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Check affiliate link video for down in this post.
Quick lowdown on affiliate links
This post is about affiliate marketing, but it’s something that authors should be doing on your author website in order to add another source of income to your business.
Note: if using affiliate links on your website you need to disclose that relationship so make sure you have a link to your “Affiliate Disclosure.” It’s required by the FTC here in the U.S. Here is mine.
Anyway, if you’re referring to products or services you use, you should be checking to see if they have an affiliate program. Amazon’s Affiliate Program, for example, should be a must for writers.
And once you have setup your affiliate links on your website, you should not just forget about them, because on the Internet, links break!
Why do Affiliate Links Break?
There are a lot of reasons why this might happen. The merchant goes out of business. Or they sell to another company. Maybe they shut down their affiliate program. Of if they use a third-party company like Commission Junction, the merchant might bring in in-house (like eBay did a few years ago) or they switch to another network.
Although the reasons vary, the merchant usually makes these changes without letting affiliates know. And when they do let you know that they’re making changes the onus is on YOU to update your affiliate links so you’re not screwed out of your commission.
It Happens More Than You Think
In both of these, I was linking to CreateSpace via the affiliate network they were using. So I was doing my affiliate link checking and lo and behold that link was dead.
Over one thousand unique clicks and over twenty thousand video views on YouTube and the link went nowhere.
Not only is this frustrating because CreateSpace failed to notify their affiliates but it’s also frustrating to folks that read my post or watched the video to click on a dead link.
So I chanted “Serenity Now” a few times and got to work fixing the problem.
Pretty Link to the Rescue
Luckily, I use a fabulous WordPress plugin called, Pretty Link. It’s a nifty plugin that lets me keep control of my affiliate links or any link that I’m redirecting (useful for tracking stats).
Pretty Link not only offers great stats on my links (hits, clicks, uniques, etc.) but I can easily change the target link in a few seconds.
Once I change the target URL in Pretty Link, the link is magically fixed everywhere. I don’t have to fret or manually try to figure this out and make changes all over the place.
Check Affiliate Link Video
Okay, now that I’ve explained the problem that led to record this video to help you out, here is the “check affiliate link” video which shows you, in real time, the dead affiliate link problem and how to easily fix it with Pretty Link.