Your ShoppingAds Unaffected By eBay Affiliate Program Change

ShoppingAdsI just got an email from support at ShoppingAds.com  and there’s great news for all ShoppingAds / AuctionAds affiliates, you won’t need to do anything to your widgets, code or links for the big eBay affiliate program changeover. Apparently everything will be switched over on their end so their affiliates can rest easy. Support said that there might be a slight reporting delay, but other than that you probably won’t notice anything.

I can’t tell you how happy that makes me because I have tons of links in USFreeAds.com classifieds, on blog posts and other web sites and I was dreading the switch. This should be quite reassuring for all eBay affiliates and stem the worldwide panic just a bit. If ShoppingAds will smoothly get through the eBay affiliate transition, then we as individuals shouldn’t have too much to worry about. All your present eBay affiliate links go through a redirected eBay domain anyway so I’m guessing all we will have to do is possibly change our affiliate codes in all of our links, but it might even be simpler than that and only require signing up for the eBay Partner Network. Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I received a rather nasty comment just yesterday (which I deleted) making fun of BANS users in regards to the switchover from CJ to the eBay Partner Network. The writer thought Build A Niche Store would now be rendered useless. All I can do is laugh at that kind of thinking because the BANS developers have everything under control and will issue a quick fix probably sometime tomorrow after they sign up for the new eBay affiliate program. The fix shouldn’t consist of more than 2 or 3 files that will just need to be ftp’d to your BANS directories.

I’m kind of looking forward to the change and anxious to see how eBay is going to enhance their already incredible affiliate program. It’s nice to know at least ShoppingAds and BANS will require little to no effort to make the switch. Looking forward to tomorrow.

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Are USFreeAds Classifieds A Good Deal?

USFreeAds.comSometimes you can just go along in life feeling like you know everything and then someone points out something to you or asks a question and you all of a sudden don’t feel like such a smarty. After Collin Lahay of Mixed Market Arts asked me a question about USFreeads.com I feel like I need to make a confession. It is a blogging sin of omission rather than commission. I assumed something was true when it turned out not to be.

I wrote a post a few days ago about using USFreeAds for traffic and links and as it turns out, you probably won’t gain much of a benefit in the links department by using this classified site. I had wrongly assumed that all the links you put in your ad as a Premium Member would earn you a link back to your site because they would be “do follow” links. After Collin’s question about whether the links were “no follow” I figured I probably should go and look for myself. It turns out all links at USFreeAds.com are “no follow” which at this point I’m having a little trouble with because Premium Members pay $9.95 per month to place ads on this site. My feelings are that if you are paying for a service, you should be getting the full benefits of that service, link juice included.

I will still be using USFreeAds because they have definitely provided traffic and earned me some income as I wrote about in this post using USFreeAds and Shopping Ads together. Occasionally ads do get ranked on the first page of Google for some of your search terms and you do end up getting traffic to your ads. Also, if you have a featured ad, you can redirect it to go to your site rather than going to the ad itself. I have featured ads that I let sit until they get ranked well in Google and then redirect thus getting that traffic coming directly to your offer rather than going through your classified on USFreeAds.com.

I will more closely evaluate USFreeAds over the next couple of months to see how much of a benefit it really provides and report back later.

You can check out USFreeAds.com here.

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BANS Part 7 – Using USFreeAds.com For Traffic And Links

In the 7th and final installment of the Build A Niche Store tutorials I will be covering how I use USFreeAds.com to get a trickle of traffic, but more importantly to get a few more incoming links to each and every BANS store I build.

I like using USFreeAds because with a premium account ($9.95 per month) you can place as many classified ads as you want on their site. With other classified sites such as CraigsList, it is against Commission Junction’s (CJ) terms of service to drive traffic from CraigsList to a page with CJ links, mainly because it is against Craigs List terms of service to place commercial or affiliate related ads (this may change with eBay managing their affiliate program starting in April). With USFreeAds there are no such restrictions and you can place ads till your heart’s content. You can place an ad and link to every page in your BANS store if you wish.

USFreeAds won’t drive the traffic that CraigsList does, but it will get you links coming into your store pages and a couple of weeks after placing your ads, you will start to see them show up with fairly good placement in Google for some of the keywords terms used in your ads. In other things I have done I have seen CraigsList provide almost instantaneous benefits. That, more than likely, isn’t going to happen with USFreeAds. This classified site is one of those set-it-and-forget-it kind of strategies. If you are looking for immediate results, don’t even think about trying this because you will be disappointed.

With that said, here’s how to write an ad on USFreeAds.com that will benefit your BANS store:

I consider my ads on this classified site as mini web pages and treat them as such when writing a good one. I have experimented with several different formats of ads, but the ones that do best, start out by having an H1 tagged headline at the top that has some sort of keyword combination in it. I then write 2 to 3 paragraphs of text explaining the product and include one to several links in the text, and even direct those links to different pages on the BANS store.

Here’s a screenshot of what a possible ad for my air purifier store may look like in the USFreeAds interface. You will only see this WYSIWYG interface if you have a Premium account.

USFreeAds Interface

I then always include a picture of the general kind of product featured in the ad or may make an eye catching graphic that gets the reader’s attention. Using pictures in your ad is a must, just as it would be if you are trying to sell something through an eBay auction. Ads on USFreeAds are listed in categories as they are in eBay and have a little thumbnail picture to the left of each classified. If you don’t include a pic, you will get about 15% of the views an ad with a picture does. Here’s a screenshot below to see the listing layout with and without a picture:

USFreeAds Listing Format

Again, using USFreeAds.com is a slow process, but it has more than paid for the $9.95 monthly cost in bringing me traffic to my BANS stores. If you want a little more in depth look at making even more money with USFreeAds and ShoppingAds, look here.

Thus ends the Build A Niche Store tutorial series. Look for a post tomorrow or Friday summing up the entire series and linking to each tutorial.

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You Can Still Make Money With ShoppingAds aka AuctionAds

 Make Money With Shopping Ads

I don’t see many bloggers or affiliate marketers talking about making money with Shopping Ads aka AuctionAds any longer. And in fact, I just had Blogging For The Money leave a comment a few days ago letting me know I’m the only one he’s encountered making more than a couple of dollars per month with them.

I don’t make that much money with ShoppingAds, but it is a little and in affiliate marketing, every little bit ads up. Last month (February) I made $103.54 with Shopping Ads and in January I made $222.95 and the truth be told, I hardly do anything to promote them, but I have found a little secret that seems to work pretty well.

Here’s how I do it:

You can link directly to eBay in classified ads by using Auction Ads. I get 50% of my traffic, but earn 90% of my income from Shopping Ads by placing ads on USFreeAds.com.

You can place free ads on this classified site, but they are absolutely worthless because you can’t put a direct link in them. It’s a bit misleading with the name, but to take full advantage of USFreeAds.com, you need to get a Premium account for $9.95 per month. With this kind of account, you get to place as many ads as you want, they can be as long as you want and can contain as many keyword links as you want. Right now I’m running 162 ads on the site and every one has a direct link, several going to eBay through ShoppingAds.com using their url converter.

I have to warn you though, expect little to no results with USFreeAds.com for the first month because where you get the real results with this technique is by getting your ads indexed in Google. And it takes at least a month to get your first ads indexed, so anything you get before that is gravy.

Now that you know the basics, here’s exactly how I work the USFreeAds system to earn money with Shopping Ads:

In looking for a particular niche to exploit, I look for a category that has very few featured ads. Featured ads appear at the top of all other ads and cost between $12 and $50 depending on how long you run them (From 2 months to 1 year). If you are thinking of putting an ad in the Home Business section of the larger Business Opportunities section, don’t. There are literally hundreds of Featured ads there and the chances of yours being seen are slim to none unless you write killer copy that gets indexed by Google, but it’s best to just stay out of those overly exploited categories.

The reason I pick a category with few featured ads is because you stand a better chance of your regular ad appearing on the first page of ads for that category and having it get indexed quicker if it does (that’s what you’re looking for). After picking a niche and finding a category to advertise in, I write a nice, non spammy ad using the keywords you would expect to see in that niche and I always use a picture in the ad. Ads with pictures get 5 to 6 times more views than ads without. For a stretch of a few weeks, I was placing 5 to 10 ads a day, but only put up a couple a week now.

After placing my ads I will watch to see which ones get the most views and then convert the very best ads to Featured ads. I usually run a featured ad for 3 months at a cost of about $18. The reason I use Featured ads is because you can add a redirect that brings your visitors directly to the url you place in the ad, instead of going to the ad itself. The benefit of this is when your ad gets on the front page of Google and someone clicks it, they go directly to eBay and completely bypass your ad.

Now, you have to monitor this because using the redirect causes Google to not index the content in your ad. So what I do is turn off the redirect (simply edit your ad) and let the ad get indexed in Google again for a couple of weeks and then turn on the redirect and enjoy direct traffic to eBay from Google for a couple of weeks. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Like I said near the beginning of this post, I hardly work this system at all now, but it has produced more than $400 in income for about $80 in advertising expenses since December of last year. I’m sure if I put more time into it and placed more ads, it would produce better results. It is a little involved, but once it incubates for a couple of months, it starts to work better and you can almost ignore it like I do or spend more time with it and see what happens.

You can sign up for a Premium account with USFreeAds.com here.

If you aren’t already a member, you can sign up for ShoppingAds.com here.


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Build A Niche Store BANS v3.0 Just Released

Build A Niche Store v3.0Build A Niche Store version 3.0 has just been released! All current BANS users got an email a couple of hours ago at 3:20 pm letting them know that the update to the eBay niche store builder has been finished and is ready for download. (I’ve been watching the BANS forums all day for an announcement)

I downloaded the new version just a few minutes ago and took a quick look at the users manual and it looks great. As soon as I get finished writing this post I’m going to print it out and sit down to read it. From the quick look I had, here are a few things that stand out the most:

1. The admin panel in v3 has been completely updated with a new look.

New BANS Admin Panel 

2. There are 2 new product layouts as pictured below:

Buidl A Niche Store v3 Product Layout

3. You can now cloak your eBay affiliate links so they will look like they are internal to your site for much better SEO.
4. You can turn on and off any part of the way auctions display on your site. Auction images, titles, bids, prices, times and PayPal images can all be on or off.
5. You can set up a local store to sell items within any distance of your zip code.
6. You can set up your store to only show items with a minimum number of bids, thus guaranteeing you only show popular items.

My intent is to start the BANS tutorial tomorrow as I set up my new Air Purifier Auctions store. Right now it’s just a shell, but I’m going to upgrade to version 3 later today and start the tutorial tomorrow provided I can get through the manual don’t encounter any issues. I have several other stores I may or may not upgrade to version 3 depending on how easy it is with the new air purifiers store. I purposely haven’t done anything to this store so as to make upgrading as easy as possible.

The 5 part BANS tutorial will cover:

1. Brainstorming a niche and gettng a domain name.
2. Uploading and installing your store and designing a logo.
3. Adding content, title and h1 tags to your store
4. Article Marketing and gettng links
5. More links with USFreeAds

It’s time to print out the manual and start getting familiar with v3.0 of BANS.

If you don’t have it yet, you can get Buld A Niche Store v3.0 here. Current users of BANS can go here to get the update. (you will need your ClickBank receipt number or email address you used when purchasing BANS)


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