For those of you who are looking for a professional affiliate link management solution, then this review of MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate will be very pleasant reading.
The main purpose of this plugin is to provide you with a neat section to store all of your affiliate links, convert them into URL's that include your domain name, and to also automatically create affiliate links for certain keywords that you have chosen. But that is selling the plugin short, because it does a lot more than that.
There are other similar products available, but all the ones that I have seen only include a few of the features below, and none of them give you as much control over your affiliate links and make it so easy to manage.
Let's have a look at the full list of features in detail.
1. Name Your Links
This doesn't sound like anything special, but if you have loads of affiliate links you need a way to quickly identify what you are looking for. Most people either have no list of affiliate links, or a messy list of URL's to sort through. This feature allows you to store your links in an organised way.
2. Affiliate/Destination Link
Obviously you need a place to put in the full URL of your affiliate link, but Ninja Affiliate accepts every possible format of a link. This is a useful feature because usually you would need other special tools for certain URL's to work.
3. Create Links That Contain Your Domain Name
Which of the following links looks more professional, and also which link would you be more inclined to click on?
I'm sure most of you have picked the second link, as it looks far more professional, and does not look an affiliate link. Ninja Affiliate makes it dead easy to make your links look good. You will also find that you will get more clicks on this type of link, compared to the original affilate link.
4. Group Your Links Into Categories
Getting back to storing your links in an organised way, we take it a step further here. This feature allows you to create groups or categories to make it even easier to find your affiliate links. So, if you have hundreds of links you will not need to keep scrolling down to find what you are looking for. And on top of that , you decide which categories you want to use.
5. Cloak Your Affiliate Links
A lot of affiliate marketers have no idea that other people can rip off your affilate links, and basically steal your commissions. This can be done in any of the following three ways:
a) people that click on your link can delete your affilate code after the site name in the address bar, and then proceed to buy the product that you have recommended – simply because they don't like the fact that you are going to make money from it.
b) some merchants who offer affiliate programs include software that strips your affiliate information from your links. This is most probably a minority of merchants, but even so there are dishonest people out there.
c) other clever con artists can also set up 301 redirects that end up pointing your affiliate links to their affiliate links, which results in the thief stealing your commissions.
Cloaking your links is the best way to protect yourself and this feature is included for you in Ninja Affiliate.
6. Easily Add Your Affiliate Links With Your HTML Editor
Have you ever had to search around to find your affiliate link and insert it into your code. Ninja Affiliate will integrate itself into your html editor so that you can quickly and easily insert your links without having to think about it. This gives you an extra option on top of the automatic keyword link feature.
7. Convert Keywords Into Affiliate Links Automatically
In my opinion this is the main feature of Ninja Affiiliate, and if it was the only feature of the plugin then I would still use it. For each affiliate link, you are provided with a section for keywords to fill in. If the keyword is mentioned in a blog post, then an affiliate link is inserted automatically.
But on top of that you can control the amount of links you have on a blog post. If you are worried about having too many links in the one blog post, you can simply set the plugin to only display a predetermined maximum number of links. The last thing you want is a blog post with 20 links pointing to your affiliate program, as this will look embarrassing.
8. Display Any URL You Like In The Status Bar
Whenever you hover over any active link on a webpage, the URL that the link is pointing to displays in the status bar at the very bottom of the page. Sometimes, people look at where the links are pointing to, and will not click on the link if they can see that it is obviously an affiliate link.
Ninja Affiliate allows you to modify this status bar link text, to anything you want. This is an excellent feature if you don't want people seeing that you are promoting affiliate links. And this feature is optional, so you don't have to use it you don't want to.
9. Choose Whether You Want The Links To Be "NoFollow" Or Not
Sometimes you want to control where your link juice flows to by making links "NoFollow". There is a lot of debate about whether this is the right thing to do or not, but Ninja Affiliate gives you the option of either. I'm not going to bother discussing whether this is a good thing or not, but at least you have a choice.
To allow the links to pass juice, you just leave it as it. To make the links no follow you just choose the option in the Ninja Affiliate menu.
10. Track Your Links
Any half decent marketer is aware that you have to know what is working and what isn't working to evaluate the success of individual campaigns. If one of your campaigns is getting a lot of clicks and conversions, then you study why it has been successful and start to implement the same strategies to your other campaigns.
And on the flip side, if a campaign is barely getting a click after a few weeks or months, then you can work out what you have done wrong and cut that out of your other campaigns.
With Ninja Affiliate, you can easily see which campaigns are successes, and which are failures in the dashboard.
11. Create Sub Campaigns To Pin Point Your Traffic Sources
To continue with the theme about tracking your links, you want to know more than just how clicks or sales you are making. You want to be able to also track exactly where your traffic is coming from.
The smart marketer pays a lot of attention to all of the relevant metrics, particularly when they are paying for traffic. The simple strategy of killing the losers, and scaling up the winners enables you to get the most bang from your buck.
Ninja Affiliate makes it dead easy to set up sub campaigns to enable you to find out exactly which traffic sources are converting, and which are not.