Wait! Please don't share another affiliate link on your blog without doing these two things!
You'll be kicking yourself if you don't do these two things before sharing your next affiliate link. #affiliatemarketing
1. Make the link 'noFollow'
Always make your affiliate links no-follow. Google has admitted that their algorithms don't favor pages with lots of affiliate links.
Why? It makes it seem like you're only out to make a buck and aren't adding relevant links to help your readers.
Seriously, this isn't SEO paranoia, it's a real thing. Watch this video from back in 2012 with Google's Matt Cutts where he encourages web masters to make their affiliate links 'nofollow.'
Another reason to make your affiliate links nofollow links is because you don't want to leak Page Rank to your affiliate's pages. Your job as an affiliate is to make affiliate sales NOT to make the affiliate's page grow a huge backlink profile off of its affiliates.
After all, your top organic competitor on search engines is typically the company themselves that you're promoting. You are actually helping them outrank you.
Don't get me wrong, I won't complain when my affiliates give me direct dofollow links, but I don't expect them to and wouldn't hold it against them for making their affiliate links nofollow. It would just show me that I had smart affiliates.
How to Make Affiliate Links NoFollow
On Thrive Themes, this is very easy. I just click one radio button.
If you prefer not to use Thrive Themes and your current blog platform doesn't have a way to easily add no-follow links, there are some plugins that will help.
You can do this easily yourself if you want to make life difficult 🙂
The code of a traditional link looks like this:
<a href="youraffiliateproduct.com/referrer-ID"> Click here to buy now </a>
Making this link a no follow would be done by adding rel="nofollow" after the site address. Like this...
<a href="youraffiliateproduct.com/referrer-ID" rel="nofollow"> Click here to buy now </a
All of this is done on the back end. You and your readers can't tell the difference.
Note:If your site is using HTML banners, be sure to check if the URLs behind them are 'nofollow' or not. If they aren't, you can edit the code yourself (it isn't much more difficult than the example above) or hire someone to do it for you.
For more on making links nofollow, check out this article.
2. Create Domain Redirects
Creating shortened redirect URLs isn't just for aesthetics (although it is nice to turn an ugly, mile long URL into something short and memorable). Creating redirects with link management software (like Clickmagick) can save you tons of time and prevent lost commissions down the road.
Affiliate programs change all the time! This email above was just one recent example. One of my top affiliates, ConvertKit, switched platforms and it could have been catastrophic for me if I hadn't set up redirects for my links.
Do you know how frustrating it is when you have dozens of links spread out over dozens of blog posts that are now dead?
Using a link management tool like Clickmagick (my recommendation) you only need to update the redirect link once and it will change wherever the short tracking link is shown.
If I've lost you, here is an example of what I mean.
When ConvertKit switched programs, my affiliate link changed from this link https://mbsy.co/convertkit/nmccallister to this one https://convertkit.com?lmref=imaEvw.
Luckily, instead of pasting https://mbsy.co/convertkit/nmccallister whenever I wanted to link to ConvertKit, I used a link (redirect) http://tools.entreresource.com/convertkit.
All I had to do was log into Clickmagick and edit the end URL of that link. Now http://tools.entreresource.com/convertkit goes to the proper link. This means I don't have to go and replace every appearance.
Note: I originally feared that redirects could lead to Google penalties. I have yet to receive any penalties as I'm not trying to deceive the reader. These aren't cloaked links, they are just redirects. If you're uncomfortable with this, you can skip this step and replace all of your links manually when platforms change. Your call!
There you have it. Now, go share some links and make some money!
Keep in mind, Clickmagick is far from the only option for creating redirects or tracking clicks. I just find it to be the best and it hasn't ever let me down. You can go with a free, but complex alternative if you want.
Want to Learn More about Clickmagick?
I put together a super detailed review. Click below to read it!