Add Amazon Advertising API integration to WordPress with a Plugin – AAWP

AAWP Module will create a seamless and customisable connection between your site and the Amazon Advertising API. No developers needed!

WordPress is one of the easiest and best sites to work with if you are planning on launching your own mini publishing business. This might be a blog, business site or anything else you plan to monetize.

The most common ways to monetize a site is through 3 ways.

  1. Amazon Affiliates program
  2. Google Adsense
  3. Other affiliates programs

If you chose Amazon as one of these options you’re going to ideally want to connect API connection (we’ll explain the reasons below). So, to connect your WordPress site with the Amazon Affiliates API directly you need to have some programming skills, which you may not. If this is the case the AAWP (Amazon Associates for WordPress) module for WordPress is for you.

Amazon Associates for WordPress Installation

Installation is easy but there are some considerations which I will cover in the following sections. Stay with me and it will save you some time.

Visit the Plugins page and click Add New

Adding new plugins to WordPress
Add new plugins

Search for AAWP or Amazon Affiliate for WordPress and install

Amazon Affiliate for WordPress plugin screenshot showing installation
Amazon Affiliate for WordPress Plugin

Once you have it installed we move on to the settings section. I’ll let you discover parts of that on your own but here are some important things you should know before you starting contacting support with the complaint that it isn’t working how you thought it might in some areas.

It is an awesome plugin just read on to understand what it can’t do and what it takes to get connected to Amazon.

Getting connected to the Amazon API is the crucial part of this and the rest you’re smart enough to figure out on your own. If you’re having issues though, just comment below and I’ll be happy to help out.

Installing and Connecting AAWP to Amazon Affiliates API

There are some gotchas, read on.

The Amazon Affiliates API has strict limitations. As more and more people use the API, Amazon restricts usage to those it seems to deem most effective at using it. An example of this is that they no longer let everyone have API keys ./ Secret keys to access the affiliate API.

For a while, you had to have a one or more sales over 90 days and currently, you have to have 3 sales over the previous month. But keep reading as there is still more to this AAWP WordPress / Amazon API connection and you’ll want to know what else you might walk in to – because you will.

Getting your Amazon Product Advertising API Keys

Let’s assume you have a few sales over the last month and that is all you need to get connected. You visit your amazon affiliate account and login. From there you select Product Advertising API from the drop-down menu in tools.

Select the option in Manage your Credentials and select the get your Keys option. Once you have selected this option you will be given your Access Key ID AND your Secret Key.

Screenshot of the Amazon Access Keys section for the Amazon Advertising API

NOTE! You will only have access to the secret key once so make sure you download it (at least copy and paste it somewhere).

You can get another key if you mess it up but easier to do it right first time people.

Once you have the Key and Secret Key you can put them in your AAWP module page here

Put your Amazon Advertising Key and Secret Key here

In my personal experience, it still didn’t work even though I had keys and a licensed version of AAWP. I also checked my server as per the AAWP help desk area and my hosting was fine – all the CURL etc I needed.

Still every time I tried to connect to Amazon API it gave this message:

Code: “RequestThrottled – Something went wrong. Please check your API keys

So I googled, and put in a help desk ticket.

The support for AAWP is great BTW – very responsive and helpful.

The outcome and solution was to wait 24-48 hours. I tried at 12 hours and 16 hours and it probably connected without me making an effort at about 36 hours. So here are the criteria you need to make this work. If your:

  • Your hosting/server must allow, and be configured correctly to allow for AAWP
  • You must have 3 sales in the previous 30 days on you Amazon Affiliates account – same country I believe.
  • You must have a valid AAWP key + Amazon API Key + Amazon Secret Key

1 more good thing to know about AAWP before you use

It’s to do with Reviews and Ratings in AAWP.

There is a comparisons table feature in AAWP that lets you compare products, or do a table for one product with features and benefits. This is a nice table that is fully responsive CSS. #winning. But, before you add Ratings and Reviews know this – Amazon does not expose ratings and reviews in the API so the AAWP app will try to scrape them from the Amazon site.

The challenge is Amazon blocks scrapers (with a captcha request). Amazon does this to avoid robots crawling their site all day and slowing it down for real customers. It’s fair. I get it. In my opinion, better for them to expose the ratings and reviews through the API as this would not hurt or limit them at all?

So, point being – if you are putting Reviews and Ratings in your tables you need to accept that while the AAWP module will try to insert these it may not be able to. If it can, it might take a few days for it to make it through on amazon and scrape the info for your tables.

Another note: By default Reviews and Ratings are disabled on AAWP. You can enable them here in the settings under the Output tab.

Screenshot showing where to enable Ratings and Reviews on AAWP
Star Rating and Reviews can be enabled by changing the settings highlighted.

But as I’ve just highlighted – this is not included in the API so AAWP will have to try to scrape them if it can. Other wise your ratings and reviews will just show a ‘-‘ in the table.

Can I put the reviews in manually?

Yes you can add the reviews manually by using this shortcode format. As you can see you just need to change the numeric value to 1-5 and the ASIN to the ASIN of the product.

[amazon box="ASIN" rating="5"]

This would result in a 5-star line up linked to the ASIN.

Benefits of the AAWP WordPress module

There is no doubt we can all use SiteStripe to get our links and images. Recently there is also the addition of the Amazon Native Ad format which is nice too. The problem is that while it’s easier, it’s not the easiest. The cost of AAWP is worth it to get you working faster and smarter. Here are the benefits for me:

  • Even as a semi-capable developer, I don’t have time to develop a custom integration with Amazon Advertising API
  • Customisable shortcodes let you load what you want and also what you don’t want. This is an important distinction as with some of these WordPress shortcode apps, you can’t customise them – or they load a bunch of stuff that opens you up to being a big duplicate content site, which no one wants, right?
  • Control over CSS – so your site looks styled
  • TOS compliance – the optional (and recommended) auto inclusion of required affiliate disclaimers is helpful.
  • TOS compliance part 2 – it ensures any pricing you are showing on your site is updated automatically. This is a requirement of the Amazon Affiliates TOS policy, and it’s better for your click-through rate especially if prices drop.
  • Speed – it’s so much fast have a reusable piece of code like this – {amazon link=”ASIN” /} through a post. You just put the ASIN in and it’s done. It’s honestly a massive time saver from going to get SiteStripe links. If you want an image it’s almost the same thing – just use the same ASIN. {amazon fields=”ASINHERE” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Amazon Echo Dot”} (you can choose small, medium and large for image sizes)
  • SEO friendly – you can set your own ALT tags on images, change titles and text and also arrange the links layout to ensure you avoid duplicate content issues.

I wasn’t sure about the price tag on AAWP but I’ve been very very happy with how much it’s sped up my writing process. I’m a satisfied customer and recommend it to you also.

Check out AAWP in full here.

AAWP Module

8.1

Features

9.0/10

Value for Money

8.5/10

Installation

8.0/10

Learning Curve

7.0/10

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