There are several ways to mask affiliate links –
- domain forwarding (use forwarding with mask),
- use an online tool to create a cloaking html file (you have to upload file one for each link),
- use a cloaking scripts such as EasyRedirect script (you have to know php and web hosting, how to upload and run the scripts and database as you do for wordpress)
- and with dedicated affiliate marketing web-based software like LinkTrackr.
Why we cloak our affiliate links and why we manage all our affiliate links in one central location?
1. Protect your affiliate commissions from stolen, especially ClickBank commissions
Many savvy (or call them black hat) affiliates and Internet marketers will not buy through your affiliate link and give you the commission while they can get it for themselves. He will just have a look at the source code of your affiliate page, and will replace your ID with his own, thus earning a commission… YOUR commission! Believe it or not, most of the time, your website’s visitors will remove your affiliates links, or just tape the merchant url in their browser. They will do it simply because they can stand the fact that you receive a commission on their purchase.
2. The simple method of just using the given affiliate link is a bad move. When a merchant drops out of a network, or moves to a new network, you have to manually search and replace all those links in a very short time to avoid losing commissions. This is especially difficult if you’re promoting links from multiple networks, multiple sites, in your ebooks, on forums, discussion board, social medias. By maintaining all affiliate link in one central location, you only need to edit the link one time.
3. By using a masking and cloaking software like LinkTrackr, you get more control over your affiliate marketing campaigns. You can also view all your clicks stats in one central location, which helps you make smarter decisions on where to focus your marketing efforts.
What can linktrackr do for me ?
It’s extremely easy to use, if you already understand the basics of affiliate marketing. With LinkTrackr, you can get instant access to solid features without having to install software or mess with web hosting. It is not a WordPress plugin per-se. It’s actually a web based software application or SAAS (Software as A Service) type of deal. Currently, you can use it on any type of website you want.
Here’s what LinkTrackr can do for you:
- Mask and cloak all your affiliate links in one central location
- Automatically convert keywords to links in WordPress (use LinkTrackr wordpress plugin, you can pull out all the links stored on LInktrackr, and add keywords to the link that you want to be linked to automatically in your wordpress blog), The difference between this one and the wordpress plugin Ninja Affiliate is that – you manage all your links in one central location, you can use them on your wordpress site, joomla site, blogger, and even in your ebooks, on craigslist, on social media, on forum, anywhere you want to promote your link. Linktrackr is planning on creating plugins for joomla and blogger, that way you can achieve the keyword auto-linking on those sites too, Ninja Affiliate is great too, but it can only work on one specific wordpress site using that site’s url.
- Analyze your top traffic sources with instant campaign tracking
- Integrate TID tracking from your affiliate network to track conversions
- Use your own custom domain like
- Enables readers to share your cloaked link on FaceBook and Twitter using the viral bar. One of the most unique features in LinkTrackr is the “viral bar”, which can get you a lot of free traffic from FaceBook, Twitter, Google Buzz and StumbleUpon.
- More advanced feature – Split Test your affiliate link
- “pixel” conversion tracking – LinkTrackr 2.0 offers conversion tracking as well. This will automatically calculate your ROI and show you the best performing landing pages or offers. This takes the guess-work out of the campaign. You will instantly know what is working and what isn’t.
All these features makes LinkTrackr one of the best URL and affiliate tracking tools on the Net.
How Much Does it Cost?
LinkTrackr offers multiple plans. They range from free to the $27 per month Xtreme plan. The most basic LinkTrackr plan you can subscribe to (LinkTrackr Basic) costs only $9 / month, with 100 tracking links and up to 10,000 clicks per month. That should be good enough to get started with, but you can also try the Pro or Xtreme plans if you already have many affiliate links to cloak and track. You can upgrade or downgrade your account at any time, so you can always start small. There’s also a free option so you can test drive LinkTrackr, you can only cloak 10 links on free account, and free account does not allow you to use your own domain and does not have more advanced features
Make Money as an Affiliate of LinkTrackr
LinkTrackr also give you the ability to make money from their own affiliate program. The best way to do this is to use the “viral bar” to cloak you links, while using your affiliate link for the credits. The software itself help you do this easily.
For any paid account you refer, you get 40% recurring commissions for life. This includes the extra commissions you receive when your referrals upgrade from free to paid plans, or from a cheaper plan to a more expensive one. Similar to the Aweber affiliate program, this can really help you build up a solid stream of recurring income over time.
To try LinkTrackr, simply go and create your free account.
Free Alternatives To Linktrackr
You may want to know if there is any free alternatives to linktrackr, especially if you are a beginner, Your site is new, and it does not drive many traffics as some experts do, and you don’t own a list. And you do not understand how and why to take advantage of some of the more advanced features Linktrackr has. You can always start with a free alternative until you can earn hundreds more than the monthly fee Linktrackr charges.
Here is one I have been using : the viralurl.com, you can cloak as many links as you want in their free account, you can upgrade to paid accounts too. They also offer a viral bar, you can choose to display it at the top or bottom of the result affiliate link page. Plus the viral bar also displays someone else’s ads, and you earn credits for that, and you can use your credits to display your ads on other people’s result page. This is a win-win situation. There is a viralurl wordpress plugin you can use to do automatic keyword linking too. You can view hit statistics too. However, the more advanced features are not available on viralurl.com free and paid accounts. (note: viralurl’s paid account offers you more benefits as a list builder program not as an affiliate link cloaking and management system.)