This is a guest post by Andrew Girardin. If you’d like to contribute to our blog, feel free to get in touch with us.
My name is Andrew and a couple of years ago I read about people making serious money from niche websites and decided to jump right in. Now I run a dozen sites, mostly on WordPress and mostly Amazon Affiliate sites.
A dozen sites means any bottleneck in any process becomes critical. So I’m highly motivated to find plugins that are easy and fast to use. Today I’m going to tell you about one that has saved me time and made me money, and if you have an Amazon Affiliate site (or just want to ‘monetise’ your WordPress blog) get your wallets ready.
Until recently I used EasyAzon in cahoots with Tablepress. EasyAzon is great for adding text links, the ‘info box’ is quite good, and you can add product images that are themselves affiliate links. And it takes seconds to add any of these. Great!
And Tablepress will need no introduction to anyone who’s ever made a WordPress site. The Responsive add-on makes it even more useful as 9 times out of 10 you can build a product comparison table that looks okay on smartphones and tablets.
There are problems with this setup though. Half the links added by EasyAzon are cut out by adblockers, and making a nice-looking product comparison table on Tablepress is cumbersome, fiddly, and slow. (I tried a plugin called GoPricing and while the outputs were quite nice it was even slower than Tablepress. Ain’t nobody got time for that.) And because of Amazon’s rules about displaying prices, the only safe option was to label price ranges, which is why most comparison tables say Price: $, $$, or $$$. Quite lame.
A few months ago I discovered a new plugin called AAWP (Amazon Affiliate for WordPress). I much preferred the look of the output. Here’s EasyAzon vs AAWP side by side:
The first thing to say about the aesthetics is that the one on the left isn’t even visible to tech-savvy visitors, while the one on the right doesn’t get ad-blocked. The EA option is more vertical, and mostly I prefer the horizontal style.
On the technical side, there are more options about AAWP’s output – I can limit that overly-long product name to however many characters I want, and control how many bullet points it shows. Plus I can change the colours and show the current star rating on Amazon. There are no such options in EA.
AAWP also has superb sidebar widgets that REALLY convert. I combine them with the Q2W3 widget to ‘fix’ them onto the sidebar when the visitor scrolls down and make a ton of sales that way. It also has bestseller lists and various other functions that are perfect in certain scenarios. (One successful niche site I saw in India ONLY uses the bestseller function and that is 98% of the page’s content.)
It’s hard to quantify how much extra cash AAWP has made me because my sites have been growing consistently anyway, but I’m sure it has paid for itself (I bought a developer license) many many times over.
But the latest addition to AAWP really takes it to the next level. If I’d had this tool 2 years ago…
It’s a product comparison table feature. It takes NO TIME at all to make really great looking tables with data automatically imported from Amazon!
I just made one for demo purposes. First I opened a blog post where I already had links to 5 products (it’s a gift recommendation site that is dead; I use it to test plugins). I copied and pasted the Amazon product IDs (the ASIN) into a new AAWP table:
Then I added some rows for the product image, name, price, and buy button.
There’s a lot more you can do. Adding the star rating shows what Amazon’s customers think about it, you can add simple yes/no outputs, and you can use the custom text field to add extra data of your own if you think that will add value.
That’s it! ‘Publish’ that table, add the shortcode into your WordPress post, and voila.
Full disclosure – that’s the second draft of that table. The first one was ruined by infinitely long product names, so I shortened them to 60 characters, and then I added a yes/no element just because. If this were a real site I’d certainly make more tweaks, and of course the products would all be in the same category so it’d actually make sense to compare them. The point is, the whole thing took less than a minute (2 minutes with my tweaks) and it already looks better than my Tablepress efforts.
If you have a WordPress site with traffic and want a quick, easy, and elegant way to make some extra cash from it – get this plugin. The creator is extremely helpful and is always adding new features.
Andrew Girardin makes niche websites with the aim of having enough passive income to quit working and write a book.
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