I previously apologized for my lack of posts during the TAC (Top Affiliate Challenge) post. So where have I been? Well, I’ve been working my ass off with my web development business. Projects definitely picked up, and I wanted to give EPN a rest. I was sorely disappointed with EPN after the migration from CJ, and wanted the dust to settle before focusing any more efforts to it. Prior to the switch, I was making almost $2,000/month off of eBay on CJ. After the switch my earnings plummeted, which you can read more about in the post titled EPN Status. There was a definite problem, and things have been slowly improving. May and June were my best months since the migration. I made $1,200 each of those months, which is still down, but with the improvement of ACRUs and their announcement of a MakeGood on ACRUs, things could improve even further.
During the migration phase, eBay decided to change Category IDs which also led to more frustration. Some of my sites were un-affected, but a few of them were completely hosed with this change. I took the opportunity to fix all the sites as well as add Privacy Statements to comply with Google AdSense’s new TOS. Talk about a rough Spring dealing with all these unprofitable changes. So during this, I was just putting out fires and not creating any new sites or spent any times to promote or optimize the sites.
Yahoo’s YSM also made a drastic change. They changed their keyword bid structure, and now it’s more like Google AdWord’s. They promote that as a ‘good thing’ since you can pay below .10 threshold, but I’ve not seen that. All I know is that my PPC campaigns went through the roof after this change, since I needed to ‘up’ my prices to keep the keyword due to minimum bid was increased. After seeing how my campaign budget was now unacceptable, I started to pay close attention to certain keywords and starting pausing high clickable keywords.. but low converting keywords. I think my PPC campaigns are better, but my margins were affected with this new change.
With affiliate marketing, it’s critical to adjust and bend with the situation. It’s important to react and be patient with the changes. I think it was odd that Spring 2008 was a weird time with drastic changes across YSM, EPN and AdSense, but I think I weathered the storm, and now it’s back to figuring out how to make ‘more’ money. I still want to diversify, and the first step will most likely by related to upgrading my PopShops account to Enterprise and start cranking out a few more PopShops sites. I’m also still working on a comparative shopping site using CJ datafeeds. I really need to get this done and launched. It’s basically complete, but there are a few loose ends and I’d like to run it against a few more testing cycles. I’m still really interested in PPC/offers. I think the big money is in there.. unfortunately, there is some big risk there as well, so careful study and planning is required.
I’ll keep everyone posted!