How Affiliate Links Work

When I stopped with my last post “What is an Affiliate Link” I was demonstrating what your basic affiliate link looks like.  The last thing I was discussing was url variables and query strings.

Lets me show you an example:

The ? begins the identification of the query string.  The characters after the ? are the HTTP query string.  The query string will contain both variables and their values. Check out

If you are an Amazon affiliate you may notice how long the product links are.


Amazon shortens the long link to: 

You can also build a link yourself by taking the product ASIN and your associates ID

or add your associates Id to the long link:

Everything after the ? in these links is the query string.


Associate ID: jackysplace-20 don’t forget to add &tag as in &tag=jackysplace-20

I was taught all this by finding this source.

It seems like everybody with a blog is using affiliate programs to make money.  right now I am a member of JvZoo 

and Clickbank

Lets take a look at how the affiliate links work at Clickbank and JvZoo.

At Clickbank I promote a digital product called  WP Profit Builder

Clickbank’s affiliate links are called HopLinks.  The hoplink is a URL for the vendor’s page.  It serves 2 functions.  It directs users to a specific vendors sales page and it tells Clickbank which affiliate was responsible for the visit.

When a potential buyer visits a vendor’s sales page using your affiliate hoplink a cookie is planted on the visitors computer which is good for 60 days.  Which means if the person visits the vendors salespage and makes a purchase within the allotted 60 days with your hoplink you have made a sale.

Lets see what a hoplink looks like

You can also create an encrypted hoplink using:

The way to do that is put the vendor nickname which is also called vendor Id and your Clickbank Id in the hoplink encoding info box.  Click the ENCODE button and “wa-la” an encrypted affiliate link.

Note:  You can find the vendor nickname on the hoplink page.  Its the word with the orange circle around it.

And then you can decode your encrypted hoplink with this:

I do not see how you can hide your Clickbank affiliate link, but good news there are many cloaking options available to cloak your hoplink.  The one I use is “Pretty Links”.  It is a free wordpress plugin.  The links can be used on any site.

It is said that JVZoo is where all affiliates congregate.

One of the reasons is that your affiliate link that is attached to the vendor is good for all the vendors products.  I have a software product that I am promoting for a vendor that has 3 other products registered with JVZoo.  Which means if some one buys the product I am promoting and then decides to purchase another product from the same vendor I have made 2 sales.

Also vendors have a lifetime cookie on any website tagged with an affiliate link of their affiliate.  You are connected to your perspective customer and your vendor for a lifetime.

This is how some affiliate links work, we have barely scratched the surface.  So I think we should take a little break and continue on in a future post.

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Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Disclosure: The content of this post are my ideas, I do not try to emulate anybody else. If I use somebody elses material I will add the link and author in the post.