In the last three months (February – May), I earned $4,874.26 on the eBay Partner Network (EPN). That’s an average of about $52.98 per day of pure margin SEO income (no media costs attached). Considering I hold a demanding full time job (that I love) and that the time I invest in my eBay Partner Network websites is low (maybe 1 hour/week on average), I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. Since my prior posts about my EPN earnings have been so popular (Scoring Record EPN Earnings and My EPN Earnings Rock), I thought I’d do another eBay post today to share my success and a few tips so you too can build your own passive income stream while driving substantial user value. When you’re done reading my tips, make sure to check out the screen shot at the bottom of this post that highlights my earnings!
Tip 1: Focus On An Authority Website
My eBay Partner Network Earnings come from one authority website that I started back in 2007. 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 in the early days (mainly 2007-2008), and continue to update my website consistently to this day (although my commitment right now is about 1 hour/week). (Side note: I don’t want to give the illusion that passive income is easy. It takes a ton of up front work, it’s just that I’m now enjoying the passive aspect of my income stream because my EPN operation has matured.)
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. (Side note: You can learn more about this in my review of eBay’s Quality Click Pricing.) 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! I’m super thrilled with my eBay results because of the passive income, 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!
Image of my eBay Partner Network Earnings © PPCIan.com
Dino Vedo says
These are some awesome tips Ian! Personally have been focusing mainly on CPA and other affiliate marketing offers, but should definitely give EPN a chance!
Thanks so much for the comment, very much appreciate it as always! 🙂 Yeah, I’d definitely recommend EPN, it has been really good to me. I’d love to learn more about your specific tips for CPA and your affiliate marketing offers. I could really stand to do better on ClickBank, as an example, but am moving in the right direction!
All the best,
Mark - The Word Bay Guy says
Very encouraging article. It IS possible to earn good money from EPN, but people are very sceptical about the program since the whole “Quality Click Pricing” changeover. However, if you get the right niche you can make volume sales at a conversion rate that is just not possible with other programs – save perhaps Amazon, but there is sooo much stuff on eBay that you won’t find on Amazon. Zillions of untapped niches, especially in collectibles, used items etc., and the sales really add up, especially if they are medium-priced, fairly high-volume items.
The authority site approach surely has to be a good model – far too many would-be eBay affiliates just try to knock up quick but very thin EPN sites, stuffing the pages with eBay listings using a plugin. Often the users of my plugin do this, unfortunately, despite my pleas to focus more on content and keep the affiliate links to a minimum. Your success proves less is more, and that quality content DOES keep Google (and the visitors, AND EPN) happy, so well done!
Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek says
Great post, Ian. I love these types of posts. Everytime I read about your EPN earnings, however, I get frustrated because EPN won’t seem to ever approve my applications. I probably have a dozen or more websites it would work well on, but for some reason, they deny me and fail to give a reason. Any suggestions?
Thanks so much, Mark! I truly appreciate it! What an awesome comment. You are very right about the untapped niches on eBay, tons of opportunity there. Great work on your plugin and can’t wait to check it out.
All the best,
Thanks so much for the comment! That is very discouraging indeed that you keep getting denied. I’m honestly not sure why, I created my account a long time ago when eBay first took their program off Commission Junction and brought it back in house (I was advertising on their Commission Junction program before that). My main thought would be that eBay wants volume and established players. I would focus on your largest traffic site and really leverage that in your application. Illustrate how you are able to bring a large volume of quality visitors (and ultimately conversions) to eBay. You may even want to share your Google Analytics data and data from other affiliate programs you’re in to make your case. Unfortunately, I don’t have direct ties to anyone at eBay so don’t have anyone who could help out. Otherwise, I’d definitely connect you if I knew of anyone. One last idea: Check out the conferences that eBay Partner Network may have a presence at and meet them in person. An in person meeting can go a really long way. Best of luck and keep trying!
All the best,
PS – By The way, great work on your blog! I have been reading very closely.
Your epc is insane, mine fluctuates from .02-.30. In fact thx to this seemingly random fluctuation and ebays mystery formula I’ve basically given up on doing anything with my eBay sites other than stick adsense and amazon ads on there where possible (which pay more).
Thanks so much for the comment! Yeah, I’m definitely happy with my EPC, I think it all comes down to really filtering my traffic so the quality is great. Also, it was a lot of trial and error. eBay Partner Network has been a big winner for me, but other networks that work really well for some folks (such as Amazon Associates) have been a little more tricky for me – although I’m always trying to improve and learn more! Now, if I could just replicate my AdSense and eBay success across my more challenging affiliate networks… 🙂
All the best,
Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek says
Thanks for the advice, Ian, I appreciate it. I kind of put EPN on the back burner for now since I’m trying to do a lot more with Amazon and AdSense, but I’ll revisit it soon enough.
Sounds like a plan, Eric! I’d love to hear about your Amazon strategy, what works and what doesn’t. I have AdSense figured out (my best, most consistent channel), but have a long way to go on Amazon. Thanks again!
I’ve gotta get brushed up on affiliate marketing soon! I could really use a passive income so I can live my dream and become a farmer. 😛
Thanks so much for the comment! 🙂 That’s my hope too – leverage my affiliate marketing earnings so I can live my dreams. By the way, your site is really slick, great work!
All the best,
Accidental Domainer says
Congrats on your continuing success with the site, and thanks for sharing the details. I’m curious – do you feel that the site’s potential is maxed out and that it completely dominates its niche, or do you feel that you could make additional improvements to the revenue if you were able to allocate more than 1 hour/week? Again, just curious.
What an awesome question, thanks so much! 🙂 The potential of my site is no way maxed out. I believe I can grow my traffic by at least 4-5x (and expect earning to scale similarly). This begs the question, why not invest more time? The real answer here is I don’t have much more free time between everything else going on (if I want to maintain my sleep and sanity). That said, I do truly believe slow and steady wins the race. My goal: Extract money now while slowly adding more great content so my future earnings are even larger. Thanks again! I’ll keep you updated on my progress!
Accidental Domainer says
Thanks for the reply — all sounds great and makes sense.
“I believe I can grow my traffic by at least 4-5x (and expect earning to scale similarly).” — Exciting days ahead! 🙂
Thank you for the great comments! Exciting times ahead for sure! I just wish I had more time. 🙂
All the best,
Indian Marketer says
Nice post Ian and congrats for the achievement, hope you have more big numbers to show next time.
I am also using eBay (India) partner network since a long time. It does well but AdSense is still my highest earner each month. I think this is because the type of traffic i am targeting (Indian Traffic) and the lack of other affiliate programs targeted to Indian traffic. Anyways, eBay tops my affiliate marketing earnings.
Thanks so much! 🙂 I’m really thrilled. I feel like out strategies are very similar! AdSense is my largest, most stable source of online income as well. eBay is now my #2 money-making channel. Definitely exciting times and a world of opportunity, just wish I had more time!
All the best,
I think your epc is based also on the prior bonuses and special relationship you have managed to have with epn. This month alone, which is not even ended I have driven twice the traffic and sales you show for your last three months, yet I have seen a unexplained drop in my epc which was half yours to begin with, that I get zero answers from epc support. So now for bringing to ebay what averages out to 6 times the clicks and traffic you are bringing, and conversions, and acrus, etc, I am only now seeing between 4 cents to 16 cents. I might add that I have never established any kind of relationship with them since I have been an affiliate for many years, but only in the last 3 months had time to start giving attention to adding ebay to my sites, of which I have over 100 as well. So I want to show another perspective to the newbie to not think that such success as yours is a given, even if you slave away and give appropriate content, etc. Adsense, which delivers 20% untargeted ads on my sites, compensates me almost 100% more per click, and brings me more money, even though I am pretty sure that my visitors must not be converting for their advertisers as well as I give to epn because I have records of conversions for ebay auctions, yet my adsense clicks may do poorly for the advertisers who are showing up with totally unrelated ads to my niches.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Sounds like you have built a really great business. I appreciate your point about this stuff not being easy! That is so true. It’s very difficult work and takes many years to build a solid online business. I’ve been working on this stuff since 2007, as a part time venture due to holding a full time job (in PPC) that I love.
In term of relationships, I want to clarify that I have no special relationship with eBay. I have never talked to anyone at EPN until recently when they invited me to participate in a beta. I truly feel my earnings are a function of my traffic quality. No special treatment here.
In terms of your volatility, I actually have seen similar volatility in the past. I feel that the EPN algorithm is really sensitive. Have a few bad days and your EPC could tank. My advice: Stick in there, it will come back.
In terms of AdSense, I’m a huge fan too. I make most of my affiliate income from AdSense and leverage EPN as a way to complement AdSense. I wish I could share more about my AdSense earnings but it’s against the terms and conditions of AdSense (to the best of my knowledge) to do that. Since I’m so reliant on AdSense, I’m protective of it.
Thanks again, Jake! I appreciate the awesome comment!
Mike | The Mobile Fanatics says
Wow Ian. I made my first dollar in 12 clicks and 191 impressions with eBay Partners. This might work out nicely. Thanks for all the tips.
You are very welcome. 🙂 I really appreciate all the comments and am so thrilled that the strategies are working for you. Great to hear about your success on eBay and also Google AdSense.
All the best,
what are your current stats?
Hi I would like to now current stats as well ?! I’m guessing you haven’t replied to the last comment they must suck ?? Can you plz update us ?
Tejas Dattatray Gavhane says
Ian I was and struggling to make my first cheque. but by watching your posts I got confidence yes I can thanks for helping hereby and guiding 🙂
FYI, the commission structure has changed. Clicks are no longer being paid on, changed in 2013. Do you still work with EPN under their new commission structure?
Hi getting approved on eBay partner network is now instant and open to anyone. Payments are not fast if you get any at all. What happened to me with eBay partner network has also happened to some of my friends and if you do a google search you will find that what happened to me and some of my friends has also happened to many others around the world. I reckon that anyone claiming to make money with eBay partner network are paid by eBay partner network to say so. You know, a bit like those scam websites that use fiver.com to state that they have made thousands in one month. This is the type of business that eBay partner network are proving to be with the more time that passes.
Anyway, here is what happened to me with eBay partner network along with some of my friends along with the rest of the world that begins to earn good money with eBay partner network.
The moment eBay partner network begins to sort out payments (first week of the month) for the previous month earnings,
they either issue an AS77on your account (termination of your account due to low quality traffic) or an LS43 on your account (termination of your account plus a 100% reversal of all earnings due to non bona fide transactions).
What is interesting to note is that after some extensive research, me, some of my friends and the rest of the world did nothing wrong. We have all had good quality traffic (BUYERS) and NOT clicked on our own content as that would be classed as non bona fide transactions.
So what is the problem
Now after some extensive research, it is evident that eBay partner network issue out AS77,s when earnings are low and issue out LS43’s when earnings are high.
eBay partner network get you to join by telling you how easy it is to make money and offering double commissions for the first 3 months making the payment structure look brilliant along with eBay’s so called trusted name. This is enough to make most people think that eBay partner network is the best thing since the invention of the wheel. eBay partner network does not want you earning money. Why would they. You spend hours if not days sending traffic to eBay. Traffic turns into buyers. eBay earns money. But now they have to give it to you via the eBay partner network program. low and behold, You have just been issued an AS77 or an LS43.
Join eBay partner network at you own risk and expect eBay partner network to legally steal your money.
There is nothing good about ebay partner network. You only have to do a google search to know that. Ebay partner network tucked me up like many other people around the web. I genuinely earned £1376 in a particular month and they stole the money from me claiming code; LS43 claiming that the money was obtained via fraud. I clicked on NONE of my own content and I have no friends that know about my content. Yet ebay partner network was legally allowed to steal my money. Ebay partner network are scammers.
Nitin Saini says
hello , is the ebay pay for click like google adsense or it pay if someone buy any product thorugh our ad on our website
eBay Partner Network doesn’t work.
The eBay Partner Network does not evaluate transaction tracking issues on a case-by-case basis
And support can’t fix any issues.
Don’t waste your time.
Answer from support:
“Our Product Team confirmed that the transaction was not credited to your account. Please note that a number of issues can cause transactions not to track correctly. The eBay Partner Network does not evaluate transaction tracking issues on a case-by-case basis. The most common issues that cause transactions not to track correctly include:
Links are formatted incorrectly.
Campaign IDs are incorrect.
A user clicks an affiliate link and then clears his or her cookies before completing a transaction.
A user clicks a link on one affiliate’s site, and then clicks a link on another affiliate’s eBay internet marketing site link before completing a transaction. Only the most recent click is credited with the transaction.”
good article . thank u for ur tips
Jaswinder Kaur says
Is ebay pays commission properly or not, because I’m planning to use it with the combination of Amazon, which I’m using for quite a long time?
I heard they don’t pay you on time.
Will appreciate your answer and thanks for sharing your experience.
I have been working on my website (www.zukedash.com) for a little while now. I am dabbling in the EPN for Ebay – not much luck yet. Will they block existing seller accounts if the affiliate account is not doing well… that wouldn’t be very fair, but we all know eBay is god, and the rest of us are just little ants with no say…. Suggestions for my blog (small so far) and website are ALWAYS appreciated. I’m a young entrepreneur and love the constructive criticism!!
PPC Ian says
Thanks for stopping by! I continue to experience success with the eBay Partner Program, and it has been a reliable affiliate program for me throughout the years. I have no idea if they will block seller accounts if one’s affiliate account is not doing well. My suggestion is to always strive for greatness and drive the highest quality affiliate traffic possible. Look at yourself as a true partner of eBay and offer both your visitors and eBay great value. Regarding your website, it looks like you’re off to a great start. You do have some really funny products there. I especially like the mug with the donut holder – how funny! Wishing you all the success in the world!
PPC Ian says
Thanks so much for stopping by! In my experience, EPN (eBay Partner Network) has paid me on time. It’s been a reliable program for me throughout the years. In fact, when I do get paid, I typically receive a nice email reminder that my money is all ready (I always appreciate the email and look forward to seeing it). Hope this helps, and wishing you huge success with the eBay Partner Network (and Amazon too)!
Deval Shah says
I love these types of posts. Everytime I read about your EPN earnings,
Joseph Peter says
My earnings come from Amazon. I have not been able to earn from Ebay yet but this article has motivated me not to give up on this. Thanks a bunch!
PPC Ian says
That’s awesome, Joseph! Wishing you huge success with your eBay ventures!
Mia Kulyabina says
Do you know if it is allowed to monetize a site via both amazon and ebay affiliate links at the same time?
Have you received your September 2019 payout?
The EPN update is very helpful now, because we now can see what items are selling.