Do Not Use A Link Shortener!

Today, we are revealing the truth about link shortener services like Bitly, TinyURL, Rebrand, ClickMagick, and more.

Should you be using these services to shorten your website links and affiliate links?

You are about to find out. You’re going to learn the good, the bad and the ugly.

Plus, I’m going to hook you up with a free software that you can use to shorten your affiliate links the right way.

Today’s lineup, we’re going to go through part one, how link shorteners work, part two, the pros and cons of link shorteners, part number three, we’re going to show you a better way to shorten your links and part number four, I’m going to give you some free software that you can use right now.

But first, let’s talk about how these link shorteners work. There are lots of different link shortening services out there on the web. Some of the more popular ones are bit.ly, rebrandly, tinyurl, clickmagic, goo.gl, ow.ly And more. And the way they work is very simple. You would simply take your big ugly affiliate link like this, pop it into the link shortner and it’s going to shorten your link from the big ugly link to a TinyURL link, or a Bitly link, or whatever service you’re using. Now, these are very simple. Most of them are free and they’re used by millions of people across the web. But there are some major downsides to using these services. And make sure you stay to the end of this video for a bonus tip, where I’m going to show you how to hack lots of killer affiliate keywords that are hidden in plain sight. Now, let’s get into the pros and cons of shortening your affiliate links with these services.

First of all, the best part is these are easy. As you saw, I was able to create a link in seconds. It’s very, very easy. I can now copy my shortened link and use it pretty much wherever I want. Another pro is that they’re trackable. Many of these services, if you purchase the upgraded ones, or even with some of the free plans, will allow you to see exactly where your traffic’s coming from, how much traffic you get and all that stuff that’ll help us make more money as affiliate marketers. And of course the biggest pro is probably that they’re free. Well mostly at least, some of them, if you want to get the advanced stuff, actually cost a little bit of money. But for the most part, link shorteners are free. But there are some major downsides and I want to give you the warning right up front. First of all, when you create a link using a service like Bitly or TinyURL, you do not actually own your link because you don’t own the domain name.

So if I get a bunch of links out there and they decide to change their program or algorithm or terms, I’m left out in the cold and my link is now dead. Contrast that with if I’m using my own domain, like affiliatedude.com, I can now have links on that site as many as I want. And in addition to actually owning my links, I also can change them at the drop of a hat and they actually build up links in Google. Let me show you how this works. You’re going to notice that for major sites, like bit.ly, they actually rank for lots of keywords and get lots of traffic for those keywords. Like this one here, mylifetouch, they actually rank number five and they’re getting quite a bit of traffic from it. They also rank for different names of stores and healthcare and all different things. You could see that they have over 269,000 rankings in Google with their link shortener.

And of course, those are links that Bitly owns. So you don’t exactly own them, you just get to borrow them. We can also see the same thing on TinyURL ranking for over 13,000 keywords, ClickMagick which doesn’t rank for that many terms, because they have a no follow rule on their links which means they don’t even get picked up by Google. And we have Amazon’s affiliate link shortner that ranks for over 1.4 million different keywords. And we have some rankings for goo.gl and ow.ly. Now, these are very important to look at because if we take a look at the bit.ly links, we can see they actually rank number nine for a term that gets over 22,000 searches a month, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, which is an old book I used to read when I was a preacher so I know a little bit about that one.

But we can see here that they actually rank number nine in Google with their Bitly link. And the problem with this is that they’re ranking. Wouldn’t you much rather have this ranking for your website and have the benefit of the link juice and the traffic going to you, instead of just sending it to bit.ly? Well stay tuned, I’m going to show you how to do that. And that brings us to con number two, which is you are building up their links. Every link you shorten and pass around on the internet is actually building up the various sites of the link trackers you are using. So all that hard work is benefiting someone else. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do all the work to benefit my own site. And the last con is that some of these link shorteners can actually be quite expensive to get the tools that you need to be able to run a successful affiliate business.

And if you look at the links for Amazon alone, you could see they’re getting millions and millions of visitors a month with their link shortner, which means the affiliates are not actually getting the power of the links they’re using, even though they’re doing the work to build them up. And that brings us to part number three, what is the best way to shorten your affiliate links? Well there are several things that you can do if you own your own website. And this is why I highly stress getting a hub site over at gohubsite.com. When you do this, you want to get a domain that’s very short, which is why I acquired the domain name affiliatedude.com, because it’s nice and short so I can add other links onto that and make it super easy. And the ways I can do this is with SubDomain Redirects. I can go into my cPanel and add a sub domain, something like marcus.affiliatedude.com or PDF.affiliatedude.com, and I can run a tracker and a redirect that links to my affiliate links.

Now, the downside to this is it’s difficult and you’ve got to know how cPanel works, and the tracking isn’t that great because you actually go in and look at each individual domains tracking separately, which can be time-consuming and a pain in the butt. Another thing you can do is have what’s known as a PHP redirect. Now, the benefit of a PHP redirect is you’ll actually start to rank in Google for these things, because you can actually have a title tag and redirect it to somewhere else. In the old days, this was known as a doorway page or a bridge page, but we’re using it to redirect people wherever we want them to go. You would simply take this page here, which I’ll link to in the description if you want to download it, change the title to your keyword, so if I was doing Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, I would put that as my title.

Then I would put my affiliate link right here where the URL is and bam, this would link directly to my affiliate link and then I would get the benefit of being able to have that on my site. Now, the downside to this is you’re going to have a bunch of files and the tracking isn’t that great. Another way you can do this is using the WordPress redirection plugin. You can actually install WordPress on your hub site in about 10 minutes, install this plugin and then have as many different links or redirects as you want. And you can name them whatever you want and you can actually see how many clicks they get and everything like that. So it’s very, very easy. But let me show you an even better way that you can get started with my free plugin that you can get over tinyaffiliatelink.com.

As you can see, using my plug-in here, the affiliate marketing dude tracker, you can actually go in and use these different links and shorten them super easy. So all I have to do to shorten a new link is hit the plus button, take my big ugly affiliate link that we get from ClickBank or whatever we’re trying to promote, it just so happens to be a Bible affiliate offer for that Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God link, we can go in and we can name the link whatever we want. So I can say, “Sinners,” or I could say something like, “Bible ClickBank,” right? Like that. Then I put my big ugly link in here and this is where it gets good. I can actually name that link whatever I want and it’ll be affiliatedude.com/whatever I want. So I can actually make that shortened URL, say Bible, very simple. Now, once I save this, I can simply send someone over to affiliatedude.com/bible and boom.

They’re going to be redirected to my affiliate link. I’m going to get the benefit of the link juice from Google and I’m able to track everything in a super simple way where we could see exactly how many people are clicking on what. And the best part about it is if I ever need to change it, I just click here and I can change the link at the drop of a hat. Very, very simple, very easy to use. You can have thousands of different links and run your own link shortner business for yourself and get lots of traffic and start to show up in the search engines. So be careful when you do affiliate link shorteners because you don’t actually own your links. And the last thing I want you to do is actually have links that rank in Google that you don’t own.

Little story, years ago, I was actually promoting a smiley face download program where I got $2.50 every time someone downloaded a free toolbar. I did all the work to get my affiliate links ranked and to get my websites ranked, and I found out that Google actually ranked my affiliate link. And when that affiliate network decided to change the link structure, all of my rankings were gone. This was something like a thousand dollar a day loss in profit for me simply by not cloaking my links the right way. And now, you’ve learned that staying around on my videos until the end gives you special rewards. And we’re going to actually push that money button because right now I’m going to give you a tip that you can use to find super non-competitive keywords in any niche, and literally find out what other people are doing, use those keywords, get traffic for yourself and make money.

Here’s how it works. What you want to do is get a keyword tool like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs or SEMrush. You want to take those link shortner sites, the actual links that are used, like bit.ly, and you want to type that into your keyword tool and see what they rank for. And you can actually find words that are really good and then all you have to do is find affiliate offers that you can promote. For example, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God gets 22,000 searches a month, it’s not very competitive, Bitly already ranks, I could set up a site for that and promote different Bible offers, PDF toolbar downloads, and more. And I can make tons of money doing this. One of my favorite ones to reverse engineer is amazon.to or amzn.to. You simply type this in your keyword tool and you’re going to find equate hand sanitizer with aloe is actually not that competitive, and it gets 61,000 searches a month.

We also have wii lens cleaning kit, some elliptical, beach chairs, treadmills, and on and on we go.

You are literally going to be able to find thousands and thousands of keywords that are right for the picking that you can use right now to get traffic and start making money.

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