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  1. #1
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    A couple of questions

    Where did you learn to use datafeeds? How long did it take you to learn? How hard was it? (OK that's three questions )

    The only reason I don't use datafeeds is because I don't know how. I finally reached the top 5% at CJ , but I'm at the low end, and I don't think I will get much higher and make the kind of money I want to make (which is a LOT ) unless I use datafeeds.

    I feel like I'm riding a donkey on a NASCAR circuit

    Did you buy one of those thick books and learn all by yourself?

    Did you take a course? What previous knowdlege did you have? All I know is HTML.

    Just thinking about CJ changing links makes me nauseous. I already went through this with a merchant, and it took me weeks to update my site. SandraR
    said that if CJ changes links she could convert hers in one day.....that sounds wonderful...sigh....

    OTOH, it would take me MONTHS to convert all my links....months...months...

    OK sorry for the rant. Any info you can share will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    When I first started looking at feeds I bought a copy of PHP and MYSQL Web Development by Welling and Thomson. I’ve got a couple other books on the subject, but it’s the only one with a permanent spot on my desk. It’s one of those big, intimidating books, but if you want to use feeds, you can get all you need from the first couple hundred pages. To me it was the simplest thing in the world. All I know when I started was HTML and some JavaScript. The last computer class I took was in high school (and if I may date myself, it was taught in Pascal).

    Jason
    “I get on my knees and pray, we don’t get fooled again!” – Who said that? I said that!

  3. #3
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    I hired someone thru Elance for dirt cheap to build me a script. You would not believe how little you can pay to get programming done.

    Right now I have more money that time (but still not enough money), so this was the easiest way to go for me.

    By just changing a few variables in the script I can use it for any feed I want.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Have you looked at Cusinamo's scripts? They have a forum on ABW. We don't use them (we have an in-house technical wizard for such projects), but everything I've heard about them has been top shelf.

    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here
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    [What is Parasiteware? click here to learn more]

  5. #5
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    I agree with Karl. This is actually how I go started in AM. I purchased the script for Amazon, and then built about 6 theme based sites using - in other words sites selling one type of product. This has worked out well! Then I started spinning off into other affiliate programs with much of the knowledge I learned setting this up.

    You might also check out the Scripts for Your Site forum here on ABW. They have some reasonably priced scripts for a bunch of merchants. This would get your started - and you could learn from there.

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by netsu:
    A couple of questions

    Where did you learn to use datafeeds? How long did it take you to learn? How hard was it? (OK that's three questions )

    The only reason I don't use datafeeds is because I don't know how. I finally reached the top 5% at CJ , but I'm at the low end, and I don't think I will get much higher and make the kind of money I want to make (which is a LOT ) unless I use datafeeds.

    I feel like I'm riding a donkey on a NASCAR circuit

    Did you buy one of those thick books and learn all by yourself?

    Did you take a course? What previous knowdlege did you have? All I know is HTML.

    Just thinking about CJ changing links makes me nauseous. I already went through this with a merchant, and it took me weeks to update my site. SandraR
    said that if CJ changes links she could convert hers in one day.....that sounds wonderful...sigh....

    OTOH, it would take me MONTHS to convert all my links....months...months...

    OK sorry for the rant. Any info you can share will be greatly appreciated. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Concerning starting with a data feed, I asked my normal programmer and he referred me to an already developed script. I then contacted that programmer and paid a tad more to customize it to fit my needs.

    With hours of playing with the thing and about a month of changes and mistakes I finally became an expert utilizing the program. I then started adding plugins for added attributes, and (my trade secrets) and wahla.

    Do not let people mislead you; databasing is not just for affiliate programs it’s the best way to run a site no matter the type of site you are trying to develop.

  7. #7
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    Three tools:
    ODBC via text file
    Active Server Pages
    FileSystemObject

    Text file is added to ODBC, I run a custom ASP script that reads the ODBC and controls the FSO, and HTML spits out the other side in whatever directory I want.

    I read this twice and now realize why my mother has trouble understanding what I do.

    Consistency is the key to a winning season.

  8. #8
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    >I read this twice and now realize why my mother has trouble understanding what I do.

    TOOOOOOO FUNNY

    Big Daddy Smokes
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Where did you learn to use datafeeds? How long did it take you to learn? How hard was it? (OK that's three questions ) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Where? Well, since datafeeds are really just utilizing a file to create a database driven site, I guess you could say I have been learning it since I started working with database (several years) Applying that to website design started a couple of years ago for me.

    How long? To create my first pages, cranked some out that first month. Creating Great pages is another question entirely, I continue to learn new techniques each and every day. "Practice makes Perfect"

    How hard? Again, to stick a site out there wasn't hard. To make a site that visitors can easily navigate and find the products they needed is always a growing task. Some feeds are cleaner than others. A very clean feed may not take a lot of work but a feed with no categories, bad links or images, and poor product descriptions will require a lot more time on your part.


    I hope this helps. It certainly made me feel confused to type it



    Oh, I HAVE lost a lot of sleeping hours lately though, working with the feeds can be addictive!


    Also, gotta agree with Sandra (imagine that) I use databases on many sites for myself and other clients that are not in anyway affiliate sites. It makes for a great way to generate needed pages and share that data all around the site.

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
    --Mark Twain

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for your kindness in replying

    I think that since the holiday season is so close I will try to get a script, and then next January do some serious leaning. I'll check that "PHP and MYSQL Web Development by Welling and Thomson."

    It looks liKe databases and data feeds are the way to go!

    Thanks again. You've helped me quite a bit

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Where did you learn how to use datafeeds<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    There are different types of datafeeds and different ways to use them. You do not need to be a programming guru to use them. Like anything the use of a datafeed can be very simple to very complex. One of the common types is simply a text file of the products that a merchant offers.

    At the simple end you can easily import a datafeed in Access and then generate a list of keywords for a PPC campaign.

    Some affiliates like to create static html pages from this feed. Other affiliates import the data feed into mySQL and create database driven websites with PHP and mySQL, or ASP and SQLServer.

    Some affilates do not store the data on their server at all. They automatically get the data from the merchants web site. This ensures the information is current and up to date.

    More and more merchants are offering XML feeds.

    Do you need data feeds to be succesful ? No.
    Do you need to be able to program ? No. You can buy a script to do what you want or hire somebody.

    <hr>
    Leave the gun, take the cannolis.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Three tools:
    ODBC via text file
    Active Server Pages
    FileSystemObject

    Text file is added to ODBC, I run a custom ASP script that reads the ODBC and controls the FSO, and HTML spits out the other side in whatever directory I want.

    I read this twice and now realize why my mother has trouble understanding what I do.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I read it twice, I do the same thing you do, and I have trouble understanding what you do!

    Andy

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    <font color="red">Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!</font>

  13. #13
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    MrSpeed said...<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> More and more merchants are offering XML feeds.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Do you need anything special from your hosting company for an XML feed? Like PHP or something like that?

    Compare prices and features of over 100 different web hosting plans. http://www.IceIsHot.com

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "I read it twice, I do the same thing you do, and I have trouble understanding what you do!"

    Exactly

    You might just be a Redneck if - Birds are attracted to your beard...

  15. #15
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    I set up a System DSN through my home computer's Control Panel, pointing to a text file as the database's table. The ASP script can now connect to this database and run the needed queries -- Oh crap, this is gonna be confusing too.

    Consistency is the key to a winning season.

  16. #16
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    OK - I'm fairly experienced in database technology and the use of odbc data sources but I've never tried pointing to a text file and then tried to use sql queries on it.

    Am I reading this right? Somehow I'm missing where "table like definations" are made that allow you to perform a query on specific subsets of a rows data "or column level criteria". Anyone care to elaborate to an experienced database guy what I'm missing here - or did I just misinterpret the information provided LOL.

    ===================================
    Child labor laws exist yet, parasite partnering merchants (PP Merchants) and the COC allow an adult affiliates income to be diverted into the pockets of parasites and consider it normal business!

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants and the COC directly supports what many consider unfair trade practices, identity theft and thievery!

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    Actually, I have uses the text odbc driver (ms) to point directly to a text file... never did much querying against it other than to build a resultant table though.

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
    --Mark Twain

  18. #18
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    Hi There,

    I learned how to use datafeeds on my own. I first tried webmerge and after a week I finally mastered it. It was confusing at first, but once I played around with it - it was simple. I made it seem harder than it was.

    I am starting to see results from my newly created datafeeds.

    Netsu, I was like you, I didn't know how to use the datafeed and then I saw everybody around me making money so I decided what the heck and taught myself. The week it took me to learn is a week well spent!

  19. #19
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    One of the problems you might run into is that all datafeeds are different. There is no standard. All the fields will be different with different names. Heck, even the delimiter (item separator) can vary. You'll need to fiddle with each datafeed you have or have some programmer tweak your scripts to accomodate each different store's feeds.

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Do you need anything special from your hosting company for an XML feed? Like PHP or something like that? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Once again the it really depends on how you use it. In the most basic sense there is nothing mystical about XML. It is basically an text file formatted in a specific way. Things do get a little hairy when you start to talk about XSL, Xpath etc..

    You could point you browser to an XML file on the web and either view it or download it, just like anything else. From there you could import into a database program on your computer and work as normal.

    I am not familiar with using PHP and XML, I work with ASP and XML. I can almost say with confidence that that PHP would have the same or better capabilities to work with XML feeds.

    In either case your server would need some kind of server side scripting capabilities, PHP, ASP or CFM.

    <hr>
    Leave the gun, take the cannolis.

  21. #21
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    Wow, after re-reading this thread, I'm dizzy!

    Webmerge seems like a good first step. I'll really submerge myself in all this after the holiday season is over.

    Then I'll come back to this thread and laugh at how confusing this datafeed stuff seemed way back when.....

    (I hope )

    Thanks again to all of you for sharing!

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by netsu:
    Webmerge seems like a good first step. I'll really submerge myself in all this after the holiday season is over.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am not familiar with webmerg, after looking at it you may want to consider a database you can easily modify. Buying anything out of the box does not give your site/s the unique look and feel you may want from an out of the box system.

    I would suggest you look around, if the database system you want has a forum, great customer service, and programmers willing to modify the script to fit your needs. That’s the database you want. Also consider buying a database that comes with plugins or addition you can purchase inexpensively.

    What I’m trying to say is; do not buy a system that cannot grow with you or your business. Unless all you want to do is spend money.

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