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How to Create an Amazon aStore
Why create an aStore?
An Amazon aStore gives you the opportunity to monetize your blog or website by selling Amazon products and earning a commission. If you have an Amazon Associates account you can earn commissions in several ways. You can use text links and product links on your blog or website, add a widget to your sidebar, or use the Amazon capsule tool to display Amazon products on webpages you create here at Hubpages.
If you're already doing these things I suggest you continue, but the aStore gives you an extra chance to display products and make money. You can create an aStore with products your blog readers will love, link it to your site, and let Amazon do the rest (including paying you commission on your sales).
I'm not an experienced aStore owner. Quite the opposite, in fact. I recently set up my first aStore at my website KarenBanes.com, and thought I'd write this hub about it while the process is still fresh in my mind. If you're an aStore newbie this step-by-step guide should be of help, and if you have any problems share them in the comments. I'll try to help you out any way I can.
The Step-by-Step Guide:
Step 1: Sign up as an Amazon affiliate
Or as Amazon like to call it, an Amazon associate. If you have a Hubpages account you may already have an Amazon Associates account, and if you don’t you can find out exactly how to apply for it at the Hubpages learning center.
If you haven’t signed up for Hubpages yet, and you want to, you can do that here. You can then return to the learning center to apply for your Amazon Associates account, or learn how to link your existing account to your Hubpages account.
Alternatively you can apply direct to Amazon for an associates account here. If you already have an Amazon account as a buyer or seller you’ll be asked to sign in through that account then create your associates account. It’s all quite straightforward, doesn’t take long and is, of course, completely free.
Once you’ve created your account, you can promote Amazon products here on hubpages and through any blogs or websites you may own. You’ll also be ready to create your aStore.
Step 2: Creating your aStore
You’ll be asked to choose your product categories.
These can be anything you want but should be related to the topic of the website or blog that you’ll be promoting the store on.
My store is called The Writers Book Store and my two main categories are writing and publishing. You can pick any categories within your niche that you think buyers might be interested in.
Name your categories something short and simple so they’ll display nicely on one line. Be aware that only the first two categories show initially, so make these your main subject areas (the topics you think your readers will most want to browse).
You can also put in a short description. This doesn’t show up on your store page but I am assuming, as is the case with articles and blog posts, that the description is visible to the search engines so take the opportunity to optimize it.
Choose how you want to select products from the drop down menu. You can display all products with a specific keyword or hand pick specific products, or use different strategies for different categories, which is how I did it.
You can preview at any time. You’ll have to enable pop-ups.
Step 3: Designing your aStore
Once you’re happy with your categories you can customize the look of your aStore, adjusting colors and fonts to give it a look you’re happy with. You can also upload your own image/logo at this point to really personalize it. At the very least make sure that your store blends in with your site (give it a similar or complimentary color scheme). You’ll also be given the option to customize sidebar widgets to display similar items, accessories etc.
Step 4: Naming your aStore
You can name your store anything you want, as long as the name isn’t already taken. Unsurprisingly many good ones are. If you want to brand the store strongly to tie in with your website you can call it something like “Your Website Name: The Store”. Alternatively use something more descriptive for the search engines. All these steps are really easy. The Amazon website will guide you from one step to the next and it’s all fairly intuitive.
Step 5: Displaying your aStore on your website
You’re now ready to get your link and your widget. First click on “get link” (it will be over in the left sidebar on the page you’ve ended up at). The link to your store will contain your associate id so you can put it anywhere on your website and it will link directly to your store, and you will get commissions on all purchases made. I decided to make a link to my new astore from my Books For Writers page on my site.. You can see it what it looks like by clicking on the link above.
Then click on “aStore Widget” (also in left sidebar.) You can resize the widget to whatever you’re comfortable putting in your sidebar. When you’re happy with how it looks on the page, copy the html code generated below it, and simply paste it into your sidebar using a html/text widget. (No you don’t need to know anything about html. God knows I don’t. You just need to know how to copy and paste.)
So there you are, ready to go. Your aStore is created and you’ve linked to it. If you want to make any changes simply go to your associates page at Amazon and click on "edit". You can add new products, delete old ones, create new categories and so on.
You’re now ready to start earning money with your aStore. Visitors to your blog or site can click through and browse away and (if you’ve got your product selection right) will hopefully find something they need. Your commissions will be added to your regular Amazon associates account, so don't forget to update your payment details and preferences if they've changed since you set it up.
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If you have any questions, please ask away in the comments. I always read all comments and try to reply to any questions. I'd also appreciate any feedback on my own aStore. As I said it's my first attempt so let me know what you think about my design, product selection, or anything else. Constructive criticism welcome, but please be gentle. As I'm sure you'll appreciate, I'm still on the learning curve. Find my aStore here.