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ThirstyAffiliates Review (2021): Cloak And Manage Affiliate Links in WordPress

Last Updated on October 5th, 2021

Published on November 2nd, 2017

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If you are an affiliate marketer, getting commissions and sales can be difficult and it requires a lot of effort. Aside from this, your website must be optimized. Meaning, you need to keep track of the links, how it performs and create a clean and professional affiliate link. Speaking of links, affiliate links are ugly. Not only are they ugly, but they are also difficult to keep track of. You use them all over the place, so it’s easy to forget where all of your affiliate links are located. That’s fine not until the affiliate program changes networks. Now, you have to swap out all your links for the new one. If you are interested in affiliate marketing, let’s dig more into the ThirstyAffiliates review and give you a look at what it has to offer.

The ThirstyAffiliates team just released a pretty massive update – so even if you’ve previously come across the plugin, we encourage you to read our review to check out the changes.

ThirstyAffiliates Overview

ThirstyAffiliates Review

When there is a need to swap out links as the affiliate program changes networks, we know the dilemma it has brought upon. It is, without a doubt, quite a pain to deal with. However, ThirstyAffiliates changes that by offering you a much easier way to cloak, manage, and track all of the affiliate links that you use on your site. We are the living proof of how it changed our ways as ThirstyAffiliates is what we use to manage affiliate links here at WPLift. It gets the job done by using the free version.

However, if you are looking for extensive and extra features, going for the Pro version is recommended. Before the recent launch of ThirstyAffiliates Pro, you needed to purchase different add-ons depending on which features you wanted. Now, things are much simpler. There’s just one Pro version with all of the features and you pay based on the number of sites you’re planning to use it on. Choose between the 3 pricing plans below: 

  • Basic – this plan is perfect for single site owners and costs $49
  • Plus – this plan is for multi site owners which costs $99 with the inclusion of 5 sites
  • Advanced – this plan is ideal for empire builders which costs $50 and includes 10 sites

ThirstyAffiliates Key Features

The three core features of ThirstyAffiliates are helping you:

  • Cloak affiliate links
  • Manage affiliate links
  • Track clicks on your affiliate links

However, if you go with ThirstyAffiliates Pro, you also get a number of smaller features to help you accomplish those goals. Those features are:

  • Autolinked keywords – automatically link specific keywords in your content to make sure you don’t miss any earning opportunities.
  • Affiliate link picker tool – no need to track down affiliate links manually – ThirstyAffiliates includes a user-friendly tool that lets you add affiliate links right from the WordPress Editor.
  • Geolocation links – provide different destinations depending on which country a visitor is coming from. This is super helpful if you’re linking to an offer that doesn’t accept international traffic, or if you’re linking to a geolocated store like Amazon.
  • Smart uncloaking – uncloak certain links in order to stay compliant. For example, Amazon doesn’t allow link cloaking, so this gives you the other benefits of ThirstyAffiliates without getting you booted from Amazon Associates.
  • Automatic 404 checker – if one of your affiliate links stops working, ThirstyAffiliates will let you know so that you don’t miss out on any money.
  • 3rd party imports – easily import from third-party APIs like the Amazon Products API.
  • Google Analytics Events – sync with Google Analytics Event Tracking to view click stats right inside your Google Analytics dashboard.
  • Link categorization – this helps you easily manage all of your affiliate links on the backend.
  • Event Notifications – get notified when a link has been clicked a certain number of times.

After listing down the features, we can now proceed with ThirstyAffiliates Pros and Cons.

Pros

  • If you are a first time user and looking for solutions on how to make things work out, ThirstyAffiliates have a good amount of documentation for the plugin which is really useful.
  • If the documentation is not enough,  worry not as the support team is impressively responsive to inquiries and such. 
  • It allows you to create branded affiliate links then replace them with keywords.

Cons

  • ThirstyAffiliates unfortunately doesn’t have any integration with WooCommerce. If you have a WooCommerce site, then it cannot serve you any purpose. 
  • The plugin is on the pricey side as it offers optional paid add-ons

ThirstyAffiliates Installation & Setup

The free version of the ThirstyAffiliates plugin can be installed by searching it on the WordPress plugins repository then afterward, activating it. Now, if you have purchased the pro version, proceed by downloading the zip file of the plugin from your Account. You can see the Download button below and upon clicking that, it will bring you to your account page where you can download the latest version of the plugin. 

Install the ThirstyAffiliates PRO

After downloading the zip file from your account page, proceed by going to the WordPress admin dashboard, Plugins, and click on the Add New button. 

ThirstyAffiliates - add new

Now, click the Upload Plugin button and select Choose File to upload the plugin zip file. 

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ThirstyAffiliates - upload plugin

After clicking on the Choose File button, it will show the files from your computer. From there, choose your plugin zip file and upload it. 

ThirstyAffiliates on desktop files

Now that the zip file is uploaded, click Install Now.

ThirstyAffiliates - install now

Finally, onto the last step. After installing the file, proceed by clicking on the Activate Plugin button.

ThirstyAffiliates - activate plugin

A success message “Plugin Activated”  will appear on the screen. You can finally start using ThirstyAffiliates. 

ThirstyAffiliates - successful installation

Take note that you need to activate your license key for you to receive automatic plugins and upgrades.

A Look At The ThirstyAffiliates Configuration Options

Before you start adding affiliate links, you’ll probably want to peruse the ThirstyAffiliates Settings because you’ll need to make some basic choices about how your affiliate links function. There is a whole heap of options but here are some of the most interesting features.

In the Link Appearance tab, you can configure:

  • Link Prefix – this affects the default prefix for your cloaked links. For example, if you look at the affiliate links we use on WPLift, you’ll see that our prefix is “go”. For example, here’s the structure for our Divi theme affiliate link: “https://wplift.com/go/elegantdivi30”
  • Link Redirect Type – most people seem to recommend 302 redirects, but you can choose from 301, 302, or 307. It’s not especially important because you should be disallowing the Link Prefix in your Robots.txt file anyway.
ThirstyAffiliates - link appearance

In the Modules tab, you can turn individual features on or off. We personally like that option especially when plugins include a tab because it allows you to only put resources towards the specific features you actually want.

ThirstyAffiliates - modules

If you’re using the Autolinker feature, the Autolinker tab helps you set important details like:

  • The maximum number of links ThirstyAffiliates will insert for each keyword (per post). This helps you avoid putting an obnoxious number of affiliate links in a post.
  • Disabling autolinks on the archive and/or home page.
  • Disabling/enabling autolinker on certain post types.

And if you’re running a bbPress forum, you’ll probably dig the option to automatically link keywords in bbPress topics.

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ThirstyAffiliates - autolinker

In some of the remaining tabs, you can also:

  • Configure which geolocation database to use (if you’re using the geolocation module)
  • Add a custom event category name for Google Analytics Event Tracking
  • Import/export your affiliate links between sites

Once you get things configured, you’re ready to start adding affiliate links.

To add a new affiliate link, you go to ThirstyAffiliatesNew Affiliate Link.

Depending on which modules you have activated, you may see a ton of options, or just a few. At the top, you’ll want to enter the Destination URL – this is the actual affiliate link that you want to send your visitors to. You’ll also want to enter a Title – this is the portion of the link that will go after the Link Prefer.

In the sidebar, you can also:

  • Add categories for easier link management
  • Configure certain technical details on a per-link basis
ThirstyAffiliates - adding first affiliate link

Below that, you can also: 

  • Set up which keywords to autolink, including giving preference to certain keywords over others
  • Add different URLs for different countries if you’re using the geolocation feature
ThirstyAffiliates - autolink keywords

Then click on Save Link to finish things up.

ThirstyAffiliates makes it easy to manually insert links into your content as needed. It adds two buttons to the TinyMCE Editor.

ThirstyAffiliates - inserting affiliate links

The first one allows you to insert an affiliate link just by searching for it. It works exactly the same as the regular Add Link button – simply, you just highlight the text you want to link and click the button. Then, you can search for your link and automatically insert the correct URL.

ThirstyAffiliates - inserting links part 2

The second ThirstyAffiliates button lets you quickly add new affiliate links without leaving the WordPress Editor. It’s not as detailed as the previous interface above – but it is quicker if you just want to add a new affiliate link to that post.

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ThirstyAffiliates - quick add affiliate link

In addition to that, you can always go back and edit the link in more detail, later on, to set up auto-linked keywords + more.

Beyond the Google Analytics Event Tracking integration, ThirstyAffiliates also includes a built-in affiliate link tracking system. You can view click stats for:

  • All your affiliate links
  • Specific categories
  • Specific affiliate links
ThirstyAffiliates - view click reports

This helps you get a quick snapshot of your top-performing affiliate links.

For this section, we are going to hop over with the WPLift interface. WPLift currently has over 1,500 different affiliate links which, as you might guess, would be absolutely overwhelming without a plugin like ThirstyAffiliates.

But with ThirstyAffiliates, everything makes it more hassle-free. We can easily search for a specific link to get the information we need. 

ThirstyAffiliates - search categories

If you use categories, you’ll also be able to filter out specific categories of affiliate links.

Again – if you only have a couple of affiliate links, this might not seem like a big deal. But as you get into the hundreds or thousands of affiliate links, it’s an absolute lifesaver. 

Verdict

That wraps up our comprehensive ThirstyAffiliates review. If you’re serious about affiliate marketing on WordPress, having a tool to help manage your links is a massive help. ThirstyAffiliates gives you all the important features you need to do that.

We’d love to see a split-testing or rotation feature like Pretty Links Pro at some point in the future. But we think that’s a niche feature that most people won’t use, anyway. So if you’re an average affiliate, we suggest that ThirstyAffiliates has all the features you need to help you get more control over your affiliate links. It’s also what we use here at WPLift, so we’re practicing what we preach!

Try ThirstyAffiliates Today

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