Tired of plastering Google Adsense ads all over your blogs and sites to find that you're only grabbing a few bucks a month? Professional level affiliate marketers know very well that eBay's Partner Network is really the golden goose for generating affiliate revenues. With eBay affiiliate marketing, you are selling specific products that people are searching for and then buying, and not just hoping that your content brings up ads that are interesting to passersby.
Now to set expectations. Your realistic goal at the beginning should be to make $100 per month off each eBay affiliate site you create. It's going to be work, as much as 10 to 20 hours per site initially, but it's front-end loaded work, with a nice annuity being paid to you which will require very little, if any work down the road. Once you develop a system, you can realistically hone a profitable site in 3 to 5 hours. After some practise creating a dozen or so sites, you may not get rich, but may find that your mortage is now getting paid for you!
1. Focus, focus, focus on choosing keywords
This is the most important step of all, and will ultimately determine your success or failure with creating a profitable website. And remember, like anything in advertising or marketing - testing is the key and is an ongoing process, and not a project. For every 10 sites you create, you'll likely get 8 that bomb, 1 that does so-so, and 1 that is incredibly profitable. Like a major automobile company executive once said, "I know I'm wasting half of my advertising dollars, I just don't know which half."
Here's some tips on how to choose profitable keywords.
a) Go niche - The more specific the better.
Choose a new product/brand that doesn't have a good presence yet on Google.
b) Use "link:" and "dir:" commands - In Google, type in your keyword, and then for the top 3 ranking sites, type in "link: www.topsite.com" and "dir: www.topsite.com" to see how many inbound links and directories these sites have.
If you find that your keyword generates sites with a high number of inbound links already (say over a dozen), then you should try another keyword.
c) Brand names - Consider keywords that are brand names recently introduced that don't yet have a lot of competition. Conversion rates on branded keywords can be as high as 50% from click/visit to sale.
d) Plan ahead - Think ahead a few years and see if the keyword is part of a growing new category (e.g. hint: green technologies!).
e) Get geotargeted - Consider going geographically focussed - say, California vs USA. Don't go too narrow of course (e.g. city) since you'll need significant traffic still.
f) 3 word phrases - Investigate 3 word keyword phrases vs just 1 or 2 word keywords. These are the most targeted buyers that search so specifically, and convert the highest.
g) Diversify - Choose a balance of keywords that relate to high volume products with low price-points (e.g. home electronics), and then also try some lower volume high price point items (e.g. cars)
2. Find a good, no a GREAT domain name
Contrary to popular belief, having a good domain name that contains your primary keyword phrase is key. The ideal situation is to have a domain with a Page Rank (PR) high enough to hit the ground running. One way to do that is to buy an expired domain name - preferably one registered prior to 2000 if you can help it.
You may pay a few bucks - or say $100, but this saves you literally months of generating inbound links, and traffic.
3. Use WordPress and tailor to a niche store
Wordpress blog software is free, and lets you quickly create an eBay affiliate site with minimal effort. If you don't feel confident modifying existing WordPress themes (you'll need to know a little PHP, HTML and CSS), then I always recommend buying a Wordpress theme (template) from a site. Look for a WordPress theme that does not look like a blog, but rather a niche store. For under $100 you should find plenty of options that suit your industry vertical.
Wordpress also offers lots of invaluable plug-ins that allow you to better optimize your site for search engines, and also manage content. Here are my top 3 choices that I'd recommend;
Google XML Site maps
SEO Title Tag
Different Posts Per Page
4. phpBAY is THE way!
Now how do I add my eBay affiliate link and listings? I'd strongly recommend the phpBay WordPress plugin for affiliate eBay marketing.
It is by far the most simple and efficient way to add nicely formatted affiliate links to your WordPress blog store. You may wish to download their phpBay Lite version first to get familiar with it, but you'll quickly find that you'll need the Pro version features such as negative keywords and other functions. The only way to ensure that you tailor your eBay listings within an eBay category is by adding negative keywords to ensure only relevant listings are shown. Once you have the PRO version, here is all you need to do below - just add this HTML code snippet once you've registered your eBay Category ID (PIN) at the phpBay web site.
This code runs at my www.usedprius.org (and floridaauctionforeclosures.com) web site, which provides specific auction listings for 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid cars. You'll see that the first "08" means that only listings with 08, or 2008 years will be shown on the 2008 listings page. The "10" refers to showing a maximum of 10 listings per page. The "43925" is the eBay Category #s that relates to Toyota Prius's. And finally, the "2007 07..." means that any listing with years other than 08 should not be shown. This ensures that only 2008 year Prius's are on a given page.
PHPBAY HTML SNIPPET TO ADD TO WORDPRESS:
[phpbay]"08", 10, 43925, "2007 07 2006 06 2005 05 2004 04 2003 03 2002 02 2001 01 2000 00"[/phpbay]
5. Promote the heck out of your site
Now comes a little more work before you see money coming in. You need to ensure your site is submitted to the right search engines, directories and blogs. I always start with the basics, which means Google. Be sure you've created a Google Site map (see WordPress plugin mentioned above).First, you must find the appropriate category for your site in DMOZ.org. Be sure to visit key web 2.0 sites and submit your store where relevant. I'd suggest Digg.com, Squidoo.com and maybe even post a video on YouTube.com. The more relevant links back to you site from established online players the better.
If you would rather pay someone else to submit your site to key directories or blogs, I'd recommend DirectoryVault.com. They can submit your site quickly in a few days to a large number of sites for a reasonable fee, and then give you a detailed report after a week or so to show you what they've done, and their success rate. Only once you have a few key directory listings and inbound links should you formally submit your site to Google.
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