This tutorial shows how to create an affiliate store in 5 minutes from a data feed. This is an incredibly flexible alternative to BANS, PHPBay, BayRSS, Build a Niche Store, Amazon widgets, or anything else out there. I use ALL the things I just mentioned, but this is something new, something FREE, and something very, very customizable…

I’m about to show you something incredible that’s been under your (and my) nose all this time and you didn’t even know it. If you’ve been an eBay affiliate, or promoted affiliate programs through Commission Junction, ShareASale, or LinkShare you know how difficult it can be to link to individual products, create a landing page, or get links. Nobody wants to promote a banner anymore, as bloggers and niche marketers we need to promote “products”. It’s very frustrating knowing that a good merchant has thousands and thousands of quality products and you can’t directly link to them at all.

There is a solution, and it’s very, very easy to do – and it’s been under your nose all this time. You can have an entire affiliate store online in about 5 minutes, containing each and every product a merchant has. You can do it very little knowledge of code (some HTML helps), and you don’t need any special blogging software or plugin even. Your store will be completely searchable and all results will come up on your page within your domain – no iframes or crazy stuff. It will even be completely searchable (or not) if you want it to be by search engine spiders. I am shocked that the way to do this isn’t available directly through CJ, ShareASale, or LinkShare themselves.

All the big merchants (and some of the smaller ones) have a “data feed”. It’s a text file (usually XML or CSV) containing all the details of every product they sell. It has the titles, names, links, and descriptions of all products in their database. If you were a web programmer, you could request this data feed and build an incredible online store with it, inserting your affiliate ID in all the links. But you’re probably not a programmer…

Guess what – there’s a free service you can use where you won’t need a programmer. It cost nothing, and probably never will. I’m talking about Sign up and get an account RIGHT NOW! What happens is, once you have an account you can choose a merchant, enter your affiliate ID, and create an online store feed in seconds. They get every fourth click you generate from the feeds to pay for their expenses, unless you use one of the 30 merchant feeds where they foot the bill, and you get all the traffic. That’s right, if you use one of the 30+ starred feeds, the merchant pays for it so you don’t have to turn over every 4th click (or share any traffic at all). This means this entire service is FREE and cost absolutely nothing to you.

How to Add an Affiliate Data Feed in 5 Minutes

I was AMAZED at how quickly I setup an entire online store. It was so quick and dirty I was shocked, I am not lying – I had my first on online in less than 5 minutes.

First – Find a Merchant:
Choose one of the first 30+ merchants with free feeds.

Second – Create a Store:
Just give your store a name, add your affiliate ID from Commission Junction, ShareASale, or LinkShare, and create and enter a unique short identifier of your own to track sales.

create goldencan store from data feed

Third – Set your Store Properties:
You can modify the categories you want to display within the store (or display everything), you can change the font and color properties, how many items to show on a page, whether you have search displayed, etc.

modify goldencan store properties

Fourth – Get your code and past into a simple web page:
You have many choices for inclusion in a web page. One is javascript (which search engines won’t index). If you don’t want your store indexed this is great. If you do – then you can use either PHP for Linux webhosting, or ASP for Windows webhosting. This code takes care of the entire store, including search, navigation, and all products. All you have to do is paste it into a web page (template) that you create which can be as simple or complex as you desire. At very least you should probably have some kind of footer, an intro paragraph of original content, and a footer – with navigation back to your site and a copyright.

copy and past golden can data feed code for store generation

Once you’ve created stores, they are listed within your “MyStores” page like this:

GoldenCAN store mystores listing

You can delete or duplicate your stores from here. This page also tracks how many pageviews and clicks your store(s) have generated. I created 5 different stores so far, and each one has been created in 5 minutes or less – you can view them all for examples if you wish:

eBags Coupons: This was the first one I created, which wasn’t a store, but a coupon page listing all current offers from eBays (updated live). When you create a store you have the ability to create store products, coupons, or search results integration page. I used the javascript option to add these to the page.

Guitar Store: This was the second one I made, and all I did was open a text editor and create a simple HTML file and add one header logo – and I copied and pasted the PHP code from goldenCAN in the middle of the page like this:

Instrument Pro Guitars |Guitar Review

Guitar Review

Computer Closeouts
Computer Overstocks
Both of these I used the same basic HTML page, but this time I added a paragraph of original content at the top of the page for each for better indexing.

Refurb LCD HDTV: on this one I made named the PHP file with keywords for better indexing.

If you really thing about it – you could create these affiliate stores from data feeds and make your own custom headers, and footers and treat them like BANS sites. You could write original articles and promote them, monetize them with other ads or adsense, or even include the feed in your blog. Promoting feeds with these data feeds could become a good “free BANS alternative“. And you didn’t know there could be an “alternative to Build a Niche Store” – did you? Let alone completely customizable and completely free!