You’ve no doubt seen URLs that are practically as long as a Harry Potter novel. A long link can look sloppy, especially if it’s breaking over two lines on an email or in your newsletter, but it eats up characters on platforms like Twitter when you want a short message — real estate better spent enticing readers to check out your cat videos or, you know, your books and stuff. A short link can also hide your affiliate code so you’re not immediately broadcasting that fact to potential readers or customers. Short links do have their disadvantages, however. Some websites refuse to publish short links because a few shady types have used them as a cover for spam. Short links are not necessarily permanent, either, despite the claims of the provider. If the utility’s site goes extinct, there go your pretty little URLs.
But hundreds of link shortening utilities are available now. How do you know which URL shortener is best for you? Here’s a run-down of some of the major ones that could be handy for the indie community. Continue reading “The Long and Short of Short Links”
Purchase links can be hideous, long, octopi-like disasters.
What happens on sites like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and others, is that the path you take to get to the link becomes attached – part of the “history” of the link. The next thing you know, you have something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Postcards-Mr-Pish-Cross-Country-ebook/dp/B0072YXQGC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370798259&sr=1-1&keywords=postcards+from+mr.+pish+by+k.+s.+brooks. Ugly, for certain. What this tells anyone who takes the time to look at it is – the person providing the link didn’t have a dedicated link saved or bookmarked somewhere, so they searched on Amazon.com using the keywords “postcards from mr. pish by K. S. Brooks” to get to the book they wanted. Sure, sometimes doing a search is faster than pulling up a bookmark, but the results do not look professional. The only part of that link that you actually need to give someone is: http://www.amazon.com/Postcards-Mr-Pish-Cross-Country-ebook/dp/B0072YXQGC/. Much better, right? Continue reading “Your Books’ Buy Links Simplified”
Let’s just say you’ve been asked to do a blog interview, or your sending out a press release, or you’re sending out a e-newsletter. In each of those cases, you want to provide a clickable purchase link to your book. Of course you’re more than happy to do that, right? You want people to buy your book – who doesn’t? So why would you give them THIS UGLY LINK???? http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Book-ebook/dp/B007SAVB7G/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1335018955&sr=1-1-fkmr0
Ugly, isn’t it? Then don’t do it. Not only is it hideous, it looks unprofessional. But Kat, what choice do I have? you ask. First of all, you may refer to me as Czarina. Secondly, there is an easy and free option: TinyURL.com.
Now before everyone jumps down my throat for not saying the popular Bitly.com – if that’s what you’re more comfortable with, use it. Bitly does offer quite a bit of functionality, reporting and more. Continue reading “Tuesday Tutorial: Shorten that Link!”