eBay Partner Network Tips
Don’t make these newbie affiliate mistakes This post is a bittersweet one. Bitter in that new (and sometimes even experienced) affiliates often make these mistakes, but sweet that you can learn from these experiences and avoid them in the future.
Here are some of the most common mistakes we’ve seen affiliates make, and what you should do instead.
- DON’T: Be a used-car salesman
- DO: Be honest and informative
It’s easy to want to be overly enthusiastic when talking about products, but when was the last time you trusted someone saying, “BUY THIS AMAZING DEAL NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!”? Instead, put yourself in your visitor’s shoes, and imagine what they’re thinking and experiencing during their buying journey. Your visitor may have some casual interest in what you’re sharing, and is likely looking to do a bit of research.
Next (just like you typically do), they probably want to know about other people’s experiences and opinions. You have the opportunity to be that person. Being authentic and giving honest feedback and background in your own voice will get you much further than empty marketing buzzwords. Plus, it will help build your website as a trusted resource.
- DON’T: Spread yourself thin
- DO: Commit and stay focused
There are a lot of affiliate programs out there, and there are a lot of products to promote. It’s important to select, and only select, the ones that are a good fit. Joining any and every program won’t lead to instant revenue streams, and it will become too much to manage. It takes time and commitment to figure out what works for you. Similarly, promoting too many or poor quality products will hurt you in the long run. Which leads to the next mistake…
- DON’T: Blindly choose products to promote
- DO: Your homework
Sure, that trendy new product on the market may seem like a no-brainer, but hundreds of other affiliates are probably thinking the same thing. Then again, maybe no one else has discovered it yet. The only way to know for sure is to do your homework.
The most successful affiliates stay ahead of trends and know what’s selling in the moment. Terapeak, a paid-tool built for eBay and Amazon sellers, uses marketplace data to help users uncover buying trends and identify top products.
EBay DataLabs is a free, eBay-specific alternative. DataLabs gives real-time insight into top selling items, along with their value and what they’re selling for. Whether you’re focusing on SEO or paid advertising (or both), conducting keyword research and knowing exactly how competitive products and terms are should also be baked into your affiliate marketing processes.
If you use Google Adwords, take advantage of the Keyword Planner tool. Keyword research can help uncover less-competitive long tail terms, for the same highly competitive products. For example, “phone charger” will be a challenge, but “6 foot iPhone 6 cable” may be much more realistic and profitable to target.
- DON’T: Use the same product link everywhere
- DO: Set up unique tracking codes
This is a basic, but easily overlooked one. You want to know where each of your sales comes from, and if you’re promoting products in different channels with the same link, that makes it hard to do so. Depending on your affiliate program, you should have tracking options.
For example, in eBay Partner Network, you can use different campaigns to track different initiatives. So you might have one campaign for social media, and another for a specific page on your website. Setting up unique tracking allows you to strategically optimize your affiliate marketing activities and know where your sales are coming from. Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money, but you shouldn’t go into it thinking it’s a “get rich quick” scheme. Be genuine, stay focused, do your homework, and determine what’s working for you, and you’ll be well on your way to seeing payouts roll in.
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