iTunes Store affiliate linking got much easier last Fall when Apple switched from LinkShare to PHG. Now, linking to the iTunes Store is as simple as appending "&at=" plus your affiliate code to any iTunes Store link. Campaigns can be used to track the performance of specific links you publish by adding "&at=" plus an arbitrary campaign name. The result looks like this https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/logmyrun/id513718134?ign-mpt=uo%253D4&at=11lbfL&ct=squibits&mt=8. The only wrinkle is that if your link does not contain a "?", you need to use "?at=" instead of "&at=".

Beyond the simple syntax, there are a number of tools and tips that make affiliate linking even easier. Here are some of my favorites:

  • David Smith, iTunes Affiliate Linking. David covers all of the basics on affiliate linking. This is the first place to start if you are not already in the iTunes affiliate program. Be sure to also check out his post on Smart App Banners, which are a great way to promote your apps.
  • Federico Viticci, MacStories.net: Federico has a couple of great articles on iOS with Ole Zorn's Editorial text editor. The first, from Federico's review of Editorial is a workflow that takes a link copied from the iTunes App Store and converts it to an affiliate link.
  • Federico Viticci, MacStories.net: If you are writing about an app that you already own, getting its price can be a hassle because the iTunes App Store displays an open or download button. Federico created a workflow for looking up app prices on the fly from within Editorial.
  • Dr. Drang, leancrew.com: Old LinkShare affiliate links no longer work. Dr. Drang has a script that can be run against markdown files to convert those old links into PHG links. Dr. Drang also has a great TextExpander snippet for creating affiliate links here.
  • Affiliate Mac App: Bytesize Software makes a nice little menu bar app called Affiliate that detects any iTunes App Store link on your clipboard and converts it into an affiliate link. According to recent release notes, Bytesize is also working on an iOS version.