ShoeMoney and MediaWhiz (the owners of Text Link Ads) have today launched a new ad service – Auction Ads (aff). I’ve been lucky enough to dig around the back end of Auction Ads this last few days and it’s a professionally designed ad service that I think will suit some bloggers down to the ground – particularly those who have a blog which is product related (as always – ads that are product related perform best on blogs that are on those same products).
Here’s how the ads look:
- Auction Ads display live eBay auctions to visitors to your blog which are based upon your keyword selection.
- The payment is CPA (ie you get paid if a reader registers on eBay or if they make a purchase).
- Auction Ads uses eBay’s built in affiliate program – you could actually run these ads yourself as an affiliate – but Auction Ads cuts down the work involved considerably
- There’s also a built in affiliate/referral program built into the system – if another publisher clicks your ad and signs up as a result you get 2% of their earnings for 6 months (not the most generous aff program going around – but I suspect the margins are tighter on this program).
- Set up is very similar to other ad networks (AdSense, Chitika etc) in that you put in the parameters that you want the ad to operate under (ad size, colors etc) and then are given some code to put into your blog.
- Ads are geo-targetted to your reader’s local ebay store – ie my Aussie readers will see an ebay auction to eBay Australia while my US readers see eBay US auctions.
- Payment is via PayPal each month when you hit a minimum $10 threshold.
Revenue Share – Auction Ads are initially passing on 100% of earnings from your blog onto you as the publisher.
What’s in it for them? Well how they’re running this is that all publishers in their system are coming in under one affiliate at eBay which means the earnings for everyone will be a lot higher than if any one individual became an affiliate (see eBay’s sliding pay out scale here). Once they rise to the top of the pay out scale you can expect them to take a cut of your earnings.
It’s a little complicated but from what I can see the pay-outs of going with AA will be significantly higher than signing up as an individual eBay affiliate – even if AA decide to increase their share of what they’re going to take at a later time (although I hope they’re not setting their publishers up with false expectations here).
Can Auction Ads be used with AdSense?
The answer to this commonly asked question is yes – IF you ensure that they look different to AdSense ads run on your page. AdSense allow other ad programs on the same site/page as them if they don’t confuse your reader and look the same. So make your designs different and you won’t have a problem.
The Inner Workings
The publisher interface of Auction Ads is easy to use. Instead of ‘channels’ they have ‘campaigns’. The set up of ads is easy and reasonably quick – with color selection, keyword selection and then being given code to paste in to your blog.
A system like this will only succeed if publishers actually make money. The jury is still out on whether they do – but I can’t see why we won’t. One of the weaknesses of other ad networks is an over supply of publishers and an under supply of advertisers – the beauty of this model is that eBay have millions of auctions each year.
Initially I suspect earnings won’t be massive for publishers but as the sliding scale kicks in and more publishers come on board the power of the system will begin to kick in.
Who will it Work For?
As I’ve said in my intro any ad works best when there is relevancy between the site the ad appears on and the ad that is appearing. As a result blogs with a product focus where people are actively seeking information on the type of products that eBay holds auctions on will work best with this.
Traffic is going to be a consideration too. CPC programs like AdSense pay out each time there’s a click on an ad so there will be income even with small traffic. CPA ads like Auction Ads will payout less often because they require the reader to DO something (buy, register etc). As a result I’d expect to see less conversions with these ads – a lower percent of your readers will actually convert to dollars.
So if you have decent traffic on a product related site this might be a program to try. It could also be worth setting it up as the ‘alternate ad’ for your current AdSense and/or Chitika ads.
As Auction Ads are brand new it’s very early days and as with any new program that you test – I’d advise to test test test. Give it a little time to see how it goes – but don’t throw all your eggs into one basket too quickly.
I’m keen to hear the results you get with Auction Ads – let me know what you find.