Why eBay Partner Network Makes 22 Times More Money Than AdSense On My Blog

Updated on March 5, 2009: I noticed a huge discrepancy with my Google Analytics pageviews versus the impressions being reported by eBay Partner Network.

I did some digging and found that eBay counts link impressions not page impressions. For example, one of my posts has 22 links to eBay. This means a pageview is actually 22 impressions to eBay.

Needless to say that changed my calculations. I reworked the numbers and found that instead of 200% in the original post, eBay makes me 22 times more money than AdSense! Or in percentage terms, 2,100%. Of course, with this new knowledge, I’m very motivated to put eBay links on all my relevant posts, not just my most popular ones :)

I’ve been pretty excited the last couple days. I finally found an income stream for my gaming blog that actually makes a decent amount of money without hurting the usability of my readers.

At first, I tried AdSense but the ads I got were very irrelevant. My gaming blog is about a collectible card game called Magic The Gathering. As a card game, the word deck is huge keyword. However, that word was a problem since it would show ads about building a physical deck for your house. Also, since the title of the game has the word magic, I would get ads about magic tricks and how to cast actual spells.

I estimate that 70-80% of my ads were irrelevant. As such, I knew my readers were having a poor reading experience on my blog. I even hated looking at my site. The big intrusive irrelevant ads were a turnoff. I tried smaller ads but my income sunk too much. But even with the big ads, my income was not very good. Relevance is huge if you want to make money and very few people were clicking my ads.

My sister has a dating blog that gets less than half the traffic as my blog. But she has earned more with AdSense since her blog shows more relevant ads. After a while, I couldn’t optimize AdSense to make more money. My income was so low that I decided to drop the program and look for other ways to make money.

I tried affiliate programs from online retail stores but I couldn’t find a quality program. Surprisingly there was no info product I was comfortable with endorsing that had an affiliate program. I was close to giving up. I thought I would have to focus solely on creating my own products to make decent money from my blog. I’m working on my own info product but it will take a couple months to complete. I wanted to make some money right away without resorting to AdSense.

To add to my frustration, my blog was reaching new traffic highs every month for the last couple of months. I had recently reached the 1,000 daily visitors milestone.

eBay Partner Network

As a last ditch effort, I turned to eBay’s cost per click (CPC) program called eBay Partner Network (ePN). I knew they could be a great income source, since they have a lot of traffic and there is an active eBay market for the cards I blog about.

I sent my application but immediately regreted it when I read this article about how to get accepted in the network. Yeah, I know. I should’ve read the article first! My excitement and impatience got the best of me when I found out that eBay had a CPC program.

In my application, I wrote a 50 word blurb about my site. I didn’t put any effort in explaining why my site was a good fit for eBay. Needless to say, my site was rejected after a couple of weeks.

I then wrote them a 380 word email message asking them to reconsider my site. I explained my business plan and gave multiple traffic stats. I even included my experience as a search specialist and blogger. I knew my site was a good one for eBay so on the second try, I spent the extra effort to communicate that fact.

I couple days later I was accepted into the program.

I immediately create a couple eBay links and placed them on my most popular pages.

After a couple of days, I looked at the numbers and was very happy to discover that eBay made 22 times more money than my previous AdSense numbers (based on CPM, or cost per thousand page impressions) :)

Plus, the best performing AdSense ads are the big square ads that take up a lot of space and make your blog look cluttered. On the other hand, eBay has text links that can be placed in the middle of your posts. Therefore, you add value and an income stream without making your blog look cluttered with ads.

My blog doesn’t have any ads right now and it’s a great feeling. I do plan to sell ads on my sidebar in the future but I’m glad I don’t have to put ads in the content section of my blog. That section is the best place to put ads if you want to make money but it’s the worst spot from the user’s perspective.

I’m excited about the future with ePN. I haven’t done any testing on my eBay links so I think there’s room to optimize and earn more money.

If you have a product driven site, I definitely recommend eBay Partner Network.

Performancing offers blog management services.

Comments

  1. Thanks! I enjoyed the article.

    My blog receives about 1000 visitors a day too and AdSense seems to do okay for me. I haven’t tried eBay partner network, but I have used Amazon Associates, ClickBank, Commission Junction, and Chitika. However, I don’t think I’ve found the correct mix of affiliates or the exact formula for maximizing the potential of my blog.

    Do you know any numbers or seen an statistics on how much an affiliate blog should be making that receives approximately 1000 visitors a day? I know it’s a loaded question and it will vary a lot depending on the niche, but I’m just trying to get a rough idea of whether or not my blog is under monetized. Could you reveal your eCPM when you were using Google AdSense vs eBay Partner Network?

  2. I’d rather not reveal my eCPM since I don’t know ePN’s stance on revealing those stats. I think the stats are very niche dependent. I would try to find a blog in your niche and see what kind of stats they are getting. Of course, that’s easier said than done since most bloggers don’t give away their stats. But you might find a dog blogger who shares their stats if you do a little digging.

    My recommendation is to try ePN if you have a lot of product-related pages. You can do a search on eBay to see if there is an active market for the products you blog about.

    ePN is looking for quality sites and you definitely have a great dog blog. Their links won’t make your site more cluttered since you can use content-based text links. Actually, the links could add a lot of value since your readers may find great deals on eBay.

  3. Me personally, I cannot use Ebay partner network because of the market that I am targeting. I have to use Adsense because their program crosses borders. I feel like and Ebay is limited and Adsense is unlimited when it comes to market reach

  4. For me it is just the opposite. I have tried hard with both Adsense and EPN but epn just sucked for me. Adsense brings in more than double income to my table than epn does. It was of course all good with epn until they brought in their new rule called “QCP” and that is when my epn income started dwindling. Now they just pay according to their “whims”, that is my view. I would any day promote clickbank products than epn. Read this:
    http://www.themilitantaffiliate.com/epn-qcp-ppc-vs-adsense/ (no it is NOT my site)

  5. I’m so glad I ran into this blog! I too, was turned down by EBay and wasn’t sure whether I could repeal their decision. Adsense is not making me much either and amazon is spuratic at best. Armed with the knowledge I now have because of this blog, I feel confident that I will be accepted in to their program.
    Great read as you have a true flair for the written word, thanks!

  6. Come to think of it…ebay network is better that those google adsense….It was an interesting information to here…I am gonna try it and see it for my self.

  7. I always read from a lot of people who keep on bashing ebay and critisizing them for constantly changing their TOS. I however think that compared to other affiliate income making streams, they are still the best. What I just read from you has confirmed my believe that ebay is still the best. I will keep to it. Thanks for sharing

  8. There are many hidden issues with the ‘new’ ePN that aren’t apparent when you first join. I’ve been with them since they were managed by Commission Junction and I can tell you that it isn’t anywhere near as profitable as it was back then. I make good money with them, but it’s much more trouble than it used to be.

    As for AdSense… well… IMO, if you can’t make good money with AdSense, you should probably look into another line of work. ;)

  9. I use EPN and ad sense on my sites they both work together very well , i ma going to create some Amazon and click bank sites together also in the near future, I think you can have to many adverts which is overkill so I still to one ad-sense ad and integrate epn in my posts works well for me.

  10. My advice is always get a second opinion. To me EPN sucks. It was not always like this, but when they changed to this QCP program, many people have reported big drops in earnings. I don’t think they changed to this QCP program to help us make more money. If not, therefore they make more money and we make less. currently, I use adsense, clickbank, amazon, pepperjam, CJ, and many others. Adsense works the best for me. I am now using EPN only on three websites, down from about 10. Eventually, I will stop using them altogether.

  11. ePn is starting to suck says:

    ePn is hard to love. The rather opaque earnings structure rarely makes any sense. Most months for the past year I seem to earn about the same as ebay does in the ebay revenue line. That was my best metric for predicting monthly earnings.

    This month I have sold approx 3500 USD in product – which via amazon would have been good for about $245 in commission ( I often compare to amazon as I use side by side comparisons in many of my articles)

    With a week left in the month, I would be happy with those earnings as its one of 18 online streams.

    But as my sites grow in traffic and sales – ebay stays the same or drops! This month ePns revenue from my sites is 305.00 usd – my current commission .. 85.00!!!!

    ePn is fishy. If you make big sales ( each month I make a 1- 1.5k single item sale) you dont earn from it, any other network would be more rewarding. I saw NO increase in epc after selling a 1850.00 item on ebay that is targetted and direct traffic .. no fluke about it, its just not going to be an everyday sale ..the current pricing structure at ePn screws experienced affiliates who deal in high value items. Im intentionally working away from the program and will end my run there with a massive attempt to recoop lost earnings through a bunch of autoblogs with epn feeds (to date 0 of my traffic comes from such sources)

    Quality content and quality conversions are not rewarded sufficiently at ePn

  12. Tony Boaz says:

    The EPN network was good until a few months ago, however I make double what I make with EPN via Commission Junction and Adsense.. They have really stopped paying less for some reason this year, so I’m going back to Adsense and Commission Junction affiliates 100% for right now. If you find the right affiliates, Commission Junction is often a top earner. There are some issues with Commission Junctions tracking (the don’t seem to track all your sales). Probably a cookie issue, but most days I do very well with some of the affiliates on CJ. Adsense can pay really well for a week, then bottoms out, then comes back for me.. So who knows what is best, for whom.

  13. You can use subdomains and they can and can function. If you can and you uncover you have a excellent plan working it would be better to buy a area and genuinely put some effort into marketing to your new domain.

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