Case Study: Building An Audience With DataFeed Sites Part 1

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Case Studies, Search Engines | Posted on 17-05-2010

I like to keep things diversified so i’m willing to try anything that can run on autopilot once it’s setup.  I started thinking about playing with datafeed sites when Nick Mattern put out Review Plugin For WordPress.  I consider him a friend of mine so I bought his software and started playing around.  (Please keep in mind that even though this is the software I used for this case study, Nick no longer owns the product and I’m not sure about the quality of the newest versions).  Here are the steps I used to build a datafeed site:

Step 1 – Pick A Niche

The first thing I chose was the niche I was going to use to build out this site.  I considered different affiliate programs at CJ, Linkshare & Shareasale. Part of my consideration was how many items they had in their datafeed as well as how much information the datafeed contained.    I eventually settled on 1 affiliate program that had about 3,000 products in their datafeed and the niche was based around fashion with a decent commission rate (20%).

Step 2 – Buy Domain

I bought a domain with the main keywords related to the niche located within the domain name.

Step 3 – Setup WordPress & Datafeed Plugin

Setting up wordpress is pretty self explanatory.  I used the “Review Plugin For WordPress” as my datafeed importer.  Quite honestly I only wanted the software for this feature.

After I cleaned up the database file that I downloaded from the affiliate network I started the import process.  The process of importing a datafeed to wordpress is pretty simple.  You need to setup a template which grabs all of the information out of the database and places it in the correct place on the page.  Here in the post template I used:

Title of Post: [PRODUCT NAME]

Body of Post:

[PRODUCT NAME] – [$PRICE]

[PRODUCT IMAGE LINKED WITH AFF LINK]

Product Description: [PRODUCT DESCRIPTION]

[PRODUCT NAME] is currently in stock at [MERCHANT NAME]

For more information about this item please click here. <—AFF LINK

If you have already purchased [PRODUCT NAME] please leave a review below.

This post template would allow all 3,000 products in the database to have the same look when they get published to WordPress.  Rather then publishing everything at once I opted for a drip feed.  I let the posts feed into the wordpress site over a period of 6 months rather then all at once so that it would look more natural to search engines.

Tip:  Since i’m hosting this particular site on a crappy shared hosting plan, I found that the import process would continually freeze up.  I guess the process takes a lot of resources on the server.  The fix I found was to break the datafeed file into smaller files and import that way.  I just wanted to mention that in case you hit a glitch like I did.

After this step my datafeed site had posts and new ones appeared throughout each day.

Step 4 – Find a Decent WordPress Theme

I used SkinPress – Simple & Free

Step 5 – WordPress Plugins

Here you will find a linst of the plugins I used & why:

Review Plugin For WordPress – Used for importing the datafeeds

Akismet – To keep the Spam under control

All in One SEO Pack – To auto-create appropriate SEO tags.

Link Cloaking Plugin – This allowed the tons of affiliate links all over the site to look like internal links ie domain.com/goto/1 – I thought it would be better for SEO then rogue affiliate links all over the place.

Scheduled M.I.A.s – I was having an issue with the scheduled posts actually going live when they were supposed to.  I kept getting the error “Missed Schedule” so this plugin fixed that issue.

WordPress Suicide – To get my post template correct I needed to try it a few times.  To retry I needed to remove everything that got imported into the database.  This plugin can clear your posts database.

WP Super Cache – Speeds up WordPress when you have tons of posts.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – Allowed each product listing to show several links to similar products.  Kind of like an Amazon cross sell.

———————–

That’s everything I did to get the site online.  Next was promotion which will be Part 2 of this case study.

Any Questions?

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Comments

  1. WordPress suicide definitely comes in handy with this these huge imports. I see that your post template is damn similar to mine after many trials and errors. Another thing I’ve done is to fold in some , and tags into my SEO sauce to give an extra kick sweetness; it really compliments whole thing.

  2. ah damn, it formatted my previous post. I said strong, h1 and h2 tags.. I guess my recipe is supposed to be secret

  3. @Groomez – Excellent point about the header tags. I just checked back to reference what I did with that & the title of my post is in H1 tags. I think that was automatically done through “All in One SEO Pack”

  4. Easier said than done – the hard part is getting good data feeds

  5. Excellent post! looking forward to part 2.

  6. Are you doing anything specific about duplicate content?

  7. […] Part 1 of this case study I discussed what I did to setup this datafeed site.  Part 2 is what I did to […]

  8. If you’re using WFReview 4.x, the import just royally sucks, nothing but problems from the people who still contact me.

    Use WFReview 3.0.7 instead. I have 50K jobs that work flawlessly.

    It’s always best to import the first time to a clean database, and backup before each import, just FYI.

  9. Another really kick ass worpress plugin is SEO Smart Links. You can set your posts to automatically link to whatever page you specify based on keywords. You can also set it so where it adds links to syndicated posts. Saves A LOT of time.

  10. I’ve never tried out a datafeed built site before, but they’ve always seemed like an easy way to automate site building. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

    Good luck.

  11. […] you missed part 1 & part 2 of the Building an Audience With Datafeed Sites, make sure you go back and catch […]

  12. […] business would be to either own products yourself, or just build a datafeed store. AdHustler did a case study on his experiences – check it […]

  13. […] reader asked me for an update on this case study so here it is.  If you need to catch up here is part 1, part 2 & part 3 of this case […]

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