Bit.ly is just one of several link shorteners that are out there. It is one of the few stand alone (not built into a social media management system). It is simple, easy to use, and user friendly. What makes it really great is that it’s FREE. It’s so simple that this will be a pretty short blog post ;).
Sign up is easy. You can signup through Facebook, Twitter, or with the “signup button”. Fill in the information and you are ready to shorten and store links.
You can shorten links without signing up, but you’ll not tap into the other cool features and the links will be lost once you leave the site. That’s totally up to you.
How to Shorten a Link
Copy and the ENTIRE url from your browser and paste it into the shortening window. Click the “shorten” button. Not only does bit.ly shorten the link for you it will save it. After that you have a variety of tasks you can do with the link.
It’s that easy!
After the link is shortened, there is a “share” button. You can share the link from bit.ly from here anywhere you want by following the prompts or by copy and pasting it where ever you want to go.
Other Features to Note
Stats: One of the neat things about bit.ly is that you can monitor a particular link’s demographics: total clicks, clicks per day, etc.
Bundles: This functions as a means to categorize links. This works great for strong type C types like me and to keep everything together. Bit.ly will also create a link for the entire bundle that can be shared with stats as well. This is great for authors!
Link Customization: This is a more advanced trick to use with bit.ly. This helps with branding!
Link Archive: Basically self explanatory. The new version of bitly does this automatically whereas the old one you had to do it manually.
Bit.ly Browser Plugin: This little feature connects well with browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Explorer where you can shorten links anywhere and everywhere. Set up is as easy as a couple clicks and it’s installed.
How Authors Can Use Bit.ly
Several of these I picked up from Rachel Thompson–I’m merely just passing it on. Some of them I learned on my own as well.
- Link customization as part of your branding. Branding is very important and essential in determining who you are as a person as well as an author. That is something authors must determine on their own.
- Using bundling and archiving to store short links for book buy links, interviews, etc. Sharing links this way for interviews and the like will help you gauge on how much traffic the link is getting as well as making it easier for you and the interviewer.
- Using bit.ly on social media where you can’t use your built-in shortener is also helpful. It looks more professional.
- Shortened links just look much more professional anyway.
- Put a bit.ly link in your Twitter profile for either your Amazon book’s landing page or the page that displays all your books. Rachel does this and so do I. It does work well and sometimes people will tell you if they have gone by to have a look. If people are curious they’ll click on it. Using this helps reduce the tendency to spam!
That about wraps up Bit.ly.