A Simple and Free Way to Hide Your Affiliate Links
I just received an email from Patrick – a member of my list – asking how he could easily cloak affiliate URLs.
There are scripts that you can buy to automate this process and make a great job of stopping buyers stealing your affiliate commissions.
Stealing affiliate commissions can be done by simply finding the affiliate URL and substituting your own affiliate id in place of the affiliate who’s link you have clicked on.
My take on this is that you may not need to cloak your links unless the majority of your web traffic are people who would even think about stealing commissions or have the faintest clue how to do it.
If you are marketing to Internet marketers then there is a big chance they are going to be clued in enough to swap affiliate links before they buy your recommendation, this depriving you of the affiliate commission.
However, outside of the ‘Internet marketing’ niche and maybe a handful of other niches, few people would have the knowledge to either change your link to their own affiliate link or remove the affiliate link and replace with the main domain name. Doing this would access the product/service directly, and you would lose your commission in the process.
Let me tell you, if someone is determined to do you out of an affiliate commission then they WILL find a way no matter how many precautions you have taken. No point worrying about it!
The main reason I cloak my links is because I think a cloaked link looks much better in an email than the usual affiliate link.
Another area where you would be advised to add a redirect link in in your article resource box when article marketing. Some article directories won’t allow affiliate links in ANY form.
So, if the article directory editor clicks the link it won’t be approved. Even with these directories though, you have a much better chance of passing the directory moderators if the link isn’t so recognisable as an affiliate link.
Getting to the point of this post – Here’s How to hide affiliate links?
Below is a free and simple way you can do this which basically redirects from a file on your web server to your affiliate sales page.
It won’t hide the affiliate link when users click on it but it will look better in your resource box or email marketing campaigns. You can change the link that it redirects too at anytime – which is always good for the future when you may want to change the link for whatever reason.
I have found this useful when I place links in download files. If you put your redirect link in these files then you can change the target link on your server, for example if you were no longer promoting a particular company OR they have gone out of business.
The URL below is a link to one of my affiliate products(If you click on it it will redirect to my affiliate link and I will get credited for any purchases at this link).:
The ‘recommends’ part is simply a folder on my server called ‘recommends’ into which I copy all my cloaked affiliate links.
I then create a file called keywordelite.html and uploaded it to the ‘recommends’ folder.
Here is the code you need to create the file:
You would obviously replace the ‘YOURAFFILIATELINK’ text above with your own affiliate link for whichever program or product you are selling.
Copy the above code to a notepad file – Save to your desktop as YOURCHOSENFILENAME.html (ie. keywordelite.html) – Upload the file to your server in a folder of your choice or to the root folder. If you save the file to the root folder then the redirect would be located at www.YOURDOMAIN.com/YOURCHOSENFILENAME.html (ie. www.workathomebusinesssuccess.com/keywordelite.html)
That’s it! Now when you send an affiliate link in your email or on another website then it will look like the page is on your server. This is much more professional than sending out affiliate links unaltered.
If you are still interested in stopping your commissions being stolen, and looking for a REALLY POWERFUL way to cloak your links – more than a simple redirect – then you could opt to buy a script or software to do the job for you. If that is the case I can recommend the one below. It’s very affordable and will professionally cloak all your affiliate links:
The Php link cloaker also has a handy link tracker to track your link clicks, as part of the package. Test it all out at the link above.
Site Admin Special Bonus Offer – Simply purchase this product/service through my link above and I will personally set up a fully functional, profit pulling website, to help you get started in your new or existing business venture. Click Here for details on what I will give you, as a bonus. This bonus is optional. You do not have to accept it as part of your purchase.
I hope this all makes sense. If you have any questions please use the comments form and I will clarify and points I have made above.