21 Mar 2013

How To Create amzn.com Shortlinks for Affiliates

amzn-shorturl-shortcodeAny Amazon Associate knows that Amazon creates HORRIBLE, long, non-standards compliant affiliate links for you to use on your sites. Like this:


UGH!!!!! Horrible. These have broken time and time again on me and been a major hassle, causing my sites to not validate correctly because the url is unencoded and a complete mess. And I hate the stupid invisible 1px image they throw on the end too (the one that includes the full a href tag).

Using the amzn.com shortlink my affiliate link to that product looks like this:


YAY! Nice and easy and short to throw into your various social media networks.

And until WordPress brings out a plugin that does it for you automatically (please let me know if they do), here’s how to do it yourself:

NOTE: There has been talk of Amazon not allowing the use of short links and social networking sites like Twitter to drive affiliate traffic but that is false as stated in the
Amazon Associates Social Networking FAQ.

1. First you have to be an Amazon Associate

Sign up, its free. You will get an Affiliate ID and it will look something like mine which is omyw-20.

2. Know how to shorten every URL

On every product page or even list page, there is a share link on the right hand side panel at the bottom. Click the share by email icon to see the share url. It will look something like this: http://amzn.com/0307962695 where 0307962695 is actually the ISBN or product ID. Its a unique ID for each product on the site. The same works for words representing an entire category like “books” – http://amzn.com/books

3. Add your Affiliate ID to the end

By just appending ?tag=myaffiliateid to the end of the url. So in my case, http://amzn.com/0307962695 becomes http://amzn.com/0307962695?tag=omyw-20. Easy peasy!

4. Don’t forget to test your link works

with the Amazon Associates Link Checker Tool

Once you know how to do it, its pretty easy to remember though you might want to book mark this guide.

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