ThirstyAffiliates is a free and paid WordPress plugin that helps affiliate marketers & bloggers cloak affiliate links.
Link cloaking is the process of disguising the affiliate link URL and making the link shorter and more visually appealing to visitors.
If you have a blog, affiliate marketing is a good way to monetize your blog and ThirstyAffiliates Helps to manage affiliates links all from your WordPress Dashboard.
I will be showing you how to disguise your affiliate link using Thirsty Affiliates Plugin.
How to Cloak Affiliate Links In WordPress Using Thirsty Affiliates Plugin
Installing Thirsty Affiliates Plugin
Search, install & activate Thirsty Affiliates Plugin from your WordPress Admin.
I wrote an article on How to Install & Activate a Plugin From WordPress Dashboard
Or If you downloaded the plugin, I wrote an article on How to Install & Activate a Plugin From WordPress Admin By Uploading
Setting Up The Thirsty Affiliates Plugin
After you have Install and activated the plugin, There will be a ThirstyAffilates Menu on the left of your WordPress Dashboard. Next, Click on ThirstyAffiliates Settings: ThirstyAffilates > Settings
On the Settings page > General, the only thing you have to change is the Default Link Insertion Type . Make sure you set this option to Link. Next, click on Save Changes.
On the Settings Page > Link Appearance there are two options that determine how your affiliate link will appear.
The First is the Link Prefix. This is the prefix that comes before your cloaked link’s slug.
And the prefix above is recommends
You can click on the dropdown to select the prefix you want to use or you can set your custom prefix.
The Second is the Link Category In Url. If this option is checked, the primary selected category will show in the url.
Personally I don’t check this option, because it will only make the link longer.
Note: Changing the settings of the Link Prefix and Link Category after you’ve used links in a post could break those links. Be careful!
Still on the link appearance page, there are many other options that can affect the link behavior. You just need know what you want.
Other link appearance settings you can change.
For Link Redirect Type. You can set that as 301 Permanent .
Set Use no Follow on Links as YES. You don’t want search engines to index them.
If you want the affiliate link to open in a new tab you select Yes on Open links in new window. I always recommend you open link in a new window.
For Pass query strings to destination url, select No
After you have filled up these options, now click the Save Changes Button to save your settings.
While there are other settings option you can check out, make sure you know what you want before making changes. Otherwise just do my settings above and leave the rest as default.
How To Create Affiliate Link Using Thirsty Affiliates Plugin
After you are done with the installation & Thirsty Affiliate settings.
We now need to add new affiliate links for cloaking. Click on New Affiliate Link from the ThirstyAffiliate Menu.
On The New Affiliate Link Page, You will need to fill your affiliate link details
As seen on the screenshot I am creating an affiliate link for Jetpack. In the destination URL put the actual affiliate link.
From the right side, you can be able to create categories or select existing to group your affiliate links. Still on the right side, You can find that the link Options are set to global which should be like that. Making Changes to this section will affect the global settings we did on the settings page.
Next, Click Save Link, and Automatically a cloaking affiliate link will be created for you base on your settings.
How to use Thirsty Affiliates Link within a blog post?
Once you have created your affiliate link, you can then add it withing your blog post. Look at your WordPress editor toolbar options. you will find two TA Option Icon. The first option is used to add already created affiliate link and the second is used to quickly add a new cloaking affiliate link. Use the TA option like you interlink any of your blog posts.
How To Track Affiliate Link Visits
If you want to see the clicks on your affiliate links over a given period, you can do that from Reports section, from the ThirstyAffiliates Menu.
Please Feel free to write a comment below and share your experience with this plugin.