Using a redirect for your affiliate link when you’re promoting a product can make your life so much easier. Just ask anyone who has been a member of an affiliate program that changed their link structure after a year or two.
See, when you’re using a redirect you just edit the redirect file and *poof* all of your links are automagically changed across the web. If you used just the straight up link, which usually consists of a string of jumbled code, you have to go and change all those manually… or pay a virtual assistant to do it if you prefer, but either way it’s a time consuming hassle.
There are actually a few different ways to handle creating redirects, this is just how I do mine. I use the PHP redirect method, some people prefer to upload an HTML file, at the end of the day they both do the same thing so go with whichever method you’re most comfortable with.
So first we need to create the file that we’re going to upload. Don’t panic, this is super easy to do. You can copy and paste this code into a blank Notepad file. Don’t use a Word document or anything similar to that because it will put in all sorts of wonky code that you don’t need when you upload it to the internet, just use a plain Notepad file.
header( 'Location: http://www.TheLinkYouWanttoRedirectTo.com
' ) ;
Replace the http:// URL string with your affiliate link for the program or product that you’ll be promoting. Save as index and put it in a location where you can easily find it for uploading, like the desktop. To make things even easier, here is a premade template that you can download and use over and over again.
==> Click here to download the template
Now you need to decide where you want this redirect to live on your domain, you’ll want to create a directory folder. For example, my affiliate link for Susanne Myer’s Daily Affiliate Tasks that we recently talked about looks like this: http://www.lorettaoliver.com/likes/dailyafftasks/ It’s easy for me to remember and it doesn’t look like a big string of jumbled mess when someone sees actual link in text form like this.
You can upload your index file to a directory folder like I did in my example or you can upload it to the top level domain (www.yourdomain.com). The benefit to using the top level is that it’s easy to say if you’re going to be talking to people about this product or service face to face, or in presentations and interviews.
If you’re just linking on the web and not with the spoken word then I generally recommend using the directory folder method… Unless, the product or service you’re redirecting to is a key component to your business and something you’re going to be referring more than anything else. In that case I think it’s more than worth it to invest the few dollars in a separate domain name and use that as your redirect.
I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful in keeping your redirects organized. If you have any additional questions on this topic I’ll be glad to answer them and troubleshoot any problems you might be having.
P.S. Here’s a video I put together some time ago showing my process step by step, creating the file, uploading it via FTP, and testing to make sure the link worked.
It is an older video and I don’t write on that blog anymore, but the concept and the steps are still the same.