How to Easily Add and Manage Your Affiliate Links on Your WordPress Site

Do you have a bunch of affiliate links spread out in all the posts on your site??

Would you like to manage them better and have more control?

Or maybe this has happened.

One of your affiliates has changed their program and you suddenly have dozens of links on your site that need to be updated. You may not even know where they are and, if you do, you don’t want to have to go in and manually change each post.

What you’d really like is the ability everything in one place and be done with it.

Thirsty Affiliates: All You Need to Manage Your WordPress Site’s Affiliate Links

I’ve  been using  ThirstyAffiliates, one of my favorite plugins, for five years. Whether affiliates are just a side business or you are a die-hard affiliate marketer, this plugin is for you.

It allows you not only manage but fine-tune your control over affiliate links. This video and post gives you an overview of what you can expect from this WordPress plugin. I am showing you the Pro Version with all the modules included.

A Look at Thirsty Affiliates

Here are some screenshots of what I shared in the video as far as setting up and using this plugin. First we will go through the settings of the Pro version of the plugin:

General Settings

Here you will find a few basic settings including whether you want the insertion to be a link or a shortcode. Also, You can disable the buttons on the visual editor that I will be showing you in a bit.

general settings thirsty affiliate

Link Appearance

There are several options here including the option to set no follow on links and have them open in a new window. The latter is a personal choice and something often debated, but with the previous option, I would recommend that your affiliate links are all set to no follow.

link appearance thirsty affiliates

In these same settings you will find where you can change the link prefix. With your cloaked link you have several choices, and again, this will depend on your own personal preferences. We use the “get” prefix ourselves. In any case, what you set it to make sure you like it. As changing this later will break all your affiliate links.

link prefix thirsty affiliates


These are all the different modules that come with the Pro version of this plugin. In fact, most of these I am going over with you right now. As you can see, I have all but one activated and you can read this one here to see what it does.

modules for thirsty affiliate pro

Amazon Import

If you use Amazon affiliate links on your site, this can be a huge timesaver as far as managing them and also incorporating some of the features of this plugin into those links.

amazon import settings for thirsty affiliates

After filling that out you can now search for Amazon products and import those links directly into your site. This is so much easier than going to Amazon and finding them one by one.

import affiliate links from amazon into thirsty affiliates

You can find our post on the Amazon module here.

Auto-link Keywords

A useful option if you talk about one particular product a lot because you can set keywords and limit the number of links per post. Also works great if you already have several posts published and just started using this plugin and you need to auto-link some keywords to affiliate links. (You can  turn this off per post.)

autolinker thirsty affiliates

Then when you create your affiliate link, you will have the options to put in those specific keywords per affiliate link. You will also be able to control how many of those links you want per post or page.

adding autolink keywords

Geolocation Links – If for any reason you need to send people in a particular country to a specific affiliate link, you can do that easily.

geolocation links thirsty affiliates

As you can see here, when you are creating the affiliate link you can put in the details such as country and the specific URL you want only for that country here.

setting your geolocation links

Click Tracking

You will be able to integrate this with Google Analytics and create events that track affiliate links as they are clicked.

click tracking for google analytics and thirsty affiliates

Link Health

This checks your links to make sure they are working and also has a 404 checker to make sure they aren’t broken. I will be showing you the results of this later in the post.

link health for thirsty affiliates

URL Shortener

If you use one of these services, you can set it up here.

URL shortener with thirsty affiliates

Link Scheduler

Again, here are the global settings for scheduling links to be published.

link scheduler in thirsty affiliates

And when you are setting up a specific affiliate link you can add a start and end date. This works great for affiliate links to specific deals that are time-sensitive.

setting dates to schedule a link

Importer and Exporter

Need to move your affiliate links to another site? It’s easy to do with the export/import feature. And I’ll tell you, if you have a lot, this saves you a ton of time.

import export thirsty affiliates

Creating an Affiliate Link

I have already shown you the different options that you will be able to set to your affiliate links, but here is a complete overview of it. As you will see beyond what I have already shown you, it’s a matter of titling the link and the destination URL, which is typically that long link you get from your affiliates. One thing to note here is that the title will be what shows up in your cloaked URL. For example, I have named this WPEngine. So the URL, with my “get” prefix, would read:

You will be able to add any images you want as well to be able to be inserted with the link in posts and pages.

Also, on the right you will see that the link health will appear, your link categories, which help you to manage your links and some link options that will override the settings you have made in your global settings that I have already shown you.

creating an affiliate link with thirsty affiliates

Link Inserted Scanner

The last module on the last screenshot I had yet to cover was the Link Inserted Scanner. Again, this can save you a ton of time as once you click the scan button, it will let you know every post that you have that specific link in. This can be invaluable in so many ways! In fact we wrote a post on this specific option here.

link inserted scanner in thirsty affiliates

Your Affiliate Links

You will find all your affiliate links listed  with access to edit the cloaked link or destination link, as well as the health of each link.

links listed


And you also get several reports that help you keep track or what is and isn’t working, which is critical if your affiliate links count for any sizable part of your income.

reports for thirsty affiliates

Inserting an Affiliate Link Into a Post or Page

If you have not disabled the buttons in the visual editor, you will find these here in your toolbar.

add link icons in visual editor

If I click on the first icon, I can search for an affiliate link to fill the field with.

search for an affilite link to add

If I click on the gear wheel for options, I can search and insert a link, shortcode or image.

add affiliate link options

Now the second icon to add a link is for a quick link. So lets say you are writing a post, you go and grab a new affiliate link, but instead of having to create it in the settings, just click on that second icon and you can add it there and then and also add the settings.

quick add affiliate link

Disable Autolinker

Lastly, when you are in a post or page, you can disable the autolinker for that specific one. Let me give you an example of how this can come in very handy.

I have created an autolinker for WooCommerce. That’s because I talk about it a lot. Now there are times when I mention WooCommerce but the focus on the post is another plugin. So I don’t want the word WooCommerce linked at all as I feel that would be a distraction. This post is an example of that as I just mentioned it twice. So by ticking this box, that takes care of that.

disable thirsty affiliates autolinker

So, as I mentioned at the first of this post I have used ThirstyAffiliates for a long time. And when it comes to not only managing your affiliate links, but getting the most out of them, this one is a no-brainer. If you do use a lot of affiliate links, or affiliate marketing is on your radar, you must check out Thirsty Affiliates Pro.

Also, if you are interested in how easy it is to integrate into WooCommerce, see this post on BobWP.

Posted on 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “How to Easily Add and Manage Your Affiliate Links on Your WordPress Site

  1. Hi. Thank you for your post. I purchased this plugin after reading your review.

    I followed all of your instructions above and test up a few links. I tested the health of them and each one of them comes back with an “error”. They work on the page that they are on but the report says “error” in red and “Failed on getting a response from provided URL” as the issue.

    I did notice that my links seem to redirect twice. I don’t know how to stop that.

    Any help you can give would be great!

    1. Yeah, as far as the health labels. When I first started using this I didn’t get any error, but I did and still do get some that are either “waiting” or there is a “warning”. But at the same time I knew that click throughs were working when I compared my stats with some on the affiliates end. I remember asking the plugins support about it, and it sounded as if that part of the plugin is not 100% accurate. So I don’t worry about it as long as the link works. But you might put in a note to their support and ask them for their thoughts to double check.

      And the redirect twice, I am guessing that might be on certain links. For example, let’s say my masked affiliate link is, and the affiliate is through Share a Sale that gives me this incredibly long link. Well in the end, it changes from my masked link, to their link and then to the normal URL, which results in a double redirect, but happens to quick it’s not seen. At least that is my guess that it’s happening on some links and I guess the only way to avoid that is not to use a masked link on your site. But I don’t believe it’s hurting anything.

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative post about managing affiliate links using thirsty affiliate plugin. This plugin is one of the best affiliate link management tool indeed.

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