Datafeedr is a tool designed to help webmasters build efficient and productive affiliate sites. It’s in ongoing development and the support is superb. It’s a tool that is designed and supported in a way that makes you wish so all other tool designers of this type would follow. Since I couldn’t find an impartial Datafeedr review this is a checklist I’ve compiled after many, many hours of experimentation, implementation, and site building using Datafeedr. I will of course update it when I find something new to add.
Find a niche. This is the most important step in the whole process. Get this wrong and everything you do after this will be a complete waste of time and effort. It’s not enough to build a site attracts traffic; you have to build a site that attracts browsers who are at the point where they are ready to buy something. You can build a great site full of interesting and original content that attracts visitors seeking information, but if they don’t then click on your links and buy something then your income will be zero. Trust me, I know because I’ve made this mistake!
To find niches to advertise I use two tools; Micro Niche Finder and Market Samurai. There are others you may prefer, but these are my choices. They are frequently updated and you pay once for a lifetime’s licence.
Register a domain. This should be second nature to any website builder so I’m not going to go into any details here. Suffice to say that the domain name should be one of your target keywords or phrases. If your first choice is already taken then you can see if another TLD is available, or use prefixes such as ‘buy’ or ‘best’, or suffixes such as ‘shop’ to make a new domain name. If you’re new to this I can do it for you. Please contact me for details.
Build a WordPress site. Again, no need for details here. Worpdress is my platform of choice and it’s perfect for building Datafeedr populated sites. I can provide hosting as well as domain names so contact me if you want a full package. I can get you a WordPress site up and running in a matter of hours.
Add a selection of WordPress plugins. This is often a matter of personal preference based on previous experience, but some of the ones I use again and again are; Akismet, Contact Form 7, WordPress SEO by Yoast, WP Super Cache, and Shareaholic.
Organise some content. Without any original and unique content in your site it will never rank well in the search engines and consequently it’s unlikely to attract any visitors. You can write the content yourself or outsource using one of the various sites that provide access to contractors who will write the content for you. Either way you’re going to have to invest time or money. There’s no way around this which is why it’s important that you’ve found a good niche. If you order (or start writing) the content now it should be ready for posting into your website in a few days.
Learn how to use Datafeedr. This may seem obvious, but if you’re new to this tool you won’t learn all its tricks in one weekend. The support section of the Datafeedr site contains dozens of short videos describing how to carry out each task and the forums will answer just about any question that’s not answered by the videos or in the documentation. Experiment. Use a test site and find out how to use this tool to its full potential. Time spent doing this won't be wasted.
Build your site in Datafeedr. I’m not going to go into the technical details of how to do this as this post is a checklist not an exhaustive technical guide. Besides, the Datafeedr website contains all the instructions you need and it’s all explained far better than I can.
Review your site. By this I mean pause to check your progress so far. You should have a clean, fresh WordPress site containing some original content in the form of pages or posts which talk about your chosen niche, and a selection of plugins to enhance the site’s performance, filter comment spam, and encourage sharing of content. It should also be populated with products feed by your Datafeedr plugin.
Enhance your site. There are several things you can do using Datafeedr that will both enhance the presentation of the products and also optimise the SEO. For example, you can remove some of the code snippets in the View areas so that product descriptions aren’t included. You might want to do this to avoid creating duplicate content. There are shortcodes you can use to add single products to blog posts, and individual categories to pages or posts. You can create comparison sets that display the same product from a selection of merchants. You can use the drip function to add blog posts that are selected from categories already on display or from hidden category containing products that don’t appear in your main store.
Optimise your SEO. At this point your site should be populated with content and products, all displayed as you see fit with your designer hat on your head. Before you launch your site you should check it over and make any changes that will help the search engines spider it and display it correctly. These might include adding tweaks that resolve any incompatibility or conflicts between SEO plugins and the Datafeedr meta tags, and making sure your sitemap displays only what you want it to display. For example, I don’t show the full product list as that might incur duplicate content penalties, so I add ‘noindex’ tags to the head section of the Product Detail view.
Submit your site to search engines. Now, add your site to Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing Webmaster Tools. Don’t forget to verify the site and add the sitemap(s). Check back in 24-48 hours to make sure the site is spidered and error free.
Use social media. Your choice of niche and products will determine which social media accounts to open. For example, some products work well on Pinterest but others do not, but there’s usually some benefit in creating a Twitter account, Facebook page, and a Google+ page as you can attract visitors by posting updates about your chosen niche. However, you won’t want to be doing any of this posting manually. The trick is to automate it as much as possible. For example, if you open a HootSuite account and add all your social media pages and accounts to it you can cherry pick a post and have it published on your selection of pages. You can also import CVS files containing a schedule of posts and just leave them to be published over time.
Wait. After choosing a winning niche this is probably the hardest part of the process; waiting for results. After all the effort you’ve put in you deserve some reward, right? If your target market is correct then over the coming weeks and months you should start to see some traffic and subsequent sales. Don’t be tempted to keep tweaking the site unless you spot some errors you missed during your review. Instead, leave the site to simmer for a couple of months then use the information gathered from your Webmaster Tools and Hootsuite accounts to determine how well its performing. Based on that information you may want to modify your schedule or method of adding fresh content. In the meantime, you can start on your next site
Note: At the time of writing, the Datafeedr plugin is at version 3.11.6123. V3 can be updated from within the admin area in WordPress. Version 4 is in beta testing and this new version is an API model that pulls the content in an entirely different way. However, whichever version you use the basic steps above still apply.