How to Boost Affiliate Revenue Using eBay, Facebook, and TinyURL


I recently sat in on an Affiliate Marketing panel at Pubcon 2008 in Las Vegas and learned that now is the best time to be an affiliate marketer. I IM’d this to Scott, the Director of Performance Marketing at Wpromote, and he suggested I ask why this is so, especially with the recent downturns in the economy.

http://www.wpromote.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/pubcon-aaron-kronis-question.flv
(note: taken using 12seconds.tv, hence only 12 seconds long…)
The thinking behind the announcement? As the traditional advertising world converges with the interactive marketing world and high-end video ads are being integrated into websites, affiliate marketers have more opportunities to become media outlets and get a piece of ever-expanding online marketing budgets.

With that being said, here is a great way to boost your affiliate revenue using filtered search results, affiliate links, and social media.

Monetizing witheBay logo

Try Searching for something on eBay. For my example, I used ‘guitars’. Here are some of the results:

eBay UNFILTERED Guitar search results

Notice how there are several products in here that no pro guitarist would really want, which wastes their time while searching.

If you use eBays ‘advanced search,’ you will start to see the URL changing and the results improving as you remove ‘unwanted’ results.

For my query on ‘Ernie Ball Guitars,’ initially the results were about 300 items, many of which were garbage results of products such as promo ads, picks, strings and other things that weren’t actual guitars. After carefully adding negative keywords such as strings, picks, straps, and chord book, the results were streamlined and my search returned 109 results, almost all of which were actual guitars for sale.

Now Make the Affiliate Link

Next I went into the eBay Partner pages and created an affiliate link to make sure I get credit for anyone who purchases from my filtered results.

eBay screen shot

eBay screen shot

You use the link generator to create the link:

The end result is something like this:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/***-***-******-0/1?type=4&campid=*********&toolid=10001&customid=&mpre=http%3A%2%2Fshop.ebay.com%2Fitems%2F_W0QQ_dmdZ1QQ_dmptZGuitarQQ_sopZ12%3F_nkw%3DErnie%2BBall%2BGuitar%2B-strings%2B-picks%2B-trucker%2B-hat%2B-pick%2B-conditioner%2B-slide%2B-slides%2B-straps%2B-how%2B-chord%2B-book%2B-promo%2B-cables%2B-cable%2B-pedal%2B-volume%2B-strap%2B-nylon%2B-ad%2B-hammett%2B-hybrid%2B-slinky%2B-string%26_sacat%3D0%26_fromfsb%3D%26_trksid%3Dm270.l1313%26_odkw%3DErnie%2BBall%2BGuitar%2B-strings%2B-picks%2B-conditioner%2B-slide%2B-slides%2B-straps%2B-how%2B-chord%2B-book%2B-promo%2B-cables%2B-cable%2B-pedal%2B-volume%2B-strap%2B-nylon%2B-ad%2B-hammett%2B-hybrid%2B-slinky%2B-string%26_osacat%3D0

Now You Place Your Link – But 1st You Have to Shorten It

Well there are several places I have at my disposal to place guitar-related links. Any of my blogs, near the top of  my guitar-related blog (guitartechnician.com), or to the Facebook group of which I am an officer, “Guitar Shredders Unite!”.

Guitar Shredders Unite Facebook Group

Guitar Shredders Unite Facebook Group - Click to Join!

So what’s the problem?  That huge link above is likely not to fit everywhere you want to post it (WYSIWYG editors, for example), and it’s size alone makes people suspicious – is it a scam? An affiliate link? Did I just blow your speakers and its time to call for speaker repair? Is clicking on this link going to infect my computer with a virus?

The solution is to shorten up the link with Tiny Url.

Using Tiny Url, I was able to get clean url slugs for my posts, and now my link looks like this:

http://tinyurl.com/ernieball

The link above can be posted anywhere. When someone clicks, they will get filtered eBay results. If a purchase is made as a result, the affiliate makes money.

Some examples of links I’ve placed on my blog:

ebay guitar search links

eBay guitar search links

In the sidebar of the guitartechnician.com, I have affiliate links to ESP Guitars, Ernie Ball and Mesa/Boogie eBay search results that don’t appear super spammy and provide the user with great filtered auction results.

Best of luck with your affiliate earning, and don’t take all the good tinyURLs!

Your friendly neighborhood SEO Rockstar SEO

P.S. Here are some cool pics from PubCon…enjoy!

This is the room where they held the Affiliate Marketing panel.


This is the private SeoMOZ party.
A bunch of SEO’s sitting around a table playing “Search Spam.”

Good times.