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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Are there instructions?
    anywhere on the avantlink site on how to use the "Tools/make links" section?

    I've been unsuccesful trying the datafeed option, the dynamic coupon feed, the product display builder.... even something as simple as getting a merchant banner.

  2. #2
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Maybe you had been drinking too much when you tried it.

    I use their dynamic datafeed and their coupons.

    It was hard to figure out at first but once I did it's easy to use.

    I would have to write a book to tell you how to do it in a post.

    I taught purplebear how to do it with a phone call.

    Where do you live Billy Kay?

    PM me if you want to talk more about it.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    anywhere on the avantlink site on how to use the "Tools/make links" section?

    I've been unsuccesful trying the datafeed option, the dynamic coupon feed, the product display builder.... even something as simple as getting a merchant banner.
    Don't feel alone. I've tried some of the datafeed tools, downloaded "stuff" and, like you, have not been successful. (So, I've stared working on an alternative. ) But I did find banners/links.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Hmm. I think their tools are a breeze. Ease is always in the eye of the beholder, however. Drop me an email or PM if you're still having trouble.
    Kevin Webster
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  5. #5
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Hmm. I think their tools are a breeze.
    Let's don't be saying good things about AL. We need to keep it secret

    I have been using the coupon feed a while and like somebody said it's easy but you can mess yourself up if you do it wrong. My problem is that I wanted to take a domain out that I had used early on and wound up having a feed with a bunch of bad links. It was all my fault in going to fast and not being careful in a new area for me. Not much damage done though and easy to correct.

    I got my first feed from AL tonight and it was a pleasure to use that set up. The feed came out nice too.


  6. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I installed a datafeed on my Dad's site Sunday and it took me 15 minutes to read the instructions and 15 minutes to setup the datafeed.

    Billy, you seem to have it in for AvantLink as I have never seen you say a good word. What gives?

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Chuck I don't think Billy "has it in" for AvantLink and I think he has a valid question. All the networks that are building great new tools need to step back and remember that not all affiliates "work" the same way and some step by step instructions would be good, and even better might be some video tutorials.

    If Billy is asking, then I bet there are a few hundred other affiliates that didn't ask and that just walked away. He is actually doing AvantLink a favor by pointing out that things aren't as clear as they should be.
    Deborah Carney
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  8. #8
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    LOL - I don't have it in for AL

    I like Garry. I keep promising him I'll promote an AV merchant, but every time, there are major problems with the merchant.

    The most recent was myLabel company (or something) - a perfect fit for my site - they have beer coasters, i have a beer coaster site

    I tried a banner first, no results. The keywords I tried were beer coaster, beer, and coasters. nothing.

    I didn't try the coupon feed, because I asked about that once before, and Gary said it didn't actually list coupons

    I tried the product page maker, and my first attempt showed all prices were Zero

    Tried changing options, and every coaster was named "Round Coaster"

    Didn't try the advanced feed because last time it required AL to go to my IP and make complicated changes to get it to work.

    So I looked for instructions... couldn't find any.

    Looked for a phone to call... there is none listed.

    Went to the About Us page to find out what state they're in so i could call information, they don't say where they are.

    Sorry if I offended anyone by asking if there were link instructions so I could succesfully promote one of their merchants!!

  9. #9
    As far as programming goes, I'm an idiot and I figured it all out. Gary and Scott were very helpful when I needed to customize things. Web development is not meant to be "easy", but I think Avantlink's tools make it as simple as possible.

    I really don't understand how you could mess up banners or text links. In AV, go to Tools. Get "Get Merchant Ads". Select Merchant and maybe define it further by ad type, etc., and click "Get Ads". Click "Get HTML" for the ad(s) you want. That's as straightforward as it gets.

  10. #10
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    Billy thank you for the detailed account of the steps you took..... LOL

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    LOL - I don't have it in for AL

    I like Garry. I keep promising him I'll promote an AV merchant, but every time, there are major problems with the merchant.

    The most recent was myLabel company (or something) - a perfect fit for my site - they have beer coasters, i have a beer coaster site

    I tried a banner first, no results. The keywords I tried were beer coaster, beer, and coasters. nothing.

    I didn't try the coupon feed, because I asked about that once before, and Gary said it didn't actually list coupons

    I tried the product page maker, and my first attempt showed all prices were Zero

    Tried changing options, and every coaster was named "Round Coaster"

    Didn't try the advanced feed because last time it required AL to go to my IP and make complicated changes to get it to work.

    So I looked for instructions... couldn't find any.

    Looked for a phone to call... there is none listed.

    Went to the About Us page to find out what state they're in so i could call information, they don't say where they are.

    Sorry if I offended anyone by asking if there were link instructions so I could succesfully promote one of their merchants!!
    Sounds like it is more of an issue with the merchant not having what you need or want, not an issue with Avantlink.

  12. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    AvantLink is a young network and sounds like they could use some more help links. Loxly, videos are a great idea! Billy, it does sound like its the merchant. Either way this brought out some good discussion. I think Gary is traveling East so I am sure he will catch up with this shortly. AvantLink has been busy adding more tools so i am amazed everytime I login.

  13. #13
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I contacted Scott - nice guy -and he went in and changed stuff in the backend so I now have prices and names for beer labels

    that of course is great (thanks scott)

    but if i add another product, i'll have to use him to make those changes again

    i wasn't raggin on avantlink at all

    i KNOW most of my AL comments aren't complimentary, but they're not mean and nasty like i direct at other networks

    my AL comments are frustrating suggestions... in this case, something like an FAQ page

    I can't rely on scott to build all my links

  14. #14
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    I am out of town with limited access to the Internet, but just wanted to mention a couple of things as I am now in the loop..

    Billy, the changes Scott made to your display weren't on the backend. They were configuration changes within your subscription. If I remember correctly you had originally chosen an "Advanced Grid" layout for your Product Display (The Product Display Builder tool is not a "product page maker" BTW.), and didn't complete the configuration. This resulted is $0 showing for pricing. Scott went in to your subscription and changed the "Advanced Grid" option to "Grid", which automatically pulls in the default pricing we have. The "Advanced Grid" option allows you to customize every aspect of your display grid including the HTML and CSS.

    The product names you don't like come from the merchant. We're providing what they offer through their datafeed (...which, like with almost all merchant feeds, is updated daily for Affiliates in an automatic import routine. You can even initiate incremental downloads of feeds to make that process more efficient!). From the email I saw it looks like Scott brought Jim from MyOwnLabels.com in on the discussion to see if he could offer more descriptive product names.. so I'm not sure what else we can do about that.

    As far as help pages/tutorials go, to be honest we haven't had that many requests for more (if any for the Product Display Builder). The tool that requires the most documentation is the Web Service Datafeed Client, and for that (this is the tool Chuck is talking about above in post no. 6) there are pretty thorough help documents, in addition to help notes a long the configuration steps. Not to mention the various blog posts, ABW articles and info page on our site.

    That being said we have plans to create a help site giving more documentation and possibly video tutorials, but honestly at this point we're maxed out adding new merchants and building more tools and technology. We're still running pretty lean here.

    Billy, I'm sorry if some of the tools as they are presented now trouble you. As we've proven over the last several days (with our CEO Scott Kalbach taking a lot of time to help you one to one), however; you can easily access our support personal and get help working through things..

    Gary M



    I'll just add, and Billy this is not being addresses specifically to you, but I think what AZ said above is also important to note: "Web development is not meant to be 'easy', but I think Avantlink's tools make it as simple as possible." The tools mentioned above (and the others) aren't in any way meant to build your page or stand alone Affiliate stores. The design, development and optimization of sites are up to Affiliates. The tools are there to help monetize the value add sites through dynamic, relevant, up to date and (in most of the subscription options) search engine readable product level marketing campaigns.

  15. #15
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    LOL. To show I'm not totally stupid, here's the paper coasters page I want to link to:

    http://myownlabels.com/ML119.asp?fnColumns=4&AreaID=11

    Following AlpineZones instructions:

    "I really don't understand how you could mess up banners or text links. In AV, go to Tools. Get "Get Merchant Ads". Select Merchant and maybe define it further by ad type, etc., and click "Get Ads". Click "Get HTML" for the ad(s) you want. That's as straightforward as it gets."

    Tools: Successful
    Get Merchant Ads: Successful
    Select Merchant: myownlabels.com
    Ad Type: Image
    Ad Category: Category
    Show only coupons? no
    Keyword: COASTER



    results...........

    No records returned.

    To ME... instructions or FAQs would be helpful. To others, it's obviously "straighforward"

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Since I can't seem to get a coaster banner, I try something called "Create a contextual ad"

    Website Id: mysite
    Merchant Id: myownlabels.com
    Ad Type: image (hopefully will result in a banner)
    Search Term: coaster
    Coupons Only: no
    Image Height: 125 (I randomly chose a standard 125x125 banner)
    Image Width: 125
    Search Results Count: 1000 (Don't know what this does, but I chose 1000 at random)
    Search Results Sort Order: random order
    Search Results Layout: 1 column grid (again, randomly chosen to see what it produces)
    Custom Tracking Code: billybob (don't know if it's a required field or what it does, so randomly chosen)
    Context Url: coaster (don't know if it's a required field or what it does, so randomly chosen)

    In my mind, I'm thinking this will generate a 125x125 banner that has something to do with coasters, and the page the person clicks on will have 1000 results...

    click the update button... generates a javascript code... click preview...

    and the results are......

    Contextual Keyphrase Analysis:
    URL: coaster
    No records returned.

    I guess we have different definitions of the word "Straightforward"

  17. #17
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Billy,

    I don't see that Jim has any 125x125 coaster banners.

    If you want to see ALL their creative (12 records total) here are the steps to take:

    1. Click "Tools"
    2. Click "Get Merchant Ads"
    3. Select "MyOwnLabels.com" from the menu
    4. Click the "Get Ads" button

    Out of the 12 active records in their Ad List I see one 125x125 (the Ad is titled "Wedding Labels-Animated"). If MyOwnLabels.com doesn't have the 125x125 you need, why not just email Jim and request it?

    And if it helps, you can link to

    http://myownlabels.com/ML119.asp?fnColumns=4&AreaID=11

    (as well as any page you want on the merchant's site) with the Custom Link Builder tool.

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Why not email Jim?

    Because this post was a simple "Does AL have instructions on their site" question - nothing more.

    It should have reulted in a response of "Yes, thery're at such-and-such url" or "No they don't"

    No idea how it got sidetracked.

    Plus, I went a week not getting ANY banners, I just assumed they didn't have any.

    But since people were calling me stupid, I felt the need to show step-by-step what I did for a week to get... er... no links

    That said, Jim appears to be very helpful. When I asked Scott why all the products were named "Round Coasters", he contacted Jim about how the feed was catergorized or something, and the next email I got said "All fixed" - and the coasters had names

  19. #19
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    I didn't call you stupid Billy Kay.

    I said that maybe you needed to cut back on your drinking a little bit when you were getting links.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    LOL. To show I'm not totally stupid, here's the paper coasters page I want to link to:

    http://myownlabels.com/ML119.asp?fnColumns=4&AreaID=11

    Following AlpineZones instructions:

    "I really don't understand how you could mess up banners or text links. In AV, go to Tools. Get "Get Merchant Ads". Select Merchant and maybe define it further by ad type, etc., and click "Get Ads". Click "Get HTML" for the ad(s) you want. That's as straightforward as it gets."

    Tools: Successful
    Get Merchant Ads: Successful
    Select Merchant: myownlabels.com
    Ad Type: Image
    Ad Category: Category
    Show only coupons? no
    Keyword: COASTER



    results...........

    No records returned.

    To ME... instructions or FAQs would be helpful. To others, it's obviously "straighforward"
    Skip the keywords. Usually it only takes a minute to scroll through all the ads from a particular merchant. You can even sort them by type (image, text, video, etc.) and pick and choose the ones you want. If a particular merchant doesn't have an ad you want, contact the affiliate manager for that merchant and request it.

  21. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    i KNOW most of my AL comments aren't complimentary, but they're not mean and nasty like i direct at other networks
    Billy, AV doesn't want to get on your nasty network list. This is all taken in good jest. If there was any misunderstanding the beers are on me at the next summit! If there wasn't they are still on me!

  22. #22
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Here's a shot of how many emails were needed to put up links for paper dot com paper coasters:















    (none)

    and here's a shot of how many emails were needed to put up myownlabels paper coasters:

    Just my opinion... but either there needs to be step-by-step online instructions, or it needs to be a lot easier to figure out
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay

    Because this post was a simple "Does AL have instructions on their site" question - nothing more.

    It should have reulted in a response of "Yes, thery're at such-and-such url" or "No they don't"
    Yup I'm still waiting for an answer to that question without the "oh even an idiot could figure it out" comments.

    Instructions would be nice. To me it's not as intuitive as the other networks and that's probably because the tools aren't like other networks.

    So where are the instructions? If there aren't any, are they in the plans for the future?

  24. #24
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Yes there are instructions, help files and (for the more advanced tools) documentation in the "Tools" section.

    For example, if you click "Tools" once logged in, the first option on the top of the page is "Ad/Link Tools".

    Under that heading it says, "Get the html source code for existing merchant ad campaigns or create custom links to any merchant page with our custom link tool."

    For the more advanced tools like the Web Service Datafeed or Product Display Builder, there are little blue question mark icons that you can click for info and help for each step a long the way.

    As far as offering more advanced tutorials, I addressed that in post #14 above. "That being said we have plans to create a help site giving more documentation and possibly video tutorials, but honestly at this point we're maxed out adding new merchants and building more tools and technology. We're still running pretty lean here."

    Thanks,

    Gary M

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    There are other help files below where you download the templates for WebService datafeeds. I see there's a new template version since the first ones I worked with. I think I'll update those older shops.

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