Making More Money With Affiliate Feeds

Making More Money With Affiliate Feeds

I love my RSS reader. I have a​ gazillion website,​ blog and news feeds set up in​ there,​ and I get the​ latest information from all of​ my favorite sites. That means I can be one of​ the​ first to​ share it​ with you. And RSS Reader 1.0 has a​ doorbell sound effect that rings when there are new feed entries to​ read. So wherever I am in​ the​ house I hear it​ and take a​ look. I also get the​ additional bonus of​ six barking dogs to​ announce the​ new feed entries.

As an​ aside,​ I noticed something very interesting. Because of​ my RSS reader I was one of​ the​ first to​ cover,​ a​ terrific new web site that will help you screen out the​ cheesy AdSense ads. Because I was on​ it​ first,​ I popped up in​ the​ first five Google search results for this keyword for a​ while,​ which drove traffic to​ this site. So watch your RSS reader.

All that being said,​ we​ are beginning to​ see RSS used as​ auto update feature for websites and blogs. the​ first application was RSS feeds that automagically update your site with articles in​ your subject area from a​ free article site. the​ rationale is​ that this will give you fresh content that search engines will eat right up. They call it​ spiderfood. I call it​ a​ dumb idea. Have you read some of​ these articles? There’s a​ wide disparity in​ quality from one to​ another,​ and I would never allow articles to​ be put blindly on​ my web site without my approval. For crying out loud…you spend hours and hours of​ time getting your site to​ a​ certain level of​ quality to​ build a​ certain level of​ trust with your visitors,​ and then you’re going to​ allow some hack to​ put his content on​ your site without your approval,​ just so maybe a​ search engine will come a​ few extra times? That’s just stupid.

Need more content? Turn off the​ football game and write some.

Seriously…if you want to​ use articles as​ supplemental content,​ hand pick them. Just like famous Internet marketer Wille Crawford did on​ his blog when he picked my article Chitika - What Went Wrong (a little humor there). I have at​ least 20 - 30 articles in​ an​ Outlook Folder that I’m going to​ post on​ the​ site as​ soon as​ a​ I get a​ chance. That’s the​ good news — the​ bad news is​ I went through 500 or​ so articles to​ get those.

Closer to​ home,​ affiliate merchants are starting to​ get into datafeeds,​ which are sort of​ like file-based RSS feeds. Datafeeds provide direct access to​ merchant products using text files. the​ file contains a​ list of​ products,​ services,​ special offers,​ coupons or​ other information that you can display on​ your site. You then upload that information to​ your server and use some kind of​ tool or​ script to​ display the​ different items in​ that file. There are programs on​ CJ,​ LinkShare and Shareasale that have datafeeds.

While others are absolutely gaga over this,​ I look at​ it​ with the​ same jaundiced eye as​ the​ whole article thing — it​ all depends on​ your niche,​ the​ level of​ trust you want to​ maintain with your customer,​ and how technical you want to​ get.

If you have a​ niche that has a​ well-matched affiliate program,​ you might try a​ product feed. if​ you want to​ put up an​ occasional coupon or​ special offer,​ you can probably do it​ by hand rather than going through all of​ this mumbo jumbo.

We are starting to​ see products that convert merchant datafeeds to​ RSS,​ allowing you to​ auto-display products from affiiliate programs. Again,​ if​ you can maintain relevance across the​ entire affiliate line,​ it’s a​ good idea. if​ not,​ you’re not going to​ get conversion anyway,​ so you’re wasting your time. Personally I want everything including the​ advertising,​ to​ have relevance to​ my visitors.

There’s always a​ shortcut — in​ this case you’re shortcutting the​ time and effort involved in​ finding relevant offers for your visitors. That may work with some sites.

If you want to​ know more or​ give it​ a​ shot,​ here are some resources:

1. FiveStarAffiliatePrograms - They love the​ idea,​ but I think they’re plugging their own tool.
2. Smartsville has a​ nice synopsis. Oh…they also have a​ tool.

One last thing — while I was out looking for links and information,​ this is​ what someone said about using datafeeds:

Soon,​ I will let you know how I put this all on​ autopilot and never have to​ think about the​ blog again after I spend a​ few hours setting it​ up!

How do you think that blog is​ doing?

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