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As you may or may not have heard, EPN (eBay's affiliate program) has recently changed the way they pay their affiliates and most people I know have not been too happy about the changes. Although some affiliates are making more money on this new payout the vast majority are not. Not only that, people are concerned that they can't seem to pinpoint exactly how we're paid so that's a bit of a concern.
My earnings from September were $528.06 and my earnings for October were a mere $298.38.
I've finally set out to do some maintenance on my niche stores. I've been slacking and I'm ready to get back into the niche store "game" and I'm willing to put in the time and energy to get the stores performing and possibly add some more stores.
I've written out each store I have now (there are five) and I'm in the process of evaluating their status: what I need to update/fix, what promoting would work best, and I'm trying to get an overall feeling for how each store is performing and what I could do to each to make it perform better.
I'm looking to make sure all software is updated and running the latest version (including BANS, WP, WP plugins, etc.) and I'm adding some plugins to each as well (there are various plugins designed for adding affiliate products to a WP blog). For instance, on my first three BANS stores (Build a Niche Store) I used a free theme designed for BANS stores but these stores don't have blogs on them. I don't want to redo the entire stores and lose my search engine positioning and/or backlinks so I've decided to add WordPress blogs to the "backend" of them (installed in a subfolder). The other two stores were built on a theme that was designed specifically for BANS but it's a WP theme that integrates the BANS store on the blog. I'm upgrading everything and I'm also planning on updating the "look and feel" of some of them too. It's also a good idea to go through each store page and make sure everything is in working order. If eBay changes a category number it can destroy your site and if you're not monitoring the sites and/or stats you won't know about it.
Once I have these five stores under control and performing smoothly I'll be adding a handful of stores. I'm still deciding if I'll be using a BANS format or if I'll use a WordPress blog with some of the various plugins available for pulling affiliate products into the site.
My favorites are: phpBay and ReviewAzon ( and you can even integrate the two by using ReviewAzon) and I'm also beta testing two more affiliate plugins so I'll have more information on those too.
So, although my store earnings are down with the new payment methods I still plan on working hard on my sites and hope to up my income by remaining flexible and adding some other affiliate product sources too. I've written before about how important it is to diversify! I'll be looking at some other options (besides eBay) and I'll keep you posted here on the blog as to what I find, what I try and how it works out.
Do you have any niche sites? What tools do you use and which are your favorites? Have you wanted to get started with some niche sites but don't know where to start? Let us hear from you! *SmiLes* Suzanne
We'd love to have you join the conversation on my main blog Money Making Ideas where I teach others how to start and run their own successful online business.