An easy method of manually cloaking an Affiliate link to redirect to any affiliate program you choose to promote is by writing one simple line of php code. To enhance the security of such links, be sure to give the file a .php extension [as opposed to .html] – it does not matter if the rest of your web’s pages are .html
This form of masking hides your affiliate link details from the link, but does require your own website or at least access to a limited web space for uploading the simple file that must be created for each new affiliate link.
How To write PHP Code for Cloaked Affiliate Link Redirects:
1. First create a folder [not a file] on your desktop and give it a name relative to the Affiliate product. So to promote a golfing product called “Beginners Guide” – you might name the folder “GolfBegin”.
2. Copy ‘n’ paste the following into Notepad or any simple text editor, and replace the “xxxxxx” with your clickbank username. Note that “golfbegin” is the product name Clickbank has assigned to Beginners Golf:
3. Name the above text file as “index.php” and save it to the “GolfBegin” folder you created on your desktop. It is important the file is called “index.php” and nothing else.
4. Upload the entire “GolfBegin” folder via FTP into your domain’s “public_html” folder.
5. Then advertise your new cloaked link as “http://yourdomain.com/GolfBegin” which looks a lot more professional than a Clickbank, or other long, affiliate link – effectively, stopping affiliate link thieves from substituting their affiliate id and hijacking your commissions
6. Test the link by typing http://yourdomain.com/GolfBegin into a browser. It should redirect straight to the merchant’s program. Note, however that the affiliate url IS visible (in another format) in the Browser Address Bar.
7. A similar method of cloaking can also be used to format a Clickbank link… this time to completely bypass a merchant’s “weak” sales page, and go directly to the Clickbank order page.
NOTE: Apart from Clickbank, obviously, this method of affiliate link cloaking works with any other affiliate program. Simply replace the “Clickbank” url in the example shown with any other affiliate url. For example affiliate links from: Commission Junction or PayDotCom or those provided directly by the owner of a product.
As your online marketing expands to include a larger amount of blogs and affiliate campaigns it would be timely to further automate your business – eventually resulting in an investment in a professional affiliate link cloaking/masking/redirect program that will also provide some quick statistics on the number of clicks for each link.
Affiliate link masking software can cost between $27 – $97. Most of them will allow you to paste in an affiliate link – which is cloaked on pressing the submit button. But the cheaper products still demand that you manually upload the HTML for the cloaked link to a website.
1. The entire cloaking of the link takes place within the software itself, that is installed on just one domain – so no more having to cut ‘n’ paste blocks of HTML or PHP code into separate web pages for each product. NOTE: It’s great in that it needs to be installed ONLY on the one domain but will cloak links on ALL your other blogs and domains as well. It can also, however be installed on as many sites as YOU personally own.
2. I can opt to completely stop my affiliate link from showing in the address bar and/or choose to have the masked link only, appear on the merchant’s website – which adds credibility with the illusion of the product being hosted on my website.
There are many other tools available to track Affiliate links and ROI and some of them are free – but as the choices can be somewhat daunting particularly for a new entrepreneur, I hope sharing what has worked for me helps somewhat in your dilemma.
We’ve all seen – and probably used various php and html redirect scripts – configured and saved a page – uploaded it to your server and hey presto – job done!
Or is it??
Are you still seeing that nasty, long affiliate link in the browser bar when you get to your sales page – if you are then you are open to affiliate ID hijacking. You really need to cloak that link – and cloak it so that no-one can see a trace of the affiliate id.
My partner has come up with a script which will do all that – AND it tracks the number of unique clicks that link gets!!
ClickBank have just announced (within the last few days) the ClickBank HopAds Builder, a powerful new way for affiliates to promote ClickBank products. The HopAds Builder allows affiliates who own Web sites or blogs to easily create fully customizable ad boxes. This tool allows affiliates to customize both the look and content of ads to match their site.
The HopAds Builder is entirely free to use, and HopAds pay out the same affiliate commissions as Hoplinks created through the Marketplace. HopAds use ad text created by ClickBank publishers to appeal directly to consumers, and all ads are screened by ClickBank for content and quality. To start creating HopAds to display on your site, click here.
I’ve quickly produced the block you see to the left here! Simple – and an alternative to those who cannot use Adsense for any reason.
If you’re interested in getting a flood of Private Label Rights products that you can reface quickly and easily to resell as your own, there is a new site you should check out a site called called Extreme PLR Makeover.
It’s designed for people who want to minimize time spent on product customization, and those who want a set of tools for customizing the product, such as an online ecover creator, automatic front-to-back tag replacement of title, author and many other tags.
Choose from a library of over 50 products to customize. Each month, Extreme PLR Makeover will add many new products to the library.
Extreme PLR Makeover will help you streamline your product development so you can focus on building your business to greater and greater heights!
I suspect a lot of people take this opportunity to have a break at this time of year!
I certainly enjoy a few days away from the Internet Marketing world – and I haven’t finished yet!
This week leading up to the start of 2009 is going to be spent making and revising my 2009 Business Plan – something which I intend to stick to much more rigorously than I did in 2008.
Don’t get me wrong – I did have a plan in 2008 – I did stick to it (well almost!) – but I didn’t adjust and edit it as I went along. I think that is something that I need to look at more carefully this year. If the Plan isn’t quite what you had planned!! – change it – think about it – and change it!! They are not “set in stone”!