We have some exciting news for all you WordPress bloggers out there: we’ve just released an official AvantLink plugin for the WordPress platform. The AvantLink WP plugin allows quick and simple integration with a number of our affiliate tools:
- Ad Campaigns (e.g. text/banner ads, video ads, etc.)
- Affiliate Link Encoder
- Custom Links
- Product Ad Widgets
- Product Search API
To install the AvantLink WP plugin, login to your affiliate account at AvantLink and go to the “Tools” page. We’ve added a new section there titled “WordPress Plugin” and within that section you’ll find the link to download a .zip file for the plugin. As with any WordPress plugin you’ll need to unzip this file into the “plugins” directory of your WordPress install. Then you’ll see the plugin listed within your WordPress admin interface and be able to activate it.
Once activated, you should notice a message stating that “The AvantLink WP plugin is not fully configured.” You’ll need to take a minute to enter some information to identify your affiliate account (namely your affiliate Id, an API authorization key and a website to associate with your blog) – don’t worry if you don’t know any or all of that information off the top of your head: we’ve included links throughout the plugin to pages within your affiliate account that can help you locate the necessary information.
Once you’ve confirmed your affiliate account, the plugin will be fully enabled and you’ll have access to a number of tools. For instance, you’ll immediately see configuration panels for Affiliate Link Encoder, Related Products, and Product Search functionality. The Affiliate Link Encoder (ALE) is enabled by default since it’s so useful at monetizing existing blog content, but the configuration options for that will allow you to customize which of your ALE subscriptions is used (or disable the ALE altogether if you so choose). The Related Products functionality allows you to show products relevant to keywords you specify for your blog or for individual posts, while the Product Search tool allows you to embed a full-fledged product search engine into your blog; both of these options make use of our Product Search API behind the scenes.
But that’s not all – not nearly. You’ll also find a few new WordPress widgets have been activated along with the plugin. Two of these work in conjunction with the above mentioned Related Products and Product Search functionality to help you control where on your pages content should be output. A third allows you to quickly add a Product Ad Widget subscription anywhere on your site.
You should also look for a new button with our logo in the visual tool bar when you’re editing posts. Clicking that button will allow you to choose ad campaigns (e.g. text/banner ads, videos, etc.) from your active merchants and embed them directly in the post. Or you can use our custom link functionality to create a fully track-able affiliate link to any page on one of your merchant’s sites.
Everything to this point has focused on how to utilize the plugin from the WordPress admin side of things. So now let’s take a look at how these tools actually appear to visitors on your site. Here you can see a post with a banner/image ad and custom link (as inserted above). To the right-hand side of that post you’ll see: (1) a Product Ad Widget (PAW) that we configured to display in the post or (2) the same post with the PAW disabled, but the Related Products functionality turned on. And finally the third image below depicts the results from a product search conducted entirely through the demonstration site.
There’s surely a lot of information to digest with this new plugin so take some time to try everything out on your own blog. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to let us know.