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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Is there an alternative to 'webmerge'? Webmerge is out of my price range at $99.00.
    I'm still new to affiliate marketing and didn't want to spend that sort of money yet.

  2. #2
    Full Member dak142's Avatar
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    Other than putting together pages by hand, web merge is you best option for running feeds in my opinion. I felt the way you do last year, web merge has paid for itself many times since then. The only free option would be to teach yourself a scripting language like PHP, you can start at www.php.net. There are other options, but have a much larger price tag than web merge....

  3. #3
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    I seen javascript RSS feeds. But I was told that the Search engines don't or can't crawl your site if you have a Javascript RSS feed on it. Right?

  4. #4
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    I have to agree with David here, it probably won't take long for webmerge to pay for itsself.

    I don't know php myself, but am using a php template supplied by a merchant for one affiliate program. Over christmas, because of a security update, that php template stopped tracking...

    It was down for about 4 days until my hosting company managed to fix the template. (Yes there still are webhosts who provide that sort of support!)

    I lost considerably more than $ 99 beause of that. So had I done this with webmerge...

    It just told me how important it is to be able to fix stuff myself and with webmerge this is really quite simple.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Datafeeds aren't something you can really be "cheap" on. It will either take a considerable amount of development time (which is my preference in this case) or an investment in a prewritten package (of which Webmerge appears to be about the most viable option). With most networks, there is a fee to get access to the feeds. It frequently also takes the investment of a dedicated server ($100 per month). The rewards far outweight the costs if done right.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  6. #6
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Actually, I would love to find an alternative that runs under Linux. This is a Windows-free household and my wife will probably get annoyed if I start stealing her iBook.

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

    Hosting Comparison - HostScope - jrrl.com

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    newbiee if you can't spend $99 then you shouldn't be using datafeeds yet. Your alternative is to spend time (learning as pointed out above) instead of money.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
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    I use another software, but the price tag is higher. It's called Secret Money Generator. Take a look at my sites created using Secret Money Generator and free datafeed from shareasale:
    http://jewelrystore.virtualcovergenerator.com

    Read my blog for my comments on Secret Money Generator:
    http://www.safelistautomation.com/bl...ng-secret.html

    Mohd Fairuz

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Fairuz:
    I use another software, but the price tag is higher. It's called Secret Money Generator. Take a look at my sites created using Secret Money Generator and free datafeed from shareasale:
    http://jewelrystore.virtualcovergenerator.com

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I thought Google ads weren't allowed to go on websites with other advertisers. This is what I read in the terms of service. How come your's has google ads?

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loxly:
    newbiee if you can't spend $99 then you shouldn't be using datafeeds yet. Your alternative is to spend time (learning as pointed out above) instead of money. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I thought datafeeds were free. Why are you saying if somebody doesn't want to spend $100.00 on software then they should not use datafeeds? That makes no sense what you said. Data feeds are free.

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loxly:
    newbiee if you can't spend $99 then you shouldn't be using datafeeds yet. Your alternative is to spend time (learning as pointed out above) instead of money. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Whats your problem? Why do you try to intimidate the new people that are wanting to learn affiliate marketing. Datafeeds are free. They don't cost nothing. They are free.

  12. #12
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    She was just saying that it EITHER takes alot of time or money to impliment a datafeed, and since newbiee doesn't want to spend MONEY, they should probably not work with the feed yet. The TIME part means learning more advanced ways of implimenting a feed, ie using mysql and php. 99% of the time newbies (not newbiee) can't jump into that and get it the first time. They usually run into issues relating to hosting, html, photoshop first. Let me give you some examples:

    What's cron?
    How do I make a rollover image?
    What's a layer?
    What's SEO?

    Crap like that. It all comes with time and experience. So, again, if you don't want to spend the MONEY, you are going to have to spend TIME--and thats alot.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    In order to make any datafeed work, you'll need (as a minimum) to learn a programming language, or learn WebMerge (or some other tool I don't know of any other ones). Both have a learning curve. Some say WebMerge is a easier to learn. If you learn programming skills, it is a benefit, because you will be able to do other things with your knowledge. (Know both, and be really cool)

    In order to be successful with data feeds, you'll need to not only learn the tools required, but need to learn how to optimize the feed so that your website(s) perform better in the serps, and aren't just another "cookie-cutter" website, offering little value to anyone (and little $$ to you).

    The point Loxly was trying to make, was that one usually can't just arrive on the scene and say "I'm ready for data feeds, bring 'em on!"

    Fred

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Datafeeds are free. They don't cost nothing. They are free. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's only partially right. SOME feeds are indeed free.
    Some feeds are free, but only if certain conditions are met.
    And some feeds (for instance, in the LS Merchandiser Program) are NOT free, period.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
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    Mohd,

    Dude...there are soooo many fingerprints all over those SMG sites that it isn't even funny. Differentiation is the key to success with datafeeds and as far as I can tell every SMG site I've seen looks pretty much the same. I could be wrong...I hope I'm wrong but for almost $300.00 I wasn't willing to take the chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by syabab
    I use another software, but the price tag is higher. It's called Secret Money Generator. Take a look at my sites created using Secret Money Generator and free datafeed from shareasale:
    http://jewelrystore.virtualcovergenerator.com

    Read my blog for my comments on Secret Money Generator:
    http://www.safelistautomation.com/bl...ng-secret.html

    Mohd Fairuz

  16. #16
    Full Member Verbalkent's Avatar
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    A Great alternative is OSCommerce with its "Easy Populate" contribution. It allows you to take any datafeed (With a little bit of editing , same goes for webmerge, or any datafeed program out there) and fill your store. It will take some tweaking, but you can make oscommerce into an affiliate store as ive done with My affiliate site whats even better is oscommerce is free and has mannnnnnny contributions out there and a great (Tho sometimes slow responding) support forum.

    It can be done. The hardest part of using oscommerce with affiliate datafeeds, is that I do not know how to use image hotlinking with the script, so I have to capture the images from the feed manually, which isnt too hard if you create a macro to insert the html [b]IMG[b] tages and then save the image column as a html file and use webreaper to download all the images and then upload them to your server. Takes less than 10minutes.

  17. #17
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    The image thing is what stopped me from using osc for an affiliate site. I was actually one of the people that helped clean up EasyPopulate and worked on the CRE loaded team for a while.

    If you post at the osCommerce forums or the CRE loaded forums, there are people that were willing to write the necessary code for the offsite image linking, I just decided not to do it at the time that I was asking. It requires a new class being written to handle the image call.

    One way to get around it is to add the image link to the description and concatenate it all in Excel.

    I may look into it again. The CRE loaded now has a templating system that makes it easier to customize, and there are some new SEO things built in.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  18. #18
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    They are free.
    I would suggest to anybody who is so preoccupied with going free free free or cheap cheap cheap to just hang it up and get back to work before the boss notices that you're 15 minutes late.

    For free you can scrape the surface but you don't stand a chance of competing against the tens of thousands of others who are willing to pay to stay ahead of you and ahead of the other 9,999 who are also willing to pay for necessary and proper expenses associated with maintaining and promoting a business.

    "I want to introduce my own new Cola beverage to the market. It's better than Pepsi or Coke. Can anybody tell me how to get it rolling for less than $99?"

    Does this sound insensitive? It's not insensitive; it's real. Anybody who would encourage a newbie to chase rainbows is an insensitive lout.

  19. #19
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    Chocolate Chicken,

    To get osCommerce to work the way you should get it to work for datafeed sites, you should pay for or be able to do some additional php programing. But for a free program it is actually a reasonable choice for datafeed management on a small scale. I would use it to build smaller sites (niche or one merchant) and nothing of the size that I currently have for most of my sites.

    For someone familiar with php it is a good starting point. It also does have a learning curve, but a shorter one than WebMerge and it has very good navigation tools built in.

    It is the only "free" alternative I would think of recommending, and only because I was pretty heavily involved with it for about a year. A similar counterpart would be Zen Cart, which also has the same image issue.

    So for all those folks hollering about not wanting to pay, and wanting an alternative, here it is, now go learn on your own!!!!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    Even Webmerge is a cheap alternative. And it's easy for beginners to use.

  21. #21
    Full Member Verbalkent's Avatar
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    Hey all,

    I posted an alternative to webmerge (Which is OSCOMMERCE with the "Easy Populate" contribution) But it was either deleted or lost in limbo.. once again, a great FREE alternative would be OsCommerce. I have an affiliate site that uses oscommerce and the entire site is one big ole datafeed.

    Hope this post doesnt get lost in the mix, as I think oscommerce is a great alternative to most high priced datafeed programs.


    Hope this helps.. cuz thats what im here for ...

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verbalkent
    I posted an alternative to webmerge (Which is OSCOMMERCE with the "Easy Populate" contribution) But it was either deleted or lost in limbo..
    Neither. It's still there. Check your view settings, some views (like thread view) don't show all posts.

  23. #23
    Full Member Verbalkent's Avatar
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    Yep, SOrry for the double posts... damn I misss that delete post button.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    NEWBIEE --
    To answer your question - and I just started about six months ago so I know where you are coming from!


    GET Webmerge take the time to learn how to use it --"PRETTY SIMPLE"

    Don't pay for a DATAFEED unless you HAVE TO. contact each merchant that you want to ADVERTISE for and ask them for a feed. If they have one they will usually send it to you free.

    Get Webmerge running correctly -- Read the Tutorials and ask questions - IT IS THE CHEAPEST WAY TO START OUT
    Then once you see the value of running a datafeed site as in -- YOUR SALES START COMING IN

    THEN -- take the time to start learning PHP MYSQL and stuff that will help you impliment what you want more accurately.

    This way you can utilize the feeds while you learn what you need to learn in order to utilize them a lot better -- plus running the feeds with WEBMERGE will give you all kinds of ideas!

    Best Advice I can give from one Newbie to Another!

  25. #25
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    I'm sorry, I see you fixed it, but it came in my email and just had to say, I haven't seen any "titorials" lately
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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