Updated January 11th 2010 Hi all,
We chose to work with Chris as an example of an eBay Partner Network publisher who has done a great job of promoting and building a brand for his site. One example of this was the road trip he took across the US with a car he bought off his site for $1000. He made several stops along the way and got great press coverage and many high quality articles with linkbacks. In our rush to share his success story with you, we overlooked one of his comments that goes against what we’ve been encouraging our affiliates to do for some time, and we apologize. We look for affiliates to drive quality, incremental traffic to our sellers, which is why we’ve put so much time into setting the program up to reward this type of behavior. Chris’ site provides additional value to the buyers he brings to eBay, as members can add their own classified listings directly to the site. However some of what he referenced did not reflect this, so we have removed the comment from this post. Some of you may question why we did this, and it’s simply because this isn’t the type of behavior we encourage. We believe that there is always room for improvement with any website, and we are working with Chris to optimize his eBay integrations and ensure their compliance with eBay Partner Networks Ts and Cs.
The eBay Partner Network team
Chris Hedgecock is the CEO and co-founder of Zeropaid Inc., a network of highly-trafficked web properties anchored by Zeropaid.com. Founded in April of 2000, Zeropaid has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, MSNBC, and many other major media outlets. Zeropaid is based in San Diego, still run by the two original founders and a much-needed supporting cast. Most recently, Zeropaid Inc. launched CarsForaGrand.com, a website helping car buyers and sellers connect. To date, it has sold over 10,000 cars.
While Zeropaid is a big part of Chris’ life he also is very active in the entrepreneurial community, having started over 10 companies over the last 5 years, with a few successful exits. Chris is also a member of Mensa, attended SDSU briefly, and spent time in the engineering halls of Microsoft and MP3.com.
Q: Why did you choose eBay Partner Network?
A: Because no matter what kind of traffic I have, there's always something on eBay that's applicable.
Q: What percent of your overall commissions earned does eBay Partner Network represent?
Q: How long have you been a member of eBay Partner Network?
A: Since it started, and on PepperJam and CJ before that.
Q: How do you evaluate the economics of different advertising options on your website?
A: Test and optimize. Performance is everything.
Q: How did you get started in affiliate marketing?
A: Sprung out of my overall nerdiness. Had several web properties and wanted to make more money from them, and this naturally led me from AdSense into affiliate marketing.
Q: What new directions do you think the industry is headed in?
A: More transparency and more accountability. I think the days of being able to send a few hundred thousand random clicks to a program is over, you need to really pre-sell and screen the traffic you send nowadays.
Q: What concerns you most about recent developments in affiliate marketing?
A: The only thing I really fear would be government regulation, but so far they have just been cracking down on spammers and people just doing flat out false advertising, so far it's been good. I guess nothing really concerns me about the industry :)
Q: Which industry thought leaders impress you the most?
A: John Reese, Shoemoney.
Q: Which places (forums, blogs, communities) do you participate in and why?
A: Twitter, some private thinktank type groups on Google. I think the private atmosphere is far more productive, everyone has met face to face and has a mutual respect for one another. That makes people more comfortable opening up about their ideas and businesses.
Q: Which events do you plan on attending this year, if any?
A: Just got done with PubCon (although I never actually attended the conference). I will probably do another Elite Retreat, ThinkTank, and Affiliate Summit.
Q: One tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance on eBay Partner Network?
A: Pre-sell. Get people hyped up about the product you are targeting on eBay then send the click. Either that, or build a tool that helps people use eBay better.
Thank you, Chris.
The eBay Partner Network Team