The Problem With Posting Affiliate Links On Facebook
Ever tried posting an affiliate link for a network like JVZoo or WarriorPlus on Facebook and been presented with a message that says your link breaks their Community Standards?
Facebook doesn’t like affiliate marketers, especially when they try to post affiliate links for free on their timelines, on pages or in groups.
They’re quite happy to let you post those links if you pay them, by buying Facebook Ads though.
Solution 1 (Which Doesn’t Work) – Link Redirections
A way to mask affiliate links is to use a free plugin like Shortlinks by Pretty Links (if you use WordPress).
This wraps ugly affiliate links in a nice (pretty) looking link which is on your blog’s domain name.
So your pretty link will look something like:
Here’s a more concrete example – a link created with Shortlinks by Pretty Links on this very blog:
The problem is that Facebook is able to follow that pretty link all the way to its destination – the sales or offer page that you’re promoting.
If that ends up being on one of the banned domains (like JVZoo or WarriorPlus) then you can’t post that link.
This isn’t just a problem that afflicts the Pretty Links plugin.
Any link redirection plugin that simply masks the ultimate affiliate link will have the same problem when links created by it are posted on Facebook.
This is also the case with the Pretty Links Pro plugin which has more features than its free baby brother.
Most of the time, Facebook will detect these link redirections immediately and give you the “your link has broken our Community Standards” message.
Sometimes, they’re a little slow on the uptake and Facebook will allow you to publish a redirection link.
But, after a few hours, suddenly your post disappears.
And when you investigate what’s happened, you’ll find that your redirection link was discovered and since it breaks their Community Standards, they’ve deleted your post.
It Gets Worse
One of the big problems with simple link redirection is that if you post too many of them from the same domain (like your blog), Facebook will also come to a point where it bans your own domain name.
So, even if you want to publish links to regular blog posts, Facebook won’t allow you to.
Your own domain name is now on their blacklist.
And that’s not what any marketer or online business wants.
So What Is The Solution?
Well, one way is to cloak your affiliate link in an iframe on a separate page, called a Bridge Page.
This is an intermediate page (a bridge) that sites between Facebook and the page your affiliate link points to.
The problem is that, unless you’re a whiz at HTML, it’s not that easy to put into practice.
So, the vast majority of marketers who want a quick, clean solution need a tool to do this for them.
Enter WP Smartlinks.
Now, to be honest, I don’t know what’s happening under the hood of this tool, so I don’t know it it’s using the iframe technique or a different one.
It is, however, following the Bridge Page strategy where the link you post on Facebook is to your bridge page and that, in turn, then sends the visitor off to the sales page for the product you’re promoting.
Facebook, however, can’t follow the link chain to its ultimate destination.
So it can’t see that you’re ultimately sending people to a domain it would normally ban.
WP Smartlinks is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create these bridge page format links.
The links appear to be to pages on your own domain.
So, when you post them, Facebook thinks you’re just posting a link to a page on your blog.
Simple. Clean, Effective.
This video goes into more detail about how you build the links and what they look like to someone who clicks them:
While I’ve been talking about posting affiliate links on Facebook being a problem, other social media platforms can also ban you from posting links to certain domains.
WP Smartlinks works the same way with all of them, by hiding your affiliate link from them.
So this is the solution for getting around any link posting bans you may encounter or have already encountered in the past.
Another cool feature is that you can append sub-ids to your links.
So you could post https://yourblog.com/prettyname/facebook to Facebook and the plugin will track how many clicks you get on that link.
Or you could post https://yourblog.com/prettyname/twitter on Twitter and again see how many clicks that link got.
This way you can track how many clicks you get from each traffic source you post your link on.
An advanced option lets you add pixel code to your bridge page. You can use this to track conversions if you need to.
The plugin costs a one-time $37 fee.
You also get a 30 day money back guarantee and an unlimited site license.
So you’re not restricted to using the plugin on just one domain.
Are There Any Upsells?
Yes, 3 in fact:
1. WP Smartlinks Pro ($17 one-time) – this add-on gives even more link protection.
WP SmartLinks Pro detects when links are broken and redirects visitors.
It also allows you to set a date and time a link can be visited.
When clicked outside of the chosen time, visitors will be redirected to any web page you choose.
Is it worth getting?
Only if you think you need the additional features it brings. The basic plugin does all the stuff you really need.
2. Ultimate Ads Plugin ($27 one-time) – this plugin allows you to monetize your blog in various ways:
- Theme Ads – In-content ads that blend in for better click rates
- Ad Bar – Puts an ad bar on your posts and pages
- Pop Up Messenger – Use social conversation habits for more conversions
- Pop Under – A handy way for building your list or offering products
Is it worth getting?
It doesn’t add anything to the WP Smartlinks plugin or its features.
Some will see the ad features of this plugin as a great way to get more exposure for their offers.
Others will thinks that it only provides more way to clutter up your site.
It’s personal decision time on this one and what you want to do with your blog.
3. WP Toolkit GPL ($67 one-time) – This is a Premium WordPress theme and plugin bundle worth over $25K.
If you build a lot of WordPress sites for yourself or you build sites for clients, it’s a very good deal.
You can install it on as many of your own and client sites as you wish.
And you can charge your clients for installation, setup & service.
I’ve been a member for several years (I picked it up when it was originally launched).
There are literally hundreds of themes and plugins included.
They’ve been released under the GPL licence and you’ll see many items here that are sold separately, some for even more than the price of this package.
Is it worth getting?
If you build a lot of WordPress sites, most definitely.
If you only have one or two sites, then no; it’ll just end up on your digital shelf gathering dust.
WP Smartlinks – In Conclusion
- The plugin gives all-in-one link protection
- It helps prevent link hijacking
- It’s useful for beginners as well as professionals
- Doesn’t need upgrades to make it truly useful
- One-time payment only
- Use it on an unlimited number of domains
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
- It’s for WordPress websites only
Tagged with: affiliate marketing • Facebook • Internet Marketing • link cloaking • link masking • masking affiliate links • online marketing • social media • social media marketing • Wordpress • Wordpress Plugin • WP Smartlinks
Filed under: Affiliate Marketing