You may have heard that you can make money via eBay Partner Network program. Let me explain how this works. It pays better than showing ads on a blog. When visitors come to my post by searching on Google, they are already interested in knowing more about a product. I merely presents the facts and my opinions, letting them make their own decision. If they decide to buy, they click on my eBay product link and I earn a referral fee. In this post, I will show you how it is done. If you are already a master at this, share some tips in the comments below.
In this post, I’ll give a quick overview of the affiliate program. Then I’ll share some questions for you to consider to evaluate if ePN is right for you. Hopefully, by the end of the post, you’ll have a good idea whether or not the program will work well on your site.
ePN is similar to AdSense because it pays per click (although AdSense also pays on a CPM basis depending upon what ads are served). However, ePN is an affiliate program rather than an ad network like AdSense. Therefore, your traffic must generate revenue for eBay or else you won’t get paid. If your traffic doesn’t convert, then your earnings per click can go down to zero and you risk being dropped from the program.
eBay originally paid affiliate marketers a percentage of the transaction fees. But just recenty, in October 2009, eBay switched to a payout system called Quality Click Pricing (QCP). In this system, affiliates are paid based on an algorithm that takes into account several factors including revenue from sales, the long term value of new users, eBay advertising revenue and PayPal revenue.
ePN offers several tools to promote eBay on your blog. These tools include banner generators, link generators, an RSS feed generator, product feeds, and an API.
Questions to Consider
Is there an active market for eBay products in your niche?
Check eBay to see if there are many listings for products in your niche. This page is a good place to start because it lists all the main categories on eBay. Also, you can use eBay’s search box for market research. Search for common products in your industry and see if many auctions show up. If there is an active market, then ePN may well be a solid income source for your blog.
Even if you’re in obscure niche, I would still check eBay. You may be surprised at the wide range of products on the site. eBay has an active market for many things including antiques, books, clothes, cameras, computers, DVDs, industrial equipment, musical instruments, pet supplies, sporting goods, tickets, and toys. You can even buy automobiles on eBay.
Are you an affiliate marketer or willing to become one?
You don’t have to be an affiliate marketer right now, but you need to be committed to the trade to fully realize the benefits of ePN. As an affiliate marketer, you’ll have to focus on selling products and converting your readers to buyers. These skills are different from generating traffic and producing content.
Still, if you understand your audience and have a relevant site, it won’t be too difficult to get your readers to spend money on eBay. But you may have to learn different skills to make ePN a viable income stream.
Do you have a quality site?
eBay is looking for relevant sites that have unique or value-added content. These types of sites tend to do well with ePN.
The eBay team published a white paper on Search Engine Marketing Journal titled The Coming Evolution in Affiliate Marketing: A Focus on Quality. This paper was based on their advanced tracking and research of their affiliates.
In this paper, they write:
“Affiliates who take the time to create high-quality sites with value-added content tend to perform better than those who simply slap together hundreds of sites that contain very little other than affiliate ads and AdSense. It probably doesn’t come as a shock that ads crammed five or ten to a page on ringtone sites don’t capture the same quality of users as well conceived ads thoughtfully integrated into product-oriented content.”
They note that small and mid-sized affiliates often outperform larger ones because they add a lot of value to their sites.
If you’ve built trust with your audience and have relevant, quality content, then your blog could be a great place to promote eBay.
Do you have a plan for promoting eBay?
You want to have a plan before applying so that eBay knows you’re serious about promoting their offers. Otherwise you may get rejected.
Can you send a good amount of traffic to eBay?
Traffic is important because the more click data the ePN algorithm has, the more accurate your earnings will be. If you don’t send a lot of clicks to eBay, you will receive a default earnings per click (EPC) amount that is assigned to the smallest publishers. You could be missing out on the earnings you deserve.
eBay hasn’t given a benchmark on the number of clicks that will give you the default EPC amount, but based on my experience, I would aim for at least 50 clicks per day.
Getting Started! (From ePN)
Getting started on the eBay Partner Network is quick and easy – within 30 minutes you could be driving traffic and earning commission! All it takes is 4 simple steps:
To join the eBay Partner Network, you need to register at www.ebaypartnernetwork.com. When you sign up, we’ll ask you for some basic information, including what type of website you have. Choose the description that best fits your website, for example, if you have a blog or a hobby website, choose website. But don’t worry if you don’t yet have a website – you can still join the eBay Partner Network. After you have signed up, you’ll then receive an e-mail with your login details and you’re free to enter the site!
2. Go to the Programs tab
When you first sign in, click on the Programs tab. There you will see a list of all the country’s programs to which you have applied. This tab is important, because although eBay Partner Network is a global platform, different countries have slightly different rules and payment structures, so you should definitely look at the terms and conditions and the payment structure. You can also see the status of your application to each country’s program.
3. Go to the Tools tab
Now you need to put links or banners on your site that point to eBay or Half.com. The easiest ways to do this are using the Link Generator or the Creative Generator and to find them you need to go to the Tools tab.
First of all, select the advertiser. Secondly, select a link type from a choice of Home Page, Keyword Search, Item ID or Custom URL. You will then have to enter your chosen keyword, item id or custom URL, but remember to make it as relevant to your visitors as possible. Some of the options can be geo-targeted, which means that we can detect where the visitor to your site is from and redirect them to the most appropriate site for their geographical location. However, you will still need to select a default program, just in case we can’t detect where the visitor is from – we suggest selecting the US program. Choose what you want the link text to be and try to make it a call to action, for example “Find a Bargain on eBay.” Finally, click on the Generate Link button and copy and paste the code into your site. Easy!
Use the drop down boxes on the left to filter which creatives you can see. You can filter by advertiser, size, type and whether the creative is geo-targeted. If you select geo-targeted creatives, the language will change depending on your visitor’s location and it will link to the most geographically appropriate site. You then need to click on the creative you want to use and select a default program, in case we can’t detect which country your visitor is from. Finally, click on the Generate Code button and copy and paste it into your site.
4. Fill in your payment details
Go to the Account tab and select Payment Information. eBay Partner Network currently offers 2 payment methods depending on your location: Paypal and direct deposit. Select your payment method and fill in the required details. If you are based in the US, you also need to ensure you inputted your tax details.
Tip 1: Focus On An Authority Website
I started this website about a topic I love! Due to my passion, I was able to write hundreds of articles that users love while really sharing my own personality and perspective with my visitors. I consistently get emails from my visitors saying they love my site and I’ve truly helped them. I invested a ton of sweat equity, and continue to update my website consistently to this day. (Side note: I don’t want to give the illusion that passive income is easy. It takes a ton of up front work.)
By focusing on one site, I was able to build a ton of quality traffic within a particular niche, thus having the ability to send eBay lots of qualified visitors. I have found that the large scale approach (when combined with quality) works really well! So, if you’re thinking about going the multi-site route versus the authority site route, I’d highly recommend going with an authority site.
Tip 2: Don’t Go Overboard With Links To eBay
You’d be surprised! I don’t have a ton of links to eBay on my authority website. I almost make my visitors look for them. This is really important. eBay is measuring results (in the form of account sign-ups and also winning bids) and will pay you higher EPCs if you drive higher quality traffic. In fact, they tend to over-reward their highest quality sources of traffic. For this very reason, it’s of paramount importance you don’t go overboard and you only send quality traffic. My personal approach has involved extremely long, complex, passionate articles that truly help users with maybe one link to eBay. I could send probably 5 times as much traffic to eBay as I am now, but I don’t want to compromise the quality because then my EPCs would plummet.
Tip 3: Leverage Text Links To eBay
eBay offers a ton of complex ways to link to them. They offer widgets, the ability to embed eBay results right on your website, and all sorts of options. When it comes to SEO, my strategy is one of keeping it very simple. As such, the majority of my eBay links are text links. Of course, I sprinkle in a few widgets too, but those represent the minority of my EPN clicks. My advice is to not overlook the simple, text link strategy because it works really well with Tip 2 (keeping your traffic quality high).
I hope these tips help you out! But more importantly because I’m learning. I’m learning new skills that help my corporate online marketing career while having fun and making some extra income!