Michael Raburn knew that when he retired from the Army in 1998 that he would have some time to pursue various hobbies and ultimately, his passions. One such passion is that of the Ford Mustang and the plethora of custom styles, add-ons, designers, and racing support the car has sustained over the years. The desire to do more with the Mustangs Michael owned coupled with his technical aptitude lead him to foster one of the most popular and recognized Ford Mustang communities online.
In mid-1998, Michael took the wraps off of StangNet.com and started to bring Mustang enthusiasts together by means of technical write-ups, videos, feature cars, members' rides, contests, merchandising, and superb, relevant content. StangNet has since been reputed by Ford Motor Company directly as one of the ultimate enthusiast communities in existence.
Above all of this excitement is the parent company, Drive9 Media, which has also ventured out to blogging, podcasting, and community sites focused on other subjects aside from automobiles.
Q: Why did you choose eBay Partner Network?
A: I knew that the Mustang community was heavily into modifying and tweaking their cars, and eBay has a large selection of aftermarket companies that offer products that would cater to our user base. It was the perfect fit. eBay tends to have more niche products for vehicles over other affiliate programs that cover general automotive products, but not so much the niche products that our users are hunting for.
Q: What percent of your overall commissions earned does eBay Partner Network represent?
A: eBay Partner Network runs about 80% of our affiliate commissions and about 15% of all revenue generated on the site.
Q: How long have you been a member of eBay Partner Network?
A: We started with eBay Partner Network (ePN) back in the Commission Junction days and followed over to the ePN when it started up. I feel better using ePN directly and find that the tools and analytics allow me to do a better job of reaching out to our users.
Q: How did you get started in affiliate marketing?
A: We have been running StangNet for over 10 years now. We started working with affiliate programs on our site back around 2001. More and more programs were coming online and we knew that because we run a niche website, we had a great chance of capturing users looking for products and information. Implementing affiliate programs for our users was a no brainer.
Q: Which places (forums, blogs, communities) do you participate in and why?
A: I tend to hang out around Webmasterforums.com for insight into our industry. A lot of good information is floating around over there and when any issues arise in the industry, it’s a good place to find out what is actually going on.
Q: One tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance on eBay Partner Network?
A: Test and test more. Keep trying different things and analyze what works and what does not...which method is working better? The more time you spend tweaking, the better the revenue potential and it also creates a better experience for users in the long run.
Thank you, Michael!
The eBay Partner Network Team