The easiest way to start making a little bit of money on your blog is by using affiliate links.
The concept of affiliate marketing is very easy, you put up an affiliate link for people and when they purchase through it, you get paid.
When you sign up or register for an affiliate program you are given a link. This link will track your sales, it is basically the way you will get paid. As people click through your link and make a purchase the sale gets credited to your account. When commissions are paid out you receive funds via a check or into your PayPal (or sometimes even bank) account.
Today I want to show you an easy way to make those ugly affiliate links into pretty links (You’re going to be amazed how easy this is!)
Making a Pretty Link
An affiliate link will look something like this: http://productname/?id=34598
The id portion is the part that identifies you as the affiliate. Now if you use this link as is you are leaving your link open for changes. Unfortunately there are people who will take your link and add theirs to it. They get credited for the sale and you lose out.
So the best way to combat this is to change the link. You could use a link shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl, but that leaves you at the mercy of a third party and what if they decide to close down their service – your affiliate link is gone and you may not know it until you’ve lost sales.
There’s a cool little plugin for WordPress called Pretty Link Lite (there is also a pro version that gives you way more options, but when you’re just starting out the lite version works perfectly).
The benefit of using this plugin is that you can make your urls look like anything you want. For example – I recommend people use Shareasale to find affiliate programs to promote. My original link is a bunch of gobble-dee-gook so I fixed it and now it looks like this: http://thebloggingbunch.com/tryshareasale
How Does It Work
Once you’ve downloaded the plugin, it will be installed on your side bar on the left in your Dashboard.
You just hover over it and select Add New Link.
Then place your affiliate link and make your new link more reflective of what the product really is.
Lots of people will buy a domain specifically to do this, such as www.sarahlikes.com so that when you make the link it looks like this: www.sarahlikes.com/shareasale (looks MUCH better doesn’t it?) I do use a main domain for most of my links, but it’s just my full name.
The benefit of this is that your link is effectively hidden and ensures that you will get credited for any sales.
Now please be aware that some affiliate programs do not track any links that are shortened. So look into this before adjusting any links.
What do you think? Sound like something you could do?