With WordPress being the most popular CMS for websites today, we thought it would be fitting to help affiliates learn how to use affiliate links in WordPress. This guide will show you several ways to add affiliate links into your posts, sidebar or where ever it is you’d like to use them. But keep in mind, there are plenty of other methods and plugins out there if none of these seem like the solution you’re looking for.
Before you start adding affiliate links, we recommend that your blog or website has a decent amount of content in it already. Ideally, you’ll already have some readers visiting and traffic coming in.
So if you’re just starting a site, take some time to create solid, helpful or fun content (depending on your site’s purpose and focus) for your future readers and work on building a presence online. If you’re immediately plastering affiliate links everywhere, new readers may easily dismiss your content. They may think you’re only there to make affiliate money, not to provide the content they’re looking for.
But if you have readers who come to your site and find it truly helpful or enjoyable, you build trust with them. Trust is the name of the game if you want to truly be successful when it comes to affiliate marketing.
WP Auto Affiliate Links
The WP Auto Affiliate Links plugin will let you input keywords that you want to use as affiliate links and decide where they should point to. You can choose how many times per article or post that you want to use affiliate links, so you don’t end up with links stuffed in everywhere and every time those keywords are mentioned.
It also shows the top 100 keywords that are already being used in your content to help you easily identify common words and phrases that you may want to target. Other options include whether to follow or nofollow links and the ability to cloak your links.
Thirsty Affiliates is another popular plugin for managing affiliate links. There’s both a free and a premium version that has additional features, such as:
- CVS import/export tool
- Google Analytics Click Event Pushing
- High Speed HTAccess Redirect
- Geolocation Link Redirects
- Advanced Statistics Reports
- Google Tag Manager Compatibility
You use the Thirsty Affiliates dashboard (inside WordPress) to add affiliate links you’d like to use. It will create a “pretty” link to use instead of the raw affiliate link that has an assortment of numbers on the end. Once added, you can insert it any time in the WYSIWYG editor using the TA button.
So if you want to promote multiple products, you have all your links right there, ready to use. You won’t have to go log into your affiliate account everytime you need your affiliate links. And anytime you need to change a certain link, you can do it in the dashboard and every instance where you’ve used that link will automatically be changed.
Also, proper 301 redirects are automatically created for you (or you can choose to use temporary 302 or 307 redirects).
They claim to use “WordPress approved storage techniques” to minimize the strain it puts on your database and ultimately your site.
With over 200,000 installations at the time of writing this, the Pretty Links plugin is one of the most popular choices. Again, this one will create short, pretty links using your domain. It also creates redirects for you (you can choose from 301, 302 or 307). Like Thirsty Affiliates, there’s also a premium version of Pretty Links starting at $57/year. Some of the features you can get with it include:
- PrettyBar redirects
- Tracking pixel redirects
- Conversion reports
- Customizable bookmarklet
- Generate QR codes
- Split test redirects
- Geographic redirects
- Insert affiliate link disclosures for pages, posts, individual links or custom post types
- Geographic redirects
WP Notification Bars
WP Notifications Bars is a little different than the above plugins. Instead of inserting links into your content, you create pretty notification bars with messages and a link. It’s automatically responsive by default, with your choice of a fixed or absolute position.
When you create a notification bar, you can:
- Choose the colors you want to use (any color)
- Whether you want to use a call to action button for your link or note
- Create the custom message you want displayed
- Show the bar only on your homepage, posts or pages (or all three)
- Show the bar only to visitors who came from Google
- Show the bar only to visitors who came from Facebook
The last two options here could be a great way to customize your message for those visitors coming from Facebook and Google.