Cloak Affiliate Links – The How and Why

share and give you a few tips on cloak affiliate links

Share and give you a few tips on cloak affiliate links

As a blogger, you will want to put your hands in affiliate marketing program, as you progress. The reason is evident; it is a lucrative way to make money online.

Today,  I will give you a few tips on cloak affiliate links.

What is a Cloak Affiliate Link?

As a blogger you will choose an affiliate program that has a product to promote (see my post on Write a Great Product Review for your Blog).  You will sign up for their affiliate program; they will give you a link. I call this link “affiliate link” (which will track your commission).

This affiliate link often contains numbers, symbols, and letters. This affiliate link often looks long and ugly.

The process of making this long and ugly URL (affiliate link) short and sweet is called “link cloaking” or affiliate link cloaking.

The purpose of link cloaking has three important result

1.To make the link short and sweet.

2.To successfully promote affiliate products (the affiliate link).

3.For tracking purpose.  Knowing how many clicks an affiliate product gets from your post helps to tweak your affiliate marketing strategy.



4.Commission hijacking–if you have profits, scammers will want to steal your profits. Scammers will install malware in your browser and can steal your commission.  Link cloaking will prevent this theft to happen on your hard earned commission and links.

Other Important factors of Cloak Link – Keep in mind

As we all know, affiliate links can usually be long and ugly.  Which mean they are impossible to remember without doing a copy/paste.  This mean that redirects allow you to create short, memorable URLS for them and allow you to access commonly used affiliate links from memory.

Over coming “Ad block” barrier – Some of your visitor or readers may use “Ad block” extension with their browser.  This “Ad block extension” can block your affiliate links.  To overcome this block extension or barrier, you need to cloak your affiliate links.

Keep in mind, if the merchant decides to change networks or linking methods, you can edit a single redirect instead of needing to edit every instance in which you linked to them throughout your entire site.

Commission hijacking it real and happens. If your product/s are having profits, scammers will want to steal your profits. Scammers will install malware in your browser and can steal your commission.  Link cloaking will prevent this theft to happen on your hard earned commission.

Let’s say you decide to change the merchant (affiliate program) you’re using to promote a product, you can edit one redirect instead of needing to edit every instance in which you linked to them throughout your entire site.

Now this is a good one, so keep it in mind: If a handful of the merchants I mention on a regular basis don’t have affiliate programs, I’ll often still cloak the link to their main website. This way, if they ever do launch an affiliate program, I can affiliate all my previous links to them by updating the one cloaked link.


Please visit the following YouTube – share from : www.wpcrafter.com

How to Create a Cloaked Affiliate Link

Creating a link

Creating a link

I have found that there are several affiliate links cloaking plugins on the market.  But I use the PRETTY LINK PRO from WordPress (see post on Using WordPress as a platform) WordPress  plugin to cloak my affiliate links.   You can also use the Free or Lite version but it will not cloak an affiliate link.

If you want the ability to cloak an affiliate link you will need to get the Pretty Link Pro version. The Lite version will not cloak your links. It will create a pretty link.

Ok,  so let’s create a Pretty Link

1. On your WordPress dashboard click on Add New Link under the Pretty Link Pro menu in the left side navigation bar.
2. You notice that the following features are pre-set: Redirection Type, “No follow”, and Track Hits they are fine.
3. In the Target URL, please put your affiliate link from your program as given.
4. The “Pretty Link” will have a random string by default you can change to be whatever you like.
5. The Title for the link is just for back-end purpose.  It for you to know what product or program each Pretty Link is for.
6. You can use Group to assign the link. This feature allows you to put links into specific categories. I do not use it.
7. I do not touch “Parameter Forwarding” since I am not a developer.
8. Advance tab–do not use since I am not assigning a double redirect or keyword to link.
9. Now click on the “Create” button

Not: If you want to see a report on links by clicks go to “Group reporting” submenu of Pretty Link in the WordPress dashboard.


Try not to add on too many plug-ins, as we all know it can slow down your website  (see post on How to make a website with WordPress) and it can harm SEO.  I try to keep my plug-ins to the minimum.  Remember, that we done want a slow website.  SO,  we need to depend on WordPress plugins to successfully run our website.  

Although as bloggers we may ignore some other plugins; we definitely cannot ignore affiliate link cloaking plugin for our affiliate marketing online business.


Just a short reminder if you are thinking of learning about affiliate marketing;

For those considering an online business or passive income, visit us at Wealthy Affiliate. This platform provides all the tools, training, resources and hosting, domains etc that are necessary for an online business success.  Keep in mind you can try our services for FREE.  This free trial provides: a free account, 10 free lessons (training) and 2 free SiteRubix websites.


Please share your thoughts and ideas.  What plugins do you run or can’t do with out?






    • Hi Linda,
      Thank you for visiting my website. Yes Pretty link can really help your articles and website. The reason why I wrote the article was to clarify that there are two types of app for Pretty Link and I want my visitors and readers to know about it. Sure hope you use the Pretty Pro app to protect and create your links. The other Pretty Link only create short links.

      Very best,

  1. I really love how you explained affiliate links thoroughly.

    Most people know what it is for, but I am sure they don’t know why you need a pretty link. Keep up the good work, love your articles.


    • Hi Kayin Zheng,
      Thank you for your feedback and comment. I am glad that you found the article easy to read and understand. I certainly try and will continue
      to provide articles that inform, give tips and knowledge for my readers, visitors and those looking to improve their website or learn more about affiliate marketing. It a subject that is complex, fun and with many details to be aware of, so success can happen (income). I hope that the few tips on cloaked affiliate link provide can be of use.
      Thank you and very best on your online endeavors,
      Lady Esther

  2. Thank you kindly Lady Esther!. Quite fantastic article. I have no idea commission hijacking could occur by means of malware!. I really need to have a good look at my sites now!.

    • Hi Derek Marshall,
      Thank you for visiting my website and enjoying this article. Yes, I recently found out this information on hijacking can occur and wanted to share it with my visitors, readers and the internet community.
      Thank you for your visit and glad that you enjoy this article. Hope you can visit back and read another one.
      Very best on your online business and endeavors,

  3. Hey Lady Esther!
    I had no idea about prettylinking or hijacking, thank you very much for this informative article!! I have bookmarked it for future reference :))

    • Good day Anya,
      Thank you for visiting my website and liking the article. I recently also learn about it and wanted to pass on the information to my visitors, readers and the internet community.
      It’s great that we can make the affiliate links “pretty” but we need to be diligent about safe guarding our commission and that is when Pretty Link Pro come in.
      Thank you for bookmarking the article, I hope that you can share with other so they can also be aware of the possible issue they can have as an affiliate marketer.
      Very best on your online endeavors,
      Lady Esther

  4. Very annoying that scammers will try to hijack commissions, but it’s good to know that link cloaking helps to stop that from happening!
    I’ve been using Pretty Links for a few years now, and I really love them!

    • Hi Ashi-DNM,
      Thank you for visiting my website and reading my article/post. Yes, I agree that is why I wanted to shared this information and make
      My visitors, readers and online community aware of this possible threat.
      Good to know that you use Pretty Link, do you have any recommendations to the affiliate marketing community? Are you using Pretty Link Pro or the free version?
      Thank you and very best on your endeavors,
      Lady Esther

  5. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about cloak affiliate links and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)


    • Hi Ali,
      Thank you for visiting my website and your kind words. Glad to know that the information was helpful and provided some insight. Cloak affiliate links is an important factor for any blogger in today online business. Staying informed gives us an edge over our competition and those that are trying to take our commissions. Petty links cloak helps for our website to work better and protect.
      Thank you,

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