Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to Use Blogger's New Amazon Associates Functionality

Whew. The holiday shopping season was pretty intense for me at BabyCheapskate (thus the dearth of new posts here at Now that I have a few days to catch my breath, I thought I'd take a moment before we head off to family Christmas festivities to explore Blogger's new Amazon Associates functionality and walk you through how to use it with your Blogger blog.

As I've discussed before, the Amazon Associates program is a great entry point into monetizing your blog through affiliate sales. Now Blogger has made it even easier to get started.

The first step is to link your Amazon Associates account to your Blogger account. It's really easy. From your Blogger dashboard, click on the "monetize" link:

At the top of the next page click on the Amazon Associates link:

If you already have an Amazon Associates ID, choose that option on the next page and enter your Associates ID, which can be found on the Amazon Associates homepage after you log in. If not, choose the first option, "I want to create a new Associate's ID," and you'll be taken to an easy, integrated sign up form.

Once you've entered your Associates ID (or set up your new account), you'll have the option of setting up the "product finder" for your blog:

The product finder allows you to add images and affiliate text links to your posts without having to navigate to the Amazon Associates website. When you create a new post you'll see the product finder interface to the right of the page. To add an Amazon Associates link, you'll simply type the name of the product you want to link to, highlight them, and click "go" to begin a search.

When the results pop up, you'll have the option to add a link, an image, or a link and an image. Choose "text," for example, and the affiliate link will be added automatically to the text you typed. That's all there is to it!

If you want to add an Amazon banner or widget to your sidebar, Blogger has made it easy to do that, too. Just navigate to your layouts page and "add a gadget" where you want it to go. You'll find the new Amazon gadgets under "featured gadgets."

I can't wait to play around with these new features after the holidays are over. I'm hopeful that Amazon will release something comparable for you WordPress users soon, as well.