By Jason Snell
May 17, 2016 9:19 AM PT
Associate, a simple iOS app for Amazon links
Affiliate links are one way that people who spend a lot of time linking to stuff on the Internet can make money. From bigger enterprises like the Wirecutter to smaller ones like Six Colors and The Incomparable, it’s great to recommend a product and get a bonus if someone in your audience ends up buying it because of your recommendation.1
Linking to products on iTunes or Amazon with the appropriate affiliate tags takes a little more effort than making a generic link. I’ve got a bookmarklet that does it for Amazon and there’s a web page that Apple offers that does the same thing. But if I’m working on iOS, there are a couple of apps that can make the process of generating these links much easier.
New on the App Store today is Associate: Simple Affiliate Linking for Amazon, a $5 app from John Voorhees that wraps any Amazon link you provide in the proper affiliate codes, and can even look up the name of the product and embed it in a Markdown link.
With this workflow, I can browse a product page on Amazon, choose Associate from the Share Sheet, and the Associate interface will slide in. With a couple of taps I’ve got a Markdown link on my clipboard. For example, I read and enjoyed Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which just won the Nebula Award for best novel. That link was generated by Associate. (Unfortunately, Affiliate has to use the full Amazon product name, which is often full of SEO junk text, so I had to edit the text of the link to make it more readable. Does anyone really want to link to Uprooted: Naomi Novik: 9780804179058: Amazon.com: Books? Yuck.)
Associate follows on the release of Blink: Better Affiliate Links, a similar $5 app from Voorhees that does the same thing for iTunes affiliate links, including the links I made in this story to both apps. The snake eats its own tail, I guess.
Anyway, these apps are both great little additions to the workflow of anyone who does a lot of product blogging on iOS.
No, I don’t consider this a violation of journalistic ethics. I link to products I mention naturally, and don’t change what I write to spur affiliate sales. ↩
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