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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    November 27th, 2011
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    datafeed trouble
    For the past couple days I have been trying to figure out how to upload datafeeds to my site. I haven't had any experience with php or mysql. I've been reading a lot on this stuff but some reason I just can't undestand it. I was just wondering if someone has an easy way to expain uploading data feeds for someone doesn't have much experience? thanks.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Until you've learned at least some basic PHP and MySQL, there's really no point in trying to work with datafeeds.

    Here's are a couple of useful sites for starters:

    PHP: MySQL - Manual
    PHP Tutorial

    If it's any help, a datafeed is nothing more than the merchant's field-by-field (or you might understand that better in terms of looking at one in a spreadsheet: column-by-column) listing of all their products. Generally, each row in a column will have the product name, a unique ID number, download link (usually encoded with your affiliate tracking number), an image URL, a price, some sort of category/subcategory designation, and a description.

    Most datafeeds have additional information. And most datafeeds are generally in poor shape for using "out of the box." That is, they lack adequate categorization, contain descriptions with odd characters and/or HTML cluttering them up, image URLs that are bad, and a multitude of other errors.

    There's very little standardization of datafeed content and layout from one merchant to another, although some affiliate networks police this better than others and generally have merchants' datafeeds that are more useful than others.

    Given all that, I suggest you take the time to learn some rudimentary PHP/MySQL, as well as a healthy dose of HTML and even CSS before you attempt much with datafeeds. They can be extremely useful if you get a handle on the basics, or absolutely useless if you don't have some background in fundamentals.

    Try searching the ABW forums and read all you can here. Give Google a shot by searching for PHP, MySQL, even affiliate datafeeds. The more you learn the better off you'll be if you really want to take the plunge into using datafeeds.

    Gary
    Generate more fake news.

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  4. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Gary's advice, as usual, is right on. But that learning curve can take quite a while. Meanwhile you might consider a 3rd-party "provider" such as GoldenCAN(.com) and PopShops(.com). While not as complete and customizable as doing it yourself, they do offer a way to get started right away.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  6. #4
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    November 27th, 2011
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    Yea I was of afraid that I was going to have to do a lot of research and learning about datafeeds. But it seems like it is worth it, because everywhere I read they talk about how useful datafeeds are and that helps you rank higher in the search engines. So I guess I'm just going to suck it up and learn about it. Thanks for your replys.

  7. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    There are two ways to use datafeeds. You can use a third party such as Bill spoke of. Limitations are their system and either fees or they take a part of the commissions. The other is to take the datafeed directly from the network in which case you have to understand ftp and programming.

    How much programming have you done?

  8. #6
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    I haven't had any experience in programming. The only experience I've had is with web design such as dreamweaver and a little flash. But I didn't even do it through html. I can catch on to stuff pretty easy it just will take me a little time to study and learn and I think I can eventually pickup on it hopefully. But it sounds like datafeeds are a definate if you want to be a successful affiliate.

  9. #7
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Just don't fool yourself into thinking you're going to stick up a "stock" datafeed or two and make money. It's how you manipulate and use the datafeed that may or may not make it worthwhile.

    They're not instant money makers, or traffic generators, (unless you have a large untapped source of traffic just dying to browse through a bunch of generic product data).

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  10. #8
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    November 27th, 2011
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    yea I understand, my plan is to have a lot of useful content on my site combined with some seo and datafeeds to see if I can generate some traffic and hopefully get some sales. I haven't been an affiliate for very long so I'm just trying to figure out everything I can to make it profitable. Its definately not as easy as all those guru's make it out to be.

  11. #9
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    You should start with that useful content first...

    Google has to believe your site adds value - datafeeds aren't perceived as added-value to search engines, but original content is (your own words, etc).

    And no, it's not easy at all.. welcome to the world of affiliate marketing!

  12. #10
    Full Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    The other is to take the datafeed directly from the network in which case you have to understand ftp and programming.
    FTP specifically really depends on the network. I have code to automatically deal with feeds from LS, CJ, GAN and PJ. Only LS and GAN require FTP and in two different ways. GAN FTPs to your own site given credentials and LS is more difficult because it requires you to fetch the feeds yourself (of course you can do this manually, but I strive for near-full automation). I know CJ also supports FTP, but I don't use it because I have the CJ catalog emailed and process it automatically via forwarding the email to the script to process the attachment.

    FTP aside though, a solid understanding of delimited files, SQL and PHP (or whatever) is required in all cases. Although you can find help online in accomplishing specific things, you're probably better served by knowing the basics across the board and then adapting it for specific needs rather than try to build something custom just for a specific purpose.

  13. #11
    ABW Ambassador daiarian's Avatar
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    One of my merchants provides a very useful data feed HTML code for each product which I can integrate with an image. Visitors clicking on this image go direct to the product on the merchant's order page.

  14. #12
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    November 27th, 2011
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    thanks for the replies.

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