My Volatile eBay Partner Network Earnings

Oct. 04

I’m a big fan of SEO web publishing and have developed over 30 sites that drive pure margin to my bottom line. It’s refreshing as a pay per click professional to have SEO margins of nearly 100 percent in my personal portfolio of websites. I’m also a big fan of the eBay Partner Network. I’ve been in eBay’s affiliate program back since the days it was on Commission Junction and it’s always played an important part in my affiliate marketing strategy (although less so over time). Today, I wanted to take a moment to share my September earnings on the eBay Partner Network and in particular the very volatile nature of eBay’s affiliate program.

eBay Quality Click Pricing: Then and Now

Back in November, 2009 I wrote about eBay’s brand new quality click pricing. It has been almost a year now since eBay migrated from its old model of paying affiliates based on sales and leads to paying for each and every click.

Early on, I was a fan of eBay’s new model because my earnings skyrocketed and became much more consistent. While I’m still a fan of eBay, I have changed my opinion on quality click pricing. I like the old model better. Why? My earnings have trended down sharply in recent months and volatility has skyrocketed.

In addition to trending down, my earnings have been very volatile as of late. Case in point: The snapshot at the end of this article is from my eBay partner account. While my clicks are somewhat consistent, the chart shows my earnings per day coming in at only a few bucks per day and they skyrocketing at the end of the month.

I Have Been Diversifying My SEO Affiliate Business

Over time, my Google AdSense earnings have been trending up like crazy! They have been doing especially well since Google’s new leaderboard format. I have been doing well on Comission Junction as well. In August, I had a record month on Commission Junction with nearly $1,000 in pure SEO earnings. Excitingly, I exceeded my August earnings in September. I’m also not doing too bad on ClickBank these days. I’m now trying to make Amazon Associates work, but I have a long way to go.

In addition to diversifying my affiliate earnings by program, I have also been diversifying my portfolio of domain names. I’m proud to announce that I launched five new sites in September and am on track to do the same in October.

All of this diversification is really important in terms of risk mitigation and sustainability. It’s because of diversification that my decline in eBay earnings and volatility really doesn’t impact me. The two takeaways that I wanted to leave you with:

  • eBay’s partner network is great, but be prepared for some volatility.
  • Whether you’re managing corporate SEM campaigns, your affiliate marketing business, or your investment portfolio, diversification is key. The graph below is first hand proof that volatility exists even in a program that’s designed to pay you per click, in a relatively consistent fashion.

eBay Partner Network Earnings

Review of eBay’s Quality Click Pricing

Nov. 11

I run a web publishing business in my free time and have found it to be just about the best testing ground to learn new PPC and SEO strategies. In fact, I credit my web publishing business as fueling my corporate career because it has given me the opportunity to learn new things that I simply wouldn’t have the time to learn at work, especially on the SEO side. Today, I wanted to discuss my excitement for eBay’s new quality click pricing.

My eBay Affiliate Program Earnings Are Up 40%

Let me cut right to the important stuff: Since October 1, 2009 my eBay earnings are up over 40% compared to my previous peak month. I haven’t made any significant changes on my end during this time period (I’ve actually been focused 100% on my full time gig) and I credit this entire increase in earnings to eBay’s new quality based pricing.

eBay Has Consistently Innovated Their Affiliate Program

eBay Profits Increasing

I’d like to start off by taking a step back and thanking eBay for their innovation. I’ve been an eBay affiliate forever. When I first started, their affiliate program was on Commission Junction. Back in those days, I did reasonably well, but must admit the program was a bit cumbersome. Since then, eBay has really stepped things up.

First, they brought their affiliate program in house and built out an amazingly helpful tracking and reporting system. Their affiliate portal alone has made a very significant impact on my earnings. In pay per click search engine marketing, accurate tracking and reporting is everything. eBay gets it and has applied that mentality to their affiliate program.

With eBay’s most recent changes around quality click pricing, they continue to push forward with the innovations and I commend them. The new system smooths out your earnings to a per click basis and over-rewards high quality clicks while under-rewarding lower quality clicks. I guess I fall in the high quality clicks bucket because my earnings have risen sharply and have been very consistent on a day-to-day basis!

My Personal Strategy on eBay’s Affiliate Program

My strategy is actually relatively simple. I built out an organic website that focuses on a niche of a niche of a niche. I totally own that niche and picked a niche that meshes well with products sold on eBay. It’s a niche that I’m personally passionate about and have personally purchased all of products I promote through eBay. I talk about my experience and offer honest and useful information to my audience. At the end of my articles, I’ll include a targeted link to the relevant products or seller on eBay. Sometimes, I’ll leverage eBay’s seller widget and include that in the article as well.

Why do I think this strategy works so well? I’m honest with my readers and a personal consumer of the products I promote. Because I’m sharing my own experiences, the reader trusts me and is more likely to make a purchase on eBay. My advice to you: Be authentic in your writing. Only endorse products that you personally buy. Speak clearly and openly with your readers. eBay’s quality click pricing will be there to reward you!

I hope this encourages you to give eBay’s affiliate program a try! I’ve read mixed reviews on other blogs and really wanted to take the time to highlight my positive experience to underscore that it’s totally possible to thrive under eBay’s quality click pricing system.

Want to learn more about my web publishing endeavors? Make sure to check out my post all about moonlighting and your SEM career.

Image of Profits Trending Up © iStockPhoto – Kativ