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Why aren't you making money with the eBay affiliate program? (you should be)

Discussion in 'eBay' started by markowe, May 29, 2012.

  1. #1
    OK, so this forum seems to have given up a long time ago as regards discussion about the eBay affiliate program (which is what this subforum is supposed to be for).

    So why is there so little discussion about EPN (the Ebay Partner Network)? Did people really give up on it? Did you maybe try to get accepted by EPN and fail? Or did you get kicked out a couple of years ago? Or did you just give up because you couldn't figure out how you were supposed to make money under the new QCP (Quality Click Pricing) system?

    It's true, EPN DID have their share of problems when the new program was introduced - but my EPN earnings stabilised a long time ago, and for me eBay is now a nice part of my online income. And I now have a MUCH better idea of how to make money from the program than I did before.

    I want to share some tips with you about earning from the eBay affiliate program - why? Well, I learned a lot here on DP in my early IM days so it's nice to give something back. But also, I have a kind of vested interest in promoting the eBay program - because I wrote and maintain the Wordbay eBay plugin for Wordpress, and so I am keen to get people promoting EPN again ;).

    There are some cool things about the eBay affiliate program that make it very attractive to promote:

    • there are TONS of niches on eBay you can't find anywhere else, especially collectibles and that kind of thing, and comparatively less SEO competition for those niches
    • you get paid for CLICKS on your site, so income is a lot more steady if you promote it right
    • it's really EASY to make money with eBay niche sites, even if it's only a small amount to begin with. I earned my very first online income from eBay sites when I was a complete n00b!

    OK, so here are some of the main points about making money from eBay niche sites that I want to share with you.
    SEMrush
    1. You do not have to be a member of EPN to promote eBay - for some time now, several networks have been like "sub-affiliates" for EPN - such as Viglink and Skimlinks. They are quite easy to sign up for (Skimlinks is more straightforward). Sure they take a percentage, but they are a lot easier to get into than EPN, and anyway, once you start getting some decent earnings with eBay via one of these networks you will have a much better chance of successfully applying to EPN, right? And you can promote eBay through them exactly as you would if you were a member of EPN! So don't let not being in EPN be a barrier to promoting eBay!
    2. As we already said, you get paid PER CLICK in EPN, so you have to work on getting the highest NUMBER and the highest VALUE (EPC - earnings per click) of clicks (makes sense, right?) - there are some strategies for doing that! Read on.
    3. You can't send junk clicks - they will just lower your EPC, the QCP algorithm is clever like that. You have to send targeted traffic to eBay, and it has to be "buying" traffic. EPN are basically paying you for LEADS and for buying actions by those leads once they get to eBay. So it's no good your friends just clicking on your ads!
    4. You want to choose a niche that is selling really well on eBay - makes sense, right? Lots of bids, lots of successfully completed listings, that kind of thing. If it doesn't sell on eBay then you might send clicks to eBay, but there won't be many sales and your EPC will suffer.
    5. You really want to get a good VOLUME of clicks through from your site, so it doesn't really make sense just to make the typical niche site about "antique Ming vases" and focus on that one single keyword phrase. Sure, pick a few keywords (based on things that SELL on eBay, like I said), build some quality content about those keywords, but then EXPAND your site to include more and more different long-tail phrases on different products. You really want lots of long-tail product searches coming to your site, and the good news is that that is much easier to get than ranking for that one single keyword phrase.
    6. Don't go crazy on your site, stuffing it with eBay listings - Google hates that. There are a number of good plugins around (*cough* *cough*) for putting eBay listings on your Wordpress blog etc. but you shouldn't overdo it, Google has been slapping sites for years which have mostly eBay on them - it just doesn't work for SEO. You need lots of GOOD, useful content that answers people's questions about a particular product, and then the eBay links should be subtly added, not dominate the page. Oh yeah, BANS (the Build a Niche Site Script, SOOO popular a few years ago) is basically dead, it died quite some time ago, for this exact reason.
    7. Use geo-targetting if you can - i.e. if your visitors come from the US, then you want to send them to eBay US, not eBay UK, or the chances are they won't buy and you won't get credited for any sales. If you geotarget you can earn from traffic from all over the world, as eBay has lots of different country sites. Most of my sites earn money from multiple countries thanks to this fact. My Wordbay plugin lets you do this, or there are probably other scripts you can use too.
    8. Block bots, and block visitors who are NOT from one of the eBay countries. If someone from Vietnam clicks through to eBay.co.uk on your site, chances are they won't buy anything, and those kind of clicks just lower your EPC and possibly damage your earnings. Bots also damage your EPC by generating lots of junk clicks to eBay. There are software solutions to help you fix this too so you only send quality, buying traffic to eBay, and get the maximum possible earnings.


    Well, I hope this has been some help and it will encourage some people to reconsider the eBay affiliate program. I don't pretend to have all the knowledge of the world about EPN and eBay niche sites, but I do earn from it, and could probably earn a lot more if I wasn't involved in so many other things :/. I would be happy to try to answer any questions anyone has.

    Happy eBay niche-site building!

    markowe
     
    markowe, May 29, 2012 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mco65

    mco65 Member

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    #2
    markowe,
    good stuff.. does your wordbay plugin automatically daily auctions or is it more interactive, requiring you to touch the site daily?
     
    mco65, May 30, 2012 IP
  3. Valid SEO

    Valid SEO Greenhorn

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    #3
    Hello Markowe,

    Thanks for sharing. People more like amazon affiliate that ebay. There are a lot of amazon affiliate e book. Very rare about ebay affiliate.

    Interesting...wordbay plugin, i will learn it more
     
    Valid SEO, May 30, 2012 IP
  4. markowe

    markowe Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Oh, my plugin, and probably all others based off the eBay RSS feed, refresh the auctions constantly, or at least every x minutes, depending on what you set your cache time to. So it's COMPLETELY hands-off (other than adding new content to your blog, etc :)) Actually, that's another point I didn't mention in the original post, you really mustn't have stale, expired listings on your site, because when the user clicks on a day-old listing that maybe expired 12 hours ago, they get taken to a "This item has sold" message. EPN have said they don't like clicks coming through to expired listings, so that's definitely something to avoid.

    The very nature of auction listings is that you need to always have fresh listings pulled in, or at LEAST link to a search results page so when they click through they can get fresh results.
     
    markowe, May 31, 2012 IP
  5. mco65

    mco65 Member

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    #5
    So your plugin deletes expired auction posts? or does it simply remove the link to eBay and keep the content?
     
    mco65, May 31, 2012 IP
  6. markowe

    markowe Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Just to clarify, my plugin doesn't create posts based on auction items - you COULD do that with something like WP-Robot and just the regular eBay RSS feed (with your campaign ID added). But that's just not a good model these days - that kind of thing just gets slapped by Google. My plugin, and similar ones based off the eBay RSS feed insert live auction listings in your existing blog post or page using a shortcode, and those auction listings get constantly updated.

    So say you have a blog post on "rubber ducks", you would insert 4, 6, 8 or however many (less is more in my opinion) of the latest, or soonest expiring, or lowest priced, or however you sort them, auction listings from eBay for "rubber ducks", using a shortcode. Then when someone comes to that blogpost they always see current listings from eBay for the relevant product. It's a typical affiliate marketing model that is still best practice, I think. You do need decent content these days, just pulling stuff off eBay just doesn't work SEO-wise, hasn't really done so for a long time.
     
    markowe, May 31, 2012 IP
  7. boogaloobroman

    boogaloobroman Peon

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    #7
    eBay has been a real pain in the ass and refuses to be affiliated with anyone with a similar IP as mine for an undisclosed reason :(
     
    boogaloobroman, Jun 3, 2012 IP
  8. markowe

    markowe Well-Known Member

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    #8
    I wonder why - if you are on a typical ISP, I suppose somebody else on the same IP range may have abused EPN at some point and they have just blacklisted your IP, or a whole block.

    I guess get another ISP, another IP, or go through a VPN or something (dodgy).
     
    markowe, Jun 4, 2012 IP
  9. Kerosene

    Kerosene Alpha & Omega™ Staff

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    #9
    Great post markowe. ePN is NOT DEAD! :) :D
    Tip #8 is (in my opinion) one of the most important things to do. Clicks from non ePN countries can trash your EPC. Give them an eBay link by all means, just make sure it's not an affiliate link.

    I try and remove any new non ePN threads in this forum, but that doesn't seem to be enough. I might start closing/moving older posts as they get bumped. It would be good to have more ePN discussions on DP. Even if it's just a few of us.
     
    Kerosene, Jun 9, 2012 IP
  10. markowe

    markowe Well-Known Member

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    #10
    You've really got your work cut out for you there... I mean, you would be deleting 95% of posts that are made in the forum. Perhaps the real problem is that DP doesn't have an "eBay" forum as such, so people just jump in this one.

    Glad to see there are a few EPN die-hards round here though! I think people are leaving money on the table but, well, too bad!

    And yes, Tip #8 was something I never did till recently - it has drastically stabilised and improved my earnings! I don't send non-affiliated visitors to eBay though, I'm not sending them free traffic, he he! I tend to use Adsense as a fallback instead, though I have to say, it converts abysmally..!
     
    markowe, Jun 21, 2012 IP
  11. mco65

    mco65 Member

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    #11
    I just implemented #8 as well a few weeks back.. those bot clicks would typically show ever other month and simply kill my EPC for a few weeks. :( Hoping that by blocking the countries mentioned my EPC will remain stable as will earning. ;)
     
    mco65, Jun 22, 2012 IP
  12. Kerosene

    Kerosene Alpha & Omega™ Staff

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    #12
    Without reading the sticky!

    What method are you using to geo target/redirect your visitors? I'm still using the MaxMind free database.
     
    Kerosene, Jun 22, 2012 IP
  13. Cyberdog1

    Cyberdog1 Peon

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    #13
    I'll be honest - Amazon is just a better affiliate program than ebay so that's why most people talk about Amazon. eBay needs to go a long way to get to the heights of Amazon and maybe your little add-on will help that.
     
    Cyberdog1, Jun 23, 2012 IP
  14. winson

    winson Active Member

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    #14
    How Ebay Affiliate compare to Amazon? anyone has exp on this?
     
    winson, Jun 24, 2012 IP
  15. markowe

    markowe Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Sadly not.

    I'm using this - http://ipinfodb.com/ - honestly, I couldn't say whether it is better or worse than any other. You are always going to get some mis-hits with any database like that. However, I was using http://www.hostip.info before - that is kind of user-maintained ("open") and I can't quite remember why I switched over now, but I believe there were too many mis-hits. It had me in Nigeria at one point..!
     
    markowe, Jun 25, 2012 IP
  16. markowe

    markowe Well-Known Member

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    #16
    I dunno, it's apples and oranges - it's true, Amazon is much more straightforward, you still earn a straight commission off sales. But again, I think even though Amazon and eBay have converged a lot in recent years there are niches on eBay that you still can't tap on Amazon - a lot of the vintage and collectibles-type stuff. There is a massive gold-mine there.
     
    markowe, Jun 25, 2012 IP
  17. binarymetric

    binarymetric Greenhorn

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    #17
    What is the pay range they pay per click? Great it changes on quality, though what is the min. and max. Per click?
     
    binarymetric, Aug 14, 2012 IP
  18. Ironside

    Ironside Active Member

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    #18
    Some very nice useful information. I have just signed up for eBay affiliate and only today started to put a couple of links on my website. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure what I'm doing. So far, I have just used "links" as it seems fairly straightforward. I've created a "campaign" for each link which appears on different articles. I wonder if you could give me some tips on the best places to put links. My guess is that they should go amongst the content. For instance, one of my articles is about how to prepare a fish tank to take fish. It gets a lot of visitors each day, say I've created a campaign/link that when people click on it, takes them directly to where they can purchase things like water testing kits. However, I think your idea of finding something that people are buying a lot of the is a good Call.

    I more likely to get clicks if I have items displaying on each page, rather than just a link?
     
    Ironside, Aug 5, 2014 IP
  19. Boost_Software

    Boost_Software Member

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    #19
    Great work. As far as your links, try to place them "above the fold". That means make sure your visitors can see the add without having to scroll down the page. Or, you can place an additional ad "below the fold" to make sure the banner may be seen and clicked on easily. That's my 2 cents worth....Keep doing what you are doing and you will go far:)
     
    Boost_Software, Aug 5, 2014 IP
  20. Fariyal

    Fariyal Member

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    #20
    i think ebay is useless for affiliate program
     
    Fariyal, Sep 7, 2014 IP