How To Manage Broken Or Expired Affiliate URLs

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Manage Broken Affiliate URLs
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Are you an affiliate marketer who has never considered regularly checking the links on your blogs and fixing any broken affiliate links?

If you are monetizing your blog with affiliate links, chances are good that many of your old affiliate links are expired or dead. How do you deal with expired links?

In this guide, I will share my strategy for dealing with broken affiliate links on my blogs.

First let’s consider the test scenario:

  • The deal or offer you posted a few months back has expired, and your unique affiliate link is giving a 404 error.
  • Affiliate programs have undergone major changes, and old links have stopped working.
  • Your old affiliate links are not working for other reasons.

While there certainly could be other reasons for broken links and 404 errors, the first two listed above are the top two reasons for the  broken affiliate links which I encounter in my day-to-day blogging life.

Here’s how I deal with these expired links, and I urge you to follow the same strategy or a similar one for your blog:

Solving the problem of expired affiliate links:

Start using the Affiliate Cloaker plugin or tool:

Affiliate URL Cloaker
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Using an affiliate cloaking plugin has various advantages. This type of plugin makes it easier for you to manage all your affiliate links from one location, so you don’t need to edit individual posts to make changes in the affiliate links.

At the time of the writing this post, I’m using Thirstyaffiliates. If you are not using an affiliate link cloaking plugin as yet, I recommend using the same.

Again, the reason for using an affiliate cloaking plugin is to make it easier for you to manage all your affiliate links. Whether you are using Amazon affiliate, or any other affiliate network, I highly recommend that you consider adding cloaked links generated by a plugin such as those mentioned above.

Find broken links:

Broken Affiliate links
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Monitoring your website for broken links is an ongoing process, and you must definitely keep an eye on link status periodically.

To help with this important task, you can use a plugin called WP Link status, which checks all the links on your blog for 404 errors and for evidence that they are being redirected. This plugin also sends an email notification for broken links, which makes it convenient for you to monitor all the links of your blog.

Whenever any of your affiliate links start giving 404 errors, you should replace them with the new link or make the necessary changes recommended in the final section of this article.

You can also use a Mac tool called “Integrity” to check websites for broken links.

Automatically delete “deals” posts that are expired:

One mistake that is often made by many new affiliate marketers is that they don’t delete posts for deals and promos that have expired.

For example, if you write about an exclusive deal from Amazon which will expire in the next two days, how do you deal with such a post after the two days have passed?

automatically Delete WordPress post
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Instead of keeping it on your blog (since it doesn’t add any value after the deal has expired), you can delete it. And rather than deleting it manually, you can use a WordPress plugin call Post Expirator which automatically deletes the post after specified time.

Convert expired affiliate links into email capture leads:

Recently I faced an issue with one of the products I was promoting as an affiliate. The product name was Easy WP SEO, and it used to be an amazing SEO plugin for WordPress. In the past couple of months, the developer did a terrible job of maintenance and failed to fix many important issues. For this reason, I had to stop the promotion of the product.

The problem was that there were many affiliate links inside my posts, and I needed to find a way to stop people from buying that product.

I bumped into this video by Authority Hacker, which gave me a great idea for converting those potential buyers into a high-conversion, hyper-targeted email list.

Using Leadpages, it took me about 5 minutes to create a meaningful landing page for my expired affiliate links.

Here is the example page for your reference (do not subscribe to the list in the example, as it is for an announcement of the next awesome WordPress SEO Plugin).

Conclusion: How to never have a dead affiliate link offer:

Deal links are not good for the user experience, and being that these are affiliate links you need to take the utmost care of all such links on your blog.

The first thing you should do (if you are not already doing it) is to start using a WordPress affiliate link cloaking plugin. (Refer back to part 1 of this article.)

Thereafter, continue monitoring all links using automated broken link checker tools, and take the actions suggested above.

Let me know how you deal with broken affiliate links? If you find the above tips useful, do share this post with your affiliate marketing friends.

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Manage Broken Affiliate URLs
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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

7 thoughts on “How To Manage Broken Or Expired Affiliate URLs”

  1. Cool information, Dead affiliate links, It’s a key factor for decreasing engagement with loyal readers. Thanks for introducing ThirstyAffiliates.

  2. Managing broken or expired affiliate URLs and dealing with 404 errors are really tough. I was unaware of Affiliate Cloaker Plugin. Due to its various advantages and you highly recommended, I am planning to use it. You are true, sometimes we forget to delete expired deals and it creates major problems. The authority hacker video is really helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience and important tips on expired affiliate URLs.

  3. dead links can really be a pain in the a*s for blog readers.

    imagine me expecting a link to get me to some kind of info page that’s very important or a vital download page and all I get is an error page.

    its very irritating.

    so my fellow bloggers please take care of broken links.
    put yourself in your readers shoe

  4. Dinesh Verma

    Is there a option in this plugin to replace broken affiliate links with new updated affiliate links? What I personally feel is, why delete these affiliate links when you can replace them with some other affiliate link.

  5. Broken Link checker is a life saver for any affiliate marketer. You find a bad link and can change the URL or if the blog post is way out of date, delete the blog post and write something similar with a newer product.

    No one likes a dead link and that can tend to make you loose the traffic you get from the search engine as the visitor was hoping to read a review/blog post on a certain product and left dead in the water with bad link.

  6. Ryan Biddulph

    Good tip with that cloaking plug in Harsh. I’ve been going through my 100 Plus posts to crunch/lessen image sizes and also, since I moved all my eBook and paperback links from Selz to Amazon Kindle, goodness gracious this process takes some time! Gotta get more automated instead of doing the manual bit….although there’s something strangely fun about it. Amen to mindless activity sometimes LOL. Thanks dude!


  7. Hey Harsh, thanks for the plugin details. I installed the gocodes plugin based on your review, now I’ll look into the other one as well.

    PS: You have a typo in the last paragraph. After the ‘conclusion’ heading, the next line should say ‘Dead Links’ not ‘Deal Links’.


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