The ThirstyAffiliates plugin is aimed at bloggers using the WordPress platform. It isn’t for running your own affiliate program, it’s designed to boost your conversions by making life easier for your readers. All the functions are accessible through the dashboard, with no coding skills required.
Affiliate links in blogs can be long, ugly and intrusive; ThirstyAffiliates lets you engage in link cloaking, where the URL is redirected so you can display a more user-friendly version. This doesn’t mask the URL completely as this is against WordPress’ T&C, and dishonest, but it makes sharing them much easier. Some affiliate programs, such as Amazon’s, do not allow for the use of cloaked links, and ThirstyAffiliates will automatically uncloak such links to keep you compliant.
Many jurisdictions require affiliate membership to be disclosed to indicate they are monetised; this plugin gives you options to configure the disclosure and will deploy it automatically. Additionally, old blog content can be monetised after the fact by attaching affiliate links to keywords. This is randomised and you can limit how many times link words appear on a page, to stop them from annoying your readers.
A single site licence costs $49/year, while a 10 site licence costs $149. All pay for licences offer the same features, it’s just the number of sites that varies. If your subscription is cancelled the plugin will carry on working but will no longer receive updates or support.
Features and Benefits
- Automatic affiliate disclosure
- Affiliate link categorisation for easy management
- Keyword linking
- Link scheduling – useful when dealing with limited time promotions
- Automatic link uncloaking
- 404 checker alerts you to broken links
- Geolocation redirection sends readers to the appropriate destination
- Check which pages contain your affiliate links
How to Use ThirstyAffiliates
Adding ThirstyAffiliates to your WordPress install can be done through either the dashboard or getting it from WordPress.org, then activating it.
You have a choice as to whether you want to import your affiliate links or create them from scratch. ThirstyAffiliates will accept a .csv file for imports. Creating a link involves going to the plugin and entering the name of the link (you choose) and the destination URL. No matter how you get the links into the system, when you’re using your visual editor click on the TA button when you want to insert a link and this will give you the list of names of the links you’ve created. You can categorise your links so giving them meaningful names will make organising your links much easier.
ThirstyAffiliates is compatible with WordPress Multisite, running multiple sites from one installation, but you will need enough licences to cover all the sites you want to use it on.
ThirstyAffiliates is an excellent affiliate link management plugin that helps you keep your links unobtrusive, up to date and legally compliant. Cloaked URLs look neat and meaningful to the user, while uncloaking if need be to comply with the stricter requirements imposed by schemes such as Amazon. It makes organising and tracking your affiliate links a simple matter, so you can always see which links are where in your blog.