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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    What's the best easy-to-use Avantlink tool similar to PopShops
    I'm sure I'm asking something a lot of "PHP-impaired" affiliates here would ask if they'd thought about it first. (I so rarely have an original idea I thought I'd toot my own horn, as the saying goes.)

    I, like many others here at ABW and throughout the affiliate marketing world, have come to love the convenience and ease of PopShops for a lot of my sites.

    It occurred to me that Avantlink, too, has a ton of excellent tools. Everytime I ask Gary and the other support guys, I learn about using another of those tools -- today it was the ALE.

    So I thought I would ask -- what easy-to-use "datafeed type" tool does Avantlink have that might be similar to PopShops. By "similar," I personally would consider these factors:

    1. Quick to set up.
    2. Easy to produce, nice looking tables of products that display well on a PHP page and/or a blog page/post.
    3. Something I can change the appearance and content of quickly without having to recreate it on each website.
    4. Simple to use. Here's where I've admitted time and again on this forum that I just can't seem to "get it" with your dynamic datafeed tool. (Part of my frustration working with that is the irritation of having to click a link to clear the cache every time I want to see a tweak or other change I've made on a page where I'm displaying it. I really don't get the "advantage" in that??)

    Anyhow, I'm sure you get the idea, and I'm sure some folks use both PopShops and Avantlink tools and would be able to answer my questions and ask far better questions, too.

    So -- whataya got?
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  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Datafeed by RSS and a tool to interpret it
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Heeeyyy, Gary. I've got a PM on the way - might give you some ideas.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Was going to PM him as well. Bet your ideas are similar to mine
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    They have the Product Display Builder, but it is not as visually easy as PopShops. It is very little more work to make a full shop instead of a "Product Display". It can take a lot of tweaking to work with the Database feed and there is always part of the code that you can't tweak at all. None of the shops I make look like I want them to look, I just get it as good as I can. The RSS feeds work well but again there are parts of the code you can't fix. You don't know what's going to come through when you set it up, so after it's made you need to clear the cache many times to make adjustments, but then it's set. The shops index nicely.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    They have the Product Display Builder, but it is not as visually easy as PopShops. It is very little more work to make a full shop instead of a "Product Display". It can take a lot of tweaking to work with the Database feed and there is always part of the code that you can't tweak at all. None of the shops I make look like I want them to look, I just get it as good as I can. The RSS feeds work well but again there are parts of the code you can't fix. You don't know what's going to come through when you set it up, so after it's made you need to clear the cache many times to make adjustments, but then it's set. The shops index nicely.
    Wow. Glad to hear I'm not alone on those -- your experience sounds a lot like what I've found when I've tried to use those tools. Admittedly, I gave up some time back and I now use a great deal of PopShops (as you can tell from my OP) and I do a lot of simple linking with text in WordPress blogs.

    And Noth: As far as your comment, "Datafeed by RSS and a tool to interpret it," I've messed around just a little bit with RSS -- mostly just enough to be dangerous to myself and the entire Internet. LOL! (Some day you guys will wonder why the entire Worldwide Web has come untangled. Look for me in Springfield, Missouri, knee deep in broken and confusing RSS feeds, scratching my Old Bald Guy head in puzzlement.)
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  7. #7
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Advanced Layout Options
    Gary,

    I don't think you give yourself enough credit my friend From what I can tell you do pretty good with your sites/blogs!

    As far as the end output for the Datafeed Web Service Client and Product Display Builder tools go...have you guys noticed the advanced layout options we've added to the subscription configurations? Just want to be sure you've seen these options as they are somewhat new. With these advanced layout options you can use your own HTML and CSS, with variables we provide to call in the product information. Your displays or dynamic feed pages can look any way you want them too.

    For the PDB, you'll see towards the end of the configuration a "Page Layout:" option. In that drop down menu there are choices for "Advanced List" and "Advanced Grid". If you select one of those two you'll be displayed a button that says "Edit Advanced Layout Template". Click that and you'll have the ability to create your own template. Specifically, here is what you'll see:
    You have chosen to use an advanced layout option for your Product Display Builder. By mixing HTML/CSS and product details you can customize how each product is displayed in your results.

    Template variable information can be included using bracket-variable syntax. For example, [PRODUCT_NAME] would be replaced at run-time with the actual name of the product being viewed.
    • Click here to view the Tag Reference
    • Click here to view/insert predefined template content and access the full list of variables that can be utilized, or you can click on the button in the editor below.

    Then there is a visual or code editor much like what you have in wordpress.

    Advanced layout options in the datafeed client work the same way. If you show the Advanced Options in the configuration form, you'll find the ability to customize your grid or list (product group) or your product detail pages.

    I've seen many Affiliates sites using both options that look nothing like the raw display you'll get when you first configure and install these tools, especially with the advanced layout options now available. In fact in the case of the datafeed client, we make it ugly out of the gate on purpose (requiring attention to detail and creativity to make it effective) because we don't feel that having a lot of datafeed only sites powered by this tool brings value to the merchants we partner with.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Here's a little hint: When you first set up a shop, go and look at it in your browser. View the source code and make a copy of it to help you fix what you're seeing. That's how I figured out what settings in the css needed adjusting. They still don't look like I want but they're closer. I tried editing in the advanced settings on the Avantlink site but I found out that if you do that and save your changes it doesn't go back where you left off on the other settings so none of the other settings have been saved. It doesn't save all your changes either, only the ones that can be changed will be different next time you view it. There's a lot of guessing that goes into it. If you don't care what it looks like then no problem, you can have a whole shop up in an hour or so.
    I use their RSS Coupon feed and it works very well, keeps things up to date and you can add in every offer from all your merchants or just selected ones. Again, figuring out the css is the pain.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    I'm inspired. I'm encouraged.

    Now if I can just translate that into action ... into sales ... into commissions ... see? There's a pattern here.

    Thanks, Gary, and thanks, 2busy.
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