Late last month I was given a copy of Maxblogpress’ Ninja Affiliate to review. Ninja Affiliate is a WordPress Plugin designed to make managing your affiliate programmes a lot easier. You know (or indeed you may not know) what it’s like – a company changes their affiliate modules & you have to go through all your posts, changing your links. Ninja Affilate makes this easy.
Affiliate Managing Module
The main crux of the plugin is an Affiliate Managing Module. This allows you to create forwarders from your domain to affiliate programmes of your choice. So instead of having your links as www.salesdomain.com/?affiliateid=123456, they will be www.yourwebsite.com/goto/salesdomain. They tout a number of reasons for this (people can’t steal your comissions being one), but the main reason I can see is that should an affiliate programme change it’s affiliate URL, you can update it within the administration section of WordPress & all links within your site will change to the new URL.
Previous methods I have used have been using static PHP files, which do the same thing, but having a place within the WordPress back end, can make it so much easier to manage your affiliate links.
Keyword Linking Module
The second module is keyword linking module, so any keywords upon your site can be automatically linked through to the affiliate product. You can see this here with the words ninja affiliate. It’s nofollow as well, which is what Google recommends affiliate links should be (or they don’t, but it’s what is interpreted from the whole “Paid Links”). Either way, it’s good practice.
There’s also a handy affiliate linker within the WordPress CMS, so you can copy & paste links quickly & easily.
Whilst good, it can be a bit much having every single combination of a keyword phrase linking to your site. I’d like an option to drop it down by one or two per page. Otherwise it does look a bit spammy in my eyes.
It’s also something that you can do yourself with a basic knowledge of HTML, but it’s a lot quicker doing it this way.
Statistical Tracking Module
The final section of the plugin is the statistical tracking module. Clicks can be tracked on where they come from. So the purpose is to identify top performing affiliate posts in terms of clicks (not necessarily conversions mind you), and optimise the page accordingly. It’s simple overview gives you two numbers – raw & unique clicks, and it tells you what page they come from.
Again not ideal, but it’d be nice to see the referring page one step before, particularly to see where the visitor arrived at to your site (say, from a Google search, in which case what search terms did they use)?. Furthermore, outgoing click tracking can be done in Google Analytics & by tagging links, however every link would be tagged manually if this approach was taken, and that would waste time. Ninja Affiliate does save time.
Nothing in this plugin you can not do yourself with a little bit of initiative with a plugin, Google Analytics or PHP knowledge. Of course, not everybody has that knowledge and most people don’t have the time to edit everything. Ninja Affiliate does make managing your links (both affiliate and non affiliate links – I have words such as “Facebook” & “Twitter” tagged) a lot easier. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s a bit of a time saver.
Whether it’s a money maker like the author’s claim remains to be seen.
You can purchase Maxblogpress Ninja Affiliate by clicking on the link below.
Tips for using Maxblogpress Ninja Affiliate
- Don’t leave in a trailing slash - When I started playing with the software, some links worked & redirected well. Others didn’t. After close examination, links without a trailing slash at the end of them (eg. http://www.domain.com/link as opposed to http://www.domain.com/link/) worked. Not entirely sure why, but best to leave the trailing slash out.
- Keywords > Long Words to Short Words – when you are placing the keywords in the back end, I recommend you start with targetting long words, before going for short words.
- Cloaking Your Links? One feature present is the ability to cloak your links. I don’t really recommend this as it looks spammy.
Notice: This blog post does contain affiliate links (durh!). Also, I was given a copy of the software to review.