Self Publishing Questions Logo

SPQ 014: Pretty Link vs. Bit.Ly — Why is Pretty Link Better for Authors?

Written by Steve Scott on January 7, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
9 Flares 9 Flares ×

SPQ 014: Pretty Link vs. Bit.Ly – Why is Pretty Link Better for Authors?

The Question…

A listener wants to know why Steve recommends Pretty Links instead of Bit.ly for shortening links.

Biggest Takeaway…

The Answer…

It’s difficult for people to remember URLs with a lot of slashes or dashes. Shortening links makes it easier to direct people to specific pages on your website. Pretty Links and Bit.ly both shorten links and track clicks, but Steve prefers Pretty Links for several reasons.

You have no control over Bit.ly, so you have no recourse if they decide to delete your links or go out of business. Pretty Links is installed directly on your blog, so no one can change your existing links.

Links made with Pretty Link also look better. For example, SelfPublishingQuestions.com/free looks good and is easy to remember. Links made with Bit.ly look a little spammy because they have random numbers and letters in them.

Bit.ly has a clunky interface, but Pretty Links makes it easy to track each ad campaign. Using Pretty Links, Steve was able to track 12 different campaigns for his most recent launch. Finally, Pretty Links makes it easy to edit links. The built-in search engine helps you find all of the links related to a keyword, saving you time if you need to edit a campaign.

Steve recommends staying away from tools you have no control over. Otherwise, you’ll be in a bind if a company goes out of business or changes its terms of service.

Resource Links

Pretty Link Pro: Shorten links and track campaigns with Pretty Link Pro

Bit.ly: Create easy-to-remember links with Bit.ly

Steve’s Habit Books: Browse Steve’s catalog of habit books

  • Steve,

    I never thought about what would happen if Bit.ly changed its TOS or went out of business. Very helpful advice. Bit.ly is free though, but you get what you pay for I suppose.

    Look forward to the next episode. Must listen programming, love it.

    George

    • Yes, absolutely. I think long-term-wise you definitely want to be careful of being over-reliant on one tool for your business that you can’t control. You never know what might happen

  • Love this – I use PrettyLinks but the free version – it works just as well as the pro less the tracking of course!

    • I actually use the free version myself. You get a decent amount of tracking with it. Nothing too fancy, but enough if you want a “general” idea of how a campaign is performing.

      • Yes, agree Steve – the ‘hits’ is definitely enough to tell you how many people are clicking on your links!

  • It’s time to install again pretty link.