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  1. #1
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    Do affiliate sites add products manually?
    Basically I would like to sign up with a few affiliate sites in order to be able to sell as many products as possible, so I have 2 questions in relation to this.

    1. Do affiliates manually add all products to their site? If so, this could take a hell of a long time. I'm thinking about selling hundreds or even thousands of products. I'm not complaining but I didn't realise that it would take so long.

    2. Do merchants send out notifications if there are new products they are selling or discontinuing?

    They may seem like silly questions, but I am a newbie so go easy on me.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Not silly questions, really.

    Short answer -- yes, affiliates "manually" add all the products to their site.

    Longer answer:

    What you would probably prefer would be using merchant datafeeds to build self-sustaining or nearly self-sustaining sites that update themselves.

    But this all, of course, takes a certain amount of knowledge of coding (mostly PHP and some HTML), or perhaps just one of the datafeed services you'll see spoken of around here like PopShops or GoldenCan or whatever.

    Lots to learn to make such stuff work out.

    A smaller scale operation, such as a WordPress site using some of the plugins available for various merchants, would be another way to go.

    You'll learn that affiliate marketing isn't usually "quick, easy money," though the concept of affiliate marketing may seem that was at first.

    It takes a lot of learning, a great investment of time, and certainly SOME investment of money resources (depending on how much work you are willing and able to do for yourself).

    I encourage you to spend a lot of time looking at the various forums here and looking through the posts of folks who are very successful at this from learning how to get it done and working hard at it.
    Generate more fake news.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    Do affiliates manually add all products to their site?
    Some do, some use datafeeds.
    Do merchants send out notifications if there are new products they are selling or discontinuing?
    New products - sometimes they are in newsletters, sometimes they just show up in the datafeeds. Discontinued or out of stock - rarely are there notifications (an exception might be a merchant that only has a handful of products and they might have some information in their newsletter). You usually have to find the discontinued products yourself (they should disappear from the datafeeds but not always).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkidd85 View Post
    Basically I would like to sign up with a few affiliate sites in order to be able to sell as many products as possible, so I have 2 questions in relation to this.

    1. Do affiliates manually add all products to their site? If so, this could take a hell of a long time. I'm thinking about selling hundreds or even thousands of products. I'm not complaining but I didn't realise that it would take so long.
    I know affiliates (successful ones) that built their pages totally manually, sell thousands of products, but the sites were built over years, not fast. I also know affiliates that are quite successful using datafeeds to build sites - which means they have programming to take the product catalogs from the merchants that have them and create sites from those.


    2. Do merchants send out notifications if there are new products they are selling or discontinuing?
    Some do and some don't. Many will tell you how frequently they update the datafeed, but not tell you what has changed. It varies widely depending on the merchant and their own data processing capabilities.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Another important point concerns product pricing. If you are adding products manually, you have to periodically check prices of all of your products. Merchants frequently change product prices - usually up, sometimes down, sometimes something ridiculous like $XX.95 to $XX.99. Nothing like getting an irate email from a potential customer saying "What gives - it says $39.95 on your site, but when I click the link, the price goes up to $49.95!!!! I want to buy it for $39.95."
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the quick reply guys.

    I know it's going to take a lot of time. I have spent over a month already and I am not even online. I want to be 100% sure I am going the right way and wont even begin unless I am.

    If I decided to use datafeeds, wouldn't that only limit me to one merchant? Would all the company products be on the datafeed? Would I have no choice about the description of the product?

    If anyone can try and answer this for me that would be great. I will search google now to try and find out.

  7. #7
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkidd85 View Post
    If I decided to use datafeeds, wouldn't that only limit me to one merchant? Would all the company products be on the datafeed? Would I have no choice about the description of the produc.
    With a third-party program like Popshops you can mix products from any number of merchants from all the major networks and can change or eliminate the product descriptions as you desire.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    What if the merchants I was an affiliate for didn't do datafeeds?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkidd85 View Post
    What if the merchants I was an affiliate for didn't do datafeeds?
    Then don't bother with them. There are thousands of merchants that offer datafeeds.

  10. #10
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    I am still unsure.

    Datafeeds seem really simple, but it's up to the merchant which products are sold and which products aren't. Plus, I have absolutely no knowledge of PHP and although I have tried to understand it, have come nowhere near even understanding the first part.

    I don't think I can do it without PHP or some other advanced language can I?

    Daniel

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkidd85 View Post
    I am still unsure.

    Datafeeds seem really simple, but it's up to the merchant which products are sold and which products aren't. Plus, I have absolutely no knowledge of PHP and although I have tried to understand it, have come nowhere near even understanding the first part.

    I don't think I can do it without PHP or some other advanced language can I?

    Daniel
    You can add datafeed products by using Webmerge.

  12. #12
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    Cool. Thanks for all the helpful advice, I just have one more question.

    You said if a merchant doesn't do datafeeds then forget them, but what if all the merchants in my niche don't do datafeeds? Then I would have to do it manually wouldn't I?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkidd85 View Post
    Cool. Thanks for all the helpful advice, I just have one more question.

    You said if a merchant doesn't do datafeeds then forget them, but what if all the merchants in my niche don't do datafeeds? Then I would have to do it manually wouldn't I?
    It would be an obscure niche if there were no merchants that had datafeeds.

    Adding products manually works for some affiliates anyway.

  14. #14
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    Interesting questions and responses
    I'm a new Affiliate (and very new on ABW) and your questions and the responses in this thread were very interesting. I am currently working on a new web site, and you are correct, it is very time consuming, to do it manually, which is what I'm doing. Currently have 20 web pages and hope to add 40 or 50 more.

    This is for LinkShare Merchants. LinkShare has what they call "Merchandiser". I believe the Affiliate who wants to use it has to pay a one time fee, $250 per Merchant, to LinkShare, to use it. Maybe someday I will try that.

    The other side of that is, do you or I know enough to get that to work properly and display what we want, where we want it? Maybe not so easy.

    You brought up something very valuable and I will request the AM send an email, possibly monthly, to the Affiliates, about what products have been added or discontinued. GL

  15. #15
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Datafeeds are free at Commission Junction (CJ).

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  16. #16
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    I will have to have a look into it, but I want to join about 3 different affiliate programs and advertise all their products together. I don't understand how I will be able to do this unless I do it manually.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy View Post
    Datafeeds are free at Commission Junction (CJ).
    When did they drop the charge for datafeeds?

    Datafeeds at Shareasale are free. If you use PopShops or some of the other third party tools to manage datafeeds, you have to join the merchant affiliate program yourself, but can pull all the feeds through the tool without paying the network access fee. You can also add products from multiple merchants and have them on the same page.

    CJ does have some new datafeed tools that I haven't explored yet, they may have something that allows you to display products from multiple merchants.

    Shareasale has a tool called Make A Page that you can get product links with images and descriptions in a table that you can then edit and mix products from multiple merchants by making a table for each, then editing the html produced.

    You don't *have* to know php to be able to work with datafeeds. Webmerge is also an option, edit your datafeed before you use it to create the pages, and you can create your own datafeed with multiple merchants.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  18. #18
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    This thread is old in some ways, but it is still very relevant if you are going to work with datafeeds:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60200

  19. #19
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    I wlll look into data feeds and the software to work with them
    Interesting thread! I will do some reading here on ABW, about data feeds and the software that hopefully makes working with them much easier. Also, interesting that they are free on CJ and SAS. If I think I can get it to work, and create web pages that look like I want them to look, I will ask LS if they will waive the $250 fee.

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