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Amazon is always testing out new ways for those that are Amazon Associates to make more money (and push Amazon to their readers a little bit more), and one of the newest tools that bloggers can use is Amazon Native Shopping Ads.
Amazon Native Shopping Ads work differently than traditional CPM ads, where your readers simply have to see the ad for you to earn money. Instead, Native Shopping Ads work more like traditional affiliate links, in that when people click the ad and make a purchase you will receive a commission. Typically, Native Shopping Ads pay out the same as your Amazon Associates affiliate commission for the month (which varies based on product category and/or sales volume).
If you’ve been on the fence about trying out these ads – or simply didn’t know that they existed – here’s how to use them to skyrocket your blog earnings!
Placing Amazon Native Shopping Ads on Your Site
The first step in adding Amazon Native Shopping Ads to your site is pretty obvious: Either apply for or log into your Amazon Associates account. (If you’re residing in a nexus state you may be unable to become an Amazon Associate and are thus unable to use these ads.)
Once you’re in your Amazon Associates dashboard, go to the “Product Linking” dropdown and click on “Native Shopping Ads”
From the next screen, either use the yellow box to create an ad unit or click on one of the three blue links. You can also, if you’ve already created ads, view your saved ads.
There are currently three different types of Amazon Native Shopping Ads. Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference between the three options:
Recommendation ads are probably the easiest to set-up. This particular ad unit shows products that are based on your content and your reader’s shopping habits. In other words, if you wrote a post about skin moisturizers and/or a reader was recently browsing for moisturizers, they might see an ad unit full of moisturizers. In the ad unit above you’ll probably see a mix of blogging tools and things you’ve been browsing online.
When you’re setting up the ad you will have the option of indicating from which categories you would like items to be shown. For instance, if you have a beauty blog you might always want beauty products displayed, or you can choose to just let Amazon do their thing (because let’s be honest – they’re pretty good at it).
If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all advertising option to hardwire into your site (which I go into more below), recommendation ads are probably going to be your best bet because they’re so easy and won’t need to be tailored to any individual post.
With a search ad, YOU set the default search term for the ad unit, and products related to the search term will show up on your site. However, your readers can amend the search unit to find anything on Amazon’s website.
This type of ad may be a great option if you want a little bit of control but want to leave things open-ended. For instance, you might want to input a general term like “blogging books” in a post about blogging. I used the term “photo tent” above, so this would be a great ad unit to include if I were to write a review of my favorite photo tent. People might agree that they need a photo tent but may not like the one that I recommend, so it never hurts to make it easy to see additional options.
Personally, I prefer the custom ads option because you get the most control.
When you create a custom ad you get to choose every item that’s included. Adding products to this ad unit only takes a few seconds and you can include up to 20 different products.
One way I’ve seen some bloggers successfully use the custom ad unit is at the end of a gift guide. The ones I have seen have included all of the items from the gift guide in the ad unit and positioned it at the bottom of the post. Using the ad unit in this way makes it easy for readers to click and buy something quickly, without needing to scroll back through the post.
To add any of the Amazon Native Shopping Ad units to your site, all you need to do is copy the ad code and then paste it into the HTML portion of your website. The unit will appear wherever you would paste it.
Should You Have Ads in Every Post?
The frequency with which you add Amazon Native Shopping Ads to your site is entirely up to you. There’s really no right or wrong way to do it, although I probably wouldn’t recommend adding multiple ad units to any one post.
If an ad unit fits the content you’re posting about, however, I highly recommend inserting an ad into your post. Ad units like this make it incredibly easy for people to shop – and can also help you make more money from your blog! The great thing about these particular units is that people know and trust Amazon, which could mean increased commissions for you.
And remember, one of the things making Amazon Associates one of the best affiliate programs for bloggers is that if someone clicks a product on your site and places an order, you will earn a commission on their ENTIRE order and not just the one product you inspired them to buy. Of course, most affiliate programs offer this but no other store really has the same ability that Amazon does to encourage shoppers to add random stuff to their carts.
Automatically Insert an Ad Unit in Every Post
There are a few ways that you can easily and automatically insert an Amazon Native Shopping Ad in every post. Some themes (like Genesis-based themes) make it easy to do this, but it can be a little trickier for the rest of us.
I’m using the Ad Inserter WordPress Plugin on one of my sites and really like it. I currently have it set up to insert an ad at the end of all of my posts – before the comments – but you can use this free plugin to insert ads into 16 different spots on your site. If you want a hands-free option that doesn’t include making a new ad unit for every post, I highly recommend checking into this. As mentioned above, the Recommendation Ads may be the best bet if you go this route.
Amazon Native Shopping Ads Should Become a Part of Your Affiliate Strategy
Regardless of which ad unit you prefer, Amazon Native Shopping Ads should become a part of your affiliate strategy. It’s always a good idea to give your readers more options because you never know what’s going to appeal to them. Once you set these ads you can basically forget about them… but enjoy watching those affiliate commissions skyrocket!
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