Hunger Games Coming to Big Screen

I read a ton, unfortunately my wife would disagree.  If I don’t have my head stuck in a book, I’m not a reader.  It’s very convenient for her to ignore the countless hours spent reading blogs, forums, and online news articles.  So, to appease my wife I agreed to read some non-fiction last year, my first assignment was Hunger Games.

Hunger Games is a young adult book (YA), targeted at the same generation responsible for Twilight.  Thankfully, the quality of writing is far superior to anything vampiry and even as a 30 year old male I was entertained.  What’s not to enjoy?

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PJN Stats Are Horendous

Whomever talked PepperJamNetwork into using SID reports instead of domain reports must have been one smooth talker.  It’s cumbersome, difficult to read, specifically in regards to the eBay affiliate program when running multiple BANS and phpBay stores.  To Pepper Jam’s credit however it is the only issue I have with the company.

Anytime I’ve called the fine ladies over at PJN they have been quick to answer the phone, helpful, and always seemed to talk with a smile on their face.  Hell, just tlaking to a real person at a company feels like an exercise in futility and rarely does the person ansering the phone know the answers to my questions.  Thank you Pepper Jam for providing GREAT customer support.

But please , PLEASE, PLEASE fix your reporting to offer some sort of solution other than SID tracking.  A simple way to analyze my stats via domain would provide me much more useful information than the crap SID reporting shows.  Perhaps this is only a problem for those using BANS or phpBay, but I know it’s a pain in the ass because I can never tell specifically where the sale is coming from.

Furthermore, as a message to the boys managing the eBay affiliate program, FIX BOTS BEING COUNTED AS CLICKS.  Here we are months after release and bots are still being counted as clicks on my reporting methods through Pepperjam, which is destroying my EPC.  Figuring ROI through my ad campaigns is difficult enough on it’s own, without having to comb through worthless reports and ‘guess’ at what my real EPC is.

Pepper Jam Network
Pepper Jam Network

Try These If You Are Banned on EPN

This will be a very brief post as I’m completely overwhelmed with the task of switching over a bunch of affiliate sites and tweaking PPC campaigns.  Will you forgive me if I agree to do a complete write up of how I will be replacing my $1000 per month EPN revenue?

uBid looks like it will be a stable replacement for EPN visitors.  Time will truly tell but this is where I will be focusing some of my efforts.

PepperJamNetwork is a back door to EPN.  I’ve been banned from EPN but I’m still able to earn revenue the exact same way through PepperJam.  Again, I’m sure time will tell when they will bring the hammer down on PJ affiliates as well.  I’m not betting the farm it will last, but at least it will give me longer than a 7 day window to jump ship.

Look for a full write up instead of a quick link post in the upcoming days.  For those who received the expired from EPN letter, the sun will rise tomorrow.

phpBay Helps With Long Tail Keywords

It’s taken a little while, but I’m starting to see some side benefits from running phpBay on my blogs.  Of course being a good SEO boy I try to target keywords within certain posts, unfortunately there are always the less popular that you never hit.  These long tail keywords are either not worth the time to research or are simply missed in the grand scheme.  Thanks to phpBay I’ve been able to get in on the search traffic from these less than popular keywords and bring an additional level of traffic.

For example, I may be writing a post about a 2010 Ford Mustang and obviously focus on that search keyword.  Once I enter in my phpBay code I can then set low priced items that have to do with Mustangs, in this case key chains, which will be displayed with their listing title off of eBay.  Thanks to these, often times key word stuffed, titles I’m now bringing in some side traffic to those specific posts, where a visitor is likely to click.

So you see the value of phpBay out weighs it’s initial affiliate value and can do it’s own part to bring in traffic without any additional work.  Free ever changing content, on each individual blog post, Google loves it and now so am I.

Auctiva

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First, thanks to the CEO of Auctiva for having a pair and calling me direct on this, it does say something about the character of the owner.  Second, this post will be reserved for further insight into the Auctiva business practices that have been reported to me, with the hope that case studies will become available so that I’m not considered just a blogger spouting lies.  Lord knows I don’t have the pocket book for that and also have what some would consider morals.  If what I find is completely contrary to what was originally reported on Auctiva, yes, an apology will be written.

Lastly, to whom it may concern, threatening a person willing to work and listen to you is just bad business practice and frankly makes you look like a dick.  Check in your support department, I’m the one who called you back.

ACRU TO CRU Ratio

Yes, I’m on an EPN kick this month and with good reason, since it’s currently one of my leading earners in the affiliate realm.  I’m getting a pretty decent number of bids, considering the limited traffic I’m pulling in, but what I feel I’m struggling with is converting CRU’s(When a new user registers to ebay) to ACRU’s(when said new user makes a winning bid or BIN).

Below are my stats so far in May:

CRU ACRU Bids Winning Bids

10                    4                       158                       56

Keep in mind that I’m not selling low priced items, so even at 56 winning bids my EPN earnings are fairly high. 😉  I guess I’m just greedy for those $25 ACRU’s, but they are just not converting.  Hopefully as the cookie carries over for the 30 days it will give them an opportunity to win one of the other 102 bids that were placed so I get that commission and ACRU commission.

Is anyone else having similar issues in the month of May?

EPN Announces Problems and Fixes

It looks like the eBay Partner Network is finally addressing some problems that date back to the beginning of April, unfortunately it doesn’t look like problems that most are concerned with.  You can find a list of fixes and bugs that they’ve squashed on the EPN Blog.  Judging by the EPN discussion forums and other webmaster forums most people were concerned with actual ACRU and revenue reporting issues.  Personally, I’ve not experienced any problems.

According to the EPN blog they have addressed issues like Customer Support downtime, confirming registrations, API Id’s and the like.  These issues do not discuss anything to do with their possible reporting errors with a small percentage of their publishers.  I’m still assuming that the ones having problems are just not use to the swing cycle of online marketing, especially on a garage sale affiliate network.  Guess what, people are outside this time of year and they don’t have any money anyways.

I think Yoda knows what he is talking about, ‘Patience’.

Check out the full post for the list of fixes on the EPN.

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phpBay Review

Let me start by giving a brief over view of the WordPress plugin phpBay. It’s a tool used to help integrate you’re eBay affiliate marketing with any WordPress powered blog. By entering a few variables and filters you can easily add a list of eBay items into your post with each link automatically containing your referral link. It’s not a free plugin and requires a one time fee for unlimited domains for $39.

Who could benefit from such a plugin?

Almost any blog could benefit from this plugin. Chances are even personal blogs go into details about certain products from time to time and this is just another tool in your shed of marketing. However, just because you could benefit from the plugin doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. eBay affiliate commissions can be minimal and require substantial traffic to convert to anything worth getting a check for.

Can it be used with other advertising programs?

Typically when people ask this they mean, ‘Can I use phpbay with Adsense and not get banned?’ Yes, you can use this side by side with Google Adsense, because it is not a form of contextual advertising.

List me the Pros of phpBay.

  • plain and simple installation, exactly like every other WP plugin.
  • decent selection of options to make sure you display the right eBay items.
  • fairly inexpensive for what you get.
  • good customer support.
  • does not require a mysql database, therefore ideal for light weight hosting.

List me the Cons.

  • only one instance of phpBay ads can be displayed at one time, therefore you must place phpBay ads after the <more function. (See below for more of my frustration in this.)
  • not enough options. Although decent I’d like to see the ability to integrate it into sidebars, not just in posts and better category selections.
  • costs money. Yes I did list that as a Pro, but as many free WP plugins that are available, this should be one too.

Summary

It was a decent purchase and defintely not a waste of money like so many other programs and scripts available out there. I would consider this plugin juvenile in it’s existence and would hope for some more development in the very near future. The inability to display more than one instance of itself on a page is very frustrating and should at least be remedied with a short cut fix.

Adsense Deluxe is a perfect example of a plugin that was designed to work with no more than X instances of itself on a page. This should be easily integrated into phpBay so that if it detects more than one instance of itself on a page it doesn’t load the others. As it stands now, it will screw up your RSS feed without placing the code after the <more tag.

Currently there is nothing else really to compare it to in the marketplace of WordPress plugins. However, when compared to other eBay affiliate tools like BuildANicheStore, it has a long way to go. Check back soon for my review on BANs.

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Where to find eBay PID

Ever since the post on replacing AuctionAds with the Ebay Affiliate Tools, I’ve noticed a number of searches coming in with users trying to find their PID. It’s not very obvious in Commission Junction and very easy to put the wrong figures in, to get credit make sure your using the write numbers.

The easiest way to find your Ebay PID is to log into your Commission Junction account. From your main account page at the very bottom there is a drop down menu for a list of affiliate programs you are subscribed to. From here select eBay, this should bring a popup with details of the program.

Under the Get Link section click on ‘Text Link’. Then click ‘Get HTML’ from any of the links listed, it really does not matter which one. After clicking you will be shown a review of the link you choose to get HTML for, along with the HTML code. Essentially you can ignore everything but the details, which contain your PID, directly under Link Type.

Hope this helps and happy affiliating.

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