How to Integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro (And Why You Should)

Traffic numbers can be a strong indicator of your business’ success. After all, the more eyes on your site, the more potential leads your business has. However, the tracking process can seem complicated, and you may find yourself overwhelmed by the steps involved.

Fortunately, Pretty Link Pro enables you to easily integrate a tool such as Google Analytics, and track traffic and other website metrics in a flash. With this information, you can make the necessary changes to your website and begin to improve your business’ competitive position.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to Google Analytics, including why you should consider using it. Then, we’ll show you how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, and offer a few tips for using this integration to the fullest. Let’s get started!

What Google Analytics Is (And Why You Should Use It)

Google Analytics audience overview report

The Audience Overview screen is one of Google Analytics’ most popular tracking features.

Google Analytics is a free service that generates in-depth statistics about visitors and sources of website traffic, and also tracks measurable data such as website conversions and sales. This can be a useful tool for affiliate marketers, or any website owner who’d like a behind-the-scenes look at their website.

There is a wealth of information available to you with Google Analytics, but here are a few specific reasons to use it on your site. You can:

  1. Track traffic. A solid understanding of your site’s traffic sources can help you to better target your audience.
  2. Notice trends. Trends – such as web browser usage and bounce rates – can provide you with an understanding of your audience and their needs.
  3. Maximize marketing effortsWith a look at audience behaviors and other such data, you can alter your current marketing plans to get more in line with reality.

In comparison to its competitors, Google Analytics is a mature program, offering advanced features and extensive resources. And as we mentioned, it’s also free!

How to Integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro

For this step you’ll need to have installed and activated the Pretty Link Pro plugin first. To begin the integration process, download a suitable Google Analytics plugin to your WordPress site. Google Analyticator enables you to see your statistics within WordPress, and is supported by Pretty Link Pro:

The Google Analyticator plugin.

Next, go to Pretty Link > Options > Link Options within your WordPress dashboardTo enable Google Analytics, simply check the box next to the Google Analytics option, which makes the option available every time you create a link with Pretty Link Pro:

Enable Google Analytics in Pretty Link Pro link options

Finally, keep in mind that links can only be tracked if they are one of the following redirect types: cloak, pretty bar, javascript, and meta-refresh. Once you’re up and running, you can look to leverage your integration’s power and flexibility.

How to Get the Most from Your Google Analytics and Pretty Link Pro Integration (3 Tips)

Now you know how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, let’s take a look at three tips to help you make the most of it.

1. Understand What Google Analytics Can Do For You

Google Analytic's traffic source feature

One of Google Analytics’ many features is traffic source tracking.

Google Analytics has an extensive list of metrics, and discussing them all could fill several books! To use the tool optimally, you’ll need to at least be familiar with the basics. Some of Google Analytics’ most useful metrics for affiliate marketers relate to e-commerce, and you’ll also find handy features such as audience segment reports. However, there’s much more on offer.

If you’re unsure which metrics to pay attention to, here are a couple to get you started:

  1. Unique Visitors and Page ViewsTogether, they provide a clear indication of the true levels of traffic on your site, and tell you what visitors are looking at.
  2. Bounce Rate. Visitors who aren’t compelled to click through to links will ‘bounce’, so this metric dictates whether you need to reassess your content at a base level.

While the plethora of metrics and features on offer can seem overwhelming at first, time and experience will ultimately enable you to make sense of it all.

2. Integrate (And Track) Your Website Goals

Google Analytics create new goal page

In Google Analytics, you can create your own website goals.

Goals are a key element for your website’s success, and will provide you with clarity and direction. Google Analytics also include features related to goal setting and tracking – and they’re a breeze to use.

To begin, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create your goals in Google Analytics. In short, you’ll need to go to Admin > Goals on the left side of the Google Analytics dashboard. From here, click New Goal, then select a pre-built template or create a custom one. Select the goal type, enter in the details, and click Save.
  2. Track your goal’s results. By navigating to Conversions > Goals > Overview, you can look at your goal’s tracked results, and make adjustments as needed.

The more website goals you set, the better able you’ll be to meet your personal and business goals, such as higher traffic and more conversions. So it pays (sometimes literally!) to spend some time here.

3. Create Custom Reports

custom report creation page in Google Analytics

Custom reports are similar to goals, but with a bit more flexibility.

Simply put, custom reports are ones that you define yourself. They enable you to set specific parameters for your reports based on web browser, traffic source, and even location.

As with the other steps, creating a custom report in Google Analytics is simple:

  1. Choose the best dimensions and metrics. There are a variety of dimension-metrics combinations you can utilize. You can experiment and even change them as you go along.
  2. Interpret the results. This will help you to get an idea of where your site is currently, and make plans for the future.

Similar to goals, custom reports offer you a valuable look at the actuality of your current website situation. With this insight, you can then make the tweaks necessary to reach your goals.

Conclusion

Proper tracking of your website’s traffic – along with a few other analytics – can help you to better gauge your site’s goals (such as improving traffic sources and boosting your income). Overall, this can help you to make the changes necessary to meet and exceed them.

In this post, we’ve showed you how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro, and optimize their integration. To quickly recap:

  1. Get acquainted with Google Analytics’ offerings.
  2. Integrate (and track) your website goals.
  3. Create custom reports.

Do you have any questions about how to integrate Google Analytics with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Link Disclosures: An Introduction and Best Practices


Links are the foundation of affiliate marketing. As such, some marketers may add paid-for links to their blogs and websites freely, without a thought to any repercussions. Unfortunately, undisclosed links of this kind can create a legal nightmare.

That’s where affiliate link disclosures come in. This practice enables you to link to affiliate sites without worry, and protects you – and the consumer – from unethical business practices.

In this post, we’ll first introduce you to affiliate link disclosures, including what they are and why their use is necessary. Then, we’ll provide you with three best practices you can easily apply to your website and blog.

Let’s get started!

What Affiliate Link Disclosures Are (And Why They’re Necessary)

Affiliate link disclosure example

An affiliate link disclosure as seen on Amy Lynn Andrews.

Affiliate link disclosures are an FTC-mandated practice. Essentially, whenever a link is used on your website that results in a commission, you must disclose this information to site visitors. This extends beyond affiliate links, and must also be done for endorsements, sponsorships, and the like.

While this may seem like a hassle, there are two very big reasons that disclosures are necessary:

  1. They ensure fair business practices. This gives all marketers an even playing field, and gives buyers the chance to purchase from marketers they trust.
  2. They provide transparency to your site’s readers. Trust is important for marketers, and can only be achieved through complete transparency.

Remember, disclosures aren’t punishments. Instead, they’re a practice used for the benefit of consumers and marketers alike.

3 Best Practices for Affiliate Link Disclosures

Affiliate link disclosures are fairly easy to implement, but there are ways to optimize their use. Let’s take a look at three practices that – when used – result in FTC-compliant disclosures.

1. Place Disclosures in Obvious Areas

‘Obvious’ can be quite subjective, but all this means is that any disclosures on your site must be in open view, easy for visitors to see.

An example of obvious disclosure placement.

For all blog posts containing affiliate links, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents places a basic disclosure at the top of the post.

This practice builds trust. Disclosures that are hidden in page footers or on a separate page look as if you’re trying to comply without actually doing so. This doesn’t fly with the FTC, and it won’t go down well with a lot of readers, either.

To ensure that you’re following this practice, here are two key tips for disclosure placement on your website or blog:

  1. Always add your disclosure at the top of blog posts. This gives the reader a chance to bounce from the page if they aren’t fans of affiliate links, and it protects you from accusations of deception.
  2. Place a reference to your disclosure near affiliate links. You don’t have to interrupt your post’s flow to do so. Simply add an asterisk or other indicator near the link, then repeat the disclosure at the end of the post.

Your readers shouldn’t have to do any extra legwork in order to see the disclosure. If you keep this in mind, it’s fairly easy to determine the best placements on your site and blog.

2. Be Proactive in Disclosing

You may sometimes find yourself wondering whether a disclosure is necessary. To avoid legal troubles, it’s best to be proactive and disclose.

Here’s a few guidelines to help you determine when to disclose:

  • Disclose when you’ve been paid. This includes sponsorships, paid reviews, and links to products that aren’t your own (i.e. an affiliate product).
  • Disclose on each page a link is used. Even if you’ve previously disclosed a particular affiliate link, it’s necessary to do so again when it’s used in a different area of your site.
  • When unsure, disclose anyway. This won’t cause any harm, and may actually prevent legal headaches down the road.

The main takeaway is that proactive disclosing is best. You should disclose whenever possible, and be open about your practices from the start.

3. Use Clear Language

Clear language ensures that your site’s readers understand the relationship you have to affiliate sites.

Again, this really comes down to transparency. Clear, direct language shows that you respect your readers, while complex language can confuse and drive away potential customers.

To ensure that you’re writing clear affiliate disclosures, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Be direct. Keep the disclosure short, and don’t beat around the bush.
  2. Use ‘trigger words’. It’s best to use words that let your reader know immediately that you may receive compensation from your links. These words include “compensation” and “commission”.
  3. Avoid niche jargon. Avoid the use of words that the general public may not know, such as “affiliate”, “pay-per-click” (in reference to ads), etc., unless you also provide a direct explanation for them in your disclosure.

You can also create a disclosure template, enabling you to provide readers with a consistent experience across all website pages.

How Pretty Link Pro Can Help You Disclose Your Affiliate Links

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

If you’re ready to implement affiliate disclosures on your site, then Pretty Link Pro can help. More than just a link shortener, this WordPress plugin has plenty of features to help you manage your site’s links. These include the abilities to redirect and share your links, as well as automate the processes involved in their use.

The best part is that setting up affiliate link disclosures is simple. In just five steps, you can have this feature set up across your site.

Conclusion

Affiliate link disclosures are a legal necessity, but their use can also build reader trust in both you and your affiliate products. With a link management tool such as Pretty Link Pro, you can create affiliate disclosures for your website in minutes, and you can even automate the process.

In the above post, we provided you with three affiliate disclosure best practices. To recap:

  1. Place disclosures in obvious areas.
  2. Be proactive in disclosing.
  3. Use clear language.

Do you have any questions about affiliate link disclosures or how to set them up with Pretty Link Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Tips for Building an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

Whether you’re a business magnate or just learning the ropes, it’s not uncommon to run low on customers from time to time. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know how to reach potential customers effectively.

However, with social media marketing, you can reach prospects, build your business, and make a name for yourself within your niche. Best of all, there are a number of techniques you can employ to ensure that your social media marketing strategy is solid and effective.

In this post, we’ll offer up some highly effective tips for building a social media marketing strategy. You’ll learn why each technique is important, as well as how to utilize them most effectively. Let’s get started!

1. Create Clear Objectives

Without clear objectives, you may have a general idea of what you’d like to do (e.g. grow your business through the use of social media), but no idea how to get there.

Fortunately, clear objectives aren’t difficult to create. In fact, here’s two tips that will get you on the right track:

  1. Be specific and realisticAvoid vague goals; instead, create ones that are specific (such as gaining 1,000 Twitter followers in 90 days) and realistic.
  2. Ensure your objectives are measurable. The only way to know whether your objectives are being met is to create objectives that are measurable. Measurable objectives should ideally be quantifiable (such as the number of followers you will gain).

Objectives are the foundation of your social media marketing strategy. It’s important that you put a lot of thought into your goals and objectives, and revisit them regularly.

2. Target a Specific Audience

When you create content, you should do so with a specific audience in mind. This helps you narrow your focus and target only those who are interested in your products.

In order to target your specific audience effectively, we’ve broken the process down into three simple steps:

  1. Find your audience. This is one of the more difficult things you will do, but when executed correctly, the rewards are huge.
  2. Pick the right social media platforms. Pick the platforms your audience most frequently uses. This will save you time, and give you a better chance of reaching your targets.
  3. Speak to your audience’s needs. You need to create a sense of urgency in your followers. This is why you must speak to their needs and let them know that you have the answer.

Social media is the perfect place to engage your target audience. It gives you a platform to share content that’s catered specifically to them, and to create relationships that can lead to future sales.

3. Set Up a Posting Schedule

Buffer

Tools such as Buffer can make social media update scheduling a breeze.

To build a strong social presence – as well as feed your content-hungry followers – you need a consistent and solid posting schedule in place.

To set up a posting schedule that’s right for your audience, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Be consistent. Pick a posting schedule you know you can stick to. Consistency is much more important than volume – especially in the beginning.
  2. Mix it up. Promoting new content is important, but consider adding in a few of your older blog posts to provide your followers with a helpful blast from the past.
  3. Automate the process. Popular social media automation tools include HootSuite and Buffer, and they enable you to plan your social media posts well in advance.

If you’re starting small, slowly work your way up to more posts per day, but never sacrifice quality of content for quantity.

4. Cloak and Track Your Social Media Links

Link cloaking involves changing the URL your followers will see into something that is better branded for your business. Cloaked links can be easily tracked to see which ones are working for your business. This is beneficial for a number of reasons, and it can serve your business well when done correctly.

In order to begin, you will need the help of a link management plugin. We recommend our very own Pretty Link Pro, not only for its cloaking and tracking abilities, but for its variety of other link optimizing features, too.

Getting started is easy. After purchasing your plan and installing the plugin, all you need to do is create a new link (choosing Cloaked as the Redirection type), enable tracking in the Advanced Options dropdown, and then use the link on your website and social media profiles.

Once the link has been in use for a while, you can then check out the stats on its use by going to Pretty Link > Clicks:

Pretty Link Pro's "Clicks" screen

Here, you’ll see an overview of each link’s stats, including the number of clicks and the referrer (if there is one).

Conclusion

As a solid source of potential customers, social media provides your business with endless growth possibilities. Of course, you must know how to utilize those possibilities to their fullest in order to see the best results.

In the above post, we offered four tips for building an effective social media marketing strategy. To recap, they are:

  1. Create clear objectives
  2. Target a specific audience
  3. Set up a posting schedule
  4. Cloak and track your social media links

Do you have any questions about building a social media strategy to grow your business? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to ‘nofollow’ Your Affiliate Links

Affiliate marketing can provide a welcome income boost to your business through a few well-placed links. However, search engines often crack down on affiliate sites that contain too many paid links and penalize them where it hurts – their search engine ranking.

Even so, there are ethical ways around this. They enable you to still promote affiliate products without being read your virtual rights – it all centers around the concept of ‘link juice’ and how it’s apportioned.

In this post, we’ll discuss how search engines track affiliate links and why this can be bad news for your business. We’ll then provide you with two simple solutions based on the nofollow attribute – a manual method, and the Pretty Link Pro way – before explaining how you can use each to protect your site from penalties.

Let’s get started!

Why Search Engine Bots Track Your Affiliate Links (and What nofollow Means)

Affiliate links are no doubt an important part of your business. However, search engines often don’t take kindly to a plethora of affiliate (i.e. paid) links on your website. However, before you give up affiliate marketing altogether, it’s not as cut and dried as it first appears.

When you add a link to your WordPress site, it’s automatically classed as dofollow. This means the linked site will receive some of your site’s link juice. However, when you have too many links pointing to affiliate sites, you make it appear as if they are directly paying you for an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boost. This is what leads to penalties, including the loss of your hard-earned search engine ranking.

You can avoid this with the nofollow attribute. By adding this to your affiliate links, they won’t be included when search engine bots crawl your site. Essentially, the attribute does what it says on the tin – it tells the bot not to follow the link or pass on any of your site’s link juice.

There are two ways to go about ensuring affiliate links aren’t tracked by search engine bots. The first is a manual process within the WordPress editor, and the second involves link cloaking with Pretty Link Pro. Let’s take a look at each.

How to Manually nofollow Your Affiliate Links

Now we’ve covered the importance of nofollow, let’s show you how to add this attribute to your own links. You’ll need to be within the WordPress editor for this, and initially it doesn’t matter whether you’re using either the visual or text editors – whichever one is more comfortable for you. However, once you’ve added a link, you’ll need to be within the text editor:

WordPress Visual and Text Editor

Here, you’ll see the underlying HTML code of your post or page, and you’ll need to scour your content to find the link in question:

WordPress editor text pane link

To manually nofollow the link, we’ll need to add some code. Firstly, place your cursor between the closing double quote and angled bracket. Next, add a single space, then type rel=”nofollow”:

nofollow link example

Once you save your changes, that’s it! This option, while effective at preventing search engine penalties, can be tedious if you have a lot of links. Fortunately, there’s a much quicker way to get the same results.

How to Cloak and nofollow Your Affiliate Links Using Pretty Link Pro

While Pretty Link Pro is certainly the leader in link shortening, it offers a variety of other features such as the ability to cloak your links and set nofollow automatically. What’s more, the process is very straightforward.

Pretty Link Pro screenshot

However, let’s firstly discuss link cloaking. This is a process that enables you to change the look of a target URL. So, instead of a lengthy and unappealing affiliate link that could be mistook as something not worth clicking, you can instead cloak it with a pretty URL such as http://www.yoursite.com/productname. In addition, it will still redirect to the target URL, will look cleaner, and can also be branded to include your website’s address.

After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll find a new option on the left side of your WordPress dashboard. To add a new link, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link:

Pretty Link Pro Add New Link

You’ll be brought to the Add Link screen. The first thing you’ll want to do is choose Cloaked from the Redirection drop-down list:

Pretty Link Pro Redirection Cloaked

Next, enter the target URL (including www). This will be your original affiliate link. Next, add the ‘slug’ you’d like to use for your cloaked link to the Pretty Link field, then add a title and notes for your own reference if you wish:

Pretty Link Pro target URL

To make this link a nofollow, expand the Advanced Options section and tick the No Follow checkbox:

Pretty Link Pro Advanced Options

You can also add new links from within posts and pages. To do so from within the WordPress editor, select the star icon from the visual editor’s toolbar:

Pretty Link Pro icon WordPress editor

You’ll be greeted by a pop-up menu, which enables you to enter your link information as you did from the Add Link screen. You can also select the redirect type, and nofollow from within this pop-up, as well as enable link tracking:

Pretty Link Pro editor popup menu

It’s a handy, code-free way to nofollow, cloak, and track your affiliate links, all from your WordPress visual editor!

Conclusion

If you’re an affiliate marketer worried about search engine penalties, you have nothing to fear. With the use of nofollow and Pretty Link Pro’s cloaking feature, you can be sure to keep the search engine police away from your virtual door, and retain your hard-earned ranking.

In this post, we’ve discussed the negative impact that uncloaked affiliate links can have on your marketing website. However, there are two things you can do to avoid search engine penalties. To recap, you can:

  1. Use the manual nofollow attribute on your affiliate links.
  2. Use Pretty Link Pro to cloak and nofollow your affiliate links.

Do you have any questions about the nofollow attribute, or how Pretty Link Pro can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Tips for Driving High-Quality Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Site

You’ve spent time and money building your affiliate marketing site, only to hear crickets when your site goes live. This is a frustrating reality for many new affiliate marketers, and one that can be difficult to face.

Such a reality, though, can be easily overcome by using the right traffic-driving tactics. These tactics, when used correctly, can bring high-quality traffic to your site, making all the effort you’ve put in worthwhile.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of high-quality site traffic. We’ll then introduce you to four traffic-driving techniques you can begin to incorporate today. Let’s get started!

Why High-Quality Traffic Is Important for Your Affiliate Marketing Site

In the context of affiliate marketing, high-quality traffic is that which helps you to meet your goals. If it converts (turns into sales), then it’s quality. If it doesn’t convert, then you have some tweaking to do.

As you can imagine, then, bringing high-quality traffic to your site is much more important than driving non-targeted readers. This is because while traffic numbers may be lower, your conversion rates and overall sales will be higher.

In addition, high-quality traffic can do good things for your site’s search engine rankings. Targeted readers are more likely to share your site’s content, increasing backlinks to your website.

4 Tips for Driving High-Quality Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Site

With a better understanding of high-quality traffic, let’s take a look at the ways you can drive such traffic to your own website.

1. Offer High-Value Content

You want the content on your site to be thought-provoking and actionable. In fact, that’s the very definition of valuable content.

Aside from taking pride in your work, high-value content is important if you want to drive traffic because it will be shared, get discussed, and boost search engine rankings as a result.

If you’re ready, take these steps to ensure you create high-value content every time:

  1. Answer questions that your target audience is asking. With the help of search engine results and social media searches, you can find the questions that are most plaguing your audience.
  2. Incorporate actionable steps. Provide your reader with a next step, enabling them to take action immediately.
  3. Use data and real-life examples. Give readers a glimpse of reality to really drive the point home.

The process of creating high-value content that attracts your target audience is often overcomplicated. In reality, all you need to do is consider what your reader wants, and then deliver for them.

2. Get Active on Social Media

Social media is a powerful source of highly-targeted traffic. After all, in one sense, social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are search engines in disguise.

There’s much to be said regarding social media as a traffic source. Here’s just a few tips to get started:

  1. Limit yourself. Rather than targeting every single social media network out there, limit yourself to a maximum of three (and even just one or two). Focusing your efforts narrowly will better ensure positive results.
  2. Pick the right platform(s) for your industry. When deciding on a platform (or platforms) for your niche, keep in mind that each targets a different demographic and choose accordingly.
  3. Stick to a consistent posting schedule. This will keep you accountable, as well as help you to grow a steady following.
  4. Experiment and measure results. With experimentation, you can find the right schedule and style for your audience so you can improve upon your social media strategy.

Of course, the most important rule to follow when using social media is to stay consistent. This means continuing to post, engage, and take part, even if results aren’t coming as quickly as you’d like.

3. Guest Post on Industry Blogs

As a strategy to grow high-quality traffic, guest posting can do more than drive traffic to your site. In fact, it can help you to build a targeted audience.

So, how can you further leverage guest posts to drive traffic to your site? Here’s a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  1. Guest post on blogs with a similar target audience. Posting on blogs that have a similar focus to your site – even if they’re not as big as alternative options – will enable you to target your ideal audience more effectively.
  2. Add links within your content. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of self promotion. Include links to your own relevant work within the post, and even add one to your author bio (if allowed).

Remember, the content you create is there to provide value. With this as your focus, you can create high-converting guest posts every time.

4. Optimize Your Site’s Links

As an affiliate, you know how important links are to your business. In short, optimizing your links can help to boost their effectiveness.

Link optimization includes the cloaking and shortening of links. This enables you to ‘brand’ your links, as well as make them easy to remember and share on social media.

Fortunately, there are plugins, such as our very own Pretty Link Pro, that enable you to perform this function from within WordPress.

Once you’ve purchased a plan and installed the plugin, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link. This can be found on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.

At this point, all you need to do is add in the target URL (that is, the not-so-pretty affiliate link) and change the Pretty Link to whatever you’d like.

Pretty Link Cloaking Add A New Link

Then, click Create. Now, you can use this link wherever you’d like, and it’s not only easy to remember, but also bears the name of your website for branding purposes.

Conclusion

The quality (or lack thereof) of your site’s traffic can make or break your affiliate marketing business. But, as frustrating as it can be to attract high-quality traffic, there are a number of techniques you can use to improve results and bring in targeted leads.

In this post, we outlined four ways to drive high-quality, targeted traffic to your site. To recap:

  1. Offer high-value content.
  2. Get active on social media.
  3. Guest post on industry blogs.
  4. Optimize your site’s links.

Do you have any questions about driving high-quality traffic to your site? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Affiliate Marketing Tactics That Will Improve Your Sales Strategy

You’ve likely spent countless hours developing your affiliate marketing site. If you’ve put your heart and soul into bolstering your business, only to hit a brick wall when it comes to your current marketing tactics, you’ll know it’s not a fun situation to be in.

Fortunately, improving your strategy and boosting sales isn’t an impossible feat to achieve. There are a few small steps you can take that will have a big impact on your business – and you can begin to implement all of them today.

In this post, we’ll first cover the importance of having a solid sales strategy. Then you’ll learn four affiliate marketing tactics you can incorporate into your business to boost sales. By the end, you’ll have some new, solid tips to integrate into your affiliate website – which will no doubt provide some positive results!

What a Sales Strategy Is (and Why You Need One)

In its simplest terms, a sales strategy is a plan you create and implement to gain an edge against your competitors. It includes your roadmap for customer acquisition and engagement, as well as for product promotion and brand awareness.

For affiliate marketers, a solid sales strategy can provide numerous benefits:

  1. It focuses your team to the task at hand.
  2. It can provide guidance in the event of any issues that may arise during its implementation.
  3. A well-created strategy can you save time by clearly outlining the the steps you should take next.

In short, a sales strategy enables you and your marketing team to work smarter, not harder. Keeping this in mind, while a basic strategy can prove valuable, enhancing it by implementing a few additional marketing tactics will potentially see your bottom line soar.

4 Affiliate Marketing Tactics That Will Improve Your Sales Strategy

Once you have a sales strategy in place that you’re comfortable with, you’ll find these four affiliate marketing tactics to be particularly helpful in supercharging its effectiveness. Let’s take a look!

1. Set Up a Squeeze Page

Squeeze pages are all over the web. They’re on news websites, blogs, and business websites, and their main purpose is to collect information from your site’s visitors (mainly email addresses, but essentially any information you require).

However, squeeze pages aren’t always a separate page on your site. For example, on ProBlogger it appears as a pop-up:

ProBlogger Squeeze Page example

This technique enables you to collect emails, which in turn helps you to build a relationship with your readers. In addition, you also have easy access to your target market (i.e. those already visiting your site).

To get started, you’ll need either a dedicated theme or plugin. With the right content elements, such as an engaging headline and a strong lead magnet, you can be well on your way to creating a highly-converting squeeze page in no time.

2. Optimize Your Lead Generation Forms

Lead generation forms are one of your website’s most valuable tools. As your site’s main method of collecting lead information, it’s imperative you have one. Of course, the more leads you receive, the potential there is for a sale to take place. However, not all lead generation forms are created equal, and some are more effective than others.

Melyssa Griffin lead generation form example

Melyssa Griffin’s lead generation form offers a bold headline, an enticing offer, and a bright submission button.

While squeeze pages are a type of lead generation form, there are other types too. However, what they all have in common is the offer of value to the reader. Often, you’ll provide a content download or free-trial period in exchange for their details, and it’s a great way to build your email list quickly and consistently.

You’ll likely already have some kind of lead generation form on your site, so it’s worth thinking about how to optimize them for maximum impact. Even simple formatting and compelling copy will increase the quality of your forms.

3. Write for Your Audience

Even if you aren’t a content writer by trade, it’s still important to write like a professional. This includes writing with your audience in mind. However, it’s not just about writing in a specific style or tone, but also anticipating your readers’ questions and fears, then offering them solutions. By doing this, you’re setting yourself up as an authority – and the rub you get from this could skyrocket sales.

Neil Patel's squeeze page.

Neil Patel writes for his audience, which goes some way to explain why he sees more than 100,000 visitors every month.

However, this isn’t something that’s out of reach – here’s how to get started:

  1. Create some target reader personas.
  2. Practice conversational writing.
  3. Keep text and image formatting simple and easy to read.
  4. Visit niche-related hangouts, such as Facebook groups, to find content inspiration.

When you write for your audience you create a connection, and will naturally compel them to engage with your services. Of course, these are the ideal conditions for increasing conversions and sales.

4. Shorten and Cloak Your Links

It goes without saying that affiliate links are the lifeblood of your marketing business. Unfortunately, uncloaked links can impact your revenue. For example, a URL such as www.affiliates.com/products/?product_id=1975684&affiliate=13765 is less easy to read, and could set off alarm bells for some readers who believe it’s a spam link. Instead, a pretty, cloaked URL such as www.yoursite.com/recommends/productname is more likely to be trusted. It’s short and descriptive, which are two of the many positives of cloaked affiliate links.

The manual method of link cloaking isn’t too complicated, but it could be overwhelming for some. Fortunately, WordPress users can use a solution such as Pretty Link Pro, which offers a variety of invaluable features.

To begin shortening and cloaking your affiliate links, purchase a plan, then install and active the plugin. Next, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard:

Pretty Link Cloaking Add A New Link

From here, add your original link to the Target URL box, and you’ll receive an editable four-letter slug. Once you click Create, you’ll be able to use the link wherever you choose – simple!

Conclusion

Creating a successful affiliate marketing business takes time and persistence, and many times you’ll feel as if you’re not doing enough. However, although a solid sales strategy is the first step, there are a few additional tactics you can employ to maximize your revenue.

In this post, we’ve offered four additional ways to improve your sales strategy. To recap:

  1. Set up a squeeze page.
  2. Optimize your lead generation forms.
  3. Write for your audience.
  4. Shorten and cloak your links using Pretty Link Pro.

Do you have any questions about setting up an effective affiliate marketing sales strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pretty Link 2.0 is Here!

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re proud to announce that Pretty Link Pro 2.0 is now here!

We have completely refactored the code base to ensure that the plugin will be easier to both maintain and extend as WordPress continues to evolve.

Along the way we’ve completed a major cleanup to the interface, improved performance of the plugin/links, added a bunch of new (awesome) features, and fixed countless bugs. We’re so thrilled about the changes, and we hope you will be too!

So what’s new?

Great question! With literally thousands of lines of code moved, deleted and/or optimized — there’s literally too many changes to list here. So we’ll cut to the chase and highlight the one’s you’re gonna want to know about.

 

NEW WYSIWYG INSERT LINK POP-UP

Starting with what likely is the best new feature of 2.0 — you can now click the star button when editing a post or page on your website to reveal this Insert Pretty Link pop-up dialogue. Here you can create a brand-new pretty link or search for an existing one. With a few simple clicks, your Pretty Link will be embedded in your content. Finally no more switching between windows and copying/pasting just to insert a link into the content!

 

BASE SLUG PREFIX

Create links like https://yoursite.com/go/xyz! This allows you to add a default base slug that should be used for all newly created Pretty Links, it does not affect existing links. We recommend using something short like “go” or “out” to help keep your links short (and pretty). This new feature has a lot of potential uses such as omitting your pretty links from caching plugins/hosts to ensure that tracking and reporting isn’t affected. It can also be used to limit search engines from indexing your links by adding short lines to your robots.txt files.

 

CUSTOM POST TYPE SUPPORT

You can now automatically create Pretty Links for and display the social sharing buttons on selected Custom Post Types just like you could before with Posts and Pages.

 

AFFILIATE LINK DISCLOSURES

This is part of our Keyword replacements. With the FTC getting more serious about cracking down on proper affiliate link disclosures we thought it might be cool to add a feature where your Pretty Link’d Keywords are automatically disclosed for you. When enabled it will show a small text next to your replaced Keyword links so the user will know that link is an affiliate link. Further, you can even show a link to your full affiliate link disclosure statement at the top and/or bottom of each post on your site.

 

GEOGRAPHICAL (GEO) REDIRECTS

You can define an unlimited number of geo-based redirects. This means you can send users to different target URL’s based on their location. We’re excited to see the various ways you all come up with to use this new feature!

 

TECHNOLOGY REDIRECTS

You can now also choose to redirect to different target URL’s based on the user’s device info. Such as their device type, Operating System, and even their browser!

 

TIME BASED REDIRECTS

Redirect to different target URL’s based on the current date and time. You can now set time intervals and specify which target URL the user will be redirected to based on the current date and time. Set as many time periods as you want!

 

LINK EXPIRATIONS

We had a lot of requests for this, and it’s finally here. We hope you use it and appreciate it. Your Pretty Links can now be set to expire after a certain time, or after a certain number of unique clicks. Maybe you want to run a promotion for only the first X people who subscribe, or for folks who subscribe before a certain time get a free T-shirt etc. Best of all, after the link expires, you have the option to redirect them somewhere else instead.

 

MORE ROTATIONS

You’re no longer limited to just five rotation URL’s. Now you can add up to 20 rotating URL’s per Pretty Link.

 

NEW AND PRETTIER SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS

The social sharing buttons have been completely replaced with some new modern-looking sharing buttons.

 

LARGER QR CODES

Pretty Link already supported QR codes, but we’ve increased the generated size of the codes so you can use them in your print media and campaigns.

 

AUTO URL REPLACEMENT BLACKLIST

In addition to some serious performance improvements with the Automatic URL Replacement feature, we’ve also added a domain blacklist feature as well. This means you can now omit certain domains from ever being automatically replaced. Perhaps you only want to automatically replace external (outgoing) links with pretty links, and leave your internal links alone. Now that is possible with this new domain blacklist feature.

 

AUTO TRIM CLICKS

Many of you have been very successful, and with that success comes more traffic. We now have an option which will automatically trim (permanently delete) clicks which are older than 90 days. This will keep the clicks database table fresh and prevent it from becoming so bloated that it affects site performance and other queries etc. These hits are lost forever once deleted, though we highly recommend using this new feature, please be aware that once they’re deleted – they’re gone forever unless you have some kind of incremental database backup solution in place.

 

CUSTOM HEAD SCRIPTS

You can now define custom scripts which should be used in the HTML <head> section on every supported redirect type. You can also define scripts which should only be used on individual links as well. This could be useful for tracking scripts like Facebook retargeting, analytics etc. This feature works on all redirect types except for server side (30x) redirect types.

 

OTHER CHANGES

  • Cleaner, more modern interface
  • Serious performance improvements and options
  • We’ve extended some of the data that can be imported/exported – with more to come in a future release
  • Complete refactor of the core code
  • New license key system (no more entering your username/password to activate the plugin)
  • Lite and Pro options have been merged into one page
  • Tools have been better separated out into their own page
  • Hundreds of other small changes and bug fixes too numerous to list
  • Auto twitter posting has been removed, better auto-social posting options are available such as Buffer and Hootsuite
  • Tweet badge has been removed

5 Reasons to Redirect Your Links with Pretty Link Pro

As an affiliate marketer, link redirects and cloaking have a number of advantages. Besides the pure aesthetics of a short, descriptive link, it can also have a considerable impact on the success of your business venture. It’s seemingly a small detail, but one that adds a seal of quality and professionalism to your marketing content.

What a reader sees when hovering over a link in the body of your text, or when a URL appears in the address bar, can be a deciding factor. It has a subliminal influence on whether the reader follows the link, and that fraction of a second can make all the difference.

Finding a way to create, organize and manage redirects for all your links – especially in a way that fits seamlessly into your WordPress environment – can be problematic. Pretty Link Pro was created specifically to solve that problem.

With that in mind, this post reveals five compelling reasons why setting up redirects for your links with Pretty Link Pro is a smart addition to your affiliate marketing strategy.

Let’s get cracking!

1. Increase Click-Through Rates

Your affiliate ID is the unique number used to track and record activity on your affiliate account. An affiliate link (with your ID included) typically looks something like this:

http://yoursite.com/?ref=123 click?id=exyzzyQzKg/F4&offerid=12345.10121&type=2&subid=0

Each time a customer clicks on a link of yours, the data is stored in a cookie, and you get the commission.

Unfortunately, an obvious affiliate link can harm your credibility. If that unsightly link appears in the browser’s address bar, it could quite possibly have a negative impact on your marketing efforts.

Psychologically, asking your readers to click a super long affiliate link with plenty of url parameters may send the wrong message – that you’re ‘in it for the money’ or even that you’re ‘tracking every move they make.’  No matter how well-written your copy is, and how attractive your images are, if your link gives the wrong kind of impression about your motives, your click-through rate can suffer.

Creating redirects for your links is easy with Pretty Link Pro – simply paste the URL you want to setup a redirect for into the Target URL box and the plugin does the rest. You’ll see your new short, descriptive link below the original, along with a four character slug (of course you can modify your link slug to anything you’d like).

To be clear this approach should never be used to obscure the fact that your link is an affiliate link. Before creating a pretty link redirect for your affiliate link you should check with your affiliate program to determine what their rules are on redirects and cloaking. But above all make sure you disclose each of your affiliate links — FTC rules state that you must fully disclose each affiliate link you have on your website (including on each page where you use the affiliate link). Whether your link is a direct affiliate link or redirects to an affiliate link it must be disclosed.

2. Avoid Ranking Penalties

Ranking penalties relate to how likely your page is to be found on a search engine such as Google. Search engines have complex algorithms that take lots of factors into consideration, and one of those factors is the number of affiliate links on your page.

Obviously, search engine traffic directly affects the commission from your affiliate links, so you can’t afford to jeopardize your page’s ability to be found.

Fortunately, there are ways around the issue of ranking penalties as they pertain to affiliate links. You could manually add “rel=nofollow” every time you create an affiliate link, but that’s a tedious way to go about it.

Pretty Link Pro makes the whole process much easier. It gives you the option to ‘nofollow’ your pretty links from within the plugin’s interface, without having to add a single line of code (these nofollows happen in the http headers rather than html so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the nofollow in the link html). This means that when search engines crawl your site, they should skip over your affiliate links. While having too many affiliate or sponsored links can result in a penalty from Google, when they’re redirected, your rankings will remain unaffected.

With Pretty Link Pro, it’s a walk in the park. Head to the plugin’s dashboard, and navigate to Options > SEO Options. Tick ‘Nofollow’ this link, after creating your shortened link, and you’re good to go:

In addition to being able to add no-follows to the http headers of your pretty links, you can also add a ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ to all of your affiliate links when generating them using Pretty Link’s keyword replacement feature.

3. Prevent Link Theft

Link theft or link swapping is when your affiliate link is deliberately removed or swapped for another before your customer’s purchase is registered. An individual with bad intentions (and an affiliate account), could substitute your link with their own. The result is that you would lose the commission you would otherwise have earned.

Affiliate marketing has come a long way, and measures are taken to ensure that both companies and marketers comply with fair trade practices and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations. Still, there will always be those individuals who try to find unscrupulous ways to milk the system.

Creating pretty link redirects for your links with Pretty Link Pro protects you. Since your affiliate link isn’t visible in the html, it can’t easily be removed or swapped by anyone other than you, and your commission earnings remain safe.

4. Outsmart Ad Blockers

Nobody likes to be bombarded by adverts. Because of this, some of your readers might be using browser extensions such as AdBlock Plus. Unfortunately, those kinds of browser extensions can suppress your page because of your affiliate links.

Setting up redirects your links is the solution – often making your page available on browsers with ad blockers installed.

To ensure banner ads display correctly, you’ll need to take one more precaution: Instead of hot-linking banners from the merchant’s domain, download them, and host them directly from your own site preferably using an awesome ad-management plugin like AdSanity.

5. Make Link Management Easier

Product links expire and affiliate programs change, or even close for business. If you’re trying to keep track of all your links with a spreadsheet, keeping up with all those changes can become a nightmare.

If you’re a member of more than one affiliate program, you might find that you lose track of which products belong to the different programs. That means logging in and going through each one until you find what you’re looking for.

Pretty Link Pro makes it easy to update your links automatically, no matter how many times you’ve included them in your content. There’s no need to keep a separate log.

You can also add a descriptive title for each link you create. This isn’t displayed as part of your short link, it’s simply there to help you stay organized when you’re keeping track of your links. What’s more, there’s also the option to create groups for all your links – keeping everything nice and tidy:

You’ll be able to see this information at a glance in the Links section. Here, your latest links are displayed first, along with the descriptive title you specified and the groups you’ve assigned:

Conclusion

Ultimately, the most important reason to set up pretty link redirects your links is to protect and to boost your commission earnings. While there are manual ways to get around the above problems, an automated solution will save you a great deal of time and give you peace of mind.

To summarize, here’s why setting up redirects with Pretty Link Pro makes sense … you can:

  1. Replace an unsightly URL link with a descriptive one that sits well with your audience and encourages click-throughs (but making sure to always comply with FTC rules by disclosing each affiliate link you use, on the page the link is listed on).
  2. Minimize the risk of ranking penalties from search engines.
  3. Protect your links from theft and swapping.
  4. Bypass ad-blocking apps.
  5. Make the whole process easier and more efficient.

Do you have an opinion on how link cloaking impacts your affiliate marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

How to Find The Right Affiliate Offers to Promote for Your Audience

With relative ease, affiliate programs can be found on almost every corner of the Internet. But not every affiliate program has been created equally. As an ethical and responsible marketer, you need to be able to source out affiliate offers that are beneficial to both you and your audience.

In this post, we’re going to cover some ways to find and evaluate affiliate offers that not only match your audience but create a win-win scenario for both you and your visitors.

The Importance of Picking a Good Affiliate Offer

CJcom

Finding good affiliate programs that serve both your readers and your business can present a few challenges. There are a lot of different options to pick from and no affiliate program is ever guaranteed. However, there are a few things you can watch out for and steps you can take to be sure you’re making the right choice.

Affiliate marketing – at least the good kind – is built upon your ability to establish a trusting relationship with your visitors. If you pick an affiliate program that is profitable for you, while short-changing your audience, then the trust you worked so hard to develop will be quickly destroyed.

Balancing your needs with those of your audience makes the process of sourcing high-quality affiliate offers more important than ever.

So how exactly can you go about finding the best affiliate programs, and what separates the good from the bad?

How to Pick an Affiliate Offer

While there are many sources of potential affiliate offers, one of the best things you can do to avoid running into problems is to stick with the larger, well-established affiliate programs.

Some of these may be run in-house by the companies themselves (like Amazon), while some may be offered through a third party affiliate network (like CJ Affiliate). When assessing affiliate offers take the following into consideration:

  • Does the company or affiliate network appear to be stable?
  • Does the company or affiliate network have a history of affiliate payouts?
  • Will you be able to comply with their terms and conditions?

If all the items on this list appear to fit the bill, you’re set. Just remember that you should never place all your eggs in one basket. No affiliate offer is guaranteed to last forever and sometimes finding more than one affiliate program for the same type of product or service is a good idea (although not always possible).

Affiliate Networks vs Flying Solo

Neverblue

Most (if not all) of the major brands typically use a large affiliate network. This includes retailers like Zulily and manufacturers like Adidas. A few of the more popular affiliate networks include:

Typically, getting set up with an affiliate network involves an application process and sometimes a phone call with an account rep. As affiliate networks act as third parties, they provide advantages to both affiliates and advertisers alike. These advantages include:

  • Access to a large number of affiliate offers. For example, at the time of writing this article, ShareASale showed 3995 affiliate programs in their database.
  • An easy way to consolidate payouts and track a large number of affiliate programs.
  • A way for advertisers to maintain brand integrity. If you break the rules, you can find yourself banned from the entire affiliate network.

Affiliate networks can also make it easier to find appropriate offers for your audience. You’ll discover that with the larger networks, you can search for offers based on categories, keywords, seasons, and more.

Even with the advantages of using an affiliate network, some companies decide to run their own affiliate program. While it’s certainly not common, you should always perform some extra due-diligence when dealing with small or independent affiliate programs. After all, your welfare and reputation are depending on it.

Here are the basic considerations when it comes to picking an ideal affiliate program:

  • Rate the overall quality of each advertiser that you promote. Would you personally buy from them? Have you? How would you rate your experience with either the retailer or the product they are selling?
  • If their product or service is something you’d like to recommend, will they compensate you enough to do so? Don’t just look at the commission rate. You need to look at the big picture including earnings per click (EPC), average order value, average commission, and the tracking gap (the longer your cookie lasts, the better).
  • Consider their order reversal rate. How often do customers cancel their orders? This can also be a great indicator of customer satisfaction.
  • Are there banner ads or display ads (these are also called creatives) available that match the overall look and feel of your website?

How to Know What You Visitors Want to Buy

Actually discovering what your visitors want to buy should, in theory, be an easy process. I’m going to make the assumption that you are actively involved with your website.

Before we jump into finding the actual affiliate offers, let’s think about how to decide which products or services you should be promoting.

Start With Your Home Base

Since you’re actively involved with your site, it usually means that you also have a personal interest in the topic you are promoting. Use that personal interest to your advantage by promoting the products and services you rely on every day.

Also, if you’ve developed an active community either through blog commenting, Facebook, or a forum, listen to what your community is talking about. By discovering the common problems and challenges people are facing, you’ll have an opportunity to create solutions.

Instead of just finding a solution to promote, do some research. Talk to people, gather opinions, test products or services, and try out the competition. That’s how you can provide real value to your audience and earn their trust.

Performing Product Research

Sometimes, finding products and affiliate offers worth promoting comes down to research. That means you’ll need to roll-up your sleeves and do some good old fashioned hard work.

Amazon

Terapeak

For physical products, one of the best places you can start your search is Amazon.com. With just under $90 billion in 2014 sales, Amazon represents as good a source as any when it comes to researching consumer trends. As if you weren’t already aware, Amazon also runs what is probably the biggest independent affiliate network.

With relative ease, you can visit Amazon and within seconds begin searching for products that are appropriate to your audience. If you see Amazon as one of your better choices in terms of affiliate programs, you might also consider third party software called Terapeak. Terapeak  provides a more user-friendly interface and better insight into trends within your target market. It also makes the process of scouring through Amazon much easier.

Google

You can also turn to Google in your search for appropriate affiliate offers. A quick search for “affiliate programs pet insurance” turned up an entire page of results. Same scenario with “affiliate programs BBQ supplies”. With just a little effort, you’ll be able to source a variety of offers for almost any niche.

Company Websites

If your audience relies on your expertise, you probably have several standby products or services that you rely on day in and day out. These companies are a great place to start when you begin your search. Most of the time, you’ll find a simple link in the footer that says something like “affiliates,” “promote XYZ,” or “join us”.

Conclusion

Uncovering the ideal affiliate offers for your target audience will require a little bit of detective work. Most of the time it’s easier to start with the company websites you are familiar with and slowly progress up the food chain until you are searching through the databases of large affiliate networks.

Any time you find an affiliate offer that you think is appropriate, try to find 1-3 others that you can use as a comparison. Line the offers up against one another and figure out which one will work the best for you and your audience.

Remember, the most important thing you can do is to remain true and loyal to your audience. Without them, you’ve got nothing to sell.

What are some of your favorite sources when it comes to searching for affiliate offers? How do you decide what is and what isn’t a good fit for your audience? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

How Pretty Link Pro has Helped planet5d.com Create a Thriving Brand

Since I released Pretty Link Pro (PLP), I’ve become friends with some fantastic bloggers. Many of these PLP users are really top notch bloggers and have used Pretty Link Pro in ways that I never anticipated. One of these PLP users is Mitch “planetMitch” Aunger over at planet5d.com.

Great Content + Awesome Marketing = A Thriving Brand

PlanetMitch knows just about everything about Canon Cameras, Accessories and Photographic techniques and his site is definitely proof of this fact. He’s only been at it for 2 years and in that short time has built an impressive blog and brand that is a destination site for anyone interested in Photography. His articles have been picked up by several major news sites because his content is so timely and relevant.

How planetMitch Does It

PlanetMitch has been using Pretty Link Pro to accelerate the success of his blog and brand for a year now. Here’s what planetMitch has to say about Pretty Link Pro:

planetMitchYup, it is true, I’m a Pretty Link Pro fanatic and that’s because I know it has helped turn my blog into a hugely popular destination for photographers. If you’re a WordPress blogger, you probably know that blogging actually takes time – shocking I know! But as you spend time working on your blog, you look for tools to improve your user’s experience as well as ways to make the process of blogging easier. Pretty Link Pro is a must have tool for both.

New bloggers (and even experienced ones) don’t spend enough time working on branding themselves and their blog. Pretty Link’s Pretty Bar and URL shortening tools are phenomenal ways to let readers see your brand and share your brand with others. The more readers see your brand, the more they’ll think about coming back – isn’t this what advertisers know how to do? Well, you should be doing the same things to build your brand – and Pretty Link does just that.

I have one case where other people were sharing a page that I linked in one of my blog posts (that was created with the URL shortener and with the Pretty Bar attached) with others – and they were copying my branded link to share. My post had over 1000 hits, but thru sharing my branded URL with the Pretty Bar has been shared over 50,000 times. Imagine your brand being shared so many times with just one simple link that PLP created!

And let’s not forget the time savers. PLP’s keyword replacement tool alone saves me hours and hours – because all I have to do is to include a keyword (“training” for example) in a post and PLP automatically inserts a link to my training page – apply that to your affiliate links – type a product name and PLP inserts your affiliate link – simple. I have hundreds of keywords built up. Imagine the amount of time that saves! And that’s just one of several different time savers included.

[Pretty Link Pro] replaces several other wordpress plugins – Blair has included several features that do the same things as other plugins (re-tweet, social media bars etc) – using only one plugin saves resources and reduces plugin conflicts.

Would my blog be as popular as it is without Pretty Link Pro? Maybe – but I know that it makes my blogging life easier and I know it has helped branding my site. I darn well won’t give it up!

Here are a couple of links to planetMitch‘s blog that will showcase his use of PLP’s Tweet Count Badge and PLP’s branded pretty bar:

http://blog.planet5d.com/vvq — Just an example of some of planetMitch‘s phenomenal content and his use of PLP’s Automated Keyword Replacement (the red links in his content body)

http://blog.planet5d.com/zs5 — Many of planetMitch‘s articles get re-tweeted like crazy

http://blog.planet5d.com/5dadb — Even when planetMitch‘s external links are shared, they retain his branding — helping his site be more viral

PlanetMitch over at planet5d.com is a great example of someone who has used PLP to streamline his blog and to create a thriving brand — I think anyone trying to build a brand could take a lesson or two from him.