Today’s post is more a follow-up blog with some further useful ideas and tips for writers and artists on WordPress. Let’s start with a link to my first post, Selling on WordPress from two weeks ago.
It turns out. I was right on the mark. Selling your own products is something that doesn’t come natively to most of the artists and writers that commented. In fact all of them now I’m reading over them… So, know that you’re not alone with your sales issues.
Priyankaspen asked how I embed affiliate links into my posts. I’ve discussed affiliate links before. The income you get from them is woeful. I’m lucky if I see $100 every three months. But I don’t ‘sell’ other peoples products on this website. I occasionally link to pens and paper. That’s about it (click for an example). If anybody clicks an Amazon affiliate link and buys anything from Amazon in that session, you get a few pennies. A word of caution here. We’ve spoken about affiliate links on blogs a few times. Nobody seems to mind odd links, but when you stuff a blog post with them, it’s like flicking a switch that pisses people off. If you stuff a blog post full of links, you might make a few pennies of the post, but you’re guaranteed to lose subscribers.
When you sign up to Amazon or any other affiliate network, you get short links to products. On Amazon.com when you’re signed in to affiliates, you get a bar across the top of each page. I always aim for a text link and embed the link in my post.
Copy the short link off of Amazon, highlight the text and right click, then copy. Go to your WordPress post and highlight the text you want to turn into a link. Click the link icon above. Paste the link into the empty box. That’s it, all done.
Janowrite asked about the icon set at the bottom of my posts. I create the icons myself in GIMP (free image editing software). I then embed the pictures the same way you would any image. Add content, Media, select an image, insert.
Then we add links the same we did with affiliate links. Select the image in the post, click insert link, copy paste in the link you want the image to go too. Handy if you want a book banner you’ve made yourself to link directly to your Amazon author page for example.
Forrest asked me about Patreon and tip-jars. Patreon is not for everyone. My tip jar is just a PayPal business link. Setting up a PayPal tip jar is frankly a pain in the arse and far more effort than it should have been.
One thing I do want to change too, though haven’t had time to look at yet is Ko-Fi. It’s a website you set up so people can support you for one-off tips to buy you coffee. Smart idea. Worth a look if you want a tip jar yourself.
Donna from DMStrachan.co.uk suggested that instead of adding sales announcements to weekly posts, I dedicate a post to new products. So that’s what I did… I’m still adding it to a weekly post… Doh.
But the focus of the post was far more into the new products. The result is, I had a few email enquiries and I sold three prints right off the bat. So I had some success. A dedicated sales post is better than burying new products. Sounds obvious, but we’re creators, writers and artists. We do have funny ideas about selling our own gear. I’ll get the new art prints on Etsy at full price this week. If anyone still wants a copy at £9 a print, please do drop me a message or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Another follow up
I will be writing another follow-up blog post on this subject to discuss and link to ideas people had about real-world selling. Until then, looky, icons!