I have written a detailed post on link cloaking, and its benefits, so make sure you check that out.
Affiliate links should be cloaked before being attached to any of your content. This will make sure no one can mess with your links and your commissions.
That being said, let’s head on to our step by step process for cloaking an affiliate link.
Also, make sure you read our article on the best WordPress plugins to cloak affiliate links.
Option 1: Using ThirstyAffiliates
Step 1: Install ThirstyAffiliates Plugin
ThirstyAffiliates is an amazingly easy to use and beginner-friendly plugin that helps you to organize, cloak, manage, export/import, track, and attach image files to your affiliate links. Read the full ThirstyAffiliates review.
We have to install this plugin and activate it. This will help us to cloak our affiliate links with one click.
This is a plug n play plugin, so as soon as you have activated it, head on to the next step.
This step is as simple as it sounds. If you look at the upper part of the image, you will notice a name section.
I have an affiliate link of Hostgator, and I will now enter the name Hostgator in the name section. This will help me to identify the link quickly I will be then able to add this link into my content easily from my editor.
Once you have filled in the link and its name field, click on the save link button. That’s all. You can now proceed to add this link in your new as well as existing posts.
For adding the link you just cloaked, go to your WordPress TinyMCE editor. On the above side of your editor’s header in visual mode, you can see a logo saying “TA” in green blueish color. Click on this element.
If you want to link your cloaked affiliate link to an existing word of your content, you can do so by first selecting the word and then hitting the ThirstyAffiliates logo on the editor.
The moment you click on the TA logo, a small window appears right above the text in the blank section of your editor. In this window, enter the name of your link, for instance, I have entered ” Hostgator.” This is the same link we just cloaked a moment ago in this tutorial.
Select the Hostgator from the suggestions as they appear as soon as you start to type the first few words.
Click on the blue arrow that appears at the right side of the window, as shown in the image above. That’s all. The link is now attached to your desired text.
You can also attach images with your affiliate links by click on the select image tab situated just below the save button.
If you know about how redirection works, you can also set 302, 301, and 307 redirections on individual links. For setting up the rule for all of the cloaked links, you can go to the plugin settings and change the universal redirections rule.
You can also Do follow, and No-follow the links universally through these settings.
You can also categorize the individual cloaked links into specific categories. I strongly recommend you to do this from the first day. This will help you to stay organized in the future.
Option 2: Pretty Links
If you aren’t satisfied with ThirstyAffiliates, there’s another popular plugin that does the same job. It’s is called Pretty Links. Read our full Pretty Links review.
To cloak affiliate links with Pretty Links, follow these simple steps.
Head on to the short links by Pretty links homepage and get the plugin. Install and activate it on your WordPress blog and move to the next step.
Open the Pretty Links panel and click on add new button. Here, enter the link you want to cloak and enter the name you want to give that link.
You can also change the redirection rule of the link. The preferred one is 301 permanent redirection.
That’s it. Nothing more is required. The rest of the process remains the same.
Both of the plugins give you an opportunity to track the clicks on your cloaked affiliate links. You can check the report by going to the plugin panel and then the reports section.
The report shows you the chart of clicks you get on each individual links you can also analyze the chicks on one particular link of your choice at a time by entering its name in the search bar.
Both plugins work the same and it’s up to you which one you choose. Although, ThristyAffiliates is by far the best.
I hope this tutorial has helped you and you can now easily cloak affiliate links on your blog.
If you’ve any questions leave a comment below.