Affiliate Easel for Amazon

Introducing the Affiliate Easel for Amazon – a WordPress plug-in.

With the affiliate easel, you can easily add amazon links and information to you blog. From a simple item image in a post to a full web store. The plug-in is used on this site. Here is an example of a shortcode placed in a post : [az_easel item="0789746344"]

And here is the result:

Or use the search widget and other controls to implement a full Amazon Store on your site.

Learn more:

Installing Affiliate Easel
Install the search widget
Shortcodes and Affiliate Easel
All Shortcode Attributes and Values
Download the plug-in!
The plug-in is under continued development so more features will be added as time goes on.

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Version 1.1.2: Graceful Errors, Image only attribute

I just checked in a new version of Affiliate-Easel-for-Amazon which has 2 major changes:

Error Handling

There was a problem with errors sometimes appearing on pages near the end of each hour. This was not caused by our plugin but by Amazon’s new “Efficiency Guidelines.”

Amazon has limited the number of requests to their API per account, per hour starting October 2010. This is unfortunate but apparently some users were sending repeated data requests to Amazon for purposes other than selling. However, if you are selling items through the API (that includes this plugin) Amazon will increase your limit.

The errors used to spew a bunch of URL text and PHP errors. Now it simply says “Amazon Error” and a title attribute explains the likely reason. It’s not perfect but the only way to reduce this error is to sell more things.

Thanks Amazon.

Image only

This was something I planned all along but only just added. If you want to add only the image of an item in a post or excerpt, just include the attribute only=image and all the titles, prices, etc, will be turned-off. Use it like this:
[az_easel item="0439023521" only=image]. I will add this to the documentation next. Other, non-visible attributes will still work.

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New Outbound Link Settings

I also just added the option to specify outbound links as rel=nofollow and to open in a new window target="_blank". It’s a control in the affiliate-easel-for-amazon admin panel if you update to version 1.1.

Outbound Link Settings

Thanks to Justin Germino for suggesting and testing this new feature.

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New Search-Bar for posts

Starting with version 1.1.0 Affiliate-Easel now allows you to place a search bar in any post or page. This is not a widget (which has been supported since version 1.0) but another shortcode you can put in your post.

The code looks something like this: [easel_search page= select=Books]

The actual widget looks like this (Try it. It works!):

The page attribute is the page you want to use for results of the search. It’s optional BUT if you don’t include it, it will return results on the page you are on. That’s OK IF you have a node search widget on the page, the search results will appear in it. If not, there won’t be any search results. You can either use the slug for the page (the part of the URL after your blog homepage address) or the full URL of the page.

The select attribute allows you to choose which category is chosen in the search-bar menu. This is useful if you want to have a page on a topic and encourage searches to also be in that topic. It is also optional and if you don’t include it, it will default to “All.” The list of categories is the same as the index attribute in the az_easel shortcode.

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Installing the Search Widget

The search widget turns your WordPress blog into a full amazon store. It’s easy to install with these simple steps.

  1. Add a new page using the pages menu in Dashboard. Type any az_easel shortcode in the edit box as a featured content for the page. e.g.: [az_easel node="1000" index="Books" ]
  2. Go to the “Widgets” page in the appearance menu.
  3. Drag the “Affiliate Easel Search” widget from the “Available Widgets” area to a primary or secondary widget area. (Note Search usability is best when nearest the top of the page as possible.) Add your title if desired and choose the page you just created for the Search results page. Save the widget.

Search should now work as expected.

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Installing Affiliate Easel

Basic Installation:

  1. Upload the Affiliate Easel plugin to your WordPress site. (Use the “Plugins” – “Add New” in your WordPress dashboard or unzip it in your /wp-content/plugins/ folder) Continue reading
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All Shortcode Attributes and Values

Affiliate Easel shortcodes are very flexible. They will take on a default appearance with just a few simple attributes but they can be completely customized. Here is a table of attributes and values. Continue reading

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Shortcodes for Affiliate Easel

One of the powerful features of Affiliate Easel is the ability to insert amazon images and data within any post or page using simple WordPress shortcodes.

In your WordPress editor, simply type the shortcode and your post will then have the image, tile, price or other information you specify. A typical shortcode would be an item search like this: Continue reading

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