Datafeeds are an affiliate creative option used by 10% of affiliates, according to data in the 2011 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, where over fourteen-hundred affiliates were surveyed, we asked, “What are your preferred link types?”

An affiliate datafeed is a text file featuring details on a merchant's products, such as direct links, product image links, categories, prices, and product descriptions.

These datafeeds are downloaded by an affiliate into a database.

The contents and formatting of a datafeed can vary from merchant to merchant. Common formats of dadafeeds are pipe delimited and tab delimited.

Affiliates who use datafeeds are able to maintain a fresh inventory of products on their site, and when the visitor clicks a link, they are taken to the merchant's site.

Working with datafeeds is somewhat advanced, and affiliates will need access to create databases on their server.

But there are some tools to simplify the use of a datafeed as an affiliate.

Years ago, I purchased a software called WebMerge to add datafeeds to my sites, but I never managed to make it work. This was way before I was using WordPress, and my sites were in hand-written HTML.

Since then, services like GoldenCAN and PopShops have emerged that enable affiliates to display datafeeds with little or no technical ability.

But I found a solution I like in the premimum WordPress plugin, datafeedr.

datafeedr is a powerful solution that can be used by beginner, intermediate, and advanced affiliate marketers.

It's a system that enables affiliates to create and embed an affiliate store into a WordPress blog without messing with the datafeed files, learning a programming language, or hiring programmers.

For more information on affiliate datafeeds, have a look at a series of blog posts written on the subject by affiliate Eric Nagel:

Eric has some other posts on using datafeeds – just search datafeeds on his blog.