Update: CompariPress Plugin is no available, I will soon post about a new Plugin which you can use instead of CompariPress. You can get an idea of how PCU works from this post.
I’ve mentioned in past income reports that I’d really like to try to diversify my affiliate earnings. To this point, I have relied heavily on just Adsense and the eBay Partner Network (EPN) for the majority of my passive income earnings.
One of the main reasons that I’ve built my sites this way is because Adsense and EPN are quick and easy to set up and install. Adsense code can be placed in the header, footer, sidebar, etc. of your WordPress template, and then is smart enough to serve ads that relate to your content. You can basically set it up once and forget about it.
Likewise, eBay offers up an RSS feed of every single item that is currently for sale on ebay.com. Third party scripts such as BANS, Niche Site Platform, and PHPBay (all of which I own) – make it easy to display eBay items on your website or blog – allowing you to quickly and easily earn money by selling eBay items on your site.
As far as other affiliate programs go, I haven’t yet really had a tool that I can use to display items from other networks such as Amazon, Commission Junction, Linkshare, AvantLink, etc. (EDIT: Niche Site Platform does support some of the above-mentioned programs, but my two NSP sites aren’t yet earning much income.) The majority of money that I’ve made from Commission Junction and Amazon has been from manually placing product links on websites or in blog posts – which can be a pain in the ass and time-consuming.
Price Comparison Made Easy
That’s where the Comparipress plugin comes into play. The plugin is created by the same guys (Affiliate Wizards) that created NSP. But unlike NSP, which builds an entire site for you, Comparipress is just a plugin for WordPress. Since I love WordPress so much, I’d prefer to build my site using WP and then have the flexibility to pick and choose where I insert my affiliate products.
People love to use the internet to do price comparison shopping and that is the idea and strength behind the Comparipress plugin. It allows you to easily choose and group together multiple versions of the same product from across various affiliate networks. This group, or Price Comparison Unit (PCU), can then be assigned to any post or page on your WordPress site.
Since I just ran my first Half Marathon last weekend (still sore), let’s use my distance running shoe website as an example. As you can see, I am comparing prices for the Asics GEL-Cumulus 12shoe from between three different affiliate stores, and I have a price range of $64.95 to $99.95. A picture of the product is visible, along with the affiliate store logo, the price, and buttons to view more info or to buy the product.
Applying to Affiliate Programs
Prior to purchasing the Comparipress plugin, you should first register for each affiliate program that you would like to promote and compare products for. The more programs that you signup for, the more variety of products you will have to display on your site.
You will have to sign up as an affiliate to each program before you can display and promote products from their catalog. The signup is quick and easy for all of them, and you should be approved within a day or two for each one. Remember, the more that you sign up for, the better chance you will have of displaying a wider variety of prices for your products – which will equal a better shopping experience for people visiting your site.
Setting Up Comparipress in WordPress
The plugin is simple to set up within WordPress. The first thing you will want to do is go to the PCU Configuration link. This area will allow you to set up the look and feel of the price comparison module within your site. You can modify text color, background color, look of the buttons, etc. Modifying things such as how often prices refresh is also possible, whether or not the product images are hosted on your site or the merchant’s website, link cloaking, etc.
You will also want to enter all of your affiliate information in this area. For example, Amazon requires you to enter your affiliate ID and two other “keys” which you will get from their affiliate site. Instructions for finding this information is provided in the Help documentation. Each program requires its own set of “keys” to make everything work. Once that is all set up and saved, you won’t have to worry about it again and you can start creating price comparison modules!
Creating a PCU
Setting up your first PCU is a breeze. Let’s assume we want to assign our first PCU to a post and we have already written that post. The post can consist of anything, but most likely you will want to write up some sort of product description or review of the product that you are offering a price comparison for.
In my example, I am going to set up a price comparison for the New Balance 1223 running shoe. To do so, head over to the Create New PCU link. Below you will see the information that I have filled out for this product.
As you can see, I’ve filled out a Unique Name – this is just for me to keep track of my PCU’s. This will not be displayed on the website. The Unit Display Name is the text that will show above the product comparison. I have also checked the boxes to display the product image and the logo of the merchant. And I have chosen to assign this PCU to an existing post. The price comparison module will be displayed underneath the content of my post (I’m not sure if this can be changed, but you can change the width and alignment if you want to float the comparison on the left or right of your content text.)
Once you press the Create PCU button, you will get an entire list of products that you can choose to include in your price comparison unit. Of course, this example only returned two results, so it is a poor example. But depending on the product selected, you will likely have many more items to choose from.
Now simply check the box next to the items that you’d like to include and press the Update PCU button. Your PCU will be automatically assigned to your post and displayed for all of you eager shoppers to see!
I love this plugin. I haven’t had a ton of time to integrate it into other sites (two so far) – but I have already seen some results. I’ve sold a few pairs of running shoes this month, and as I build traffic to this site, I hope to diversify my income even more so.
It does take a bit of time to set things up, but for an existing website, once you have the process down you can create and assign a large number of PCUs in no time at all.
So if you are looking for a nice, clean way of integrating a product comparison widget into your existing WordPress website, take a look at the Comparipress plugin from Affiliate Wizards.
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