eBay Bans Blogger etc
Its official – as of 1 August 2009 you cannot not use eBay (EPN) to monetize Blogger (blogspot) blogs, HubPages hubs or Squidoo lenses or InfoBarrel articles. This one is a bit a of a shocker – the time frame of less than two weeks is pretty bad too. Actually eBay will tell you that they “told you so” back in May when they mentioned that both:
Ad Networks: Using any graphical ad network to place eBay ads (ads that go directly to an eBay domain) on websites not directly under the publishers’ control…Sub-affiliates: Any arrangement where publishers distribute their earnings from eBay Partner Network to other publishers.
were no longer acceptable to EPN. Source EPN Official Blog.
The Ad Networks paragraph reflects the HubPages and Blogger business models, the Sub-affiliate model reflects the Squidoo model.
This is a huge change and will take some affiliates out of business and for many more will mean that they will take a huge income hit while they rebuild their business.
Is eBay evil?
Is eBay is bad, ugly nasty company who treats their sellers like dirt and their affiliates worse? Nope, the point is that nothing has changed: he who has the gold makes the rules. eBay would rather the buyer bought from direct from them – they don’t really want to pay affiliates – it costs them money.
No eBay isn’t evil – they are in business and they have, and will continue to make business decisions with their own best interests in heart, the interests of the shareholders, not the interests of their affiliates.
Is Building Your Business on Free Sites Bad?
Using sites such as blogger (blogspot) and HubPages meant that you could make money from eBay affiliate commissions without investing any of your own. Now don’t get me wrong – I think making money for nothing down is fantastic! But it leaves you doubly vulnerable – either the affiliate or the website you are using (or as they say these days “the Web2.0 property”) could change the rules, ban your account – and you are back to where you were with nothing. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket : ironically when I used to invest in property for passive income I used to say the same thing:
Diversification is Everything
If you have built a successful income stream from eBay affiliate sales on blogger and hubpages is this the end? Yes for eBay – time to move on – with blogger blogs you have the option to self-host them (yes blogger does have a self-hosting option same as WordPress) which is probably the quickest option, but if that involves a change of url there is going to be some work involved. Alternatively it will the time to move to self-hosted WordPress.
The other option is to leave the blogger blog where it is and change the monetisation method. Its unlikely that Adsense will work well for an eBay niche but it does sometimes – double check- Amazon is the obvious option but there are literally dozens of others. I have just signed up with Chikita and I quite like what I am seeing with it too.
I expect that Hubpages will come up with something to ease the pain of the transition but obviously the only real option there is either Amazon or a relevant affiliate product.
Once I have my income level up to full-time – my aim is simple – I don’t want any one affiliate to be contributing more than 20% of that income -its just too risky and this is a case example of why!
Where do you stand – how does the eBay change of heart over blogger blogs and HubPages affect your business?