When I first came to know that people can make money by blogging, I was quite amazed. To me, like many others, blogging meant just a hobby. I never saw it as a money making business.
But not long ago, I realized that you can actually earn by blogging. There are thousands of people in the web community who are making some good money through their blogs.
You can be one of them too. All you need is an active blog with valuable and informative content for your readers and the resources to monetize your site. Pay per click ads like Google AdSense and affiliate products are great monetizing sources for blogs and websites.
However, we are not encouraging you to start blogging only with money in mind. Making money from a blog needs patience, consistent and quality blogging and of course some time.
Step by Step Guide for ThirstyAffiliate Plugin
Once you start blogging, you need to ensure that you have done all that is needed to optimize your blog, so that you have a good ranking in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
A good rank in search engines is the key to successful blogging. This will let people know that your blog exists and that you generate interesting contents that might be helpful to them. This increases their chance of visiting your blog again.
Plugins like Yoast helps you improve your overall SEO and jump the ladder of ranking in Search Engines. You can follow our article How to Optimize your Blog using Yoast SEO Plugin to know how you can do it.
When you are convinced that you are producing quality content for your readers and have started getting a good amount of traffic regularly, you can start earning some money by promoting products in your blog which are related to your niche.
Now, if you are looking forward to monetizing your site with affiliate products, you must install a link management plugin from the very first day because it will get really difficult to manage your links as the number of pages and links grows.
We have already written about the best affiliate link cloaking WordPress plugins here. However, we will stick to ThirstyAffiliate Plugin in this post, which is one of the most popular affiliate link management plugin.
But before going ahead with the ThirstyAffiliate Plugin, let us understand about affiliate marketing in general.
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a very popular form of marketing, where you earn commission by promoting other company's (or people's) products. In Affiliate Marketing, you recommend someone to an online product and based on your recommendation if the person purchases that product, you receive a commission from the product's owner.
Basically, you get rewarded when you help a business grow by promoting their products and services. The product can be anything: electronics, air tickets, cosmetics, an insurance company selling policies, or anything that is sell-able.
The commission percentage varies depending on the product you are promoting. This is probably the quickest and the cheapest way to make money. Cheapest because you don't need to create any product yourself. All you do is to link a seller and a buyer.
How to Choose Product for Affiliate Marketing
To be an affiliate marketer you first need to know what exactly you want to sell. A lot of Affiliate Marketers fail to earn money due to lack of a proper marketing plan.
The first big step of your market strategy is to research about the product you want to market on your platform. It is best to market a product that is related to the subject of your blog.
For example, there is no point wasting time in marketing a beauty product if you write about WordPress themes in your blog.
To buy a beauty product a reader does not necessarily need to read an article in your WordPress Resources blog. Instead, if you promote a theme or a plugin that you have reviewed on your blog, chances of the reader purchasing it gets higher because your blog gives him the information he needs about the product.
Likewise, if your blog is about traveling, you can choose to market air tickets or travel agency and other such related products and services.
Where to find Affiliate Programs
The best place to start looking for Affiliate Programs is the marketplace. ClickBank and ShareASale.com are two most prominent affiliate marketing networks, where you can find the best products to promote on your site. But do not forget to choose your product based on the niche of your blog.
You can choose the product you want to sell, from the wide range of collection that these marketplaces hold. Networks like ClickBank and ShareASale helps you connect with merchants who are willing to pay you a commission for helping them sell their product.
Why ThirstyAffiliates Plugin
After you choose the products you want to promote and join an affiliate program, you will be provided with a unique affiliate code or links. This code is used to direct traffic to the target site. You will have to add these links to your blog.
When prospective buyers click on these links they get redirected to the products original site. And in return, you get a commission from the products owner. The seller can track your performance with these links that they provide you with.
But these affiliate links are generally very unattractive, long and are not SEO friendly . This is where Plugins like ThirstyAffiliates come in. It helps you create branded links and replace specific keywords with the original affiliate link.
What is ThirstyAffiliates Plugin
ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress affiliate link management plugin.
It helps you to add, manage, and easily insert affiliate links into your posts and pages. It allows you to store your affiliate links, organize them into categories and sub-categories and manage them efficiently.
And you have the double benefit of protecting your commission from theft.
How ThirstyAffiliates Works
ThirstyAffiliate empowers website owners with the tools they need to monetize their WordPress website with Affiliate Marketing. It allows you to create good looking affiliate links and makes linking them to the relevant products very easy with a single click through the WordPress editor.
It helps you create branded affiliate URLs and replace it with keywords. When you install this plugin, you have the power to cloak the ugly and difficult link into a strong, good looking and easy to remember one.
ThirstyAffiliates creates custom post types by using the built-in functionality of WordPress. You can easily insert any affiliate link in your posts and pages by searching for these links in the insert link box in the post editor.
It is compatible with any other plugins that you use on your WordPress site.
Standard Core Features of ThirstyAffiliates
The core plugin which is available for free comes with the following features:
- Inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link cloaking
- Commission protecting affiliate link 301 redirection
- Customizable link URL prefixes – use your own custom prefix or the inbuilt prefixes
- Hierarchical link categorization to easily segment links
- Handy affiliate link picker tool (with full instant search capabilities) makes it easy to insert affiliate links in posts, pages, and comments!
- Handy quick add tool lets you easily create new affiliate links without even leaving the post edit screen
- Show category slugs in link URLs
- DoFollow/NoFollow options (global or per link)
- Open in new window options (global or per link)
- Multiple redirect types (301, 302 or 307 temporary)
- Full importing and exporting support via standard WordPress tools
- Full backup compatibility via standard WordPress backup solutions
- Uses WordPress approved storage techniques – doesn’t bloat your database with extra tables!
- Using the link picker insert affiliate links as standard links, shortcodes (great for adding classes for link styling), or pre-linked images.
- Add your graphics, banners and other images to affiliate links for easy insertion
ThirstyAffiliate Add-on Features
The following features can be availed by purchasing the Add-on:
- Autolinker ($49): Autolinker automatically links up keywords to affiliate links throughout your blog.
- Stats ($49): Makes reading historical click statistics for all of your affiliate links simpler.
- Azon ($49): Searches for, and imports Amazon affiliate links into ThirstyAffiliates with ease.
- Geolocations ($49): Target visitors with country-specific affiliate links.
- Google Click Tracking ($29): Automatically detects affiliate links and adds Google Analytics Event tracking.
- CSV Importer ($29): Import and export your affiliate links to and from other sites you own.
How to Install ThirstyAffiliates
Installing ThirstyAffiliates is relatively easy. For that, you need to login to your WordPress installation and go to Plugins. Now click on the Add New option and search for ThirstyAffiliates. When you find the plugin, click on install and then activate it.
Setting up ThirstyAffiliates
Once the plugin is installed, go to Thirstyaffiliates Plugin Settings. Here you will do the one-time setup before starting to add your links.
On the settings page, you need to check six options. Leave the rest unchecked. I will discuss only the ones you need to check.
The first option is to choose the ‘Link Prefix'. This prefix comes before your cloaked link slug. You can use your own prefix or choose from the pre-loaded prefix that comes with the plugin. Examples of the pre-loaded prefix are: goto, fly, proceed etc.
The second option is ‘show category link in the URL'. This will add a link category to the URL after the link prefix and before the link slug. You may or may not check this option. (Note that this option it makes your links unnecessarily longer).
The third option is adding ‘no follow on links' attributes to your affiliate links. Add ‘no follow' to all your affiliate links.
The fourth is the ‘open links in new windows' option. Check this box too, so that when people clicks on your affiliate links it is opened in a new window.
The last option is ‘Record logged in users'. Whether you want to check this option depends on the type of your site. If your website needs your users to create an account then keep this checked. This works for online shopping portals. In other cases, you can leave it unchecked.
Once these steps are followed, you need to save the settings. Now you are all set to add affiliate links to your site.
How to add Affiliate Links Using ThirstyAffiliates
To add affiliate links in Thirstyaffiliates you need to go to Thirstyaffiliates and then choose Add New to add a new affiliate link. There are five setting options in this section.
The first option is the ‘Link Name'. Use the name of the product to identify and remember it easily. This name is used in the cloaked URL.
The second option is the ‘Destination URL'. This is the entire URL of the page with your affiliate id. Paste your long affiliate link here. Below this, you will see two check boxes. One to no follow a link and the other to open in a new window. You can override those settings here if it was not enabled on the plugin setting page.
The third option is the ‘Attach Image'. You can add the images of your affiliate product here. This can be used to display the affiliate links on the sidebars with their respective images.
The fourth option is the ‘Autolink Keywords'. This is an add-on feature which does not come with the free core plugin. This option allows you to add a set of keywords that automatically gets linked to the affiliate link. The best thing to do here is to use the name of the product as the keyword.
Below this option is two check boxes. One allows your links to add a keyword from your Heading tags. The second lets you set a limit on your keywords. It is best if you check the second option.
The final option is the ‘Link Categories'. In this option, you can sort your links to different categories. You can keep adding new categories every time a new link is added.
How to Add Affiliate Links in WordPress Post and Pages
You can add affiliate links to a new post in your Blog by going to Add new and then click on the ThirstyAffiliates icons on your Visual Post Editor.
When you click on that icon a pop-up box will appear. You can select a particular link from the already existing links here or search for a new one. Then go on and add the plain link, shortcode or the image link.
You can manage to add affiliate links from your text editor box too. For this, you need to click on the link button and add the desired link.
Managing Affiliate Links in ThirstyAffiliates
The links in ThirstyAffiliates are managed through its built-in WordPress functionality. All the links that you add through this plugin, are added into custom post types. This makes it easy and simple to add, edit or delete an affiliate link from your post.
You can also track the number of clicks per day, week or month on your affiliate links. However, this is possible only if you have activated the Statics add-On. It also gives you a detailed statistics for all your affiliate link activity.
So with this add-on, you can happily track the performance of your links. This is helpful because you can strategize your marketing plans accordingly to increase your earnings.
What is The Cost of ThirstyAffiliates
The core plugin comes for free. You can download it from WordPress Plugin Directory. If you want to avail its advanced features you can go ahead and purchase its Add-on. You can either pick an Add-on bundle or purchase just the individual Add-on that you need.
We hope, that through this article we were able to give you a fair idea about how to monetize your blog.
Kindly let us know if you have any doubts regarding the Affiliate Marketing or the ThirstyAffiliate plugin. We will be happy to get back to you.
Share this article if you find it was helpful. You can also leave your comments and suggestions in the box below.