Monday, October 6, 2008

eBay To Cut 1000 Jobs in Q4, What's Next ?

It's in all the papers and on CNBC today that eBay will cut 1000 jobs and reduce new hire positions. This only shows what we in the affiliate world have seen coming for months. With fee restricting every few month's and the loss of confidence from affiliate marketers and eBay sellers we are sure more news will be coming from the company. Look for eBay to cut back even more as the economy slides down. Common sense would dictate reducing expenses during hard times. That what all business's do. Whether it's your local builder or painter or a huge company reasoning says to cut back on money going out until money comes in. Basic business.
Who will suffer. Well eBay employee's for one and then stock holders. After those folks take a hit look for eBay to cut back in other place's. Were we don't know, but advertising is usually on the list when a company is having issues. According to a story on Cnet eBay just purchased a Danish classified service which would show us that they are continuing to try expanding world wide with hopes of generating revinue abroad.
Face it eBay isnt what it use to be. People don't spend hours browsing sites selling stuff. Internet users are becoming more sophisticated and tend to do more research before buying. With so many websites to choose products from their are only a few reasons a shopper would go directly to the site. One is close outs and another is buying used items. Also consumers are using their work computers to buy during their lunch hours or free time. Since most folks use the Internet at work these days they tend to turn their computers off at the end of the day and not turn on it back on till they need to. People are just getting sick of the same old thing online. The desire isnt there anymore to sit for hours and browse the site.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ePN Blocks Hostgator Check Your Webmaster Tools

What a day today was in the Internet Marketing world. If you use Hostgator as your host you may have had your servers blocked by ePN/eBay. Well know one knew for sure but 100s if not 1000's of website were not pulling the API from eBay. A API if you don't know is how products or RSS feeds propagate to websites. Now at 8 PM the sites I had down are all back, but showing warnings in Google Webmaster tools.
WARNING "Some URLs in the Sitemap have a high response time. Some URLs listed in this Sitemap have a high response time. This may indicate a problem with your server or with the content of the page."
Resubmitting them seams to have taken care of the warnings. This started with me at 7AM EST when I couldn't get into the ePN Dashboard. I even twittered about it TWITTER. Then finally after finding a way into the ePN forum I found others having issues getting into there dashboards. I shut down for a couple hours and came back and BAM I was in the ePN Dashboard. Then during a search I found that all my sites on my Hostgator Baby Croc account weren't pulling in the API feed from ebay. After reading some more I decided to send a ticket to HG and they responded as follows.
"Hello,This is happening because Ebay has temporarily blocked our server from connecting to their api:" The statement speaks for itself or so it seams. It turns out eBay making big changes this week and something on there servers was changed and some DNS needed time to propagate across the Web.
No sweat though my Hostgator reseller accounts where all fine all day. No issues at all. Problems like this can be avoided sometimes by having a reseller account. When you use a shared server your site are on the same server as 1000's of others. If there is someone doing bad things on that server you get bumped with everyone else on that server. I'm not saying ePN banned any server in fact they stated on the forum that they were not blocking users and that it was a routing issue.
This is a typical day for web masters and Internet Marketers. Some days its like walking on glass. As long as the sitemaps go through I think all is well for now. These are issues that happen all the time but can be avoided in some instances by Using a Reseller Account

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are You Ready For Changes At ePN

If you use EBay or ePN to monetize websites this past week as been very stressful and hectic. This week EBay announced that more changes are coming to the auction site. Lower upfront fee's and a huge change in search. But I'm not going to get into the changes on EBay auction though.
The biggest happening in the SEO & SEM community is ePN closing accounts arbitrarily. This is a though one. EBay affiliates with years with the program simply dropped Via Email and there CPanels being locked to 7 day warnings. These are trying times for those of us who use ePN for monetizing our sites. This work building websites isnt easy and takes lots of time to learn and implement. Now we are all waiting to see if ePN will be doing these, as they say "expiring" regularly. I think it will happen again, but when is the question.
Protect you ePN account is the 1st thing users should be doing. If you are a total newbie I do not recommend signing up for a ePN (Ebay Partner Network). Beginners really need to know exactly what they need to use ePN and keep there accounts.
A few things I am doing to protect myself from the axe is archive non performing campaigns. You will not get commissions from any sales, but this needs to be done. I don't know the metrics EBAY/EPN use in there decisions, but they have used statements like "tier is based at a publisher level not a campaign ID level" take what they say to heart. That quote is from the manual under value based pricing. Even though this is for value based pricing it would appear as they are possibly using it to evaluate users. If you have 25 campaigns and just one is not performing it will lower the quality rating of all the sites for that publisher. ePN says this is only for ACRU's but I'm taking no chances. As someone who has been with EBay for many years I know how valuable accounts are, so even if I have to archive all my campaigns to fell safe I will.
Remove all links to the sign up page. ePN said that they do no not want low performing new active registered users. This meaning users who sign up and only purchase one item then never come back or doesn't buy enough. Like today I checked my account and on one site I had 2 ACRU's but the fees Ebay charged the seller for the items sold was under $50 (2ACRU's). This scares me because if these people don't come back and spend more money I haven't generated income for the company (ebay). So I have decided to pull all the links to the sign up page on all my sites.
Last but not least make sure you engage your users with tons of content. Any site that is lacking should be archived as well.
All the ePN campaigns I have or will archive will be converted in one way or another. Some I will move to pepper Jam and some I will completely drop from ePN and find other ways to get items to my customers.
Once all this is done I will build specific sites that meet or beat ePN's mission. That is if I last that long. I could get the axe any minute. Doing all this may not protect me. After all some user are truly real SEM professionals with 10's of thousands of readers. I think I'm up to 50. Thanks for that you guys.
If you are archiving ePN Campaigns I can honestly recommend the affiliate programs in the sidebar. I use them all. Pepper Jam is the most important one for ePN now. That could change ! We all need to get backup if you haven't, start now !!!!. Sign up for some other affiliate programs NOW.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In Depth Review Of US Free Ad's Free Classified Service

Hello everyone. Thought I would write about US Free Ads today. I have been using the US Free Ad Classified Service for about 8 months now. Seeing I promote the site here a review of my experience is in order. One thing to always keep in mind when you place a promotional item on your site is to use it. You will never see me recommend or promote that I haven't used first. This is very important for any web master. You want readers to trust you. If you recommend something that is costly and you haven't used it then a reader feel they have been riped off then you the blogger trust and authority arnt worth dirt.
Like I said I have been using US Free Ads for some time now. I have found it to be a tremendous benefit to getting Websites indexed fast in the search engines. Google loves the site. Probably because they demand you keep thing relevant and post your ads and articles in the correct / relevant area. This is good for us because we want every thing about out site to be relative. Posting on US Free Ads is a whole other post. For now I want to show some stats.
First off I use a premium account. I do this mainly for the advance capabilities. The premium service dose not get you preferential treatment with ad placement. The Free Classified Service does the same thing when it come to SEO. Your links are picked up by the search engines just as a premium account.
For the purpose of this post I will pick out 2 sites to look at the numbers. One featured & one not.
Site 1's ad was placed 48 days ago in featured listings and has been viewed 1677 times. The site has been visited from the classified 572 times. according to awStats. I use Pepper Jam as my affiliate provider for site #1. PJ earning are at $240.00 to date. Now there is no direct way that my abilities allow me to draw a direct correlation between any of the numbers. I can say that the site is less than 2 months old and the only promotion I have done is US Free Ads and some signatures in forums and blog comments.
Site 2 is a site that was put up a few day earlier than site one. Both sites target the same product. Site 2 is a regular classified ad. Site 2 has received 432 visitors to the classified and 55 users went on to the site. Site 2 made $73.00. Site 2 is a ePN based site.
All in all I think these are good numbers for two sites that are about the same age. 60 days at most ! What I get out of the numbers is the site I spent a little extra money on the feature ad and made more than 3x more. But as I said the only direct correlation is the fact that the only promoting I did was US Free Ads and a couple of forum signatures and blog comments. Nothing major and all natural SEO. No PPC, Spam, or Black Hat methods. PPC is gambling to me and spam and black hat are to risky. There are certain ways to layout and present your ads and I will cover them over the next few days.
I hope this helps anyone who needs it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All New Build A Niche Store Mission & Forum

For those Web Masters who use Build A Niche Store Software you are probably aware that the BANS website was turned off 8/10/08 for upgrading. The developers of BANS only said that they where updating the forum software and improving the way support is handled. The site was scheduled to re-open 8/13/08.
On 8/13 the BANS developer's sent out a Email stating they are finishing up the updates and plan on being up and running as planned.
The BANS Developers have also given us a preview of the changes users will see when the site opens back up.
Heres a quote from the pdf sent via email: "
We want this forum to be a positive place for moving forward with BANS...whether that be getting over the initial learning curve, expanding your understanding of the capabilities inherent in the software and how you can use them in your own site building projects or getting to grips with core development and marketing principles that will bring targeted traffic to your sites and revenue into your eBay affiliate accounts"
(1) First they have given a very firm reminder that the forum is for everyone. In my eyes meaning anyone who has paid for the software. Whether the user is a novice or expert webmaster everyone deserves respect in all posts. Basically no more RTFM, or some frivolous statement that dose no good for the community. Users are not obligated to reply. A similar situation to Web Master Forum Politics post. I totally agree with giving this warning because if it wasn't for the BANS Forum I wouldn't know half of what I know without it. Actually I would probably still be making ZERO $. It really comes down to this, don't respond to any posts if you don't have anything good to say, or your out. Here another quote "
Questioning and hence learning is an acceptable (necessary) part of making progress and posts which aim to attack, belittle, undermine etc other BANS users will not be tolerated and there will be no second chances given to people who post with such attitudes " & "
Such forum members will simply be deleted and BANS life will continue on without them".
(2) Secondly the forum has become overwhelmed with advertisements. The ability to have a signature in posts is being removed. As part of the continued development of BANS and it's authority of the Niche Store concept advertisements are bad. By removing the signatures and disallowing links in posts and responses will give more authority to the responses themselves. To many users on forums hide behind a rouse of a "Have You Used This Tool" thread when all they want is to promote the product they are asking about. Or try this LINK. The days of marketing on the BANS site is over.
No discussion of competing products like PHPBAY and the like. Well that kinda falls into the above category and fair INMO.
The Build A Niche Store Forum is being rebuilt into 13 sections with Sub Sections.
If you are a new member or established user of BANS it would be wise to read through the entire BANS News and Community Rules threads before posting. It's a good time to get familiar with the forum before posting.
In closing the changes announced today should make BANS a even more valuable piece of software that will only get better. Learning how to build websites and become a proficient webmaster isnt easy. If you have never heard of BANS and are looking for a place to start for learning how to build websites Build A niche Store is the place and always was. Its just written in stone now. So if you have debated about giving bans a try now may be a good time. Try BANS

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Search Engine CUILL AKA (Cool)

Have you heard of cuill AKA COOL Search Engine. Cuill is a new search engine developed by a former Google Employee. The claim is the Cuill SE brings back 3x more results relevant to your search. As I was using Cuill it went down due to high traffic. Typical cliche's for new sites. The spelling itself should draw attention. It pronounced Cool, Spelt Cuill and has as a URL
Here's what they say about themselves.
"The Internet has grown exponentially in the last fifteen years but search engines have not kept up—until now. Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.
Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuill searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.
Then we offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there. We believe that analyzing the Web rather than our users is a more useful approach, so we don’t collect data about you and your habits, lest we are tempted to peek. With Cuill, your search history is always private."
Cuil has a cool layout as well with a choice of 2 or 3 columns. Look nothing like Google. Cuil Also has Newer Features. Should be interesting to see what cuil will bring to Search Engine Marketing and how Web Masters SEO there pages. Check out CUILL AKA COOL Search.
After the site comes back online we will be doing a review.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Directory Submiitter Gets Updated Bling

Ive been using Directory Submitter! for about 6 months. I Love it. Set up accounts for each site and with the click of the mouse you site is submitted to seo friendly directories. Well I haven't been to Directory submitter for a about a month and decided to submit some sites today and what do you know ? There's a update. Alright !
Here's the updates:
Two new columns have been added to the software. They are “Category” and “Title”.
2. An auto-save option has been implemented: Every 15 seconds program saves all user data, so in case of a PC freeze or power outage, you will not lose any of your data.
3. We’ve added a new auto-rotate feature. Now, if you have more than 1 title and description entered into your project information screen, Directory Submitter will rotate between each of the titles and descriptions combinations every other directory. Simply check the check box to enable this feature. ( This has been working for some time)
4. They added a new “Report Directory Error” context menu so you can let them know if there is a “faulty” directory in the software that does not load. This way we can keep a very updated list for all users.
5. When new directories are added to our database, you will be notified on software start up. This way you can download the latest list of directories to your software.
6. And last, but not least, they added more than 500 new directories, both free and paid AND speciality directories to the software!
This is a great free software. Personally I have had success with saving tons of time and money with this tool. You need to have your sites in directories. Why because thats how search engines find you and since directories approve sites at different time tables your submissions look natural too. So if you already have Directory Submitter open it up and get the download. If you haven't used it you should. Directory Submitter will save so much time submitting your web sites to SEO Friendly sites. Its Basic SEO

Submit Your Website To Thousands Of Website Directories Instantly!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

BANS ePN and Pepper Jam Team Up $10 Sign Up Bonus

Whether your into affiliate marketing, online marketing, affiliate program management, affiliate network, or CPA network this post is for you.
Thats right there's New Kids On The Block and they are PepperJam . These folks have taken the affiliate marketing world by storm. First PJ has scored with eBay's Partner Network, aka ePN by being authorized to approve, track and Pay eBay Affiliates through there (PJs) in house system*. So this is great news for ePN Affiliates that were not approved by eBay or simply aren't happy with the workings of the new ePN. An alternative to ePN is a welcome face for many. Where not going to rehash the ePN issues here, but Pepper Jam is definitely needed IMO. If ePN denied you try PJ.
Whats even better is Build A Niche Store has provided its users with a mod to change there new and existing BANS Stores to PJ. If your not familiar with BANS it is probably one of the best ways to build web sites today. BANS gives web master to quick and IMO a easy ways to build and monetized web sites while using the power of eBay's ePN. One thing about BANS is that it is what you make it. More work = more money, but that's more for a SEO post. I will say Build A Niche Store is the most powerful site building script I have ever purchased and Ive had them all.
One more thing to come from these partnerships is that PJ is offering a $10.00 sign up bonus for new affiliates. Not sure how long it will last so you should Join Pepperjam Network today!

The PJ vs ePN Comparison. I have put up some PepperJam driven BANS sites and some ePN BANS site over the last couple weeks to try and make some comparisons. Not to find out if the tracking is different. The commissions through PJ are the same as ePN. The traking is a little different in the way of speed. PJ is faster so far. What I want to find out is what kind of assistance and opportunities each provides. In the short period of time I can say PJ blows ePN away when it comes to customer service. After all ePN has 10's of thousands if not 100.000's affiliates to deal with. PJ has dedicated Partner Managers for each merchant. Every email I sent so far has been answered within hours not days like ePN. Now to tracking. Pepper Jam seems to be faster. Most clicks and commissions are reported almost in real time. Don't ask how. I don't know and don't care PJ dose update much faster most days though. Between the two groups of sites I have put up both have done about the same in traffic and sales. Two weeks just is not enough time to start showing numbers, but both made around a $100 the first 7 days after launch. Stay tuned the results of this un-scientific test will be posted when I feel there is enough data.
Over all I like Pepper Jam more than ePN and plan on building many sites using them as my affiliate marketing base.
Good luck all. Try looking through my past posts for more tips and even free stuff

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Epn Dose Allow Affiliates To Offer Own Listings

Its been two months since the Ebay Affiliate went in house from Commission Junction. What a two months its been. Reports of user being reject and even worse completely banned from the network. Its understandable that new users of ePN without a website or a blog be turned away and asked to re-apply once they have a blog or site. Of course Ebay needs to know a URL in order to track a user. They can't just let someone put there links anywhere on the Internet.
As for a few ePN Users that have been banned forever we really don't know all the circumstances, but from reading some threads on the Epn Forum we can conclude the users violated terms of service by have inbound link using black hat methods. One user reportedly had 1000s of links coming from Porn sites. There are other methods of linking back to EBay as well which where against CJ's TOS too. Such as rerouting links through proxies directly to Ebay from PPC. Its OK to use PPC, but you can't send buyer directly to the Ebay site. The traffic must be sent to your web site. In other words you can't set the EBay Cookie from a ad. The user need to go to your site browse then click on a ePN Ad , RSS Feed or whatever from there.
Basically you can do whatever you want with your links as long as prospects are given a cookie from a web site you own. Setting a cookie on a Ebay About Me Page is also a no no. According to Ebay TOS users can send other users off EBay using a URL from there About Me Page. This is one of my favorite technique for getting Back Links From Relevant sites. And what web site is stronger than Ebay for Back Links.

One more thing that has been clarified is Ebay sellers can promote there own items for sale on there websites and Blogs. This was worrisome for some who specifically purchased BANS
eBay Partner Network Blog » English: "While many of you reading this blog are already familiar with the new eBay Partner Network, we wanted to remind you that with eBay’s new in-house platform, for most of our programs eBay sellers can be affiliates, too – which of course means sellers and merchants can earn extra money by driving traffic to their own listings as well as other listings on eBay.While many of you reading this blog are already familiar with the new eBay Partner Network, we wanted to remind you that with eBay’s new in-house platform, for most of our programs eBay sellers can be affiliates, too – which of course means sellers and merchants can earn extra money by driving traffic to their own listings as well as other listings on eBay."
Always contact ePN what any concerns before starting a new promotional method to insure you are abiding by TOS

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Web Master Forum Politics Can Get Nasty

It was quit easy to come up with this mini post after what has been happening with the Ebay Affiliate NetWork moving from Commission Junction to the new Ebay in House Network AKA, ePN. At the time of this post it has been just about 7 weeks since the migration began. Reminds me of the great Caribou Migration in Alaska. There are approximately 100 K affiliate connected to the network one way or another. Users range from small time bloggers, Niche Store Builders on up to big companies like AOL Mail. With all these users problems are bound to pop up. Anyone who thinks some thing like this huge change to a established system is sadly mistaken.
Not knowing any statistics about how many user migrated so far I/we can safely assume that 10 to 20% just didn't do it. Lots of people start a blog, learn how to fill it with ads then decide that (IM) Internet Marketing is not for them.
So over the last 7 weeks the user forums for that use the ePN API platform as a script or software for its base have been full of users frustration and very heated at times.
The reasons don't really matter if you look at it in the right way and take advantage of the confusion.
When using any of the forums associated with ePN users should tread lightly. Some folks are getting down right angry and may choose to focus there frustration on you if you leave a derogatory comment or just being flipped in a response.
I have a opinion about forums that are related to ePN. Don't post on them!. Why ? Because posting on a forum like the BANS is absolutely useless unless you are trying to sell a service of some kind. Forums are used by web masters to get relevant back links to a web site. You do not want to post a niche site in the signature of these forums. If you notice none or very few of the user who succeed at Niche Store Building don't have there sites in there signature. Why again?, because you are exposing yourself to hackers. WHAT!, hackers yes hackers. Sadly forums like BANS have lurkers just waiting for newbies to post there sites. This is done for many reasons which I only know a few. One is to get ideas for a niche. Newbies tend to stay away from KW Tools that work and use free KW tools, which is fine when starting out, but a more experienced Niche Builder can take the same idea and build a site and SEO to the max in a day and get back links from established sites rendering the newbies out of the box site obsolete before its even picked up by the Google index. Thats just one of many reasons not to become a big participant on webmaster forums.
The politics of forums can be brutal. Ranging from user hassling others about spelling to down right insults.
Some tip for using webmaster forums.
(1) Stay anonymous when possible. Some users ask why people don't use their real names. Answer of many is: SECURITY. If you think for a second that hackers don't look for this you are sadly mistaken. If you have seen the commercials for Identity lock? or what ever its called, The guy who puts his SS # on the side of a truck. The owner of that has been hacked 20 plus times because the guy challenges hackers. Well look for a law suit against that guy any day now.
(2) Do a search for a topic before asking questions. This is by far one of the most frustrating things for forum users who depend on a forum as a knowledge base. When new users repeatably posts about the same subject it pushes the information further back into the knowledge base. Whats more it shows you are to lazy to research on your own and may put you an the bad side of regular participants who have spent years learning and get frustrated with those who take short cuts.
(3) Don't answer questions if you don't have the correct answer. If a forum topic is some thing you are interested in, use the subscribe to thread option and lurk for a while and make sure you understand exactly what the issue is before jumping in. Also NEVER tell some one to read the manual. As a participant of a forum you do not have the right to do this. You have no idea what sales copy was presented to this person to get them to buy or participate in a scheme or program. Maybe the person who sold the scheme to them told them it was "for beginners", or "There's no need for a manual with OUR forum". You don't know what the person posting was told to get them to buy. Simply don't reply to the question it's that simple. It's not your place.
(4)Don't try and be the first person to answer every thread. You are bound to over step boundaries. Most forums have thousands of members, most never post and when they do hearing from the same persons perspective over and over defeats one of the main purpose's of forum, to get many perspectives from many different users of the community. Internet Marketing changes daily. Let others set the pace of a thread and then add to it without hijacking the thread.
(5) When asking a question on a webmaster forum make sure you provide details of your issue. Stating that you can't see your pages or "HELP" simply isnt enough for any users willing to help you and will put you out of favor with others. I mean come on you ask a question like "I Cant See My Pages" and I have to ask a question to find out what the problem is. Thats ten minutes of some nice persons time. A good idea is to write a issue in some thing like notepad and proof read it. Make sure you convey your issue. Outline the steps it took to get to the point you are at and what you are trying to do. Provide as much information as possible in the first post. Don't maker others ask! If someone asks you to post a link offer to send it VIA private message. As I said above don't post your sites in forums that you are not using for back links. Never send passwords to hosting accounts unless it is to a scripts customer service dept. And in that case change your password to a temporary one.
(6) Avoid buying from other forum members. If you have a issue it is bound to show up on the forum. If you call out someone you purchased something from like a template and its not up to your expectations communicate to them through the contact information on the site you actually paid. When you buy a digital product from someone you pay through paypal or click bank not the forum. Use the appropriate channels for customer service issues. Follow this simple plan and avoid making yourself sound like a idiot on the forum. And even worse if a issue turns out to be on your end you will lose favor of your fellow users. If buy something from a other user follow the policy of the place you paid. Make sure the seller send a invoice VIA email through the payment system. Then they requested payment for service and are subject to terms of service of the payment system.

My point to all this is any web master forum should be used as a knowledge base. The social aspect of the Internet should not come into play. Use Webmaster forums to your advantage, Don't insert yourself like a moderator. Like telling someone to read a manual. Thats just plain rude. If a user of a forum is authoritative and accurate the information becomes part of the knowledge base and not more junk to wade through to find a answer.
As a forum participant that is credible after some time is when users should start placing signatures for web master tools they have used and can promote from personal knowledge. Forums are a wealth of knowledge If used properly.
These tidbits are only from my personal experiences over the last 4 years of Internet Marketing.
May I suggest that all Internet Users read "Promoting Respectful Communications Online"
Take the pledge here:

Good Luck Everyone

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Using Personal Experiences To Promote Niches

I have found over the years that writing about experience's in my own life are a great way to promote Niche Stores or any blog or site. When one writes about something that has actually impacted your own life the content is more engaging for the writer and the reader. Writing about some thing you've done or places you've been is just natural to write about.
If anyone is planting a vegetable garden or taking a summer vacation bring and use your camera and document it on a blog. If you are 100% natural your site will be found. This method is not really for driving huge sales its more about putting relative content on the Internet for Users. Thats what Google wants. "Relevant Content" and not thin affiliate pages. Maybe put 1 AdSense ad on the site but don't spam it. Use the sidebar to place anchor text links to your Niche Sites.
If you post often which is easy if it you experienced the topic your blog will become a authoritative site in Google. That were you want to be.
Once you have decided on a topic go to your favorite Keyword Tool and look for 4 0r 5 KW's and Longtail KW's to use. Use them on every post and rotate them through the topics and body of your posts. Once you have 10 to 20 posts then consider monetizing the site or blog.
Blogger is perfect for this. It's free, Easy, and Google will lock on to your site if you have good fresh relevant content. In exchange for being authoritative the links to your Niche sites will have link juice.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Significant Category Changes Coming To Ebay in April

So after the announcement 2 weeks ago that Ebay would be moving the affiliate program in-house Ebay throws affiliates another curve ball. More significant category changes. About 2 week ago Ebay surprised affiliates with category changes. With no notice many affiliates where completely taken by surprise. And to throw salt in the wound some of the new categories wouldn't work with some script's. Took us more than a week to sort out some of the issues that came with these changes.
Hopefully with the advance notice given this go around the changes will smoother. Keep your eye on these links and we suggest anyone these changes may affect sign up for Email updates from Ebay Developers Site.
The category structure will be updated in early April based on feedback received from the eBay Community and from experts in the affected fields. The April update contains some significant changes for Business & Industrial, Cell Phones & PDAs, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden and Musical Instruments. If you sell in these areas, please be sure to take a look at the new category structure on Seller Central . Books, Coins & Paper Money, Consumer Electronics, Sporting Goods and Toys & Hobbies also have minor adjustments as detailed below.
Updated Categories: Business & Industrial - significant changes
Cell Phones & PDAs - significant changes
Health & Beauty - significant changes
Home & Garden - significant changes
Musical Instruments - significant changes
Books - removing
Magazine Subscriptions, according to new company policy.Coins & Paper Money - updating year categories in US quarters & dollar coins
Consumer Electronics - adding DJ Gear & Stage Lighting section
Sporting Goods - adding categories for Climbing Holds and Equestrian-themed
Jewelry & Accessories, and moving
Disc Golf to Outdoor Sports
Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop - updating year categories in Cards
Toys & Hobbies - Adding Pokemon TFG and Control Line & Freeflight categories
Good Luck

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ebay is Dropping Commision Junction

The title says it all. Get ready for big changes Ebay Affiliates. There are 100.000 of us. First Ebay decides to implement huge category changes this week and now this.
Strait from the horses mouth.
We are excited to announce eBay’s new global affiliate platform: the eBay Partner Network.
"The new platform will go live on April 1st, 2008 PST, at which point eBay will no longer be running its affiliate program through Commission Junction. Beginning April 1st, affiliates should register with eBay Partner Network and migrate their links from CJ to the new platform.
While CJ and ValueClick have been valuable partners to eBay throughout the years, we’ve decided to give our affiliate community a customized experience. eBay will continue its partnership with ValueClick’s technology division, Mediaplex, for ad serving, tracking and other custom projects.
All the great tools and benefits of working with the eBay program will remain the same – access to the Editor Kit and affiliate API, the flexible destination tool, the great payout structure. Please note that there will be no changes in the pricing structure as part of this transition. In addition, the eBay Partner Network will provide several new features:
Easy global registration to multiple countries simultaneously
New, targeted banners and rich media creatives
New landing page optimization and geo-targeting capabilities
More detailed reporting capabilities for eBay’s programs
The eBay Partner Network and Commission Junction will run in parallel for one month through this process, so please plan to complete your migration by May 1st, 2008.
You can receive an additional 5% bonus for all traffic tracked through eBay Partner Network in April 2008 for specific countries (bonus applicable to traffic sent to and US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, India and Spain eBay sites). The sooner you migrate, the more you’ll earn! Just:
Register with eBay Partner Network on April 1, 2008
Confirm your registration, and obtain your new identifiers
Update your links with your new identifiers
Reminder: Please plan to complete migration by May 1, 2008
Programs that will transition to the new eBay Partner Network platform starting Apr 1st:
eBay Australia
eBay Belgium
eBay Canada
eBay France
eBay Hong Kong
eBay India
eBay Italy
eBay Netherlands
eBay Singapore
eBay Spain
eBay United Kingdom
eBay United States
Programs that will NOT be affected and will continue their relationship with Commission Junction:
eBay’s Tradera AB
Reseller Marketplace
Media Marketplace "
Heres the link
eBay Stores
Heres the link

Check out these posts:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Revenue Sharing, High Ranking Back links

Well for the last several posts here have been geared towards promoting Niche Stores and Blog's. Why stop now ? I'm on a backlink roll. If you are new to Internet marking or not you will find this usful. Recently I was introduced to Qassia by some Internet friends. It took me a few days to get back to it, but once I did I began to see the incredible uses for the site. I'll try to explain just how it works. Qassia is a user based revenue sharing and link exchange. The way the revenue sharing works is you input you Adsense ad code in your profile and when your site or article appears the ads on the page are yours. By that I mean you get all the revenue from the Adsense ads on the page. 100%. Qassia says they never even handle the money. Great concept. By simply putting your code in the ads the revenue go's directly to your Adsense account. How do you get users to see your ads ? Participate its that simple.
Though money is nice our goal is to get quality backlinks to our sites. The way you do this is by adding "Intel" or information. By adding Intel you are paid in Qassia cash points. Once you have a certain amount of cash your site and page links are moved into high traffic parts of the site. When adding Intelligence and articles you get a high quality Do-Follow Link. You can also add other links to each Intel that will contain the No-Follow tag. The validity of the No-follow tag has come into question by Web Masters over the last several months. The No-Follow tag may not be as bad as once thought. That's another post.
Another way to earn Qassia cash is to review others Intel. Every Intel go's through this process. It adds authority to there site which intern gives your back link strength in the search engines.
It is very important that you only ad original content. All your content is reviewed by fellow users 10 times. If it is duplicate content copied and pasted from another site they will know and your article or Intel will get very few votes or even get you band. This is the very reason the site has so much strength.
Sign up is simple and the learning curve is fairly fast.
Go to Qassia and find out for yourselves. I personally see lots advantages to the site and plan on becoming a heavy user. I love gardening so I'm writing articles about my garden.
Sorry about the Qassia link above not working it's working now

Friday, March 7, 2008

Working With Build A Niche Store Empire

Today I want to talk about Build a Niche Store Empire by The Niche Store Builder. Mark H. the owner of the site has brought 12 of his fellow BANS members together to show how to build niche stores that make money. After all that's why we are here. To make money. With the methods the group is using even the most novice Internet Marketer can build Niche Stores and succeed.
Mark has become one of the BANS Guru's since he started using BANS in August 2007. He has been involved with the Internet and Computers for many years. He has helped many users succeed.
As a guest blogger I feel privledge to be asked to join the group. I started using BANS around the same time as Mark did, but with absolutly no experience with software.
The participants will and have built stores and posted the results and progress for all to see.
My stores that I have built to date for the 12 week course are
All we ask is that folks following along is that they don't copy our stores and that they stay on the sites and visit for 30 seconds to avoid a high bounce rate in Google.
If you are Building Niche Stores or considering it ,this is the place to learn.
This blog has many tools and tricks to help you with your endevers. I encourage you to look around. You will find many proven methods and free tools to help you succeed. Good Luck
Check out these posts
Take The Edge off With Some Funny Videos

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Using Stumble Upon And Free Stumble Upon Exchange

If you haven't used Stumble Upon or Stumble upon Exchange you need to read this. Stumble Upon is the hottest social bookmarking site on the web. Stumble users have reported getting 1000's of visits to there web sites and articles within 24 hours of submitting a site. As you can see at the bottom of these pages there are many bookmarking options. Stumble is just one of them, but it's the hottest now.
With the method I'm going to show you can increase the amount of Stumbles you can get simply by Stumbling other Stumble upon users.
First you want to sign up for Stumble if you already haven't. Download the StumbleUpon Toolbar and your ready. Then go to Stumble Exchange and sign up.
Once you have signed up you will have 5 points. This will allow you to add your first site for others to Stumble. Once you have added your first site you then start to Stumble other users sites and earn points. When you Stumble someones site a new window will open. Click the thumbs up icon on the Stumble Toolbar then close the window. When you have done that you then claim your points by sending a quick message to the site owner informing them you Stumbled there site. They will then verify it and you get you point. The more points you have the more your site is presented to others to Stumble. Stumble Exchange works on the premise of activity. The more active you are, the more Stumbles you receive. A good trick is to Stumble users that are online at the time. There is a option to just Stumble users on the site at the time.
Now go get some Stumles
UPDATE: I wrote these instruction simply by doing Stumble Exchange for myself. The instruction are based on what I did to get started. Thats it. They are not re-writen from someone else.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

SEOBOOK Go's Community Based More Information Abounds

As a user of the SEObook I was taken back at first by this Email I received from Aron Wall, Creator of the SEOBook.
"Over the course of the past couple years it became obvious to me that the perceived value of ebooks was dropping, the field of SEO was getting more complex, and many people who purchased my book wanted to be able to interact with me and ask me many questions. This caused me to need to change the SEO Book business model away from selling a downloadable ebook, and toward selling a web based information product backed by a community forum that helped turn it into a service more than a product."
This turns out to be great breaking news. The SEOBook must be one of the most downloaded EBooks ever. It is so packed full of information that one can get overwhelmed fast. Information overload.
Now that Aron Wall has decided to make his SEOBook community based he is falling into line with the biggest influence on the Internet now. Social and community based websites. Now Web Masters will be able to squeeze every last bit of information from Aron SEO techniques as well as many new ideas and techniques from users. Users helping users. It use to be web masters kept all there techniques close to the vest, but times have changed. I plan on re-evaluating how I use SEOBooks information over the next several days and be reporting back.
A good example of Web Masters sharing is Mark Hanson's Build A Niche Store Empire Series. Mark has not be one of the smartest people on the Internet. He has been involved with Build a Niche Store software for some time now and has created this series to help 1st time beginner web masters to advanced users.
Mark was the first person on the Internet to show me how to do anything. I couldn't even FTP a file when I meet him. Mark has invited me to be a guest blogger on his newest project. This has brought full circle from learning to teaching, but as we all know the learning process never ends.
This week has been full of new SEO tools Wordze free database and Free Build a Niche Store Empire Series

Monday, February 18, 2008

Get quality links through website directory submission!

Search engine optimization is getting more and more difficult by the day. The
search engines are evolving at an incredible speed, making it harder for us
SEOs to rank our websites highly.

With that said, there are a few tried and true principles that we need to do
when optimizing our website. The first of which, and the one that I always tell
people to concentrate on is getting quality, 1 way links pointing to your website.

The more quality links you can get pointing to your website, the higher you
will rank, period.

While there are many black hat tricks and tactics that you can do for short
term gain, I would suggest NOT spending your time on those things. I would focus
my entire effort on figuring out how to get other websites to link to yours
without you linking back to them. That is the biggest key to ranking well in
Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Doing this is easier said that done. One of the easiest known ways to get quality,
one way links is by finding website directories and then submitting your website
to them. This can be a very tedious process, but always a very rewarding process
at the same time.

You can either submit your website to these directories manually, pay someone
to do it for you, OR you can use one of the website directory submission programs
out there. The best program for the money that we've found is a program called
"Directory Submitter" created my Internet marketing expert, Brad Callen.

This program allows you to submit your website to over 1600 website directories
and can save you an incredible amount of time in doing so. You simply enter
your website details into the software once, and then select the directory you
would like to submit to. The software will then, automatically fill in all of
the submission criteria for each directory and allow you to quickly submit your

Not only does this save you time in submitting your site, but it saves you
an incredible amount of time in just finding the free directories online. I
highly suggest grabbing a directory submission program if you decide to take
advantage of one of the easiest ways to get quality, 1 way links to your website.
You can learn more about Directory Submitter

Have a great day

More reading Using content pages

One Way Linking Blogs to Niche Stores

Promote your Niche or Anything Else with a Blog

This is going to be a quick lessen for promoting a Niche Store or anything else in a blog.
Blogging is probably the best way to start out promoting products. I have found that if you right 1 or 2 articles a week about products in your Niche Store and place them in a blog you can increase traffic to your Web Site.
Before I start. Think of this most forums and blogs don't allow back links that lead to a pitch page. They will ad a NO Follow Tag ! Craigslist too. You need a blog !
The best way to start is to try and find a "Keyword Rich" domain name for a niche that you have interests in. With a blog I like to keep the Domain a general term so I can promote more than one type of Niche Store. You want to think about a "niche". Hate to say it but home based business is taken . Google search brings up 62.300.000 results. Try to be nichy. Once you have a few idea's go to blogger or and start a blog. If your domain isn't available try putting " - " between each word. (domain-name) Search engine will see it as a regular domain. Some bloggers even say this method is better for the SE's. Make sure you go through the set up and ping all the feeds and blogger automatically put blogs in directories. You want to enable everything. Comments are important. Always choose to show between 2 and 5 posts and archive at least once a week if not everyday.
OK, know that you have a domain/website/blog you will need content. Getting content for blogging is easy. Its in your Niche Stores. Do some keyword research on items you have in your store. Pick 1 or 2 that have a high KEI. Then go to the manufactures Web Site and find everything pertaining to the products you want to promote. Use this content as a bases for your article. You will generally find Press Releases, Product Specifications, Etc. When you put your promotional article together be sure and stay relevant. As you are writing your article include "Keyword Rich Text Links" to the product in your Niche Store. Try not to be spamy with the links. 1 or 2 for each product is enough. Say you are promoting IPods use a anchor text like IPod or MP3. Terms that have a large search volume. With the use of single keywords in the billions now the newest method is the long tail keywords such as "Apple Ipod Nano 3rd Gen MP3". DO NOT just copy and paste content from other sites to your blog. Content needs to be changed between 40 and 50% . Be Authoritative and relevant. Instead of trying to stuff all your Niche Store links into your content make a widget in your side bar that contains your "Favorite Links". Again use "Keyword Anchor Text"

Another method of getting content for your blog is blogging other blogs. HOW; If you are using IE you highlight the first couple paragraphs, right click and click copy. Then right click on the page. A dropdown menu pops up. At the bottom you will see "Send To" Click on What ever blog you set up and it will open with the blog link embedded in the title. Simply right click and paste the text to the page. Click save. There's your content. Two things about getting content this way. Always make sure there is a back link to the original blog. 2 Again always add at least 40% more original content to avoid the Google dup content slap. The best content is original articles between 250 and 1200 words. You can buy it too if your lazy. Once you have some content then put up ad banners. I mentioned content first because it is the most important thing on a blog or any site for that matter. Relevant content is what gets you traffic. Google mission Statement is to provide content that benefits it users. Blog content relevant to your niche. Placement of banners is important. I like horizontal banners around 300px wide and 60px high. I prefer to place them between paragraphs. I don't recommend AdSense for 2 reasons 1 it takes people of your sit and 2 unless you really know what your doing you won't make much money, but a small banner can't hurt. It helps the learning process. Stick with promoting one or two ads. That's it. To many ads will increase your bounce rate in Google. You need people to stay on your sit at least 30 second , not click away becouse of ads. People are looking for content.
Once you have content and a couple ads to promote your off to the races. It's time to play Google's little game. The 1st 30 days of any site depending on organic traffic is very important. You may want to consider saving your first 2 or 3 posts as drafts. Then post them about a week apart.
Try and remember people are not coming to your blog becouse of the products you want to promote. They come for content. Find a niche and write relevant content, then promote it. The idea is to get readers to be engaged in your content and then click on the "Keyword Rich Links".
I'm only going to mention a couple ways to promote the blog itself today. The 1st would be joining forums. Of course relevant to your niche. There is a forum for every subject you can think of. Just search Google for "Your Niche Forum". Place a "Keyword Rich" link to your blog in the signature using the profile page. Post relevant content in these forums. If you are authoritative readers will click on your signature and most importantly when the search engine crawl the web they will pick up your back link and follow it and crawl your page. Make sure you have content before adding a signature or back link anywhere.
Leave comments on blogs like yours and leave your URL. Try and find blogs that have strength with Google. You can find the Site Strength Meters on Google. Stronger isn't always better. Pick blogs with them the same or slightly better.
Use Social Bookmarking Sites like the ones in the post footer on this page.
Last one for today join Blogger Forum but don't spam them. They just went live again after being spammed to death. Its a strong forum.

Remember this method is for creating one way links to your Niche Store. DO NOT link from your store to your blog. Two way links are a thing of the past IMO. Strong one way back links are what we are trying to achieve.
Remember give visitors content and the click will come.
Start blog
Add relevant content
Add "Keyword Rich Links" to product in Niche Store
Promote the blog itself in forums blogs and Social Bookmarking Sites.
Also read. Using Content To Get Indexed by Search Engines

Free Keyword Tools
Word Tracker Free Tool

Google Trends Data Base

Free SEO Tips

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wordze Launches Free Keyword Open Database

Great news! Today I am happy to announce the launch of a free Google keyword download service at Wordze.
For the last month Wordze keyword tools has been downloading Google top terms and storing them into a database for anyone to download in an excel format.
The database is in real time, so it’s always updating and getting more data. As I type this, they have over 90,000 top Google terms for readers to download. All you have to do is provide their first name, and a valid email address.
Free Wordze Google Database Keyword News Letter
If you are serious about becoming a Web Master and making any money at it you need Keyword Tools. Essentially keywords are data that is gathered methodical. You cant guess keywords. They need to be carefully chosen.
Another great place to get free keywords is the Word Tracker Free Tool

Both Wordze and WordTracker have excellent learning tools to help you maximize your profits. It is highly recommended that if you are serious about making money on the Internet to upgrade to a paid subscription. You can start by the day month and year.!YzUxMgBVAAAU7EEAAkpA

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Basics of Affiliate Marketing and SEO

After getting involved with Big Crumbs and Yuwie I began to get requests for help with basic Internet marketing advice. So I thought I would back up a little from promoting / marketing blogs and web sites and talk about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing can be used in many ways. The most basic is Google's AdSense. The best way to start is to build a blogspot blog such as this one and fill it with relevant content and placing AdSense ads in the prepositioned areas provided. Blogs are where most Internet marketers start. After you have a sense of blog building and the use of AdSense its time to start with some other Affiliate programs. Commission Junction is probably the best known. It costs nothing to join CJ or most programs. After CJ the next best program is IncentReward Affiliate Network. Once you have joined these networks you can begin promoting EBAY Company's , Products, Coupon Sodes, Surveys, Free IPods the list is endless. Find something that is relevant to the topic of your blog and promote it. Choose something different for each post. Blogspot is the best place to start because Google owns it and index blog sites as long as they contain content that is useful to Google users. As long as you post lots and provide relevant content your blog will get indexed by the search engines. Blogging takes work you need to post lots at least 2 or 3 times a week if not every day.

Once you have your blog up and running with content and your promotions you need to promote your site. The best way to start promoting is Digg, StubleUpon, MySpace or any social site. You can get a boost to your Diggs and stumbles by using Piqq. You can get free Diggs by Digging others or buy them. There is no need to buy Diggs or Stumbles you simply Digg others and earn credits. You need to be invited to Piqq though. Being a member I can post one invite at a time. If this INVITE is used post a comment and I will post another. Some bloggers have quit there day jobs and made the move to full time blogging and make a great living.

Here's a short list of places to get your blog noticed by the world.

Spicypage Myblog Feedburner Zion5 Digg

The next step is to begin building Web Sites to promote. I will be writing a post about finding and building niche sites in the coming days.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Using Content Pages To Get Indexed By Google

With any Niche Store or blog on the Internet getting to the front Page of Google can be one of the most difficult parts of being a Web Master. There are many methods of optimizing your site so it stands a chance.
Backlinks are probably the most important assuming your site is set up for backlinks. Get all the relevant backlinks you can get.
This post covers the use of content pages and how to get backlink and using social sites such as Digg, Stumble and Propel to market a web site. If you don't have a place for content on your site you need to create one. When using this method you should always remember to keep your keywords and meta tags handy.
Major search engines look for relevant content. They want to provide a good experience for there users without lots of ads and spam. So the way to start is by giving them what they want, Content. Start by writing a keyword rich article relevant to your niche. Use note pad and save them. If you have a niche that sells MP3 write 2 or 3 articles about MP3. You want to use your main keyword once for every 100 words in each article. Find 2 or 3 secondary keyword and sprinkle them around the article. IMO articles between 450 and 1200 words is optimal. Wordtracker is is the best way to find Keyword You can use the Free Keyword tool.

If your are not already a member of Digg, StumbleUpon or Propel you should sign up at this point. With StumbleUpon you download the toolbar and with Digg and Propel you put the icon on your site for others to click on. You can sign up simply by clicking on the icons in the post footer of this article. Add the toolbar and the button to the content page of your site. Or if you want you can ad the post footer like this page by using
Next you put one article on the content within your site. Make sure the page is well laid-out. If you use AdSense try to integrate it into the page by blending the colors of the ad to the page. Stay within Googles TOS. If you are selling products like MP3 Players, ipods or free online games insert 1 or 2 well placed links to those pages. Don't be to spammy. Make the page look authoritative.
After you have your article set up and your Digg and StumbleUpon icons in your postfooter using Feedburner or Digg Tools or sidebar you will now tell the social sites about your article. Simply click the icon and then go to submit. When you submit the story the submission should include tags. Keywords relevant to the story. Use between 4 and 12 tags.

Now it's time to market the story or article. There are several ways to do this. One way to market on the Internet is to search for relevant blogs and leave a comment and include your sites URL. allows readers to leave backlinks and comments. When leaving a comment be sure and use your meta tags from the article within your comment. Search for blogs about your niche such as MP3
Another way to get back links is to post on forums about your MP3 niche and use the Signature Option. Use a keyword rich anchor text. Like "Cheap MP3". You can use this method 2 ways. Send browsers back to the article or to ware the products are being sold. If you want to come across as authoritative you should send them to the article. If the reader is engaged they will likely stay on the page and look around. You can also trade Diggs and Stumbles on Web Master Forums. There is also sites like Piqq that trade Diggs Stumbles and Propels.
What the site owner is looking for is 'BackLinks" not necessarily sales. Though sales are nice. Search Engines are looking for relevant content for there users. Once they find good content they will follow it and the pages move up in rank. You want and make sure the speed that content is added looks to be natural to the SE's. If the search engines see content being added to fast they will think it is generated and it will take longer to rank. Add one article at a time. 2 or 3 a week for a blog. Blog articles can be much shorter also. More like 250 to 500 words. A web site can add 2 or 3 content pages broken down into sub niches. Like Mp3 Article, MP3 Tutorials and MP3 Downloads.
This method of getting of getting targeted organic traffic will show the search engines that the site is authoritative and meaningful to readers. As people read the stories and digg them the pages will gain strength and the page will begin to rank better and better.

Some Diggers and StumbleUpon users have reported having 100s of hits a day. Just remember to write about niche subject and keep organic and authoritative and well placed anchor text and the search engines will come. And don't forget to promote, promote and promote.

We will continue to provide more tips in the days to come.