When you are first starting affiliate marketing on your blog, the first few questions will come to your mind – How to add affiliate links to your blog? Do you need any WordPress plugin for this purpose?
If you add affiliate links as you normally add any other links to your blog, you’ll face many problems in future.
To properly add and manage your affiliate links you need to install a WordPress plugin.
Why You Need a WordPress Plugin for Adding Affiliate Links to Your Blog
You need to use a plugin for adding affiliate links to your WordPress blog for following reasons –
For Making Your Affiliate Links “nofollow”
Affiliate links should have a nofollow attribute. So that, search engines don’t follow them. It is required for your blog SEO.
Going through all blog posts and making the affiliate links “Nofollow” manually is really time-consuming. Using a WordPress plugin you can do that easily from one place.
For Cloaking Affiliate Links
When you sign up for an affiliate product, you’ll be given a unique link which is somehow called affiliate link. This link often looks ugly and long. For example,
“http: // example . com/?product_id=123456&aff_id=123456”.
Readers often bypass this type of links. You can make this long and ugly URL short and sweet by using a WordPress plugin which will look like,
“http: // www . yourblog . com/recommend/product/”.
Read more: What is affiliate link cloaking
Making Affiliate Links Management Easy
It is obvious that as you are in affiliate marketing, you will sign up for many affiliate products in coming days. It’ll be difficult later to manage and track all the affiliate products. Using a WordPress plugin you can do that from a single dashboard.
For Branding Affiliate Links
As affiliate links contain merchant’s website URL, it is not just good for your blog branding. Using a WordPress plugin, you can make your affiliate links branded which will look like,
“http: //www. yourblog. com/recommend/product/”.
For Replacing Affiliate Links
If any of the affiliate programs change their link for some reasons, it’ll be difficult for you to replace the link by going through your blog posts one after another.
Using a WordPress plugin you can replace the link from a single dashboard with a few clicks.
For Adding Affiliate Links to Your Blog Easily
Whenever you want to add an affiliate link to your post or page, you need to go to the affiliate program page to copy your affiliate link and then come back to your WordPress post or page editor to paste the link every time.
But when you use a WordPress plugin, you just need to copy your affiliate link once. Next time whenever you want to add the affiliate link to a post or page, you can do that without leaving the WordPress post editor.
For Tracking Affiliate Links
If you don’t use any WordPress plugin for managing your affiliate links, you need to go to the merchant’s website to track your marketing. And going through all the merchants’ website individually is time-consuming and painful. Using a WordPress plugin, you can track all your affiliate links from one single dashboard.
Which Plugin Should You Use for Adding Affiliate Links to Your Blog?
As you know, I only recommend things that I love or use personally. I believe that all you need for successfully adding and managing affiliate links to your blog is ThirstyAffiliates (referral link) WordPress plugin.
What is ThirstyAffiliates
ThirstyAffiliates is a link management plugin for WordPress. This is the only plugin you need for successful affiliate marketing. It is a free plugin. It also has pro add-ons which you can use by purchasing. The free version is pretty enough for a new blog to promote affiliate product successfully. Once you start earning with your blog, I’ll recommend buying pro add-ons to properly track statistics for your marketing effort.
Buy ThirstyAffiliates pro add-ons here (referral link).
Let’s see what ThisrtyAffiliates can do for your affiliate marketing.
- You can store, organize and manage your affiliate links in an efficient manner just from one single dashboard.
- You can sort affiliate links in categories and subcategories.
- You can make affiliate links branded. For example, affiliate links somehow look like “http: //example. com/?product_id=123456&aff_id=123456”. You can make this ugly URL branded using ThirstyAffiliate which will look like “http: //www. yoursite. com/recommend/product/“.
- You can replace your chosen keywords with affiliate links (pro add-ons).
- You can easily search affiliate links using ThirstyAffilites’s built-in search function.
- You can easily add affiliate links to your post or page as you add any other links from your WordPress post or page editor.
- This plugin is compitable with any other WordPress plugin including back up plugins.
How to Install ThirstyAffiliates
At the time of writing this post, there are two subscription plans of ThirstyAffiliates – Free and Pro.
The free version of ThirtyAffiliates can be installed as you normally install any other WordPress plugin. Read the post – How to install WordPress plugin.
The pro version of ThirstyAffiliates has one most useful feature which people love to subscribe their pro version for. That is auto linker add-on.
If you want to buy pro version, go to ThirstyAffiliates (referral link) and download the add-ons. These are separate plugins which you need to install separately.
Install the plugin and add-ons and activate them.
How to Set up ThirstyAffiliates
Once you’ve activated the plugin and add-ons, it’ll add a menu to the menu bar of your WordPress dashboard.
Login to your WordPress dashboard. Go to “http: //yourdomain. com/wp- admin/ > Dashboard > ThirstyAffiliates”.
Under the menu, you’ll find following sub menus –
Affiliate Links: Here you’ll find all the affiliate links you added to the ThirstyAffiliates.
New Affiliate Link: This submenu is where you’ll add the new affiliate links.
Link Categories: In this submenu, you can create categories and can categorize your affiliate links.
Add-ons: Once you installed Thirstyaffiliates pro add-ons, all the benefits of pro subscription will be added here.
Settings: Before start using ThirstyAffiliates, you need to set up the plugin. So, the first thing you need to do after installing and activating the plugin is to click on this submenu.
Setting up Thirstyaffiliates
Once you click on the submenu (Setting), a page will be visible to your WordPress dashboard as shown in the image below.
On the page, you’ll see some setting submenu in the top left corner – General, Link Appearance, Modules, Import/Export, etc. All the default settings are good to go. I just want to discuss some settings under the “Link Appearance” tab to make sure those are correct.
Link prefix: This is the thing which will be shown in your cloaked affiliate links after your domain URL.
The plugin comes with commonly used prefixes such as recommends, link, go, review, fly, goto, etc. You can choose one from these or you can use your own prefix.
I use default prefix recommends. So when I cloaked an affiliate link, it’ll look like,
“http: //www. sharpblogger. com/recommends/product”.
Link category in URL: If you select this check box, categories of affiliate links will be shown in the cloaked URL which will look like “http: //www. yourblog. com/recommends/category/product”.
I personally don’t use this option because it makes an affiliate link long which I don’t want.
Use no follow on links: Make sure this setting is selected “Yes” as you need to make your affiliate links nofollow.
Open links in new window: Set this setting “Yes”.
After choosing the setting options, click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. Now you’re all done and can start using ThirstyAffiliates.
How to Add Affiliate Links in ThirstyAffiliates
Adding links in ThirstyAffiliates is easy and straightforward. Just got to “WordPress dashboard> ThirstyAffiliates > New Affiliate Link”.
Once you’ve clicked on the “New Affiliate Link” menu, a page will be displayed beside the menu bar in WordPress dashboard where you can add affiliate links. On the page, you’ll find the following options –
Link Title: Link title should be specific. Because it’ll be displayed in your cloaked URL. I normally use affiliate product name in this field. For example, when I added ThirstyAffiliates’s link, I just named it ThirstyAffiliates.
Destination Url: This is the field where you’ll add the affiliate link. Just go to your affiliate program page, find and copy the affiliate link and paste in this field.
Attach image: You’ll also find an option to attach an image. Whenever you want to place an image instead of a text link for promoting the affiliate product, you can display the image there.
Autolink keywords: When you subscribe for pro add-ons of ThirstyAffiliates, this option will be shown on the page. In this field, you can type your chosen keyword or keywords to automatically link to the affiliate link.
on the right side of the page, you can select categories for the link, make the link “nofollow” and set the link to open in a new window.
When you are all set, save the link by clicking on the “Save Link” button at the top right corner of the page.
How to Add Affiliate Links in Your post or page using ThirstyAffiliates
If you subscribed for pro add-on then the Auto Linker will automatically add affiliate links based on your chosen keywords. Beside this, you may want to manually add affiliate links to your post or page. You can do that without leaving your post or page editor in WordPress.
In WordPress post editor, you’ll see two buttons of ThirstyAffiliates. They are the tools you need to add affiliate links to your post or page just from the editor. see the image below.
Using the first one, you can add any existing affiliate link to your post or page. Find and select your desired link to insert in your post or page as an affiliate link. You can insert the link as a plain text or a shortcode or as an image.
Clicking on the second button will open a popup screen where you can add a new affiliate link which you didn’t add before in ThirstyAffiliates. At the same time, you can add the link to your post or page. So simple.
Managing Affiliate Links Using ThirstyAffiliates
Managing affiliate links in ThirstyAffiliates are really simple. You can add, edit and delete affiliate links easily just from a single dashboard of the plugin. You even don’t need to visit your post for doing that.
Using statistic add-on of ThirstyAffiliates, you can see which links are getting more clicks, which links are performing better. You can view these statistics as a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Based on this statistics you can reformat your content strategy.
You can export all your affiliate links in WordPress XML format and import into any other WordPress blog using WordPress’s default import/Export tools.
When I started affiliate marketing for the first time, this question troubled me a lot that which WordPress plugin should I use for managing my affiliate links.
Using ThirstyAffiliates I can now effectively manage my affiliate links. You can do that too.
Which WordPress plugin do you use for your affiliate marketing? Please share in the comments below…