You may have noticed the Shop the Post widgets, those shoppable widget boxes, popping up on blogs and websites all over the place. These low-key, in content ads and affiliate links are hot-hot-hot right now. I’m seeing them everywhere.
When they first started popping up, I received many inquiries from customers about what they were and how to create them. But the answer wasn’t as simple as a single, easy plugin or app.
Nope, but it’s still an easy feature you can add to your blog, whether it’s WordPress or Blogger. Today, we’ll focus on using these apps in our WordPress themes which have a field dedicated to them but they can easily be used on Blogger as well.
What is a “Shop the Post” widget exactly?
Well, depending on the blog or website, it can vary. Usually, it’s a product carousel or grid located at the bottom of a post that showcases the products discussed in the post. Readers can click on the image of a product and visit the retailer to purchase the product.
The blogger usually earns a fee per click or per sale. Some shop owners who blog may also use these widgets to link to products in their own shops rather than using affiliate links.
Readers can click on the image of a product and visit the retailer to purchase the product. The blogger usually earns a fee per click or per sale. Some shop owners who blog may also use these widgets to link to products in their own shops rather than using affiliate links.
Here is an example of a Shop the Post widget seen on our demo site for our popular WordPress theme, Maryanne.
The Shop the Post widget in this example shows up both on the home page and on the individual post page even when using Read More buttons. This gives the ad higher exposure. Always a good thing.
This is possible because of the Custom Post Field we’ve created on our WordPress themes that allows you to insert some HTML widget code or a plugin shortcode into the post editor.
Under normal circumstances, if you wanted to have the widget show up on the homepage, it would need to be placed before the Read More button or you would need to skip using post excerpts. These are both totally ok options but we wanted to give bloggers the most options possible.
OK, but where do I get the widget?
If you go into your WordPress dashboard and search for a Shop the Post plugin, you won’t really find one. But we’re going to share some of our favorite options for getting those nice widgets.
This affiliate network is totally free to join, no invite or approval process required. This is the widget we use on all of our demo sites.
We find their interface dead easy to use (plus just plain gorgeous). Creating a widget is as easy as pressing the Create button, picking some items and producing an embed code. Copy and paste the code into our handy Shop the Post field or directly into your WordPress or Blogger post – make sure you insert it in Text/HTML mode!.
These widgets are fully responsive and you can set their height and width (to a degree to maintain the best design).
Shopstyle focuses on apparel, accessories, shoes and beauty products but they have a great collection of brands including Aeropostale, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Anthroplogie, and more (and that’s just a few from the As!).
With ShopStyle Collective you make money both from clicks AND from sales. Obviously, you make more with a sale but making a few extra bucks from clicks is great too. It’s also easy to automatically update your widgets right from your dashboard and SC provides out of stock notices so you can keep your widgets on older posts up to date too.
They also provide a nice Analytics section to help you see how your ads are performing. In addition to blog ads, you can use your links on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Shopstyle.it (Instagram).
2. Reward Style
Reward style is an invitation-only affiliate network. They are connected to LIKEtoKNOW.it as well.
They work with some amazing brands like Kate Spade, Mod Cloth, Crate & Barrel and more. Again, this one is invitation/application only, so you need to have a well-established site with a history of consistent posting and a following. But it’s a great option to aspire to.
Reward Style has a WordPress plugin that allows you to create shortcode widgets that can be inserted directly into posts, a sidebar widget or using our Shop the Post field.
Here’s an example of a Reward Style widget in use on a customized Phoebe theme:
Did you know that as an Amazon affiliate, you can create great product widgets that can be easily inserted into your posts?
And Amazon carries just about anything you could hope to discuss in a blog post.
Once you sign up as an Amazon Associate, log in to your dashboard. Under Product Linking select the Native Shopping Ads link.
You can easily create Recommendation, Search or Custom ads widgets. Grab your code and insert into your post or Shop the Post field.
There are definitely some other affiliate programs out there where you can create great widgets.
Create your own widget
If you’re looking to promote your own products you will want to spin your own widgets.
Look for a WordPress plugin that produces a shortcode for your product carousel or grid.
We really like the carousel created using the Shortcodes Ultimate plugin. It also includes some other very handy shortcodes with a very easy to use interface to create your shortcodes.
Once you have a shortcode, insert it right into your post or into the Shop the Post shortcode field.
We hope this quick article will help you understand more about the Shop the Post widget. Blogger/Blogspot users, don’t forget you can easily use the embed widgets in your posts as well or in a sidebar widget! If you need more detail about using the Shop the Post Fields on our WordPress themes, check out this help article.