Affiliate linking is one of the most popular ways to monetize your lifestyle blog — and with good reason! As a lifestyle blogger, you know that life is in the details, and a great product can enhance your day-to-day life by making things easier or elevating your mood. That’s why affiliate linking is such a natural fit for lifestyle bloggers. You’re recommending products anyway, so why not get paid for it?
That’s where shop the post widgets come in. Images sell a product better than anything else. Shop the post widgets turn your affiliate links into a familiar shopping experience for your readers to browse and buy. And, the easier it is for readers to shop your content, the more likely they are to click and buy through your links — earning you more commissions!
No matter your blog niche — fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle, and more — if you recommend products to your audience, you can use shop the post widgets to level up your content and increase your affiliate income. Let’s get started.
Click a link below to jump to that section:
- What is a shop the post widget?
- Benefits of shop the post widgets
- How to create shop the post widgets
- How to incorporate shop the post widgets in your content
- The best WordPress plugin for shop the post widgets
- Ready to create your own shop the post widgets?
What is a shop the post widget?
If you aren’t familiar with the term, a shop the post widget is a series of product images with affiliate links, that display the products from your blog post in one easy-to-shop spot. Because they use product thumbnails directly from the product page, they mimic the online shopping experience in your blog post, which makes them intuitive for readers to use.
Benefits of shop the post widgets
Blogging already requires a lot of time and effort, so why would you add another step to the process? Here’s why you should include shop the post widgets in your blog post content:
Create more dynamic and visually interesting content
Let’s be real: attention spans are short these days! Keeping your content as visually interesting as you can is essential. Images are a great way to break up your writing and make it easy to digest. Shop the post widgets add another layer of visually interesting content for your readers to browse. Plus, they are eye-catching for those who are skimming your post!
Make it easy for your readers
When you create blog post content, take a moment to view it as a reader would. Your words can absolutely sell a product. But ultimately the reader needs to see an image of the product before they’ll hit the purchase button.
Of course, you can feature a product in a large image and link it to your affiliate link. But what happens when your image contains multiple products? Adding a shop the post widget below that image gives readers an easy way to shop all of the products in that image.
Shop the post widgets also provide a more familiar shopping experience. After all, when you shop on a retailer’s website, you’re sorting through a catalog of product thumbnails. Products thumbnails on a white or neutral background eliminate distractions and make it very clear what you’re buying. Similarly, a shop the post widget gives the experience of browsing a product catalog. This helps readers easily identify the products they are most interested in.
Increase affiliate income
What happens when you create visually interesting content that’s easy for readers to shop? Readers are more likely to click and buy! Ultimately, increasing your affiliate income is a numbers game. A percentage of readers will click your links, and then a percentage of those will convert and generate a commission.
If you want to increase your affiliate income, you need to drive more traffic to your affiliate links. And to do that, you need to give your readers more opportunities to shop your links, and also make those links stand out so they are more likely to click. Shop the posts widgets do both of these things.
How to create shop the post widgets
As of this writing, two major affiliate networks offer the tools to create shop the post widgets: LTK and Collective Voice. Alternatively, you can use our Shop the Post plugin to create shop the post widgets directly in WordPress. Let’s go over how to create shop the post widgets with these options.
How to create shop the post widgets with LTK
LTK is one of the top affiliate programs for bloggers, with a targeted focus towards fashion affiliate programs. It’s a great option for style- and design-focused lifestyle blogs, and influencers accepted to the LTK program gain access to publish on their LTK shopping app.
Here’s how to to create a shop the post widget on the LTK creator platform:
- Browse the product catalog and click the heart icon to add products to your favorites. Create folders to keep products organized so that you can easily find them later.
- Go to Tools > Shop the Post.
- Choose the folder containing the product you want to add to your Shop the Post widget.
- Click on the product you want to add.
- After you’ve added all of your products, adjust the widget settings. We recommend setting a custom size widget width that’s as wide as your content column on your blog. The rest of the options are your personal preference!
- Select WordPress as your platform. If you haven’t already installed their plugin, a pop-up will prompt you to download the zip file, which you can install under Plugins > Add New.
- Click the button to copy code, and it will automatically generate and copy a WordPress shortcode for you to use in your blog post.
- If you’re using the Block Editor, add a Shortcode block and paste your shortcode. If you’re using the Classic Editor, simply paste the shortcode where you want it to appear.
How to create shop the post widgets with Collective Voice
Collective Voice, formerly known as ShopStyle Collective, is also a top affiliate program for lifestyle bloggers, and offers a similar product database to LTK. One benefit of Collective Voice widgets is that you can edit them at any time without replacing the code on your site.
Here’s how to create a shop the post widget on the Collective Voice creator platform:
- Go to Create > Product Widget.
- Search the catalog for the products you want to add, and click the “Add to Widget” button. You can also hover over the product and click the heart icon to add the product to a list for easy access in the future. Those products will be available in your My List tab, next to the Catalog tab.
- After you’ve added all of your products, click the Next button in the upper right corner.
- In the display settings on the left, select 1 from the Rows option to display your products in one row with an arrow to browse. Adjust the rest of the display settings according to your preferences. Click on the link in the upper right corner to reorder items and change the images displayed.
- When you’re happy with how your widget looks, click the button in the upper right corner to Publish.
- Click on the Copy Embed Code button, and it will automatically copy the code generated in the box above.
- If you’re using the Block Editor, add a Custom HTML block and paste the code. If you’re using the Classic Editor, switch to the Text tab and paste the HTML in your post.
- To edit your widget, go to My Content > Widgets, and click on the widget you want to edit. Click the button to edit, then go to Select Items if you want to remove or add items. Once you’re done, click through the options to update. It will display the embed code again, but you only need to copy it if you’re adding the same widget to a new post. Otherwise the widget you’ve already added to your post will automatically update.
How to create shop the post widgets with any affiliate program, including Amazon Associates and Howl
Our Shop the Post plugin allows you to create shop the post widgets directly in WordPress. With our Shop the Post plugin, you manage your own affiliate product library, so you can link wherever you like, using affiliate links from any affiliate program, including Amazon Associates and Howl.
Here’s how to create a shop the post widget with our Shop the Post plugin:
- Login to your preferred affiliate platform, find the product you want to add, and copy your affiliate link. You can also screenshot the image, or go directly to the product page and screenshot the image there (which is usually a larger image and higher quality).
- Open your product library in the Shop the Post section in WordPress.
- In the Add New Product box, upload your product image and enter the name and paste your affiliate link in the URL field. You can also select a category to help keep your product library organized.
- In the Block Editor, add the Shop the Post block.
- In the block options in the sidebar, type to search for the product you want to add and select it.
- By default, the widget will display in one row with an arrow to browse. If you want to display your products in a grid instead, toggle off the Enable Carousel option.
- If you need to update a product link and/or image, open your product library and edit the product. Any changes you make will automatically apply to any Shop the Post blocks you’ve created across your blog.
- If you need to update a Shop the Post block, open your blog post, click on the block, and edit the options in the sidebar.
- Still using the Classic Editor? You can add a Shop the Post widget via shortcode by following the instructions here.
How to incorporate shop the post widgets in your content
All too often, bloggers add their shop the post widgets as an afterthought, at the bottom of the post. When you do that, you’re missing opportunities to provide additional value to your readers and get them to engage with your content. Here are a few ideas for incorporating shop the post widgets in your content:
Share products in an image
Whether you’re sharing an outfit, your living room redesign, or what you packed in your carry-on, if your image has products, adding a shop the post widget below it is a great way to make that image easy to shop.
Share similar products at different price points
If your product is out of stock or discontinued, don’t be afraid to create a shop the post widget with similar products! In fact, it’s a good idea to share similar products regardless, because your readers have different budgets and personal preferences. They may actually prefer a similar product you share to the one you feature.
Share color variations of the same product
Many products come in different color variations. For example, think about closet staples like basic tees, or beauty products like lipsticks. Your reader may not like the color featured in your post — but they may love another color that’s available. And they aren’t likely to click through your link to check. Share a few popular color variations of the same product, and your readers are more likely to find a match for their personal preferences.
The best WordPress plugin for shop the post widgets
Your readers shop with their eyes — and text links simply aren’t enough. If you want to maximize your affiliate sales and income, you have to make your content easy to shop. But one of the most frustrating things about making your content easy to shop is that every affiliate network has different tools that aren’t made to work together — and some don’t offer the tools at all.
Our Shop the Post plugin offers you full control over your affiliate product library and brings the shop the post widget creation directly to WordPress. With our Shop the Post plugin, you can make your content easy to shop, regardless of the tools your affiliate network offers. Here are a few reasons Shop the Post is the best WordPress plugin for shop the post widgets.
Use with any affiliate network
Only a small number of affiliate networks offer the tools to create shop the post widgets. But here’s the thing: When your content relies on the tools provided by your affiliate network, you become dependent on that network. Plus, you’re limited to sharing only the products within that network.
With our Shop the Post plugin, you can build your own database of products that link to the affiliate network offering you the highest commission rate. You have the power and freedom to use whatever affiliate network makes the most sense for you and your business, without being limited by the tools that it offers.
Mix links from different affiliate networks — and small businesses, too!
Nothing is more frustrating than creating a shop the post widget to pair with an image, only to find out that one key product isn’t available for commission on that network. With our Shop the Post plugin, you control the product links, so you can mix links from different affiliate networks in the same shop the post widget — and even link to small businesses without an affiliate program.
Easily edit products sitewide
Trends come and go, and so do the products you source for your blog posts. So what happens when a product that consistently brings you affiliate income goes out of stock — forever?
With our Shop the Post plugin, when you find a good alternative to recommend, simply update the product in your product library with a new image and link, and it will instantly update throughout the shopping widgets on your site. Plus, update your links when you find a better commission rate on a different network.
Give readers more opportunities to shop your content
In addition to creating shop the post widgets within your post content, our Shop the Post plugin also allows you to create a featured shop the post widget that’s automatically displayed in your blog post footer, and in post summaries on the home and archive pages. This gives readers more opportunities to shop your content throughout your site.
Some readers won’t be ready to buy as soon as they read your blog post. But when they are ready, they can easily browse through your archives and shop the products you’ve recommended in all of your posts, in one place, without having to click through each blog post.
Ready to create your own shop the post widgets?
Whether you’re a new lifestyle blogger or a seasoned pro, shop the post widgets can make your content more visually interesting and engaging for your readers.
Start creating shop the post widgets with any affiliate program with our Shop the Post plugin.