How to hide a URL?

How to hide a URL? The question is why hide your URL? here we look at the very best in link cloaking and why you should use them. Building and tracking them.

What is a URL and why hide it?

Uniform Resource Locator or in layman’s terms your internet address in short or long-form.

These days we all start with HTTPS://
Then WWW or World wide web.
Your business name/
followed by .com or .net etc
Then a bunch of add-ons that take you to a place on the site.

To build one and understand what you are doing Neil Patel has some great training at
his site how to structure a URL

We all have a URL so why hide it?

There are several reasons for this as you develop your website business.

  • Ease of tracking your clicks
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Showing a better URL
  • Shortening the URL
  • Hiding the URL
  • Improved SEO in some cases
  • Checking affiliate traffic resources and reporting.

Two ways to change links but only one good way

Firstly you have link shorteners like and, Tinyurl, and Zapier among others.

Zaprir did a good report on this at their home site for link shorteners. This goes over a few products that can offer both a quick service or a long term service.

Cloaking a link for a good purpose

I am an affiliate for Wealthy Affiliate a Webhosting, blogging and training site that stands above most other onsite operations.
However, some sites don’t like affiliate links and among them are Instagram, Quora and Youtube.

Therefore, it is best to change that link so it is immediately acceptable to any platform that you use. The Word Wealthy Affiliate does not reflect the true value of what they provide so maybe I want to call it something else.

Tracking a link is essential

Furthermore, when I connect to an affiliate site I want to know my numbers. By using a service designed for purpose I can track every click on a link plus I change the link depending on what or where I am marketing.

For example, I set up an online calculator that works out the cost of missed calls to a business. The calculator has been used in two completely different websites and an email campaign so which one worked the best?
Because I used three different links that are cloaked it gives me real call stats and I can monitor my campaign. So how did I do this?

The answer is Pretty links

A must for every WordPress blog

Pretty Links is a free service with an advanced upgrade should you want it. However, in most cases, it is not necessary.

This service shortens the URL but also sets up a tracking platform that provides live results

Image of Pretty Links data
The detail Pretty links provide

As you can see that was a brand New post so little traffic the Website link is

I can then see every link that has been made on Pretty link and going through to Google Analytics to track where they come from.

Pretty links is a WordPress plugin that is uploaded in the normal way. It then resides on your control panel forevermore

Are pretty links really worthwhile?

As an affiliate marketer, the answer is a definite yes. I often wonder if my link is broken or they are going somewhere else. Yes, it’s a bit of paranoia but where the money is concerned it is wise to be sure and this provides some indication of a correct answer.
Using Pretty links you drive the traffic where you want it to go. Use your numbers and Google and relate it to the business.
This is not a problem with good affiliate sites however you never Know.

Some sites will block affiliate links simply because Affiliate marketing is often bundled into one big bag of disrespect.
I have experienced this with Facebook, Instagram, Quora where my link has been blocked.
Using a cloaked address we overcome this without creating problems.

Finally when we don’t wish to display the exact Link because others may recognise, dislike or ignore it. My Super Duper Moneymaking site might look better as Easy money or even a code 1d235. This will encourage a lot more hits and hence greater traffic.

You all so have the opportunity to test the market by using a straight link and a pretty Link in a blog to see which one is hit the most.

Tracking different marketing is an ideal way to use pretty links. My Calculator for missed telephone calls is in half a dozen different places to I can see what is working the best and make adjustments.

Moving to analytics

In your analytics account go to settings, Goals and set up a Goal, in fact up to 20 off them.

An example of a Google Analytics Goal setting

We have now covered all bases for tracking our links and understanding where they come from, how often used and even made money if we want.

For instance, I know that for every 8 people that look at Wealthy affiliate one will upgrade to the pro version and I shall earn in the first year us$175.00. That is an average across all users in WA. Therefore every click is worth us$21. I need to know where they are coming from so I can monetise the site for marketing.


This may be a little advanced for some beginners but don’t worry it will come to you as you move forward. It was the subject of an hour-long live training course we have every week at WA that is available to all paid members so I have reproduced it here.

If you want to get some free training, start a website, prepare to blog there is no better place than Wealthy Affiliate.

I look forward to seeing your click in my Stats,

Peter Hanley


What to write a blog about?

image of blogging

Here we discuss what to write a blog about? The first step in becoming a successful online writer is the hardest decision to make. So we make it easy for you.

An easy problem to solve

The process of elimination can help you narrow your vision down to just a few options.

First of all, we can blog about anything. There is nothing too big or too small that we can not take on and achieve.

The subject is not the problem however it is the start of an answer.

What can that possibly mean? Let me explain.

Let’s look at some subjects

  • Food
  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Supplements
  • Housing
  • Cars and associated autos
  • Music, Art, drawing
  • Movies, stars
  • Clothing
  • Cosmetics
  • Animals, pets
  • Racing of all sorts
  • Politics
  • Religion

    Add to this as you will because this is just the tip of a very long list

You can google away for subjects and searching all sorts of ideas but they won’t help you find your mantra.

You can’t just write about a subject

However, you can on content

image of food.
Glorious food

Take Food as a subject that is dear to most of us.

Now we start the reverse triangle of ideas going down from food.

Food from what country would be good, every region has its own style of food.
So let’s look at a popular one like Bar B Que

What do I cook? Hunks of Cow, Pork, Vegetarian, Vegan, for the young, for the elderly, for the poor or the rich.

The best cooking devices.

At what cost and what condiments.

You will now see that the word Food can conjure up a lot of ideas and could end up with a niche like “How, not to Bar B Que beef in India and live to tell the tale”
That would lead to Vegetarian cooking and a whole host of subjects.

Food is not my thing. I cook to survive and encourage my wife to keep me in a healthy condition, a subject on which she could write.”How to keep a man happy with food.”

Food is a very popular subject so you really need to be specific in your writing. However, you can see how one word can conjure up a lot of ideas.

For instance, I don’t like refined sugar and avoid it where I can. It is a personal issue and I believe it is bad for you. However, Sugar is everywhere so I could start a blog tomorrow on the evils of Sugar.

This started with the word food, category condiments, subject Bad for you, one product sugar
and an endless array of writing opportunities.

I could have picked Salt, MSG, garlic, Olive Oil to have endless writing opportunities.

Whatever you choose can be narrowed down again

Where from? The history, Refining, different sorts, good sugar, bad sugar, Sweeteners.
How is it used in Food and how to eliminate it.
Cooking without sugar.

For Vegans, on diets trying to lose weight and clear up skin rashes and damaged Kidneys.
The subjects are endless and all you need is just one to keep you at the computer forever.

Find a subject that has some interest to you. The greater the interest the easier for you.

I write mostly on helping online business ideas because that is my passion. However, I cover all sorts of categories while staying within the niche. Blogging is just one of them.

Writing is all about Keywords.

Can you make money out of a blog?

Most of us are blogging with the intent to monetise our effort at some time.
There is nothing wrong about this we spend a lot of hours researching and writing content to benefit others

You can earn from referrals, Affiliate income, advertising, writing for others.

However, you need traffic and that takes time so buckle up for the adventure

Writing product reviews and comparisons

Products to write a review on
an easy way to blog

Readers love product reviews and they are highly read across all subjects.

First of all, it is good to get a paid association with anything you will write about, good or bad. Honesty shows out and blatant advertising is reader destruction.

I did one a while back on Noble Samurai. This is a Video making site that I use and is excellent value. This needs to be explained to readers so the benefits can be delivered.

You can do side by side reviews or sitewide look at a dozen products.

The readership is guaranteed if the product is current.

Most people now days will research a product before spending money.

Should you use the product before you review it? The jury has not returned a verdict and I believe it is a yes/no answer.

You can write in a third party approach so you build opinions from your research on the product whilst not actively claiming your experience.

You could say I have used this and this so a new one must be better.

Become a referrer

This is sending readers to a sales platform like Amazon. Words and advertising on your blog transport people to an online store where they can make a purchase.

You then get paid a commission that can vary between 2-3% up to 50-60% for online products.

You then write about a pet subject and lead the buyers to a destination where you get a cut.

Simple really, start up an Amazon account, do a bit of training, select products that interest you, check your keywords and start making money.

No stock, no billing, little if any customer contact other than your efforts.

Finding affiliate sites the easy way

Google logo

Any product you can imagine will have a seller seeking good affiliates. It is how sales are done and great for both parties.

The trick my friends is so simple. Go to Google, type in a product, space, affiliate and you will be presented with a long list of opportunities.

First things first in Affiliate income.

When you find a product that suits you you need to be appointed as an agent. This is sometimes harder than it sounds, particularly for good products.

You should have a website up and going and gaining a bit of traffic as your first objective.
This way you have proof of competency in your negotiations with the seller.

Wealthy Affiliate has a program that teaches the basics and allows you the ability to target any business you want. Furthermore, you can join their program as an affiliate from day one and all for free.

Do I like this program? I sure do and am among the top affiliates in over a million members on the site. It is honest and has no pressure upsells demanding more money to grow.

What to write a blog about has become easy.

By now you should have ideas running through your head on things to do.
The next thing to do is write down some headings. At least 15-20 headings about your subject.

You start with a problem to be solved, issue to be fixed fear or short term opportunity.
We all search for answers so start right there.

  • Online traffic solutions
  • Top results; 4 hours left
  • The no-BS guide to increasing sales
  • I didn’t think new leads every day was possible
  • The bad news about your offer

    I scanned a few of my emails today from some online pros that work with the theory of creating a reader in a second of reading.

I use the AIDA approach as Attention, interest, desire and action or conclusion.

You can use lots of pictures and colours to jazz it up

Your target blog should be 1500 words but start slow and build up. A blog of 300 words may well do the job.

Short sentences and short paragraphs and drop the technical jargon.

I have written on content in a prior post

Target a customer

Drawing of a target customer

This is hand in hand with finding a niche.

Build your Avatar when you begin; discover who is your target reader and write to them. If you are promoting Heavy Earth Moving Equipment you won’t target the stay at home mum.

It will be Big Blokes that play with expensive toys.

Likewise, Doily knitters will mostly be senior ladies.

Understand your target, where they live and their interests in life


The post is about finding a subject for you to become a Blogger. We all have one in us somewhere it is just a matter of teasing it out.

Like anything in business, and blogging is a business, you need a plan.

Get your niche and start writing out some ideas that you can write about. Every day, week or fortnight for about a month ahead.

Do your research early to help the writing focus become your main friend.

Blogging is great fun, entertaining and profitable however it is not done overnight.

What to write a blog about by Peter Hanley

Image of author
Peter Hanley