All About Content

Disguising Affiliate Links on WordPress-Hosted Blogs

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at 8:05 pm

In a post I did this summer, I mentioned that WordPress automatically strips out affiliate links (i.e., tags containing URLs it can identify as affiliate links) from blogs hosted by WordPress. Links from affiliate programs like LinkShare, for example, are pretty easy to spot because they pass through a LinkShare URL before taking the user to the merchant page. That’s for tracking purposes. (Commission Junction, on the other hand, masks its pass-through links so they are harder for WordPress to identify, and thus I’ve been able to add CJ links to my WordPress blog with no problem.)

If you’re a LinkShare affiliate and hosting your site on WordPress, getting those links into your posts is really simple. The truth is that you do not need to “copy and paste the code EXACTLY as you see it in the box” as LinkShare instructs.

You can simply disguise your affiliate links by using a service like urlTea (pronounced “Earl” like the tea) or

Replace each of the URLs in the HTML you’re supposed to copy and paste with tinyurls, including links to the tracking pixel, images, etc. and everything will work the way it’s supposed to. If you don’t know how to identify those in the code, just look for anything that starts with “http” – that’s the URL. Replace the whole address with the new shorter URL created via urlTea or tinyurl.

If you don’t care about tracking hits, only click-throughs, on plain text link elements, you don’t even need to do all that. Just identify the URL for the link, transform that URL with one of the above mentioned services, and use the new link in your blog posting with whatever anchor text you want (you don’t actually have to use the anchor text you’re given for the link to work).

Become a LinkShare affiliate
Create a WordPress blog.

Comments (3)

Category: Monetizing


Comment by Paul Drago

Made Thursday, 11 of October , 2007 at 2:44 pm

You can do nearly the same thing on your own hosting and another domain name you could simply direct the link to say and then use a redirect pointing to the affiliate URL

Comment by Melanie

Made Friday, 12 of October , 2007 at 4:09 pm

Sure, but that would require paying for hosting and a domain. (Well, to be more specific, it requires a level of access you can only get if you have separate hosting and control over your domain.) And this post was really just about people who don’t know how to do any of that, but still want to find an easy way to sneak an affiliate link into their WordPress blog.

Good to “see” you again, Paul. How are things in Saint Louis?

Comment by jon

Made Monday, 15 of October , 2007 at 9:30 am

So simple I would have never even have thought of it, GREAT tip! Thank you very much! 🙂

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