiliates did not get the credit of sales even after cloaking. The best and secure way is to do it yourself.
Follow the below procedure to cloak your affiliate links:
- Suppose the link with which you want to replace your affiliate URL is: ”http://yourdomain.com/myproduct/productname”. Now, create a folder on your desktop named as “myproduct”.
- Next, create a text document in the folder you just created and name it as “productname”. Change the file extension to .php from .txt. Your cloaked link will be: ”http://yourdomain.com/myproduct/productname.php”.
- Next open the “productname.php” and copy the below the code into the file:
Replace “affiliatelink” with your affiliate URL in the above code and save the file. Next, upload it to the FTP at the root level and you are done. You can go to ”http://yourdomain.com/myproduct/productname.php” to test the cloaked link.
You can also use MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate. It is an excellent tool which automatically converts your keywords into affiliate links and also cloaks them.