Hydra Using affiliates and merchants
Configuring affiliates within your Hydra blog

Hydra uses Affiliate Window to supply lists of merchants and products to your blog. Affiliate Window allows access to over 2,000 merchants so whatever the content of your blog there will be a merchant to supply relevant product links for your blog.

All commission paid from your affiliate links is paid directly to your affiliate window account. Hydra never sees nor controls any of your commissions, all monies are paid direct to you by affiliate window.

Hydra's role is to allow you to easily control the products that are displayed on your blog.

Getting started

Assuming that you have already signed up for your Hydra account, the first step is to open a free account with Affiliate Window. You should go to the Affiliate Window home page and sign up for a publisher account. You will be walked through the process on the affiliate window site, but it is a simple sign-up process. Please note that during the sign-up you will be required to pay a refundable £5 verification fee. The £5 is paid back immediately into your affiliate account once you have signed up.

You can sign up for a publisher account by going to the Affiliate Window home page, hovering the mouse pointer over the login button in the top right, and then chosing "Create publisher account" from the menu that pops up.

Apply for Hydra blog of your own

To apply for a Hydra blog of your own, you need to register an account with us.

I already have Hydra and need some help

Hydra is designed to be simple, intuitive and easy to use, it's also optimised for mobiles, tablets and large screens. If you need some help with your Hydra blog then we have written some guides below that may help you if you have any questions

If none of these guides help, then you contact us and we'll be happy to help.

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Generating a Product Serve API Key

Once you have signed up with Affiliate Window, you need to request a ProductServe API key, which must be entered into your Hydra blog's configuration page.

The API key is what links your product links to your affiliate window account. It is unique to you and ensures that you receive 100% of the commission from your blog.

To get your API key, you need to login to your affiliate window publisher account and then do the following:

  1. Go to 'Links & Tools -> Create-a-feed'
  2. This will activate the system for your affiliate window account.
  3. Go to 'Advanced -> ProductServe API'.
  4. Your API key should be displayed in the left hand column, in a box labelled "API Credentials".
  5. Your key is also visible from 'Advanced -> Manage API credentials' where it is listed under the product serve api section, as the 'V3 MD5'.

You can find more help on the product serve API and key generation on the affiliate window wiki.

Saving Your Product Serve API Key

Your Product Serve API key should now be saved into your Hydra account.

  1. Login to your Hydra blog
  2. Hover over mouse over the user name in the top right
  3. Select 'Site settings'
  4. Scroll down to the 'Affiliate window settings' section
  5. Enter your API key
  6. Click 'Update site details'

Once you have done this (and the page re-loads), an 'Add more merchants' button will appear in the 'Affiliate window settings' section. Clicking this will open a list of merchants that are currently available to you, through your affiliate window account.

You may select as many merchants from the list as you like. Once selected, a merchant is searched when you setup a product query within Hydra (see below). Note that if you select no merchants, then all the avalable merchants are searched.

Adding more merchants

There are many, many merchants available through Affiliate Window but most of them require you to apply for membership of their merchant scheme. You should browse through the list of available merchants via your affiliate window account. If you find a merchant that you would like to use, you should apply to join their scheme via affiliate window. When your membership is approved, simply login to Hydra, go back to the site settings page, and your newly authorised merchant will appear in the list (please not that it can take up to 24 hours for newly joined merchants to appear in your list of merchants).

Generating product links

You have now fully integrated affiliate window into your blog and can now setup search queries for the following elements in your Hydra blog:

  • Each content item you add to your home page
  • The "special offer" product that appears at the top of every page on your blog
  • The side bar shop that appears on every page on your blog
  • Each department in your giftshop

Affiliate search queries work by allowing you to specify a search query that searches your affilate window account for products that match the query. It's just like a google search. You just tell hydra what kind of products you want to display and Hydra takes care of retrieving all the images and links that are needed to earn your commission. No more copy/pasting images or links from your affiliate provider.

For more information and more detailed guides on adding content (including search queries) to your Hydra blog, please see the adding content to your Hydra blog guide.