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Thread: My first datafeed Website -- Which merchant datafeed do you recommend for a newbie?

 
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  #1  
Old December 6th, 2004, 09:22 AM
Newbie
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 13
Hi, folks!

I am new to datafeeds and I have decided to begin work on building my first Website using a datafeed -- but first, I need a datafeed!

I have read that some merchant datafeeds require a lot of work to clean them up even before processing them into Web pages.

So, from your experience, can you recommend any merchant programs for a newbie like me that produce free and "fairly clean" datafeeds (and how often do they update their product feeds) and I will join their affiliate program and give them a go.

Many thanks for your feedback.

Stephen
  #2  
Old December 6th, 2004, 09:37 AM
MasterMike
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 3,810
Sign up at befree their the only affiliate network that I know of which offers free datafeeds. Linkshare and CJ you have to pay for them.
  #3  
Old December 6th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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Shareasale has free datafeeds too.
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  #4  
Old December 6th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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SaS have free datafeeds too and to me they are more easy to download and use than befree.
  #5  
Old December 6th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Stephen,

I recommend browsing the merchants featured here in the forum listing. Find a couple that cover a topic you're interested in and post to the forum asking if they offer a datafeed. If they respond, good, that means they're paying attention to you. Since you're so new to this, I strongly recommend working with a merchant who's responsive. You'll find that many merchants never communicate with their affiliates. Work with one that does and they'll definitely help provide insight on how to use the datafeed effectively.

After you've received the datafeed ask others if they have experience with it. They'll tell you if it's clean or not.

Hope this helps!
- Scott
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  #6  
Old December 6th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Hi Stephen,

The other thing you could do is to download some templates that some merchants provide - I think Engraveable Gifts has one and then study it in detail to see if you can pick up how they've done it. You will probably need to alter it to fit to your site so that it's unique from everyone else's but it's a fast way to work out how to get the data onto a site page.

Word of warning - I haven't downloaded it myself so I don't know if it's an xml based feed or a basic mysql/php one.

Oscar
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  #7  
Old December 6th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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engravable gifts is a basic PHP/mysql site template
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  #8  
Old December 6th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mr. Sal:
SaS have free datafeeds too and to me they are more easy to download and use than befree. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thanks for sharing that, Mr. Sal.

I just went to Shareasale.com but stopped dead in my tracks at their affiliate signup page.

They require that you have a Website (which I don't have) for them to evaluate and approve before they will let you in.

I'll have to come back to this one later. I would have liked to have followed your suggestion and dig around there first as you say their datafeeds might be easier to handle for a newbie like me.

Oh well... I'll take a look at Befree tomorrow.
  #9  
Old December 6th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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Stephen,

ShareASale may work with you even if your site's not live yet. Drop them a note and let them know your plans. I find that most folks will work with you if you explain your situation.
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  #10  
Old December 6th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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I'd try a nice email to the contact email address explaining that you are just starting out so you don't have a full-blown site yet and what the plan is for your site (datafeed generated static web pages, maybe some PPC priming and eventually search engine directed traffic).
It wouldn't hurt to have a generic site already signed up and at least a contact page on that site so they could see you're serious.

My results starting out that way were four approvals and two turndowns
  #11  
Old December 6th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 13
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snib:
Stephen,

I recommend browsing the merchants featured here in the forum listing. If they respond, good, that means they're paying attention to you. Since you're so new to this, I strongly recommend working with a merchant who's responsive. You'll find that many merchants never communicate with their affiliates. Work with one that does and they'll definitely help provide insight on how to use the datafeed effectively.

After you've received the datafeed ask others if they have experience with it. They'll tell you if it's clean or not.

Hope this helps!
- Scott <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thanks, Scott.

I will wade through the list of merchants who offer free datafeeds in the top thread of this discussion area sometime tomorrow.

Talk about overlooking the obvious!

Great advice about what to keep in mind when choosing which merchants to work with. That is most definitely helpful!

By the way, I only discovered this forum a few days ago but I am overwhelmed by how helpful and responsive all you guys and gals are.

Thanks to all of you who have take the time to read my questions (no matter how silly they may seem to all you seasoned pro's out there) and particularly those who have taken the extra time to write and respond to them by sharing your experiences or other feedback.

Much appreciated.

Cheers
  #12  
Old December 7th, 2004, 05:37 AM
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Ok, now I know I am going to probably upset someone with this opinion, but I can't help but speak up after reading the two threads Stephen has started.


The last thing affiliate marketing needs (let alone the internet itself) is an datafeed affilate site like the one Stephen is putting together. Stephen has:

no programming experience
no web design experience
no database experience
no website
no idea of what his website will be about,

...yet everyone is bending over backwards to help Stephen get his affiliate marketing career off the ground.

What are you all thinking?

Without a clear idea for a content driven website, Stephen will merely succeed in adding another useless datafeed website to the web, a website that will mirror the 1000's just like it that have already been made with the merchants free datafeed. If there is a free, high quality feed available, you can be 100% sure that it's being used already by 1000's of affiliate already (and the merchant itself).


There is no quick way to earn a buck through affiliate marketing, and definately not with a datafeed site. The SE's are not interested in duplicate content. You will be buried in the serps and all of us will suffer as the SE's move to tighten their algo's to remove 1000s of duplicate affiliate sites.
The best advice we should be giving Stephen is:

1) Find a topic you are interested in.
2) Find a topic you enjoy and will be prepared to spend 100's of hours over the next few months building a website about.
3) Through quality link exchanges and a bit of luck you will grow your audience slowly over time.
4) Feature products that are of interested to your target audience
5) write some good copy with a personal recommendation if possible.

I think it's great to help a beginner, but I think a lot of advice in these two threads is irresponsible.
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  #13  
Old December 7th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stephen Kingsley:
I am new to datafeeds and I have decided to begin work on building my first Website using a datafeed -- but first, I need a datafeed! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>No, FIRST you need a plan for a site that provides value to the consumer and merchant beyond just mirroring the merchant site.

I have to agree with ToughTurkey. Nobody needs another search engine spam cookie cutter datafeed site.
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  #14  
Old December 7th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ToughTurkey™:
Ok, now I know I am going to probably upset someone with this opinion, but I can't help but speak up after reading the two threads Stephen has started.

The last thing affiliate marketing needs (let alone the internet itself) is an datafeed affilate site like the one Stephen is putting together. Stephen has:

no programming experience
no web design experience
no database experience
no website
no idea of what his website will be about,

...yet everyone is bending over backwards to help Stephen get his affiliate marketing career off the ground.

What are you all thinking?

There is no quick way to earn a buck through affiliate marketing, and definately not with a datafeed site.

The best advice we should be giving Stephen is:

1) Find a topic you are interested in.
2) Find a topic you enjoy and will be prepared to spend 100's of hours over the next few months building a website about.
3) Through quality link exchanges and a bit of luck you will grow your audience slowly over time.
4) Feature products that are of interested to your target audience
5) write some good copy with a personal recommendation if possible.

I think it's great to help a beginner, but I think a lot of advice in these two threads is irresponsible. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I, personally, take no offence whatsoever to your comments.

In fact, I think other newbies to datafeeds like me who are reading the 2 threads that I have started should pay very close attention to what you have said in your comments.

The only difference between me and the stereotype newbie that you probably have in mind is that I am not afraid to ask any pertinent questions, no matter how silly they may seem to be in the eyes of the more experienced marketers on this forum, such as yourself.

However, I would like to make a few points clear in response to your comments.

I don't think I ever said that I wanted to create a Website from a datafeed "as is".

I have a lot more sense than that!

In fact, the crux of the first question that I threw out was to ask for feedback about how it is possible to _customize_ the Web pages of a site that is built with datafeeds.

And actually, I do have a topic in mind for my first Website. Although I didn't think it was necessary to mention this as the topic of this forum is, after all, about datafeeds and not about what the topic of my forthcoming Website is about.

By asking this question, I was hoping to find out whether it is better to add my content to the product pages that are generated or whether I could set up my Website and then insert the relevant datafeeds into the pages afterwards.

By asking my second question, I was hoping to find, if possible, any sources of products that are highly related to my topic so I could add the products to the content pages in the relevant places (or vice versa, i.e., add the content to the product pages).

The basis and content for the topic of my first Website will come from various chapters of the 28 books that I have written during my lifetime.

The lady who is transcribing the chapters for me says she is now up to about 90 pages and she will finish rest by the end of the year, so I have plenty of content to work with.

Pardon me for not mentioning this earlier, but again, I didn't think it was relevant to the topic of datafeeds.

I am now in "research mode" as to how to best insert this content into my Website. I have no intention whatsoever of putting up what is referred to as a cookie cutter site and I apologize if that is the impression I gave you.

And as mentioned in a previous post, I am not here to "earn a buck". I am doing this because I want to do something useful and interesting during my retirement days to fill the empty hours.

As for others who have been "bending over backwards" to help me answer my questions, isn't that the purpose of this or any forum in general... for participants to ask for advice on topics that you know nothing or very little about and for others who are more knowledgeable to join in and discuss those topics so that others may learn as well?

And another reason why I think that people have been so gracious to give me their feedback is that I have tried my best to keep my questions as pertinent as possible to the topic of this forum, which is datafeeds.

So I would argue that their advice is not irresponsible at all. It is only irresponsible if a newbie takes their advice and builds the type of datafeed affiliate site that you thought and feared that I was going to build, which is not my intention at all.

A final point... we have all been newbies at one thing or another in our lives, and if we are wise, we have sought the advice of others more experienced that ourselves.

I am at this very moment a newbie to datafeeds. But I'll bet you a Coke that you, ToughTurkey and MichaelColey, were newbies at one time too!

We all learn through experience or by asking for advice and then trying to experience it for ourselves but with benefit of other people's knowledge to help us along.

So I hope you don't mind if I stick around and keep on asking to learn some more, just as long as my questions remain "on-topic", of course?

Who knows... after all is said and done and I have all the answers to my questions, I might decide that it's not for me and just move on anyway and not do anything with datafeeds. But I will never know if this kind of thing is for me if I don't ask.

Anyway, I hope that in this process, the other newbies who are reading this forum will have benefitted from the advice, experience and sharing that others have given as a result of what I have dared to ask!

I'll leave you with this thought...

"There's no such thing as good advice or bad advice. It's what you do with it that counts!"
  #15  
Old December 7th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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Posts: 6,709


We where trying to help a but, now it looks like he's still is a

Stephen,

No more help for you until you go first to and then build a website with some pages of your own first.

Stephen, before you can make a lot of this - You must first so no more asking for on datafeeds until you at least have a website under your own domain name.

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  #16  
Old December 7th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Florida
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The best advice we should be giving Stephen is:

1) Find a topic you are interested in.
2) Find a topic you enjoy and will be prepared to spend 100's of hours over the next few months building a website about.
3) Through quality link exchanges and a bit of luck you will grow your audience slowly over time.
4) Feature products that are of interested to your target audience
5) write some good copy with a personal recommendation if possible. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure, sure!

Gotta keep the competitors out of the real arena as long as possible...can't have them just going out and selling everything that people will buy right away, instead of being confined to some niche!

Not that those ideas *won't* work for sales. But personally that's what I'd do AFTER I had the malls set up!
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  #17  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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Here, here!

I say ol chap, it's cocktail time... Mix me an old fashion, just like father use to make.

Cheers,

Poopie
  #18  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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Ok everyone time to add my 2cents.

IMHO, everyone misunderstood everyone.

TT, everybody who responded to SK's question were trying to reply directly to the point and answer as the question was asked. Yes I agree nobody paid much attention to what SK is going to do with the datafeed.

MC, we cant assume what SK's plans are and what kind of site he has in mind to build.

SK, I feel TT's response was directed more towards others rather than you. If you read last line of his reply you would know what exactly he means. His comments are not what you wanted to read but if you read it again he has given you the best advice. He has pointed out all the step by step directions you need to start your AM career. If you decide to proceed with AM and be successful then definitely you need to follow those directions.

Sal, IMO we should not discourage or stop people from asking questions. After all thats the main purpose of ABW. If people dont ask questions they would never know what is good or bad for them.
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  #19  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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What TT said at 9:37 this morning. It was brutally frank, but accurate. If some think that he was being elitist - sorry.

Poopie, you're right. The sun is above the yard-arm, I'm having a rum smash.

Fred
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  #20  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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I enjoyed that Stephen. Turns out you've written 28 books, I love it!

I'm glad you didnt take offence to my rant, it wasn't directed at you. It was directed towards members encouraging you to build a datafeed site.

It still scares me that there would be so much encouragement for a newbie's first site to be a datafeed site. That is the wrong place to start.
  #21  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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"Sal, IMO we should not discourage or stop people from asking questions. After all thats the main purpose of ABW. If people dont ask questions they would never know what is good or bad for them."

ahmar,

By me asking questions about datafeeds, is the reason I found ABW over a year ago.

I'm not discouraging or stoping people from asking questions. Read my post again.

I was just getting some rust out of my smilies, if you have a problem with that, then get a little bit closer I am ready to

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  #22  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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TT, I am glad you have deleted your signatures otherwise SK would have definitely thought you were trying to discourage him.......
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  #23  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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I hope I didn't offend here either, but remember it was only a few weeks ago that we had a guy who wanted to place affiliate links in his adsense ads. Then he started to ask about datafeeds.

Turns out he had no website.

Fred
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  #24  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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Posts: 481
LOL........ I know you Sal and your experties with the smilies and I like the way you mix them up with your words . I have read lot of your posts and know from where you are coming . I was just trying to say that from a newbe point of view. He wouldnt know that if you are just brushing up your experties or .............lol i can also use few of them.

BTW, how do you get the smilies from the smilies page?
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  #25  
Old December 11th, 2004, 03:38 PM
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I see two sides to this. I have been playing only with static pages featuring 4-5 merchants for about a year and I have learnt a lot from that. The revenue pays for the hosting and leaves some small change, but it gave me the experience to get to the next level of datafeeds.

Thanks to one or both the WebMerge tutorials, I went live with BettyMills in July and I am making pocket change from it, e.g. one sale a month. About 20,000 of the 30,000 pages have been indexed but this has taken 5 months.

My templates are super optimised for SEO, so my BM pages rank better than those of others who used the same tutorial literally. This is part of the learning process.

Whether you learn how to add unique and supposedly valuable content to a cookie-cutter template, or use it out of the box, it is all SE spam and this will continue until the SEs filter it.

One's learning needs to include reading about SEO but also how to distinguish uninformed rumour from educated speculation. There are a few outdated SEO articles which haven't been taken down because they are AdSense fodder. Learn to identify and ignore them. You also need to learn how to bring eyeballs to your spammy pages and this includes learning where and what to advertise. An important learning is how to be attractive to the spiders - they may not eat your entire site in one sitting.

Finally, you need to learn how to engender trust from the visitors, so that they feel safe to buy from your site. Without sales, this is all for nought.

My comments also address the concerns of those who are horrified by this outpouring of free advice. I believe in sharing low-value tips freely -- for me this has led to getting the occasional high-value tip in a PM or email or in person.

Stephen, there are dozens of free datafeeds mentioned on this forum, so after you choose one, go and look at live implementations by other affiliates. It is easy to search for some unique string that will bring up a handful. Compare them to see how they differ and why the top ranking one is in that place. While you won't be able to see the reasons until you have experience, you might get some ideas that will make your site a little different. Good luck.
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