How many times have you seen a blog post, video, or article online that is promoting a business opportunity or product, and then the link they want you to click is an ugly, lengthy link?
For many beginner affiliate marketers, this is a routine mistake.
Depending on who your mentor is or what marketing program you are following, there are many different ways to track your links and disguise your affiliate links within your content.
Before we discuss the method that I use frequently, I want to take a look at 2 of the common affiliate link cloaking methods out there:
1. Tiny URL services – Bit.ly and Adf.ly are 2 of the more common tiny URL services out there. You can copy and paste a link on their sites and they will shorten your link for you. They also have tracking built into their services. Good for beginners – but it does not look professional.
2. Personal Domain Links – if you have your own domain on your blog or website, you can typically add a plugin in WordPress that will allow you to name your pages as well as mask your affiliate links. For instance, xyzcompany.com/25-special could represent an affiliate link where you get 25% off a certain product.
Advanced Affiliate Link Masking With Domains
One method I use almost weekly is to purchase a relatively inexpensive domain, whether it’s a .com, .info, .net., or .org.
Depending on that domain names are available I may opt for a.info as opposed to the higher priced.com. After I do this, I can take my trackable affiliate link and set up “Domain Forwarding.”
What is Domain Forwarding?
Domain forwarding refers to the redirecting of one domain (the domain you’ve purchased in this case) to the secondary domain (or affiliate link in this case).
For example, I can buy the domain xyzproduct.com and I can then set up forwarding so that when people click the link OR type in the URL to the browser, they get directed to my affiliate link page.
Advanced Domain Forwarding Technique
Another method I use often is domain forwarding with masking. Masking allows you to keep your domain in the URL address bar for the duration of the visitors’ time on the page to which they’re directed.
For example, if I have xyzproduct.com forwarded to my affiliate product page “123Affiliate.com” without masking, the visitor will see the “123Affiliate.com” in the address bar, usually along with your affiliate coding: “123Affiliate.com/johns-affiliate-link-123” or something like that.
If you have the domain forwarded with masking, the only address they will see in the URL address bar would be “xyzproduct.com.”
This is important because it creates trust, website and brand familiarity.
How often have you not clicked on a link because it has some ugly tracking codes in it? People will often associate these with spam.
So for many of you, this method might be better for cloaking your affiliate links compared to some of the other methods.