WordPress: Cloaking Affiliate Links

Affiliate programs can be a great source of online income for a WordPress blog as most of online products from various types do offer affiliate program for WordPress bloggers to join. We simply have to use the links that are given to us to promote the product.

Whoever who buy the products through the given links will make us entitle for commission from the owner of the online products. If we know the best way to market the products, affiliate program can provide us decent income for out WordPress blog besides advertising.

Link Cloaking – Do not lose any money again

One of the tips that you should know about affiliate marketing is link cloaking. Basically, instead of using the given links to hyperlink words or images, you ‘mask’ those links with another links.

The importance of this tip is it will ensure that your potential buyer does not remove your ID which sometimes can easily be taken out from the given affiliate links. Another reason is it will make the links look pretty instead of filled with a lot of weird characters.

For your information, there is always tendency for others, although not everybody to go straight to the online product’s website when those who are interested with the online products realized that we are using affiliate links. I also feel the same thing. How about you?

How can you cloak your affiliate link?

There are actually plenty of methods for you to cloak your affiliate links in your WordPress blog. The easiest method is through WordPress plugin such as Simple Link Cloaker and Affiliate Link Cloaker. However, through this method, it has the possibility to bring problems in future for example if the plugins are no longer been maintained by the developer.

In the end, the plugin may not be compatible with the latest version of WordPress. It will then affect the cloaked affiliate links in our old blog post as the links may probably will no longer be working at that time.

Therefore, I will to give tutorial on simple way how can you cloak your affiliate links. The best part is this method will not affect your WordPress databases or systems and your .htaccess file. So, you will not have to worry as if something goes wrong, the worst thing that can happen is the cloaked links will not work. That’s all.

The simple steps are:

1) Open Notepad program.

2) The write below code in the program



3) Then, save the file as index.php and make sure that for the ‘Save as type’ section, you choose ‘All Files’ instead of ‘Text Documents’. In order to make it easier for the next steps, it is advisable for you to save it in Desktop.

How to cloak affiliate link

4) You have to create a new folder in the new desktop to put in all of your index.php files as you have to create index.php file for any affiliate link you want to cloak.

5) However, to make the cloaked link to be more pretty like the one that I show you above, you have to create subfolder base on the category of the affiliate links.

Example of the structure for the folder will be Recommends (main folder) > Templatic (subfolder) > eShop (sub-subfolder).

With this structure, you have to save the index.php file for the eShop theme under the ‘eShop folder’ and the links will look like www.tjmarsh.com/Recommends

6) After you have dove all of the steps above, you just need to upload the ‘Recommends folder’ into your WordPress blog’s folder in your hosting. If there is only one website that you host in your hosting, you simply need to upload the folder into public_html folder.

If not, you have to look for folder that you install your WordPress blog. The folder will have a lot of .php files starting with ‘wp-’ such wp-config.php and wp-register.php.

7) Then, after you have uploaded the folder, give it a try. Try to hyperlink any words in your WordPress blog and if you have properly followed the above steps, the link will bring you to the online products which you use its affiliate link in the Notepad just now.

If there is any error, please check back the link that you use and the spelling especially if there is any capital letter or ‘s’ at the end of your folders.

That’s all. Really simple right?

By the way, if you join a new affiliate program in future, you just have to make new subfolder and upload it into the ‘Recommends folder’. You do not have to create another main folder again or to upload back all of the folders.

Which one do you prefer?

Which method of link cloaking that do you prefer? WordPress plugin or the method that I just taught you? For me, I prefer the above method as I find it more flexible and catchy as it is up to your creativity to make the cloaked links looks great.

What’s your say?

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Author Spotlight

TJ Marsh

My name is Tj Marsh. I spend about 16 hours a day on the internet. Running my company and helping out here at Arvixe. I live in the good ole Arizona where it gets ridiculously hot. I love WordPress and a lot of other open source software along with coding.

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