Chris A. Baird | May 25, 2023
Best Link Shorteners for Self-Publishers?

Are you in search of the best link shorteners for self-publishers? Here’s a great option that you would want to consider.

As an author, you may not consider the idea that the links you use, when it comes to your books, affiliate marketing, or content marketing, don't matter that much. But they matter quite a bit. So, there are a few things you're going to want to do when it comes to using links with your self-publishing business.

So, in today's article, we're going to discuss the best link shorteners for self-publishing. Now, what exactly is are link shorteners? Well, that's an important thing you're going to need to get straight right from the start.

So, you have links that point to specific things, whether it's your books or your blogs or other things like that. Many of the links that you're pointing to may have long links, especially when it comes to Amazon.

If you're using an affiliate link for your products (which you should be using to point to your books) and also able to sell additional sales, there are also all the products and services you're using for your non-fiction side of things that you may wish to promote. For each of those things, the link can be long and dirty. That's where link shorteners come in—they shorten the link.

So, you can give them a shorter link that looks much cleaner. When they click on it, it will redirect to the actual target for that specific link. That is the basics of why you should first and foremost use link shorteners. My personal favorite is Pretty Links. I've been using it for many years on multiple websites.

But the biggest advantage of using Pretty Links, as opposed to many other options out there, is that you have control over all of these links right on your WordPress sites. You do need to have a WordPress website to use Pretty Links.

The second thing is that, unlike other sites, if those sites go out of business, all the links you've used through them will stop working immediately. Many sites for link shorteners have gone out of business or charged you just to get basic information about what's happening with those links.

Check out this related article: Where Self-Publishers Should Host Their Website?

However, with Pretty Links, although there is an annual fee, I've been using them for so long that I have a lifetime membership. It is by far the best among all the different programs for link shorteners. One of the specific ways I use them is for content marketing.

And for affiliate marketing, especially when it comes to affiliate marketing, some of the links come into play. These are the links where you have a product or service that you can vouch for, and you recommend other people to use it. That's what I do for all of the products and services, including Pretty Links right here.

So, what happens then is that when a person clicks through that link and goes to that particular product and makes a purchase, you will get a small percentage of the sale. Now, it doesn't cost the person any additional money to purchase through that link or with no link at all. It's the same price either way.

Using Pretty Links: A Pretty Much Good Choice

But the fact is, it's the company themselves saying, "Hey, if you're going to support our business here, we're willing to give you some of the sales and compensation." And that helps you bring additional revenue streams, making it possible to increase the speed and number of books that you're putting onto the market.

As a self-publisher, you should consider which products and services you can promote to bring more money into your business, which you can then redirect into the books you are producing. This is something that way too many authors don't think about.

When it comes to selling your books, Pretty Links makes it very easy to have a nice short link. But there's one other thing that's important when it comes to affiliate marketing: many of these products and services regularly switch the platform they're using for their affiliate services.

And so, if you are using a direct link on any of your social media platforms when you're doing this content marketing and suddenly that link is leading directly to a website that no longer exists, you simply won't be making any sales off of those products. Maybe you even have links to dead sites.

Well, Pretty Links, has a very easy-to-use dashboard where you can simply change out the target of the link. It's unbelievably simple. So, if you decide you don't want to promote one product anymore and want to promote another, let's say from Sam Cart to Thrive Cart (which are sales gateways) where you have made the decision, "Well, I like this one better,". 

You can just swap out all the target destinations for my Sam Cart with my Thrive Cart. Then, when anybody clicks on the link, it'll take them to the new location without any problem. And that is one of the really powerful aspects of using Pretty Links—it ensures that your links don't become dirty or dead links that you're using.

Moreover, it could be 10 years later, and maybe you have flipped the products or services multiple times that the link is pointing to. Pretty Links will still direct them correctly. For example, in the past, I used to promote one company's book covers, but then I decided I preferred another one after a lot of testing, like Five or Best.

So, I was able to change the target, but all of the messages I had previously sent out and all the links I had previously shared are now direct to my favorite cover designer on Fiverr. However, there are many services where the target destination changes frequently, so this control over the link's direction is incredibly important.

Now, let's talk about another crucial aspect that I love when it comes to links, especially with Pretty Links: the reporting side of things. With Pretty Links, you can see daily exactly where the traffic is coming from.

This is particularly valuable when doing content marketing. Instead of sending people directly to a blog, we can send them through a pretty link and track how much traffic is coming from each site.

For example, if you're posting links on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, or other platforms like YouTube, you can easily monitor the number of clicks on those links and see how many people are converting, such as joining your email list or making purchases of products and services. 

Check out this related article: Creating an Email List For Self-Publishers

Streamlines The Entire Process

Pretty Links provides useful graphs and allows you to group these links based on their performance. Additionally, you have the option to decide how much information you want to reveal about the original target of the link. You can cloak the link, providing you with flexibility in terms of privacy and security when it comes to directing these specific links.

So, this is another key aspect to consider when choosing one link shortener over another. Another powerful feature of Pretty Links is that it allows you to choose multiple destinations for a single link.

For example, if you want to test different landing pages to see which one performs best, you can set up Pretty Links to automatically redirect visitors to one of five different locations. This way, you can effectively conduct split testing and determine which landing page yields the highest conversions.

In addition to using Pretty Links, I also utilize Thrive, specifically Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads, to ensure a smooth process. With these tools, I can further randomize the targets for different pop-ups or similar elements, allowing for rotation and variety in the user experience.

But Pretty Links makes it super, super simple. You don't have to learn much of anything; it's probably the simplest plugin I currently use on my WordPress site. So, when you're considering your WordPress site and evaluating the usefulness of various plugins, this is a must-have plugin.

Pretty Links streamlines the entire process of shortening your links, keeping them clean, redirecting them, tracking their performance, and grouping them. You can even ignore certain IP addresses that might clutter up your reports. I frequently use this feature to exclude bots, ensuring accurate reporting.

The reports provide detailed insights into the number of clicks your links receive on a day-to-day basis, helping you assess the success of your marketing campaigns. Furthermore, Pretty Links enables you to keep your links clean and easily redirect them to different affiliate offers if you no longer prefer the current one or if it has changed.

Check out this related article: How To Overcome Self-Doubt As A Self-Publisher

To learn more about Pretty Links and determine if it's right for you, simply click on the affiliate link provided below in the description of all of my Youtube videos. There you can explore all the amazing services they offer, including their brand-new look and feel. Take a moment to read more and see if it meets your needs.

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