Thirsty Affiliates is a Wordpress plugin that gives you complete control over your affiliate links.
The core plugin is free, but paid add-ons are available if you need some advanced functionality. This review is for the free version only.
I shot a video to give you a quick overview of the main features.
Adding Your Affiliate Links
To get the most out of Thirsty Affiliates, you’ll need to invest some time upfront and add all your affiliate links to the library.
This will allow you to quickly and easily insert affiliate links into pages, posts and even comments with the click of a button.
If you forget to add a link or just prefer to add them on-the-fly, you can use the ‘quick-add’ feature from right inside the WordPress editor.
It can be a hassle to go through this process at first, but you’ll save yourself a ton of time in the long run.
So that’s the basic concept. Let’s break down some of the key features.
Affiliate Link Picker
Starting with the most obvious, the link picker makes inserting affiliate links into posts, pages and comments a breeze.
Highlight your ‘linkable’ text and click the green Thirsty Affiliate button in the editor tools to pull up your library of affiliate URL’s.
The link picker also has a search feature that makes it super easy to find what you’re looking for if you happen to have a large library. The results display instantly as you type, so you don’t even have to remember the full name.
Leveraging Affiliate Link Types
What other wizardry can you perform with the link picker?
Affiliate link images.
If you tend to use specific images or banners for your affiliate links, Thirsty Affiliates has you covered. When adding your link to the library, just upload the relevant banner image and you’re all set.
The link picker will then give you an option to insert your affiliate link as an image, instead of a regular plain link.
Those with a keen eye will notice another link type in the screenshot above: Shortcodes.
Inserting your affiliate link as a shortcode allows you to place it in widget areas and also include some additional styling options (using classes).
The Power of Affiliate Link Cloaking
In order to track your referrals, most affiliate programs give you a randomly generated URL that looks something like this:
Those URL’s are just plain fugly.
That’s where link cloaking (or link shortening) comes in, because you can setup a brandable redirect – like this:
Aside from looking a bajillion times better, here are some other benefits:
- It’s memorable – so you can easily send people through your affiliate link from a video or podcast
- Your visitors are more likely to click a link they recognise and trust (boosting CTR)
- It protects you against commission hijacking (spyware infected machines have been known to replace affiliate link ID’s)