How To Maximize Your Buy Links

Maximize Buy Links

Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials

04 April 2017

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

Moral To This Story?

Maximize Buy Links

If you track those links you can discover things like:

  • Is guest blogging actually worth it?
  • Did paying all that money for a blog tour work?
  • Do people actually read the emails I send out?
  • Are they clicking the buy links in the back of my book?
  • What works best? A button? An image? Or just a text link?
  • Is Facebook really worth my time and effort? And do I actually have to figure out twitter?
How to track links

Inbound Links – Links coming to YOU from another source, like Facebook, or your Newsletter
Outbound Links – Links leaving you and going someone else, like a link on your website going to Amazon

Image Source: pexels.com

The Basics on Link Tracking:


Set up Your Accounts

The first step is setting up all your accounts. There are a few of them, so don’t get overwhelmed. Get you notepad out, to remember passwords and logins and just go for it.

  • Google Analytics
    If you haven’t already set this up to track your website, you should have this set-up. I’m not going to teach you how to use these programs in this tutorial, because each one could be a tutorial in itself. Right now, just do it. WordPress is an easy plugin. Google Analytics will track both inbound and outbound links. I also recommend looking into Google Campaigns, where you can customize your links per your campaign. This is when you are READY to be a beast tracker. I personally use Bit.ly, but if you want very specific data, which is where Bit.ly lacks, you would build your links via Google link builder and campaigns.
  • Bit.ly
    There are other apps that use this technology, including Google, but I’m a Bitlink girl. Every link that you post should be processed through Bit.ly. Get the long link, create a Bitlink – and then send it out into the world.
  • Affiliates
    EVERY store you sell through, you should have an affiliate link attached to it. Not only will it earn you money for the clicks, you can also track spending habits of your “clickers.”



All your links should be organized, this seems like it would be easy, but when you are working last minute at getting things together – admit it – we all do it, we tend to forget the little steps. Organization is a key component to optimal tracking. And this is where apps like Bit.ly & Google Campaign come into play.

  • All links used in a certain campaigned should be tagged, or grouped as such. For example, if you are using certain linka in the back of your book – these should be tagged as “back matter” links, or a tag of your choosing. You can tag your links in apps like Bit.ly and Google
  • If you are doing a blog tour, that you pay for, you should ask the host that your links be used. Sometimes tour hosts will change their links to THEIR affiliate links. You can easily request that your links be used, because of tracking. This way you know if the tour is working. Granted some bloggers will switch the links to their own affiliates, the more savvy bloggers at least, so tracking will not be perfect, but at least you’ll get some.


The Process

Everyone’s process is different, find what works for you. But, here is how I do it and maybe this will help you get what you need.

  • First I use a Mac, and I have an app called Notepad Pro. It’s this dropdown app that I throw all my quick reference stuff into. For each book, I have a note – with my original Affiliate links in them. This way for each campaign I do, I have my links at the ready, so I don’t have to go to each Affiliate site and create new links, which can be tedious.
  • Second, for the campaign, I create a bitlink for each of my links I will be using. I stay aware of what I’m doing, and who I’m marketing to, and this lets me decide on which links to use. I know above all, my Amazon sales and links are the highest, so if I can only use one link, I use my Amazon link. If I can use them all, I use them all.
  • Once I created my Bitlinks I tag them as to how I’m using them. If I’m using them for a Facebook paid advertising – they will be tagged FB Ad etc.
  • Now that I’ve created my links, I use them how I need them.


Tracking Your Links

A quick look at a bitlink. This is one of my first bitlinks I created. I used this link for an August promotion I did, through email and on my site parajunkee.com. As you can see, the “Dark Traffic” referral is the highest. Dark traffic is usually an email client, or mobile apps for email, or twitter etc. So basically, since this went out in a post, I know that a good bit of people actually clicked the link to my book via their PJV subscription. Then since I posted the same promotion into Facebook, that was the second referrals. Then they actually clicked the link to take them to the promotional page I created on Parajunkee.com and clicked the link there. I wish I could see where those other 48 links came from, but again that is the “con” of bitlinks. I’m going to strive to utilize Google Campaigns for big promotions, but right now, I’m content with bitlinks.

If you don’t track anywhere else, track the “back matter” of your books.

A lot of authors will not do this, because it can get tricky. Depending on where you sell your books, they have restrictions. Amazon will not allow you to place a B&N link in the back matter of books sold on their site. B&N won’t allow you to even call yourself an “Amazon Best-Selling Author” – you used the A word! The A word!!!! So you would have to tailor each ebook you create to their site. But, you must do this! They just read your book, if they liked it, they are probably going to want more. Each book you create should be equipped with a “More Books By…” and each book should have an affiliate link, wrapped in a trackable campaign link, so you know exactly where they are coming from.

I’ve experimented with putting my buy links in the front, in the back, or directly after you finish the book. This I found works the best with my series books.


The End…

Read The Next Book

They click that Read The Next Book all the time. I wouldn’t know that, unless I tracked. It would all be a guessing game. I would also know that they tend to click the first book I list in my More Books section, and never the last. So, the book I want them to buy…I list first. I wouldn’t know this. Unless I track. Did you get the moral of this post, yet?

Track your links

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About The Author


Rachel, whom you might know as Parajunkee, is the blog owner of parajunkee.com and the design blog parajunkee.net. To make matters even more confusing she is now a published author under the pen name of Gillian Zane. Rachel has been blogging for over eight years, designing / web programming for over fifteen, but her real love, reading, has been her favorite hobby since childhood. Rachel has won numerous awards for her writing, the blogs she has created and her design work. If you want to check out more about her books click "The Books" on the navigation bar at the top of the page.