Simple Amazon Units is a free WordPress Amazon plugin designed to allow you to add Amazon products to your blog posts with the minimum of effort.
I am a very busy blogger, I have a full time job and a family to look after so I needed a plugin for my site that would allow me to promote Amazon products but would require no continuous maintenance.
I wanted the simplest possible solution: 1) add a keyword, or product name into a box when I make a post, 2) hit publish! Done!
And so Simple Amazon Units was born!
So How Can I add Amazon Units to WordPress Posts?
With this plugin, it’s as simple as can be!
There are two ways to do it:
- Option 1: Add a shortcode directly into your post. Just type the following shortcode into your blog content, at a mimimum you must pick a keyword, and then see it translated into a product unit.
You enter this [Amazon uk=wordpress] and you get this….You might be interested in:
How much easier can it get?
Options 2: When entering a new post you’ll see a new options box at the bottom of the page. This allows you to again enter a keyword and some other configuration options to quickly list out some products at the end of a post.
You can see the form below:
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see an example. Here I have entered “Blogging” as a keyword and Amazon has picked up some tasty recommendations, go and check them out!
There are some important points to note about the product units:
- The product selected is picked by Amazon based on the keyword entered. This ensures the plugin always picks up the bestselling most relevent product. There is no need for you to go back and continuously update posts to ensure they contain available products.
- The price is also obtained directly from Amazon’s live advertising web service, this ensures you always show the latest available products with up to date prices.
- Products are cached as per Amazon’s conditions of use, this improves performance and ensures you don’t exceed the AWS lookup limit.
- The layout of the generated output is configurable. There are additional options you can include in the shortcode to manipulate the display, templating options and global configuration settings that allow you to show it exactly the way you like.
Why Not Use Amazon Widgets?
Amazon’s widgets are useful and well worth a look, to be honest if they meet your needs then stick with them.
However there are a number of reason why they are totally unsuitable for use on my sites:
- I wanted the product text to be part of my site and search engine indexible – not part of content embedded from another site (iframe, etc).
- I wanted control over the look and feel of how products are listed and displayed.
- Manually inserting and managing widgets is time-consuming and creating them programatically seemed more complicated than necessary.
- Amazon Units are country specific, I wanted to be able to add products from multiple countries alongside each other.
- By developing my own plugin I can choose exactly what content to display to ensure that I have some control over content uniqueness. I don’t want my product units to appear identical to that of a 1000 other websites.
- I wanted to be able to track clicks on my links, this plugin records who clicks what link and on what post.
Convinced? Go and download the Simple Amazon Units plugin and give it a go today! This plugin is great for those wanting to “set and forget” posts on their WordPress blogs and essential for those who want to promote products to multiple regions at once.
Here’s that example of Amazon products automatically added to the end of my post: