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EPN TV: John Toskey on the New Bookmarklet Tool

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In this episode of EPN TV, we introduce you to our bookmarklet tool, which provides a quick way to create affiliatized links directly from any eBay page. John describes how this tool was created in response to your request for simple tools that can be used without much heavy technical lifting. To access the bookmarket tool, navigate to the Campaigns tab in the Publisher Portal. Then, simply drag the icon next to a campaign to your browser’s bookmarklet folder.

The next time you’re on eBay and see a search results page, specific listing or any other landing page on eBay that would interest your visitors, just click this saved bookmarklet link to get the affiliatized link in URL, JavaScript or HTML format.

This is an easy way to quickly generate a link to share on your website or social networks, and we hope you’ll test it out and let us know what you think. Make sure to watch the video to hear John’s suggestion for making the tool even more useful.

We are constantly evaluating ways that we can improve your success with EPN, and look forward to developing additional resources to help you earn with EPN. If there’s something you’d like to see, please let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comments.

EPN TV: John Toskey Talks Structured Data

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In this episode of EPN TV, John talks about a major initiative undertaken by eBay Marketplaces to provide buyers with an even more compelling experience. While eBay has traditionally provided flexibility around seller listing requirements, we saw an opportunity to improve by layering additional structured data on top of this free-form listing data. By shifting toward cataloging items as products rather than as individual listings:

  • Search results are more relevant
  • Items are easier to find and compare
  • Product reviews can be better collected and shared
  • Deals are more obvious

In fact, early results have shown conversion rate improvements, which should translate into increased sales and commissions for you.

Because more than 80% of the items sold on eBay are new, the ability to differentiate among duplicate items has become increasingly important. For example, it would be helpful for buyers to know that multiple iPhone 6 listings are essentially selling the same product, so they can more easily find the item they want, at the best price.

Another way that this initiative should enable you to provide an improved buyer experience is that you’ll be able to deliver more pertinent and focused landing pages. This is possible because while a link that leads to an eBay listing page may expire, a link to an eBay product page could live in perpetuity. You’ll be better equipped to compare products across eBay and compared to other merchants, so you can provide your visitors with the most relevant items at the best prices.

This is a major evolution in the way that eBay handles data, and the ecommerce experience that we are able to provide. If you have any questions about this topic, please let us know in the comments below. We’ll continue to provide updates on new milestones in this endeavor.

The Affiliate Marketer’s Intro to SEO

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It’s safe to say that every affiliate wants their website to rank on page one of search engines. Unfortunately, (just like in affiliate marketing) there’s no “get rich quick” way to go about getting there. Even if paid search marketing seems like the easy answer, according to SEOMoz, ads at the top of Google receive about 18-20% of search traffic while organic results take the other 80-82%. The real answer to getting to the top of organic rankings lies in trusty search engine optimization (SEO) practices. At its core, SEO requires two things: patience and a commitment to best practices. We’ve rounded up some basics of the latter, below.

Start off strong with the right domain name

If you’re in the market for a domain, put a lot of thought into the name. The best domain names are short, memorable and contain important keywords. However, that doesn’t mean you should stuff as many keywords as you can in there.

Google is continuously updating its search algorithm to de-rank “spammy” websites using practices like keyword stuffing, while surfacing high quality websites that add value. The important thing to remember and keep at the heart of your SEO strategy is to develop for humans, not algorithms. For example, think about what website you’re personally more likely to visit – www.toptechreviews.com or www.bestphoneslaptopsandtablets.com?

But first, keyword research

Conducting keyword research is critical to knowing what keywords to target throughout the SEO process, and should come before all else. Start by brainstorming a list of words and phrases you think people would search to find your website, then plug that list into a keyword tool such as Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner or Wordtracker.

The goal is to expand and refine the list with relevant phrases and compare their average monthly searches. Targeting long-tail keywords – that is, longer keyword phrases with say 4-6 words – is a popular approach for affiliates for a number of reasons.

Long-tail keywords are:

  • More specific and focus on a niche
  • Less common than broad keywords, and therefore usually have less competition when it comes to ranking
  • Used further along in the search process, and tend to have higher conversion rates

Identify which keywords are best to target and focus your content strategy around those.

Create unique, quality content

You’ve probably heard the advice to “create unique, quality content” many times throughout the affiliate industry. Why is this so important? Well, you can drive all the traffic in the world to your website, but if it doesn’t provide value or the answer your visitors are looking for, they’re bouncing (along with your commission). This is also very important to search engines, as they want to provide a valuable and easy search process for users.

So whether it be a blog post, review, video, or in some other form; relevant, high-quality content helps searchers find what they’re looking for, and in turn Google pushes that website up in search rankings. Other factors include how often your website publishes new content, and whether it can be found elsewhere online. Even if it’s your own, avoid repurposing content on multiple pages or websites.

Whether you’re just starting off with SEO or looking to freshen up your skills, keep an eye on the EPN blog for more SEO tips.

Pinterest Opens Its Doors to Affiliate Marketers

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We have good news for socially savvy affiliates: You can now share affiliate links on Pinterest! The popular social network announced that it has revamped its infrastructure and acceptable use policy, so publishers can once again include affiliate links on Pins. EPN encourages integrating social media promotions into your affiliate activities, as long as the social network allows it. This Pinterest policy update means that not only can you drive traffic from pins to your affiliate site, but you can now also drive users directly from Pinterest to eBay.

On its blog, a Pinterest representative said, “People come to Pinterest looking for new ideas to try, and the very best ideas come from businesses like yours. We understand that businesses and bloggers need a sustainable way to keep making great content. That’s why we’ve decided to allow affiliate links on Pinterest.”

Over 100 million people across the globe use the visual bookmarking tool to discover things to plan, buy and do. It offers a great way to get in front of an audience that is actively seeking inspiration, and eBay offers a broad spectrum of items to help fuel these passions.

How will you take advantage of this opportunity to create value for Pinterest users? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

EPN TV: John Toskey Talks About the Launch of Our Insiders Program

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Over the past few months, we’ve been building a new publisher community to help us recognize and reward partners who proactively help us grow eBay Partner Network. We launched the community as a pilot in mid-2015 based on the results of a publisher survey, and have been collecting feedback from a group of initial participants. Today, we’re excited to open the opportunity up to all of our publishers. By participating in this exclusive community - which we’ve dubbed Insiders - you’ll be able to build your knowledge and establish yourself as a thought leader. You’ll receive early access to our latest news and events, and will have a direct line of communication to provide feedback to our team.

Insiders can earn recognition and rewards, ranging from promotional opportunities to gift cards to exclusive member-only experiences, for completing activities that help us spread awareness and educate others about EPN.

Watch this episode of EPN TV to learn more. And if you’d like to apply to join, complete this brief application to indicate your interest.

We hope you’ll take the opportunity to check out this new community. We’re happy to recognize you for everything you do!

EPN TV: John Toskey Discusses How eBay Sellers Can Join EPN

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Did you know that eBay sellers are not only eligible, but encouraged to join eBay Partner Network? If you’re a seller and are already blogging about your items or sharing links on social media, you could be earning eBay affiliate commissions. And if you’re not already promoting your listings this way, there’s no time like the present to start!

In this EPN TV episode, John Toskey talks about the affiliate advantages for eBay sellers, and how sellers can get up and running quickly with eBay Partner Network.

Sellers can earn EPN commissions by promoting and linking to their own items, as well as products inventoried by other sellers. For example, if you sell cameras in your eBay Store, you may also want to promote listings of complementary accessories from other sellers.

Joining eBay Partner Network is a great way for sellers to offset eBay’s seller fees. If you’re interested in joining EPN, you can start by taking a few minutes to complete our online application.

Thanks for watching!

2016 Payment Calendar

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Thank you for visiting our 2016 Payment Calendar. Please see our 2018 EPN Payment Calendar for the schedule of upcoming payments.

Our goal is to pay our publishers as early as we can while taking all of the internal requirements for a successful payment cycle into consideration. EPN will continue to strive to pay partners on the 22nd of every month, with the following exceptions:

  • If the 22nd occurs on a weekend or holiday, EPN will pay on the next business day.
  • If the 22nd occurs on a Friday, EPN will most likely pay on the Thursday before but possibly on the Monday after if there are unforeseen issues.
  • If an unanticipated issue causes a delay in payments, we will address the problem as quickly as we can, and strive to keep you informed along the way.

We are aware that our partners are business owners and need to know when they are going to get paid. Below is our payments calendar for the remainder of 2016 to help you plan.

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Calendar payment dates refer to the dates when eBay disburses funds to publisher accounts.  Please note that, in the case of publishers paid via Direct Deposit, individual banks have their own processes in place that may involve additional days to settle funds deposited via direct deposit.

We hope this helps, and as always, we welcome your comments and suggestions. If you have any questions regarding payments, please contact us or email us at: epn-cs-english@ebay.com

EPN Named One of the World’s Top Networks

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We’re pleased to announce that eBay Partner Network has been named the #2 affiliate program in the world in a survey of more than 20,000 publishers, advertisers and other industry professionals. The annual Blue Book list provided by mThink, the publisher of Revenue Performance magazine, recognizes and rewards networks that focus on service and value in performance marketing. EPN has steadily climbed the list of top 20 programs, jumping from #10 to #5 to #2 over the past three years.

The survey asks participants to rank programs based on reputation, influence, clientele, popularity and scale, resulting in a field of more than 300 networks. In addition to the survey data, mThink takes into account expert opinions, traffic data and other influence measures.

After aggregating the survey responses, mThink had this to say: “eBay Partner Network is incredibly well-respected by people who know the performance marketing industry. A great network.”

Thank you to those of you who participated in the survey, and thank you for your continued partnership. We look forward to continued excellence in 2016!

Top Seven Reasons Publishers Choose eBay Partner Network

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As many publishers have discovered, affiliate marketing can be a great way to monetize a website. If you’re thinking about joining an affiliate marketing program or researching program options, we’d like to share seven reasons why we think eBay Partner Network is worth considering. Join eBay Partner Network Now

1. An Established Global Program

eBay has been in existence since 1995 and has become the largest online marketplace with over 108 million active users around the world. Our affiliate program was established in 2001, offering our partners a mutually beneficial partnership for well over a decade. Wherever your visitors are located, you can unlock greater potential by driving traffic to 13 different global eBay websites, in a variety of languages and locales.

2. Unmatched Inventory

eBay is known for its wide range of inventory — with over 500 million items from cars to collectibles, and fashion to fitness. Our auctions, “Buy It Now” options and Daily Deals, as well as our broad product selection, allow 5 million sellers to sell nearly $70 billion of gross merchandise volume annually.

3. Competitive Commissions

ePN’s commissions are based on a transparent revenue share model, with the amount you earn based directly on the sales you drive to eBay. We pay commissions out on a monthly basis, and are resolute in paying our partners on time. Additionally, we offer 200 percent bonuses for referring new or reactivated buyers, for a robust revenue potential.

4. Bonus Promotions

We regularly run seasonal and category-specific promotions, giving you even more financial incentive to drive traffic — and giving visitors even more incentive to buy.

5. Responsive Communication, Support and Education

We have a number of communication channels to keep you up to date on the latest program news, industry tips and best practices, including this blog and our community forum, in addition to system messages, emails and a dedicated customer support staff. We often share articles and videos directly from ePN team members, so our partners stay on top of all the latest news and happenings.

6. Range of Tools

We offer a variety of tools, including custom banners, link generators, access to our API and more. Our tools can work for publishers who are just getting started to established marketers with dedicated development resources.

7. Forward Thinking

In any competitive niche industry, an open mind and willingness to grow is a must. We are constantly evaluating our processes and offerings and seeking feedback from our partners in order to stay competitive as one of the most sought-after affiliate networks in today’s fast-paced landscape. We welcome innovative ideas, companies and business models from those looking to partner with ePN in a variety of ways.

At eBay Partner Network, we value our partners and are always looking for ways to grow our program in mutually beneficial ways. For more information and to apply now, please visit eBay Partner Network.