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How to Mask Your Adult Affiliate Link

Published by Papa Whale Social Media

Adult web marketers are faced with obstacles every day... Check out the best practices for masking one's affiliate link for greater link visibility!

There’s a lot of money to be made in the adult affiliate marketing world, this you know.

But when it comes to the actual act of PROMOTING adult offers and RECEIVING traffic to your campaigns — the path isn’t always so easy.  

Marketers are faced with obstacles every day… from Web-browser plugins and extensions, to the restrictions of the social media-sphere that dominates our world.

So, what’s an honest dude to do?

Well, the one thing you can do is go the extra step in not making your adult affiliate link so apparent.

URL Shorteners

Ah yes, glorious URL shorteners — long gone are the days of old when shortening a URL meant actually hiding it in an effective way. Those were the days.

Don’t get us wrong though, all benefits are not lost. URL shorteners still serve a purpose.

Sure, shortening that long unsightly affiliate link may make things look “pretty” – but be under no illusion of a URL shortener completely hiding your link. These days, Web-browsers, social networking sites, and various other programs can EASILY detect the link origin and put the kibosh on any redirection involved, as many of us know all too well.

But with that said, URL shorteners are a necessity on social media sites like Twitter, with its famously cruel 140-char limit restriction. Link shorteners instantly help your links become more shareable.

As an affiliate marketer, it can also help you hide your affiliate ID as well as all your trackers. We talked about the importance of using trackers a while back, but – if trackers are especially essential to your optimization and funnel strategy – you’ll have a longgggg unsightly link in no time. Long links are a disservice to everyone, and shortening them is the practical solution.

Among the most popular services available to shorten a link, Bitly and Goo.gl remain at the top — but there’s plenty, plenty more out there.

Redirecting Adult Affiliate Links

A great preventative approach to avoid getting one’s adult link blocked, is to consider the use of redirections.  While it might not be 100% foolproof, it can sure be a very practical solution at times when done right.

This technique can help you get past some not-so-adult-friendly … or even not-so-”Ad”-friendly algorithms  Redirect with caution; there’s always the risk of seeing your IP address banned or the URL you’re using blacklisted in some cases.

Which is why you should ALWAYS combine this technique with an “outside the box thinking” which consists of creating a landing page specifically designed for social media.

Of course, if you’re a skilled programer, creating redirections may be pretty easy for you. There are even ways to automate the redirections of all the links of your websites. However, for most professional web marketers, this can become a daunting task.

For those non-programmers, here’s what we suggest you to do:

Try Rebrandly

One of our favorite URL link management solutions is called Rebrandly. With a free account, you have access to an unlimited number of redirects and 500 branded links, i.e. shorter links built around your own custom brand.

Right out of the gate, Rebrandly offers basic metrics such as number of clicks on your links. However, should you require more in-depth reports, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid monthly subscription.

The great thing about Rebrandly is how easy and fast you can create links without advanced coding knowledge. You choose a destination URL (ex: landing page), choose from a branded domain (default: rebrand.ly) and add a slash-tag with relevant keywords.

crakrevenue rebrandly example

Try the Pretty Link WordPress Plugin

If you have a WordPress website, this is probably the easiest method of redirecting your link. The plugin does it all for you by helping you create links that look exactly how you want using your own domain name.

By creating temporary (302/307) and/or permanent (301) redirects to your affiliate link, you should be able to get past the usual blockers and culprits by promoting a link that is vastly different in appearance than the one you’re redirecting to.

And for many more features & support, we might even recommend buying Pretty Link Pro. This upgrade allows quite a bit more flexibility in terms of the various types of redirection.

Redirecting with .htaccess

Of course, if you don’t have a WordPress site, you can always create redirects the old fashioned way — using your .htaccess file. This kind of redirection allows you to send your visitor to a new website while non-adult friendly platforms & extensions still think that you are on the domain name / website you linked or promoted in the first place.

To do so, just add this code below in the .htaccess file of a mainstream domain name you possess (e.g., the domain name that you plan to point to your affiliate link):

redirect 301 /TheLinkName http://www.YourAffiliateLink.com

Keep in mind, there are additional redirection types you can create using .htaccess. However, don’t try to be too creative or careless while working in this file because the slightest mistake or extra spacing in this code can result in less-than-pleasant consequences.

So if you’re still a redirection padawan – and not yet a Jedi – using a redirection htaccess code generator like this one can help you avoid the common mistakes.

Promote like a Boss: Redirect with Care  

Sure, in an ideal perfect world, we – as adult affiliate marketers – wouldn’t have to hide our adult affiliate links.

But seeing as we don’t live in that perfect world, that’s simply not the case.

We can’t stress this enough, but using Redirects is not a license for illicit behavior. In an era of “Ad Hate” and “Ad Blockers” — good-natured Webmasters and adult marketers who have always played by the rules are the ones feeling the effects of this and they’re the ones we wrote this post for today.

There is a huge difference between using redirects to reach targeted visitors on selected channels and redirecting to reach as many people as you can at any cost. Indeed, this last method is the very definition of spamming and is not allowed by CrakRevenue.

Redirection done right offers affiliate marketers an “even playing field” during a time when sentiment is negative — in an online world where it almost feels like there’s a war not just adult, but all ads/affiliate links in general.

As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

While promoting adult content on the web sensibly using a good redirection method can be considered a great power—one must use this technique responsibly.  

Redirect responsibly!!

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