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Case Study: Building An Audience With DataFeed Sites Part 4

If you’ve been following for a while you may remember the case study I was doing on DataFeed sites.  Recently a blog 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 study.

Clicks Through a Product Affiliate Link: 5,988
Click Through Rate: 11.85%
Sales: 26
Conversion Rate: 0.43%
Gross Sales: $909.95
Commissions: $296.43
Ad Monies: $19
Total Revenue: $315.43
Total Cost: ~$27-$30

As you can see traffic has grown significantly since January.  The site gets a surprising amount of traffic considering there is no unique content. 2,680 pages are indexed at this time.

My overall opinion of datafeed sites like this one is that they can be profitable but they aren’t going to make you rich.  It’s nice having passive revenue rolling in but to make a serious income off of these types of sites you are going to need a lot of them.  Not every one is a winner either and there is no way to predict which ones are going to do well.  I did another datafeed site that has about 8,000 pages indexed and gets less traffic then this one and makes practically zero revenue.  An interesting experiment would be to knock out one datafeed site per day for a year but that would be a huge commitment.  I bet you’d find some serious winners if you made that many sites.

What are your results with datafeed sites?

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Published inCase Studies


  1. Cool case study. I’ve got a total fail datafeed site that has made me zero dollars. I suppose I should have looked after it more than once but damn if it’s not the most boring kind of site to put together. Being a paid traffic junky, setting up a site for SEO trickles is about as exciting as, well, SEO.

    One benefit regardless though is that you now have thousands of indexed pages you can add links to with a simple “include.php”…

  2. @AffGossip – Your right, it’s a huge difference in mindset between projects like this and paid traffic arbitrage. This takes a lot more patience and a longer term plan.

  3. groomez groomez

    I was going to ask you about this project but I’m glad you followed up on it. Regarding monies, I also think it depends on what niche you’re in with SE0.

    I had an outdoor gear review site that got very little traffic compared to this case study, but saw big sales. Well, as big as $400 a month in commissions . el oh el.

    It was interesting to see that it was a market where people actually bought these products online instead of reading about it and then going to an outfitter.

  4. great case study and some promising stats given that the main work/time involved is in the initial setup of the sites.

    I guess if you could find a way to automate those setups, the rest is doing your kw research & crunching them out quick

  5. I’ve experimented with these and find the same things. I think I would really have to go all in and build a price comparison site for a specific niche to make it work. Looking at your numbers you made about $25 so if you could do that 100 times it would be some nice steady income to rely on, but is it worth the time?

    If you wanted to go with the one site per day thing it would probably be worth it to outsource that to someone who can do it cheap.

    I’ve still thought about doing something like this for some steady long term income to help with the times some of the paid traffic campaigns crap out.

    Also, heard you were speaking at the summit, good luck with that. Will be my first time there 🙂

  6. How do Data feed sites compare with regular sites with SEO? I heard Google doesnt like data feed sites and wont really rank them that well….

  7. Well I actually have a few datafeed sites and one only one of them does anything good. Its really a numbers game with how many you can pump out, and hopefully one will get some good traffic every-now-and-then. Out of about 6 sites only two of mine get good traffic and one actually makes upwards of $15 a day through adsense and counting.

  8. TJ TJ

    I made about $80 in commissions in Oct. off a Halloween datafeed experiment site after reading your first post.

    I tried to boost the seo value by having articles about halloween rewritten a bunch of times by each sentence. I spun those by paragraph and added them into the posts from the datafeed just to give each post some “original” content and make them a little longer.

    It seemed to work but I haven’t tried it again yet.

    I’m wondering what I should do with it next year…

    Should I delete all the old posts and add all news ones since the products and prices are likely to be gone or different? Or just post the new stuff on top of the old?

  9. one thing you did not mention is… feed change, prices,availability,descriptions… How did you handle this or didn’t you?

    Also – what vertical/industry is this feed related to?


  10. @Joey – Ive just used the original feed, i never updated it.

  11. Great case study and info on datafeeds.

  12. I have also worked with datafeed sites and found some hit or misses. They are not my main source of income, but are set up to be the mid part of my conversion funnel. I also think that most affiliates tend to look at the paltry commissions and ignore the market.

    To do well, you need to get to the Shopwiki and TheFind level where you have automated the work, crawl sites, and create affiliate links on the fly.

    Our team has written custom code to update from the network -price and availability, but have not bothered my programmers to build a crawler yet.

  13. Or… see which ones are doing good and add unique, original content to the mix, building them up stronger. If they’re getting traffic with little to no effort, add a little effort and they might really take off…

  14. Amanda Amanda

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with the datafeed sites. I’ve had some success with them but you are right, it takes A LOT of planning, work, and patience.

    I think you can somewhat predict what sites will do well by doing traditional market research, keyword research and online competitive research. Nothing is fail proof though of course unfortunately…

  15. As you build out more sites, you can start creatively linking to each other without leaving footprints.

    You can also Partner with other Site owners for link exchange. As you build more sites, the network effect will boost all the sites. You don’t need to build 1 site everyday. A few month should suffice.

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