Nobody forgets their first.
For me it was the Pretty Links Plugin, the only tool I knew at that point. The best introduction I could have asked for in a tool.
But really the pretty links plugin was everything when I found it. I finally felt like a real marketer. Someone smart enough and sophisticated enough to actually track things. Go figure.
Can't I Do Without It?
The problem with not using pretty links plugin is that you end up having random links that start paying you out and you can track where it came from or why.
I'm assuming you don't have higher level skills that would allow you to build URLs adding UTM parameters and then going over to Google Analytics to check the Source/Medium to determine the exact traffic source.
If that sounds like Greek to you, then you need to throw the training wheels on and use Pretty Links asap.
It's really a precursor to the more advanced Google Anlaytics for Affiliate Marketing that I mention here. And as Meek Mill once stated “there's levels to this sh*t.”
Getting Started isn't Tricky
I heard somewhere a while ago that getting started is tricky mostly because no one wants to make all those decisions especially when they don't feel competent to be doing so.
Additionally, this is why people completely scrap ideas and start anew often. It's not that they are that horrible, its that the first version of just about anything is just an introduction to an idea.
This is my 10th blog site (but whos counting) I had several others from my initial efforts that were straight-up duds. It's sad but true.
Getting started with the pretty links plugin was huge for me, something that I needed to feel confident and later stay organized.
The big win here is that you will finally be organized in your approach and process for using affiliate links and understanding which ones are getting clicks.
I could easily go to my Pretty Links dashboard within Worddpress right now and see which links are getting clicks and when.
Gives you the ability to create clean, simple URLs on your website that redirect to any other URL (allows for 301, 302, and 307 redirects only)
Generates random 3-4 character slugs for your URL or allows you to name a custom slug for your URL
Tracks the Number of Clicks per link
Tracks the Number of Unique Clicks per link
Provides a reporting interface where you can see a configurable chart of clicks per day. This report can be filtered by the specific link clicked, date range, and/or unique clicks.
View click details including ip address, remote host, browser (including browser version), operating system, and referring site
Download hit details in CSV format
Pass custom parameters to your scripts through pretty link and still have full tracking ability
Exclude IP Addresses from Stats
Enables you to send your pretty links via Email directly from your WordPress admin
Select Temporary (302 or 307) or Permanent (301) redirection for your pretty links
Cookie based system for tracking visitor activity across clicks
Create nofollow/noindex links
Turn tracking on / off on each link
Pretty Links BookmarkletWordPress blog
Pretty Links Plugin
It does these things and that was enough for me. It was no different than purchasing Thrive Themes. It forced me to level up, I'm grateful for that. On this journey where money is a byproduct and your job is to create value first, you'll want to not only put your money where your mouth is, but take the time to learn a few tools and master applying them.