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There are a lot of blogging tools and resources out there, some of which are more necessary than others. You can definitely blog without adding any extras, but some tools will make your life easier. Linklay is one tool that could be a game changer for affiliate marketers as it will allow you to quickly create shoppable images for your blog.
Linklay is an easy-to-use tool that makes it simple to create shoppable images. Shoppable images contain hotlinks that your readers can click to easily shop the products included in your image. The best part? You CAN use affiliate links so you’ll have an opportunity to make money when people click your links!
This image of the playroom in my house is a shoppable image that I created using Linklay. If you click on any of the three icons I added, you will be taken to those items at Amazon!
Shoppable images are something I’ve always wanted to incorporate into my blog, but the process for making them was either too expensive or too difficult. Linklay, however, makes this super easy.
The image above was pretty basic and involved a “real-life” image. I don’t typically share my personal life online, but I do often put together gift guides and the like. On my main site, I recently wrote about how Instant Pots are
the bomb dot com amazing. I followed that up with Instant Pot gift ideas and used this shoppable image I created in Linklay in the post.
Please note: I made this image using Photoshop. Linklay will not help you design graphics.
In addition to being super easy to use, Linklay is awesome for bloggers because they give you the option of indicating when a hotlink is an affiliate link. And, if you’re using affiliate links, you can not only put an affiliate disclosure up, but you can also ensure that you’re using no-follow links!
How to use Linklay to create shoppable images for your blog
I put together a quick video that walks you through how I was able to create the image of my playroom in approximately 30 seconds. It’s that easy! The Instant Pot image took a little longer, but I was dealing with quite a few more links. Regardless, the process is as easy as can be. You literally just need to register for an account, upload your image, and click to add a hotlink!
1. Register for an account
2. Upload your photo
3. Edit how you want the icon to appear on your images
Currently, you can change the background and icon colors, and adjust the size of both. They will be adding more options here, including different icon types, very soon.
4. Click on the area of your photo where you would like to add a hotlink. The following box will appear:
You can fill in as many of these fields as you like. If you’re going to be using Amazon Associates links, you will want to leave the price blank. Amazon does not like Associates to share the prices of items because they change so frequently. In the Product URL box, you can use affiliate links. If you do use affiliate links, you’ll definitely want to click the No-Follow Link box and the Affiliate Link Disclosure box, then hit close.
Repeat this step for all of the hotlinks you would like to include in your post.
5. Name your shoppable image, assign it to a gallery (the blog you’re going to use it on), and then hit Save & Get Code.
6. Grab the code and embed it in the HTML portion of your site.
7. Publish your post and feel awesome because your post looks great and because you’ve made it easier than ever for people to shop for the items you’re recommending!
8. Because all images are saved to your Linklay account, should you ever need to go back to fix the hotlinks (add, delete, or edit a current one), all you have to do is open the image back up to fix it. Easy as pie!
Are the shoppable images mobile responsible?
YES! I was genuinely impressed with how great the Instant Pot image looks on my mobile site and how well the links work.
While being able to create shoppable images for your blog is awesome, Linklay also provides you with analytics, so you’ll be able to know how frequently people are clicking the links that are hotlinked in your images!
The analytics above are all my own clicks, unfortunately, and were clicked in the process of writing this post, but imagine being able to tell advertisers how many times people clicked on the specific items in your image? This analytics feature could be very useful for blogging collaborations!
Tips for Using Linklay
One thing I love about Linklay is that it is easy to use. There really isn’t much of a learning curve. However, here are three tips that will make using Linklay that much easier:
- Images that you upload should be no larger than 1200 px x 1500 px. The system will not accept larger images.
- Edit your images BEFORE uploading them to Linklay. Once you add the hotspots, you’ll take the iFrame code directly from Linklay to your blog.
- If you use some sort of adblocker, you’re going to need to whitelist Linklay. I use an adblocker and couldn’t figure out why the option to indicate an affiliate link wasn’t appearing. I contacted the company and it turns out that adblocker hates the word “affiliate,” so it wasn’t showing me that box. They are working to get this fixed, but in the meantime, whitelisting Linklay on your end should fix the problem.
Who should use Linklay
Linklay is an awesome app for all types of bloggers! The first thing that comes to mind is that Linklay would be a fantastic tool for bloggers creating holiday gift guides. When it comes to using affiliate links, it’s always best to give your readers options. That used to be text links versus image links, but with Linklay you can link to every single item within one image!
Here are a few other ways bloggers might be able to use Linklay:
• Fashion bloggers: Link to all of the items you’re wearing, or create shoppable lookbooks
• Beauty bloggers: Link to beauty products you’re using, or beauty product flatlays
• Home decor bloggers: Link to home items featured in your images
• Mom bloggers: Link to items for kids
• Recipe bloggers: Unobtrusively link to items that can be purchased via affiliate links, without taking away from your beautiful food photos.
There are plenty of blogging niches I’ve missed, but I’ll say this: If you’re using affiliate links on your blog, I’m sure you can find a way to incorporate Linklay.
And, some good news if you like the functionality of Linklay but aren’t necessarily using affiliate links: Linklay has plans to make the pop-ups customizable! For instance, perhaps you’re a recipe blogger and would rather have a popup box that shares nutritional information about a recipe. Functionality like this is on the horizon, so opportunities to use Linklay will grow over time.
I’m as critical as it gets, but I haven’t found anything I dislike about Linklay. It’s so simple and easy to use that I can’t imagine what one wouldn’t like.
One thing that I saw a couple of people mention on the AppSumo page, though, is that the use of iFrames for the images may slow down your site. I have not personally experienced this and can’t speak to it, but the founder of Linklay said it is something they are working on fixing.
Unfortunately for us, Linklay is not free, so you’ll need to decide if it’s something you really want and/or need. The basic package, which I’m guessing is all most bloggers need, costs $84 per year or $10 per month. For a limited time, however, you can get a LIFETIME LICENSE from AppSumo for $39. This means you’ll be able to use the tool forever for less than it’ll cost you to pay for 4 months of the basic plan. Score!
My recommendation? You can get a free 14-day trial of Linklay. Head on over there and try it out for a day or two. If you like it, purchase the lifetime license from AppSumo. The lifetime license will only be available through September 30, 2017, at the latest. (Sometimes deals sell out before expiring.)
Do you really need Linklay?
Nope, nobody needs Linklay. But, if you have a graphic-heavy site and you’re trying to make money blogging through things like affiliate marketing, Linklay will help you create shoppable images your readers will love and that may increase engagement and conversions. The company has really thought about functionality that bloggers need – like that all-important FTC disclosure, no-follow links, and analytics – and I feel certain that their future updates will help bloggers out even more.
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