Rick: Okay so up next then, we have a new member, Darren, who asked a question of something I’ve never talked about before. Good morning, Darren. I’ve just unmuted your microphone.
Darren: Hi Rick, how are you? Can you hear me?
Rick: I’m doing well. I can hear you just fine. How are you?
Darren: I’m doing alright.
Rick: So you would like to do an Amazon store. Is that right?
Darren: Yeah. It’s actually something I’ve had… I’ve had blog content and stuff that I wanted to write about but the whole issue other than just basically hyperlinking to the products, the issue I had is like there’s just so much informaiton about shopping carts and you know, what to use and wha tnot to use. And I just became overwhelmed. I mena, I’ve found myself spending literally 2 weeks trying to do it. And then I just finally… I kind of just gave up on it. But I figured, it couldn’t’ be that difficult.
Rick: Well, what’s your goal?
Darren: My goal is just to have… I really like blogging particularly so I want to continue to write blog posts. But I wanted to have a separate page just for like books that I recommend on my topic.
Darren: At the top of the navigation. That’s all I really wanted to do.
Rick: Okay and so that… really, the easiest way… I mean, there are a variety of ways you can have you know, affiliate inks to Amazon for books that you recommend or products that you recommend. There’s lots of different ways to do it. Are you already signed up as an Amazon affiliate or associate?
Darren: Yes I am.
Rick: Okay so then you have access to this associate’s page here. And you know, one way to do this is just to set up an Amazon store and it’s this A store here. And with the A store you know, you just click on this button that says ‘add a store’. You would you know, pick a tracking ID and I would just start off with my own tracking ID. Well, I don’t know. Let’s see, let’s call… let’s just do something entirely different, byob website. Search.
Okay so this new Amazon store is going to be BYOB Website. Then I could continue… now that I’m at this Amazon store you know, I’ve got some settings that I can set here. But before we actually… well let’s see, let’s hide the category navigation. We don’t really care about mature content screening because porn sells well. No, because we’re going to select the specific books that we want anyway. So we’re going to… these are going to be recommended products. It’s not going to be you know, products that Amazon just generates by itself because you can do that too, right? You can have… you can select Amazon categories and Amazon will put their… will make choices for you and place them there. But we’re not going to do that. Enable link back to my site in the navigation and label About page. We’re not going to check any of these things. We’re just going to get rid of category navigation and leave these other things unchecked.
And then we’re going to add a category page. And now the category page is just going to be you know, my recommendations. So that’s the name of the page and what you’re going to do is add individual products. See, you have a choice here of either ading individual products, adding products by Amazon.com category or adding products from a listmania list. So those are your 3 choices.
These are more automatic. If you choose an Amazon.com category, every time somebody comes to your site, they’re going to see you know, potentially a different set of products because you’re not going to have everything from a given Amazon category and shop in your store every time. So Amazon is just goin to feed products in your store out of one of their categories. Or if there’s a listmania list that you’ve created or that there’s somebody that you like that it’s created, you can always grab their listmania list and use it.
But we’re just going to add individual products. And while we’re at it, we’re going to say this is… you know, this is my… these are my current favorite books on WordPress and thenw e’re going to add products.
And so now what you need to do is fin the products. Now if you already know what the ASIN or ISBN number is then youc an put that here. But whatn I’m going to do is I’m going to search for books and I’m going to say… let’s see, WordPress. And let’s see, where are my favorite books? Okay, this is one of my favorite books so I’m going to add that one and let’s keep going here. Oh, her book is excellent, WordPress for Dummies so we’re going to add that one. Actually, Smashing Beyond the Blog is a pretty good one so we’ll add that one. WordPress Professional Plugin Development, that’s a really good one so we’re going to add that one. And let’s see… Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes is a pretty good. I didn’t want to do that. So we’re going to add tha tone and then I guess we’ll just add one more. And that is… let’s see, yeah WordPress 3 Site Blueprints. You kow, I really want to teach this class.
Okay so now I’ve got 6 favorite books in this thing. And so I can go back to my category list and I can preview the store. So here’s my store and what happens is when somebody… and so I’m going to get some… I’m going to get an embed code to put this on a page, right? That’s what’s going to happen next and all I have to do is insert this embed code and it’s going to work great.
And so we’re going to save the changes and then we are going to move on to Color and Design or continue. Oka now this is a place where youc an select you know, your own colors and give it a name. Let’s see, BYOB Favorite Books. You could put a custom logo in and that kind of stuff if you wanted but we’re just going to continue. And then in terms of the…we don’t’ really want… I mean, we can go ahead and keep the sidebar right thing going on here but we’re not going to put… I mean, you could put your own WishList items in there if you wanted. We aren’t going to put… well actually, let’s just preview the store just like it looks right now.
So if we preview the stor… oh, mabye that’s it. Let’s see, preview the store again. Preview the store, okay. Let’s see, open link in new tab for whatever reason. Okay so there’s my store preview and now what we have to do is finish and get the link. Simple link to my store as a standalone site, embed my store using an inline frame which is what we’re going to do. And then copy this and put it in WordPress.
So now we’re just going to come over to a page on WordPress and I think I’m going to do this in my demonstration site here. So /wp-admin and then we’ll create a page, call it Rick’s Recommended Books. Let’s make it a no sidebars template, switch to the HTML view, paste that frame information that we copied from Amazon and hit publish. And if you view the page now, you’ve got you know, an Amazon store here that if somebody comes along and click on this and purchases, you will… you’ll get credit for it, right? you’ll get a perentag of the sale. And obviously, it’s very simple to do right. I mean, we just kind of went through those steps and it all happened… all the rest of it just kind of falls into place. Go ahead, what’s your question?
Darren: No, I was just going to ask you, do you think it matters in terms of the conversion, whether people like stay on your site for the remainder of the checkout versus going straight to Amazon? Or is the goal to just try to…
Rick: Well, in terms of conversion, what really happens here is if somebody clicks on this link and goes and looks at Amazon, if they make any kind of a purchase from Amzon in that session, you’ll get the credit for it, even if it’s not this book. There’s no way for you to sell an Amazon book on your site without leaving your site. So the only way you could sell this book on your site without them leaving it is if you physically had copies of it yourself, you took the money and you did the order fulfillment. There isn’t any way for you to sell Amazon books on your site where you take the money and then you pay Amazon and then they fulfill the sale.
Rick: So if you’re going to be an Amazon affiliate, the only way… and this is actually the way it works with really, all affiliate sales. If somebody is going to be… if you’re going to be an affiliate for someone, what happens is they… when they use one of your affiliate links, it takes them to whatever system they are using for making a purchase. And it handles the financial transaction and they take the money and then at the end of whatever specified time they have, they give you your commission. But… which is why there’s really no such thing as a shopping cart in an affiliate program. Your affiliate… if you’re an affiliate of somebody, you’re not selling their products on yoru site. You’re advertising their products on your site.
Rick: Do I think there’s a difference in conversion between whether or not someone makes a purchase on your site if you’re actually selling your own products or if they make a purchase on say, PayPal or some other site? I don’t think so. I don’t think you’d get a… you know, it may have been… once upon a time. But the existence of making a purchase via Google Checkout and via PayPal is so ubiquitous now that it seems to me that nobody’s going to say, “Oh, I’m not going to complete this transaction because it went off the site.” And in fact, a savvy online purchaser won’t purchase from a site if it doesn’t take him to a secure location to make the transaction because they’re going to wonder what happens with their financial details. If you take credit card information on your own page, you have legal responsibilities. If you do that and you’re in the United States, you have legal responsibilities for preserving and protecting and ensuring that that date is protected. And you have the potential concern that somebody who’s purchasing from you may have… which is what happens to my data. Okay so these guys have a legal obligation to preserve that dat but what happens if they fail in that legal obligation? What happens if it’s a scamming site or whatever?
Whereas if they make a purchase and they go to PayPal or if they make a purchase and they go to Google checkout or some of the other payment gateways, they know that they’re… that the transaction is secure and they know that nobody is… nobody has access to their financial information and it’s a safer transaction all the way around. So I think, it might in fact, be the opposite that if you keep people on your site for a financial transaction, it may actually reduce your conversion rather than increase it because of security and people’s understanding of security concerns.
So that’s, I don’t know, I guess that’s my long answer. The short answer is no, I don’t think it really matters where the transaction process is for conversion. But…
Darren: I know because ei had seen several advertise… or different… or whatever that they didn’t… you know like you still… basically, the item added to your Amazon accoutn shopping cart while still being on the site is kind of a like a remote shopping cart type thing. And then when I went to Amazon’s web services, they have like this really mind-boggling code and process. I really didn’t want to be bothered with that. This is much easier. But I was just curious if they had more of a… if… I don’t know.
Rick: Well, the whole Amazon web services API is really intended for programmers to develop other mechanisms for intergrating with Amazon’s prdocuts. And if you… and you certainly could learn how to create something just like this using the Amazon API. But by the time you’re finished with that, you woudn’t have had… you wouldn’t have anything different. I mean, you would still have…the transaction will still be processed in the same way, it would still be processed in the same place. You would simply have a different you know, visual expression of it. And you might you know, you might have different ways of automating it and tha tkind of stuff. But for what you have described, I think this is probably the easiest way to do it.
Now the other thing you can do is you can have individual books. Let’s say your’e writing a blog post tha thas… that is talking about you know, how to create a WordPress plugin. And you want to say, “You know, I found this book on WordPress or Creating WordPress plugins to be very useful in my process of developing a plugin.” Well, you can, instead of using an Amazon store, you can use a link so a product link. And again, we’re looking for books and WordPress plugin. Okay and here’s get the link.
And you know, you have a choice of different kinds of links. So it could be a text only link so it would look just like this, Professional WordPress Plugin and Development. When somebody hovers over it, it would show up like that. So you could just add this link to the… to your page as well, Let’s just go to a different page and let’s go to the sample page. This is not really on the site. Hit update, view the page.
So if you’ve got… if you want to create a… you know, a single link in a blog post to a specific product or if you want to have just a text list of products, right? So you have you know, here is a list of my favorite plugins and it’s this one and that one and that… or my favorite books. And you know, here’s my top 5 for WordPress Plugin Development. You don’t want it at the store, you just want them as links like this then that’s how you would do it. You would create the link code and get the link code from your Amazon associates account and then that script code and you just paste them in the page.
Darren: So just one more question I was going to ask.
Darren: Different people that I’ve read said that that Amazon code or the text link that you just pasted on the page, it’s too ugly or turns people off or maybe, it’s… something like that, is that doing so much to even worry about that?
Rick: Well, I don’t really know. You know, really, the fact that it’s a link like this, it doesn’t matter to me. I mean, if you found this to be objectionable then you wouldn’t want to use it. But you know, it’s my feeling that…well, in the first palce, you probably can’t control for that, right? You can’t really control what’s going to turn one person off and not turn the other person off. I know that if I found… if I was searching for information and I found a page that had good content that answered my question and if there was a link to a product that was interested in on that page, I’d use that link. I do that all the time actually. You know, and in fact sometimes, if I’ve found something that I’m interested in purchasing from a site but I know I’m not going to purchase it right now, I’ll still bookmark that site so I can go back and give them credit for it because you know, I apprecaite the fact that they gave me the information I needed in order to make the purchase. And that’s you know, that might not be a real big behavior of lots of people but I think that if you are a content publisher and you are supplementing your income via affiliate links to products then I think this kidn of a link is probably fairly effective. It’s probably… this kind of a link in a post is probably more effective than the store, would be my guess.