If there’s one thing that makes new (and sometimes experienced!) bloggers nervous, it’s messing around with code.
Now sometimes, those nerves are well-founded – if you don’t know much about coding, you should be very careful about poking around too much in your theme editor!
But some kinds of code are really easy to work with – in fact, it’s usually nothing more than a simple cut and paste. And that’s the case when we’re how to install affiliate banners on your WordPress sidebar.
I figured video would be the easiest way to show you how to do it, so I recorded this one while installing a MadMimi banner to my sidebar. MadMimi is my email service provider, I use them for all my list building on my blog and they are awesome!
Make sure you check out the information under the video as well – I’ve got code you can copy to do it all yourself!
(I haven’t done anything on Blogger in a long time, but parts of this do apply to installing banners there too, so if you’re using Blogger, for sure stick around and watch! )
How to Install Affiliate Banners In Your Sidebar
Ok – here’s the code:
<a href=” ” target=_blank”><img src=” “></a>
One thing to keep in mind – when you insert your URLs into the blank spaces between the quotations marks, make sure that you don’t leave any space at the beginning or end – it should be “URLGoesHere” – all nice and neat.
There were a couple of things that I didn’t include in the video to save a little time. I’m going to go ahead and walk you through those now.
The first one was when I uploaded the Mad Mimi image to my blog so that I could use the URL of the image. That’s pretty simple – On the left of your WordPress desktop, click on Media > Add New. Upload the image just like you would any other image to your blog. After it uploads, you can click on edit and get the URL for the image.
Now – you don’t have to upload it to your blog if you don’t want to! You can use a free site like PhotoBucket to host your images if you prefer. But you do need to save it somewhere of your own.
You see, technically, I could have just right clicked on the image on the Mad Mimi site and grabbed their image URL to use as my image source. If I had done that, then every time someone loaded my blog page, it would have sent a request to THEIR hosting server to get that image to show. That’s called “hotlinking”, but I prefer not to do it. In a lot of cases, it’s unethical just because you *are* using someone else’s hosting resources every time that image loads up on your site.
But even if the owner doesn’t mind, I don’t like to do it. If the host site of the image goes down, you won’t be able to get that image to show up anymore, and suddenly your blog looks lame-o because you’ve got a broken image where your banner used to be.
The second thing I want to go over, I actually touched on in the video, but I want to make sure it’s very clear. Finding your affiliate URL isn’t always easy – let me show you. Here’s a big giant chunk of Amazon affiliate code. If you want to add a text link to your blog post, sure you can just grab the whole thing and put it in. But if you want to link up an image like we did for the banner, you ONLY need the actual URL with your affiliate code. I’ve highlighted that part in this image:
LIke I said in the video, just look for “a href”, then copy what comes between the following pair of quotation marks.
So – that’s it! Didn’t I tell you that with this kind of code, there’s nothing to be nervous about? Now that you know how, you really can’t screw it up, and even if you do, all you have to do is delete it and try again 🙂 If you still have any questions regarding how to install an affiliate banner, ask away down in the comments!
PS: And if you haven’t started building your list yet, sign up with Mad Mimi today – you can get started now for free!