How to build an Amazon affiliate shopping cart With WordPress
Welcome to WPin’s guide to building an Amazon affiliate shopping cart/site. There are a few things you will need before we get started. Yes there will be some initial outlay in terms of setting up. However if you want to make money then you need to spend some. In this tutorial I will guide you through what you will need and how to use it.
There will be no half measures, no get rich rich quickly schemes, just honest to goodness ways to make an additional income using Amazon’s affiliate system. No ways to cheat it and make money on Autopilot etc, so if you are one of those then look away.
IF, however you want to learn some useful tips on making money with the Amazon affiliate system and provide something of substance to your readers/visitors then please by all means read on.
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What You Will need to build an Amazon Affiliate Shopping Cart?
First things first – WordPress
Yep, there I said it. You will need WordPress. I love it, this whole site is dedicated to it and it’s my platform of choice. WordPress is essential to this tutorial on how to build an Amazon affiliate shopping cart.
Coupled with a couple of plugins (detailed below) WP is a powerful tool and completely free to download. So install WordPress, it’s essential for this tutorial.
Grab an Amazon Affiliate Account
In order to join Amazon as an affiliate you will need to register for an Amazon Affiliate account. Every country within reason will have it’s own sign up page. So depending on your country of origin or which country you wish to target options are displayed for you. It’s a fairly straightforward affair to register. Just follow the on screen prompts to register.
Decent WordPress Web Hosting
In order to get the most out of your Amazon Affiliate shopping cart using WordPress you will of course need decent WordPress web hosting. We recommend WPEngine as it is specifically geared towards getting the most from your WordPress powered website and they offer decent support. Obviously any host that offers WordPress web hosting will do but WPEngine tends to be ruling the roost at the moment.
WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate Plugin
In order to get the most out of your WordPress & WooCommerce union and get products listed from Amazon for your niche you are going to need this plugin. The WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate plugin is an integral part of your path to earnings. It’s incredibly simple to use/configure. Once you have it up and running you can bulk import products to specific categories and much much more. It’s $30.00 on CodeCanyon, I own it and must say I rather love it.
Baby Steps (apologies)
So we have all the major components together. We have WordPress, we have decent web hosting, we have an Amazon affiliate account, we have the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate plugin. We also have a WooCommerce compatible WordPress theme.
Well good question. First of all I am assuming you already have done your research and have a domain name and of course a product niche you wish to go into. These will make things easier for you in fairness. However if you wish to list a vast majority of Amazon products on your WordPress site, who am I to stop you?
The above is not essential. However you will need to know what you are up against in terms of product selection. Some quick tips to research your Amazon niche:
- Use Google predictive search to find out what is the most common search term for your niche
- In the first instance selecting a few choice products will help you in the longer run
- Remember this will take time to put together so make sure your niche has legs and is their for the long term, quick fire product selection for seasonal products such as Halloween etc will not reap any rewards immediately.
Rightly or wrongly I am assuming you have your Web hosting sorted. You are in the control panel for your domain and you have already installed WordPress and are currently tinkering with it.
If you are having difficulty I can recommend the following articles that can be used to help you with your installation of WordPress on your web hosting, please see below:
Block Search Engines From Indexing your site
I personally would recommend that you block search engines from indexing your website. Why? If Google finds your site whilst you are working on it with hardly any products etc it kind of looks a bit rubbish. You need to build up trust and in order to do that you need a website that offers a few products with clear branding and a purpose. Upon installation you will have the chance to block search engines from indexing your site tick this box. If you speed past this section fret not you can still navigate to Reading Options and select discourage search engines from indexing this site.
Getting Started With Amazon
Signing up as an Amazon Affiliate
This as previously outlined is fairly straight forward. However I will take you through it. If you already have an Amazon account for the country you wish to target then that’s a heard start simply visit Amazon and opt for the Amazon Associates sign up.
You will be taken to a screen to sign up (if you do not have an Amazon account) you will need your address details and more. Simply fill in the online form basically follow the sign up process.
Once you have signed up and have gone through the motions filled in all the forms as required and been accepted (usually takes 24 hours can take longer) you will then have access to the Amazon associates section. That’s all you need to do for now. Just remember your login details and if you have been accepted remember your Amazon Associates tag which can be found in the top left of the Amazon associates screen just underneath the navigation bar. Make a note of it!
We are done with Amazon for the time being. Lets move on and install WooCommerce.
Setting Up WooCommerce
This again is fairly straight forward. Simply navigate to your plugin section in the WordPress admin screen and click add new. Input WooCommerce and keep your eyes peeled for the plugin itself, install it and add the WooCommerce pages.
These will be needed in order to offer a functional cart. Please note however we will be making some changes on these pages. As we do not actually require the full functionality of the WooCommerce plugin. More on that later.
Amazon AWS Sign Up
Ok so in order to use the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates Plugin you will need to sign up for Amazon Web Services. Don’t worry though it’s easy to do and should only take a few minutes. You will need a credit card to sign up, no need to panic you will not be charged for anything as we will not be using any paid services. Sign up for AWS here.
Once you have signed up to Amazon AWS you will need to generate an Access Key. Copy and paste your Access Key ID into notepad or Word or whatever you choose. Also click on Secret Access Key and do the same. Save them somewhere on your PC/MAC as we will need them soon, along with your Amazon Associates tag.
Install Affiliate Plugin
WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates Plugin
Again for this Amazon shopping cart tutorial we are going to use the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates Plugin. Why? Because it is probably the most well rounded WordPress Amazon affiliates plugin you can buy. It’s a snip at $30.00 so I will assume you have just purchased it.
Install the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates Plugin
Once you have purchased the plugin from CodeCanyon, unzip it and find the file called wwc-amz-aff. Now you can either FTP it up via Filezilla or navigate to the install plugin page in your WP back end.
- Once you have purchased the plugin from CodeCanyon ensure you download the licence certificate once downloaded copy and paste the licence code into notepad etc.
- Extract the folder to a folder on your PC/MAC and drill down until you find a folder called wwwc-amz-aff
That’s it for the time being.
Phase One is Complete
If you are feeling a little lost and in fairness I don’t blame you if you are. Re-read the above instructions. I am tackling this in the most concise way possible, I’m not treating you like an idiot (forgive me if it appears that way!).
However the above steps need to be implemented in order to set up your very own Amazon Affiliate shopping cart system. I never said this was going to be easy as pie. You might like to take a break, perhaps grab a coffee. In fact I recommend you take a break and recheck that you have followed the above.
Your ready to proceed? Had your drink of choice? Great! Let’s continue.
SEO For Your WordPress Powered Amazon Affiliate Store!
Moving on (I hope you have taken a break and are refreshed) to phase two of this tutorial we need to install another plugin. This time we will install WordPress SEO. Why?
Put simply it is the best (in my experience) WordPress SEO plugin you can possibly get. So hop into your WordPress admin and install WordPress SEO. You will find this invaluable in terms of SEO for products, so install it without delay!
Create Some Pages To Build Trust
Your site will be nothing without trust. You need to prove to people that your site adds value. Heck if your just going to site there and add products without so much as an after thought, you will fail.
You need to build up a rapport with potential visitors so the following pages will be useful to your visitors and show you mean business:
- About Us – Create this page and detail what your site offers, if you have a niche you are targeting pepper it with a few keywords (not too many) and why people should use your site. Be novel.
- Contact Us – This is essential it builds trust, put in a contact form and address if you like. It’s a proven fact people do search for a physical address when purchasing online
- Blog Page – Create a blog page and write some blog posts about the niche you are specializing in. Draw visitors attention with useful content on your chosen product area. Write reviews of products (truthful reviews might I add!
Content for your niche Amazon website
Remember it’s best to try and choose a niche that you are passionate about. If you have a product area or selection that strikes a chord with you that’s half the battle. Write with passion, let visitors feel you actually know what you are on about and that you offer real valuable insight into your product niche.
Your articles/blog posts should cover your product selection, write a couple of reviews on your products, offer links to buy them on various sites remember you need to add value. Your visitors are your bread and butter, so the better the writing, the more likely they will come back to your site and click on your lovely links!
Do not publish your blog posts just yet!
Create at least five reviews and blog posts about your product niche. Utilize WordPress SEO to optimize them for search engines. Do not publish them just yet. Save them as drafts for when you are ready to launch.
Good show. Remember you need to have decent content on your website, no one wants to see another thinly veiled affiliate site. People will not bother with your site. In fairness Google probably wont either. So decent content is critical to your success.
Getting to grips with WooCommerce Affiliates Plugin
Navigate to your new side bar menu item entitled Amazon Affiliates. Enter in your licence code from CodeCanyon, and your email used to purchase the plugin and hit submit, this takes a couple of seconds to authenticate your purchase. Now your set.
Setting Up WooCommerce Affiliates Plugin
Now you have the plugin verified and ready. Remember your AWS web key and secret key? Kept them safe? Good we are going to need them.You will know have a new page as the image above denotes. There are some settings we will need to administer before we can go ahead and enter our Amazon AWS key and secret key.
- Request Type – Leave as Auto Detect
- Amazon Location – Your default targeted country
- On Site Cart – Options Yes or No (Yes means users can add items to cart, no means clicking buy now will take them to Amazon
- 90 Day Cookies – Option to choose yes or no, will store a cookie on users PC/MAC
- Prices Set Up – Select either Amazon or Lowest prices on Amazon (includes third party sellers via Amazon Marketplace)
- Import options – select to auto publish or save as draft (choose draft)
- Image Names – select to take product title as the image ALT name
- Number of Images – Leave as all (which is default will pull all images relating to the product you have imported
- Cross Selling – This shows a frequently bought together box (advised to leave it as YES increases click through rate!)
- Gallery – Show gallery in product listing (I chose no as I want the product data to be optimized and am happy with the images being uploaded to the post itself, let WooCommerce do the hard work for you.)
- Review Tab – Creates an iFrame of Amazon reviews – option either YES or NO. I chose no as an iFrame is not indexable by Google.
Amazon Web Key & Secret Key – Copy and paste your data from earlier in these boxes!
As the image to the left shows this is where you can enter your Amazon AWS keys from earlier. Also not that you can have multiple affiliate IDs. Huh? Well if you want to target different countries this is the place to be.
Assuming you want to target the USA, this is where you would need to put in your Amazon Associates tag from earlier (hope you were reading).
But what if someone visits your site from Canada? I will still get paid wont I? No you wont. It’s a shame but you will need to sign up for every single country to get an Amazon Associates ID for each individual country.
Sure it’s a pain but what if your site gets popular in the UK? You will not earn a penny! So best to sign up to all the countries to ensure maximum site exposure for your Amazon affiliate site.
Hey, I never said it was gonna be easy
Modules for WooCommerce Affiliate Plugin
Before we can get stuck into the WooCommerce Affiliate Plugin and installing products we need to make sure the appropriate modules are in place. All are very self explanatory, however the key one to note are the update prices module. This is incredibly handy as prices fluctuate on Amazon all the time. You want the best price available to your visitors to encourage them to click on the link or add the item to the cart.
What can this plugin do then? Well apart from make your life incredibly easy it allows more granular refinement when adding products to your Amazon Affiliate store. You can chose from uploading via a CSV for bulk import, narrow it down with search, elect to only choose products from Amazon or via the Amazon marketplace or even a specific reseller on the Amazon market place.
Products imported are imported set up as affiliate products and are given there own product redirect URL along with prices, images related to the product. You can choose to activate the buy now button on initial install or if you prefer allow end users to add the product to there own cart.
Upon checkout if you choose allow add to cart they will be redirected to Amazon to checkout and purchase everying they have added to the cart on your website.
Couple that with the ability to cross sell see image above the shortcode appended to each product shows items that are frequently bought together to increase chances of customers buying other items. They can choose to click the buy now button and be redirected to Amazon to complete the purchase.
Adding Some Product Categories
Ok so the plugin is configured and ready to import products from. Great news and phew. Right we will need to add some product categories so visit the WooCommerce section in your WordPress sidebar and click add categories.
Add categories that focus on your niche, lets say for the arguments sake we are targeting Sandwich & Panini Makers. Create a category called Sandwich makers.
Now after you have done that click back into the product category and look for the Yoast WordPress SEO Settings section and populate the fields using your keywords etc. Rinse and repeat for all your product categories.
Get some products on your website!
Click on Advanced Search & Bulk import from the WooCommerce plugin back end. You will then see the above screen. Note the Amazon categories on the left and of course the Keywords and Import in.
For the purposes of this tutorial I have elected to search for Russell Hobbs sandwich. I have also chosen to import products from here into my newly created category called Sandwich & Panini Makers. The far right of the image highlights products that are available to be imported. You will also note that some have already been imported.
This is an excellent feature as there are so many products available on Amazon it can be hard to remember them all! Let’s choose the first one which is Russell Hobbs 18023 Four Portion Sandwich Toaster and import it to the category I have mentioned.
As you will see from above the product has indeed been imported. I have navigated to the WooCommerce products section and behold my shiny new product has been imported. Yay! It’s even at draft status so I do not have to worry about being published automatically!
Getting to grips with product optimization
Now we have our product imported as a draft we want to optimize it. We want it to be found on Google but we also want it to be clicked on by visitors, as that is where the money is so to speak.
In order to make sure it is optimized we are going to use are shiny friend Google. How so? Well lets cut and paste the product title in stick it into Google and see what happens. So if your using Google Chrome control shit and N for a new private incognito page so we do not allow Google to use our search traits. Whatever browser you are using open up a private tab.
So we are going to use Russell Hobbs 18023 Four Portion Sandwich Toaster lets see what results are thrown up:
As you will see there is quite a lot of competition for this search on Google. To try and compete we need to be a little bit different. We need to think out side of the box so to speak. So what can we do?
Well how about we search again manually using Google’s predictive search mechanism we can find out the most commonly used terms when searching for this product in particular see image below:
This gives us some insight into what people are searching for when it comes to this product. Now I cannot guarantee this will work on every single product but why not be different.
Go into the product itself again and lets call it “Russell Hobbs 4 Portion Sandwich Toaster” so page title and URL will be this verbatim. We will need to add the keywords to the WordPress SEO box and obviously change the content effectively rewriting the content, we need the content to be over 300 words and be enticing.
As you can see from the above we have spiced it up a bit and have added more text to the listing. Not only that but we have made it sound appealing to visitors. The content may well not be the best in the world but this is purely a tutorial to give you an idea of what you can do. Obviously you would put your own unique spin or writing style to it!
Looking into the WordPress SEO section (I did say it was invaluable earlier) we can shape the output of the product itself to ensure it stands out for our keyword phrase. Also having the price in the output to Google may well encourage people to visit the page at the prospect of saving money.
You have to sell it to end users, you have to make it sexy, you have to give them a reason to visit your page. Write imaginative and compelling product descriptions optimized for your keyword phrase. Do this for every product listing you have and entice visitors to your website to get that all important click!
Now providing you have done the above added all the products you intend to, have created content for your new Amazon Affiliate WordPress site and have everything in place you need to launch the website.
So deactivate the setting for blocking Google etc, visit Google Webmaster tools if you don’t have an account then create one and follow the instructions, install Google Analytics. You need to measure how well your site does after all!
Ensure that you have everything covered. Remember to drip feed your blog content with one or two new blog posts a week, linking to product pages on your website. Keep the content fresh, sexy and appealing. One important thing to remember is what would you like to see when searching for a product? What would make you purchase from you? Keep it interesting and have fun!
I do hope you have enjoyed my tutorial on how to build an Affiliate Store Using WordPress. I hope you see value in it, remember Rome was not built in a day. The most important thing to remember is that it will take time. Get rich quick schemes for Amazon Affiliates tend to fall flat on there respective asses.
Whilst the above is in depth, I welcome any questions you may have pertaining to the above or if you have any tips or would do anything differently by all means please chime in with a comment. I appreciate you reading this post, it took some time to complete and again I hope it inspires you to making money with the Amazon Associates program.