This post contains affiliate links. Because this is an affiliate marketing blog, so, #duh. This means I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post.
Every blogger I know has tools they live and die by. My No. 1 ride-or-die tool is Pretty Link Pro. When bloggers use affiliate marketing for monetization, Pretty Link Pro comes in super handy to streamline the process.
I often see bloggers using other link shorteners, like bit.ly, to share their affiliate links. I would highly suggest not doing so, as they are also an affiliate and as part of their own TOS they have the right to (and will) override your affiliate links with theirs. Don't leave money on the table by using a service that will steal your links when there are other wonderful tools available.
One of the time-consuming aspects to affiliate marketing is having to log into a network, search for the merchant, grab the link and then insert the link into a post. With Pretty Link, you get a database of your saved links. You just need to go to the plugin's page in your WordPress dashboard or use the Insert Pretty Link icon in your editor to find the existing link and share it.
Tracking and Monitoring
Reporting across affiliate networks is not always created equal. There are a couple of networks whose reporting I definitely do not trust. I like to be able to track my own clicks and hits without having to do a Google Analytics deep dive. Pretty Link offers simple tracking of clicks and hits that can then be compared to network traffic reports. This makes it easy to see whether your links are tracking correctly, and contact your affiliate manager if there is an issue.
With Pretty Link, the big, long, ugly redirect links pulled from the networks are plugged into your Pretty Link tool to create shortened links that begin with your own URL and have a customized tail. You can maintain your branding on social media and it allows you to have a crisp link telling your readers what they're clicking on. Readers will trust your URL, and with the proper FTC disclosure, they'll know they're being redirected to a merchant you recommend.
Monetize Existing Content
The Pro version of Pretty Link offers the ability to populate keywords and URLs with your affiliate link. If you have written about a brand without using your affiliate link and want to go back to populate that content, you can type in your keyword(s) and URL(s) of choice and include your affiliate link. Pretty Link will then do the hard part of crawling your posts for those parameters and insert your chosen link.
As anyone who has been utilizing affiliate marketing for a length of time knows, the only thing that's for certain is that things change. Merchants change networks, products sell out, a different program offers better commission for similar products, etc. These things may require a changing of links. With Pretty Link, you can easily search for specific links and swap them out for new or updated links, without affecting your content. One link change, no matter how many times that link has been used.
For about $60 per year, bloggers using affiliate marketing are able to take control of their own branding, organization and tracking of their affiliate links through Pretty Link Pro.