How do you manage your affiliates? My management has evolved, primarily by accident I admit, but a recent post over at Passive Family Income got me thinking. PFI manages his affiliate links manually – I don’t and here’s why.
Whats the Problem with Affiliate Links?
In short an affiliate link is what pays me online income, it includes the code that says “pay Lis” to the vendor. There is a problem with affiliate links too, in fact two problems:
- first they are ugly – would you really want to click on a link that looks like : http://47b252e70zsw9sdoja39pbvq2r.hop.clickbank.net/ Many people don’t.
- often you don’t know if anyone is clicking – clickbank comes to mind they don’t provide any stats on home many clicks you get – just how many people buy.
Here’s the kill though: what if the affiliate changes the code? Yes it happens – and it just happened to me with one of my more successful affiliate earners. You have to change the code, everywhere you used it? Maybe you can remember every place you used an affiliate code – good on you – I can’t!
I use a product called PHP Link Cloak. What a Link Cloaker does (and no its not shady though the name is a little unfortunate IMHO) – is change the link I quoted above to something more user friendly in this case http://lissowerbutts.com/recommends/PHPLinkCloaker If the affiliate changes the code on me – I have to change it in one place – it took me longer to login than it did to actually change the code!
Its more useful than that – it tells me how many clicks I have had on that particular link. As I can have as many links as I like for the same program I can track how many people click on links on my blog compared to my HubPages, for example.
Its simple to install – you do have to install it on a host that has the following available:
Hostgator works just fine, apparently GoDaddy does not.
Once you have uploaded the software onto your hosting account you can use the links anywhere you like: email, blogger blogs, on Web 2.0 sites like Infobarrel and HubPages – so for many people will only need to set it up once. However as far as I can tell you can install it as many times as you want if you do want to keep websites separate – for example I wouldn’t use a lissowerbutts.com/recommends …. link on a site which is run by one of my other personas.
And I should probably point out that there are other products out there that do the same job, maybe even for free, but this one was recommended to me by a friend and it worked so I didn’t see any point on wasting any more time on what to me is an online income admin funcition. The instructions worked just fine and there is a free demo site where you can try before you buy and the standard 60 days money back guarantee from ClickBank. And it costs less than $20.
How do you manage your affiliates? Do you ever forget which products you are promoting? Seriously if you are not using anything and are starting to make some passive income from affiliates check out PHP Link Cloaker Its much easier to put these systems in sooner rather than later!