Mar12011

“I love running this thing on good days and bad days. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but you really have to enjoy it, and I do.”

datafeedr co-founder
Eric Busch
datafeedr
Co-Founder

Interview by Mike Sullivan

Eric Busch is the co-founder of Datafeedr. He has been developing WordPress related websites with articles, products, or both for over two years. After creating some custom affiliate stores at niche-content-stores.com, he thought that others could benefit from such sites and Datafeedr was born!

MO:
Where did the concept for Datafeedr originate?

Eric:
Basically it came out of a need that I had myself. I was doing work for Stefan, who is now my co-founder at Datafeedr, and basically I was creating sites for him where we were bringing in data feeds, importing it into his website. But it was a very manual process. It took a lot of time. It took a lot of effort, and I realized if I could just automate this and make it a lot easier to do that would save me a ton of time creating sites for him. Then I thought, well, why not just expose that to a whole bunch of other people because a lot of users are going to get a lot of use out of this.

MO:
With 5,000 merchants and over 100 million products, is every affiliate niche covered?

Eric:
I would say, yeah. Pretty much every physical product niche is covered. The only things that might be a little sparse but still covered are digital products, but we still support a few networks that deal only with digital products, like ClickBank. There are still those products, but yeah, for the most part, the sky’s the limit. A hundred million products. You can find whatever you want, promote whatever you want essentially.

We support right now 16 different affiliate networks, and those affiliate networks provide data feeds from each of the merchants that they support. So let’s say LinkShare for example, they support Buy.com, BestBuy, PetSmart, and what those merchants, those companies will do is upload their entire inventory into the affiliate network’s database. The affiliate network creates a data feed around those in some type of csv file. What we do is we take all those products, download them, bring them into our database, index them, and throw a pretty powerful search engine on top of that so that our users, our members can quickly create a store around a niche that they’re interested in promoting without having to mess around with a csv file, without having to download huge data feed files which can be like a couple gigs in some cases, and then import those into their site and just create a storefront like right out of the box without them having to mess around with code.

MO:
What differentiates Datafeedr from other affiliate marketing software?

Eric:
I don’t really keep track of who is the competition so much. But from what I hear from our members who have tried other programs out there, our system is a lot more powerful, a lot more customizable, a lot more feature-rich, whereas some other systems might just kind of drag a little JavaScript, snip it into your site, and load 15 products on a page or something like this. Ours is much more comprehensive. You can essentially customize any aspect of it. So if you want to, for example, change the layout, that’s no problem. We provide some default templates you can start with. If you know HTML, CSS, the sky’s the limit. Also, you can customize product information. The data feeds come with the default product information that the merchant is providing, but if you want to edit the product description, the product name, or whatever, you can go ahead and that. Since we integrate with WordPress and you basically bring in your store into WordPress, there are thousands of free themes for WordPress. So if you don’t like the default WordPress theme, you can just go to WordPress.org, download a theme that matches the niche that you’re focused on. In terms of what wraps around our store, that’s also highly customizable. You can do whatever you want there as well.

MO:
How is Datafeedr optimized for search engines?

Eric:
Basically, out of the box, we’ve tried to SEO it as much as possible, sticking in the meta tags and title tags of course. That’s just a given for affiliate marketers. They’re going to need that right out of the box. But then if the affiliate marketer wants to do a little bit more, that’s possible. All of the images are highly SEO’d because the product name makes the image name. So we’ve done what we can to provide a highly SEO’d product. That’s one of the reasons we integrated with WordPress is because, one, a lot of affiliate marketers use WordPress, and two, right out of the box WordPress is highly SEO’d. So if you start writing content articles and blog posts, whatever, Google really eats that up. And then there’s a whole bunch of other WordPress plug-ins to provide further SEO. Between WordPress and the WordPress plug-ins and our software, you have a really SEO’d site.

Eric Busch Co-founder

MO:
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?

Eric:
I think the biggest challenge for me is this was my first real business. I’ve always had smaller things on the side, and just the amount of time it takes. Of course, you’re working nine to five, but then you’re also working after five to nine, weekends. I mean it’s tough. That was, for me, the biggest challenge. Fortunately, I love it. I love running this thing on good days and bad days. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but you really have to enjoy it, and I do. But I spend a lot of time on it. That was kind of unexpected. For me, another thing that I realized before I started Datafeedr is that I get a little distracted. I’ll kind of chase rabbits down this hole, rabbits down that hole. So I needed someone to kind of keep me on track there and so that’s why Stefan, who’s the co-founder, partnered up with me because I know he was very focused, very keep-on-track kind of guy and who also has a pretty strong marketing background. I asked him to come on board. So about every six months or something, I’m like, okay, we should try this, we should try that. He’s like, “No, no, no. Let’s just stay focused on the product.” I’m like, “Okay, we’ll do that.”

MO:
Do you have any idea as to how well your members are doing with their sites?

Eric:
One example of someone who is really successful in our program is Mike. He started with us almost from the beginning. We’ve been around for almost three years. It will be three years in April. He started with us in the beginning. He was brand new to affiliate marketing. He started with the Five Site Plan, so he just had five sites, and he just worked his butt off to learn how to do promotion. He came back about a year later to us, and he proposed to us that he write a case study for how he got his sites ranking as well as they did and how he chose his niche and all the steps that are involved. I was shocked. He came back and he said, “With five sites, I’m making five grand a month.” I was like, “Wow, that’s awesome.” He wrote up a huge case study for us that we posted on our site for our members. I don’t know what he’s making now, but it was so impressive to hear that, that he just took these five sites and is just making really good money with that.

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