One of the ways that a blogger makes money is through the use of affiliate links. Below we will walk through what affiliate links are, why you should use them and how to use redirection to simplify the process.
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is one of the ways that a blogger can make money. In the most basic form, the blogger will link to a product or service offered by another company. When people click on the link and purchase the product/service, the affiliate then pays a commission for each sale. For example, Bluehost is one of the companies that we work with. Because we use and love Bluehost, we recommend them to other entrepreneurs who are looking to setup a website. When people use BlueHost after clicking on out link, we get a commission.
This blog just provides a high level overview of affiliate marketing, but we want to offer one piece of advice. The most successful affiliate marketers only promote products and services that they use and/or believe in. If you want to get started with affiliate marketing, we recommend starting with products that you use and love.
What is Redirection
Anyone that has done affiliate marketing knows that on of the challenges is keeping track of all of your affiliate links. Each company handles their program a little differently and after being part of a few programs it can be difficult to keep track of all of the links. Redirection is when your website visitor goes to one website but is sent to another website. For example, if you go to https://serialstartups.co/bluehost you will actually be redirected to http://www.bluehost.com/track/entreprenewlyweds.
Why You Should Use Redirection
The above example may not seem like a big deal, but below are a few benefits to using this approach with your affiliate marketing.
- Your Links Become Cleaner: Instead of using https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=48418&c=ib&aff=265518 as an affiliate link to Gorilla Themes, I can instead send visitors to https://www.serialstartups.co/gorillathemes. This link looks cleaner than the uglier affiliate link and will provide more confidence to your visitor.
- You Can Make Links Consistent: Instead of trying to remember all of your affiliate links (and needing to constantly look them up), you can instead just referenced your shortened url.
- You Can Mask Your Affiliate Link: By setting up a redirect, it is not as obvious that someone may be clicking on an affiliate link.
- You Control the Traffic Flow: By consolidating to a single link, if you ever need to change the link, you can do it in one place. Lets say, for example, that you affiliate changes from one affiliate provider to another. Instead of having to track down all of the places where the old link was and changing it to the new link, you can just go and change the redirect. This saves lots of time and potential lost commission if you miss a link.
How to Configure Redirection
There are several ways to add redirects to your website, but we are going to offer the easiest one that we have found (and use). If you are using WordPress (which if you followed the recommendation if our free e-book you should be), we recommend using a WordPress plugin called Redirection. Instead of having to mess around with code, Redirection allows you enter your desired url and your ugly affiliate link and automatically creates the redirect for you.
Step 1: After installing the plugin, select Redirection under the Tools menu in WordPress.
Step 2: Entered the shortened url in the Source URL: and enter the affiliate url in the Target URL:. The below setup will create a new redirect, so when people navigate to https://www.serialstartups.co/gorillathemes they will automatically be redirected to https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=48418&c=ib&aff=265518.