Pretty Link Pro was a lifesaver for our blog at one point – until it started costing us money. Learn why we ditched the Pretty Link plugin for good and how we solved the crisis when our affiliate income dropped.
My husband and I have been building websites and blogs for over a decade now. It’s crazy to think that we built our first website when I was pregnant with Zoë and we’d both become licensed insurance agents because we thought that would be a good family business at the time.
We built our first blog in Uruguay when I was pregnant with Kaylee. And I built this blog, Happy Mothering, during that very same time period. Although I had started planning for it a few months earlier.
We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs over the years. A lot of shifts and changes. And plenty of surprises. And we keep adapting each time something new happens.
The Pretty Link Plugin Was a Lifesaver
One plugin we started using on our WordPress blogs from the beginning was Pretty Link. When we learned about the features of Pretty Link Pro, we upgraded.
It allowed us to auto-insert affiliate links, based upon keywords, across the blog with no coding. So we went from having no affiliate links to many affiliate links in every post with the flip of a switch.
At first, it was an amazing shift (this was a few years ago). Our affiliate income tripled overnight because we had affiliate links inserted consistently throughout the blog. It’s one of the changes I made that allowed me to walk away from my position with doTERRA without blinking an eye.
We thought we’d found a system that would allow us to optimize our affiliate income long-term. Then a couple months ago, we noticed our affiliate income dropping. And dropping dramatically, at that.
The Downfall of Pretty Link Pro
Our traffic hadn’t dropped, so it didn’t make any sense. After a little research, I stumbled across something called ITP 2.0.
I’m not going to go too deep into what ITP 2.0 is because there are a lot of articles out there. However, what you need to know is that it’s a change that Apple made to the Safari browser so that it doesn’t track cookies. And if there are redirects in the chain (like what happens with Pretty Link), the original source of the click is wiped away.
So if someone is clicking an affiliate link that isn’t ITP 2.0 compliant through the Safari browser, you aren’t getting paid because there’s no way to track where the click came from. Let that sink in real quick if you’re using Pretty Links, Better Links, bit.ly or any other link shortener.
We’d converted the majority of affiliate links on our website to Pretty Links over the last several months, and that was clearly a bad decision. We felt extremely stuck at that point because there are well over 2,000 posts on this blog. The idea of going through each post and hand coding the links seemed overwhelming.
But it was clear that Amazon wasn’t paying us for clicks that came through Pretty Links. So we needed to figure out what to do, and we needed to figure it out fast because it was almost Q4.
The Blog Fixer to the Rescue
I made my way through the links in the top 100 posts or so when we talked to The Blog Fixer. We’ve used Kris’ services to save us more than once over the years.
The first time I used The Blog Fixer, I’d just received a manual penalty from Google for not having the “nofollow” coding on paid links. When I switched from the Thesis theme to Genesis, it stripped the nofollow coding and I didn’t realize it until it was too late.
Instead of going back and hand coding each of those links to include the nofollow code, I hired The Blog Fixer to do it for me. Based upon the criteria I provided, he was able to go through the entire site and fix all of the links. Google reversed the penalty right away.
Since then, I’ve used Kris’ service for a few other fixes. I also pay the monthly fee to have the fixes I’ve paid for automatically fix new posts so I never miss critical things.
So when I learned that we needed to ditch Pretty Link, I don’t know why I didn’t think of The Blog Fixer first. We discovered the new Pretty Link conversion service he’d introduced through a Facebook group we’re in, so we immediately hired him.
At first, we didn’t think it was going to work since we used the auto-insert affiliate link feature, so the links weren’t hard coded. But Kris figured out how to take our Pretty Link database and go through and hard code all of those links with our direct Amazon affiliate link.
I can’t even begin to imagine how many hundreds of hours this service saved us this time. But it’s definitely a few hundred hours at least based upon how many days it took me to get through those first 100 posts!
If you have any sort of a fix that needs to happen on your blog, check out The Blog Fixer before you start wasting hundreds of hours. Your time is worth so much more than the cost of these services!
How Much More Money are We Making Now?
Our affiliate income has increased dramatically since we hired The Blog Fixer to hard code our affiliate links. We were only selling around 10 items per day on Amazon. Now we’re selling an average of around 50 items per day.
We hadn’t made any money selling Plant Therapy essential oils in quite some time. After hard coding the links, we’re selling oils nearly every day.
The shift in our affiliate income is dramatic once again. The only change we’ve made is hiring The Blog Fixer.