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.
This article covers the what and how of the Shop the Post widgets for bloggers, including links to a couple video tutorials that we have. So, read on.
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.
Similar affiliate widgets may also be located in other areas like above the blog, in the sidebar or in the footer.
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.
An example of a shop the post widget
Here is an example of a Shop the Post widget seen on our demo site for our popular Blogger theme, Savannah.
The Shop the Post widget ,the “Shop my Wardrobe”, in this example, appears in a special widget area on the home page above the post comment.
Similar widget can be placed within the body of each post or in any other available widget area.
It’s as simple as copying and pasting a bit of code into a widget/gadget.
OK, but where do I get the widget?
If you look online for a specific “Shop the Post” widget or app, you won’t find one.
If you’d like to use affiliate links for your Shop the Post widget, the easiest way is to sign up for an Affiliate Network.
An Affiliate Network is an advertiser or group of advertisers who pay you money to place ads or links for their products on their site. That’s the simplest explanation.
Affiliate Networks are a bit different than Ad Networks. With an Ad Network, you generally don’t get to pick what products are advertised on your site. With an Affiliate Network, you generally get to choose which products are promoted on your site. In many ways, this is better because you can better target your products to your audience and make more income. But Ad Networks versus Affiliate Networks is a topic for another article, like this one:
RELATED ARTICLE: 11 Ways Bloggers Make Money Blogging.
Here are 3 Affiliate Networks you can join that make it easy to create Shop the Post widgets and add them to your blog to create blogging income.
ShopStyle Collective is an affiliate network that 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. Then copy and paste the code into a widget, post or page – but 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 the following types of products:
- beauty products
They have recently added a lot of home decor items as well for lifestyle bloggers.
ShopStyle has 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).
RELATED POST: How to Create a ShopStyle Widget for Your Blog
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.
For Blogger.com users, creating a Reward Style widget is similar to creating a ShopStyle widget and copying and pasting the code is the same. Reward Style has a WordPress plugin that allows you to create shortcode widgets that can be inserted directly into posts, pages or widgets.
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, page or widget.
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.
For WordPress, you can use a 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.
Sum It Up
I 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!