If you have writing-related blog, it's very likely that you monetize it using Amazon affiliate links.
This can provide a useful earnings stream for any blog. That applies especially at this time of year, for reasons I set out in this recent blog post.
One problem with Amazon affiliate links, however, is that they are specific to a particular national Amazon site. That means if you link to Amazon.com and your site is visited by someone from the UK, the link will take them to the "wrong" store and you won't make any money from them.
For this reason I recommend using a link management platform such as Georiot, which automatically detects where a visitor is from and redirects them to the appropriate national store, with your affiliate code applied if you have one. I talked about Georiot a while ago in this blog post.
I recently heard that Georiot have launched a free plugin called Amazon Link Engine. This automatically converts any Amazon links in your WordPress blog into universal Georiot links. This saves you the trouble of creating such links one by one, and again your affiliate code can be included if you wish.
Adding Amazon Link Engine to your self-hosted WordPress blog is very simple. From the plugins section of your dashboard, click on "Add New" and perform a search for Amazon Link Engine. The plugin should appear at or near the top of the search results, and you can click to install it in the usual way. All you then have to do is activate it in the plugins list, and anyone clicking on an Amazon link on your site will be automatically redirected to the relevant page of their own national store.
If you want the links to include your affiliate code as well, you will also need to incorporate the API parameters from your Georiot account. This is a very simple procedure, which involves no more than logging into your account and copying and pasting the "Key" and "Secret" API codes into the "Enable Reporting and Commissions" area of the plugin. This FAQ explains this in more detail.
Unfortunately I am not able to use the plugin on this blog, as it is not WordPress but uses Google's Blogger platform. However, I installed it with no problems on this WordPress blog, which I use for testing purposes.
You should notice an item on the blog regarding Fodor's Guide to Greece. Click on the link and it should take you to the relevant page of your national Amazon store. And yes, my affiliate link will be included if I have one!
One point to bear in mind, though, is that all visitors to the blog will see the same information – so if you have included a price in dollars (as in the post above) UK visitors will see this as well. The only way around this would be to create different versions of your blog for different nationalities, and use a different plug-in that redirects visitors to the version of the site designed for them. This is obviously a lot more hassle, but there are geo-redirection plug-ins that can do this for you if you like.
For most writer/bloggers, however, using Amazon Link Engine should be more than sufficient to ensure that all visitors to your site are forwarded to the appropriate national Amazon store if they click on any of your links, and that you benefit from any affiliate commissions generated.
If you have any comments or questions about Amazon Link Engine, as ever, please feel free to leave them below.