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internet-marketing-short-pretty-links-2Sometimes a link can be awfully long. For example, a few months ago, I wrote a blog post about creating a marketing plan. Here’s the link:

You can see that it’s pretty long! How could I make it shorter?

Why do you need short links?

You might be thinking that most online URLs are hyperlinked, so all people have to do it click. You’re right! But there are other situations:

  • You meet someone in person and want to give the person a link.
  • You’re giving a live presentation or webinar and want people to go to a link. (For another technique, see my post, “Connect offline with online using QR codes.”)
  • You’re speaking to someone on the phone or to a crowd at a teleseminar and need to speak out the link.
  • If you’re selling products as an affiliate, they are great for affiliate links.

In these situations, you need a short link that people can easily write down or even remember.

What about link shrinkers?

Link shrinkers make links short and Twitter has made them very popular. An example is has some great uses; it keeps track of how many people clicked, for example. But it’s meant for clicking, not speaking out. The links it creates after the part look something like this: eFrLb. Very hard to write down correctly or remember!

What other solution is available?

A great solution is a combination between an easy-to-remember domain name and a WordPress plug-in called Pretty Link Lite. I want to give credit to Celene Harrelson of to this idea.

You may have noticed that doesn’t end in .com. A similar one is, used by Hootsuite, a social media dashboard.. That’s because .ly is a country code. You’ve probably seen .ca for Canada and .in for India.

I think you’ll be surprised to know that .ly is for Libya! (I was surprised.)

Another country code that people sometimes use is .me, because it’s our English word, “me.” This is the country code for Montenegro. (Montenegro is in southeastern Europe and became an independent country in 2006.)

Yesterday, I registered (Do you like it?) The sole purpose of this domain name is to create short, easy-to-remember links. The home page has almost nothing on it and the site has no other content. But you can use this technique with your current domain name — there’s no need to buy a new one!

The next step was to install WordPress and make a few changes to the Home page.

Then I installed Pretty Link Lite, a WordPress plug-in to create the links. Here are the steps for using Pretty Links Lite:

  1. Install Pretty Links Lite. Here are the instructions to install a WordPress plug-in.
  2. Open your WordPress dashboard and click the new Pretty Link item in the left menu. You’ll see a screen like this:


  1. In the Target URL text box, enter (or paste) the URL where you want people to go.
  2. In the Pretty Link text box, change the end of the link to something short but easy to remember. For example, remember the long link at the beginning of this post to the marketing plan? Here’s the short link:
  3. Click the Create button and you’re done! Start using your new short link wherever you go.

Try it! Can you think of ways that you could use this method to create short, memorable links to your website pages and blog posts? Leave a comment!




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    1 Response to "Create short “pretty” links to your favorite places"

    • David

      Good tip – thanks. I’ve never really found Link Shrinkers that useful. WP also offers a short URL to posts after you enter the Title.

      What I typically do online is hyperlink text. Select the text and add the URL to that, much as you do several times in the post above (underlined).

      For articles I want to highlight, I usually put links on the home page and just give out the domain name, asking people to look on the right. It really helps if you choose a simple domain name people can spell.

      The other technique if you have control over sub-domains (most services with Domain Control Panel access do) is to create sub-domains for key promotional or distributed content. For example, In Control Panel, you can set the URL within the website where that sub-domain takes you. A little more geeky to do but once you’ve done it once, easy. (it’s much like the web form you show above) And not dependent on external services.

      That raises another point worth touching on. Using an external service like Link tools for marketing? Make sure it’s a reliable service and works. Especially if it’s free.

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