Blogging for eBayNOTE: This article was written in July 2006. Since then eBay has cancelled their blogs.
My article on Profiting From eBay Images With A Blog contains additional information about using blogs to promote eBay auctions and generate affiliate commissions.
A few weeks ago, eBay announced they would be adding a blog feature to their site so users could share information about their auctions and give eBay better search engine rankings.
Should you set up a blog on eBay?
The simple answer is NO.
Back in January, I interviewed Gary Hendrickson about shopping in Antique Malls. After the recording, Gary and I talked for a while about using blogs to promote eBay auctions.
Both of our blogs get a lot of traffic from search engines mostly from people looking for items. Based on this search engine traffic, Gary and I thought it would be a good idea to create blogs just to promote our auctions, but neither of us have time.
Since then I have been looking for eBay sellers who use blogs to promote their auctions. I asked my readers to send me links to their blogs, Scott Prock asked all his members to send him links to their blogs, and I spent a few hours searching blog directories to find people promoting their auctions in blogs.
I found nothing.
This is hard for me to believe. As popular and easy as blogs are, I couldn't find a single person productively using a blog to promote eBay auctions. Very disappointing.
This is especially disappointing when you consider a blog is a great way to get some revenue from affiliate programs and Google's AdSense program.
So here's a few suggestions to get you started Blogging for eBay
I said earlier that eBay's new onsite blogs would not be helpful to you. Based on reading the announcement and the way eBay has structured their new guides feature, all the benefit of the blogs hosted on eBay will go to eBay.
You won't be able to link to outside sites which means you can't promote products outside eBay. That means no sales for you personally, and no affiliate income.
The search engines will index the blogs and eBay will get the traffic.
Want an example?
On February fifth, I wrote a short post on my blog about some toy wooden boats. Since then I've had hundreds of people come from the search engines to see these boats. Some of these people went on to buy my ebooks, and subscribe to this newsletter.
If the post was on eBay, I would have nothing to show for the three minutes it took me to write the post.
Why should you do the work of writing and posting so eBay can get the real benefits?
Here's another problem with the eBay hosted blogs. Because they will be mostly devoid of interesting information, people will learn to ignore them when looking through the search engine results. After a while, no one will even follow the links.
This screening of garbage filled sites is already true of the larger free blogging sites like Blogger. It will happen with eBay too. I am already ignoring the guides hosted on eBay. Anything with a URL of reviews.ebay.com is ignored.
A quick side note about eBay guides - I just did a search on Google for a topic where I know a guide exists. I know someone who specializes in a specific collectible who has spent years trying to get good results on Google.
The eBay guide he wrote - which doesn't have a link to his website on it, but does have a tiny link to his auctions, is now above his website on Google.
Enough about the guides, lets get back to blogs. Based on what I just said, you are better off setting up a blog on your own domain rather than using eBay or one of the free services.
Another reason for hosting your own blog is many of the free sites are now deleting blogs that don't get new posts. How you'd like to go on vacation and come back to find your blog gone?
If you bought a domain to host your own eBay images, check your control panel for Fantastico. With one click you can install WordPress. Wordpress has great support forums, and the program is really easy to use. (While you at the WordPress site look for an plug in called Press It. Press It will make posting about your auctions much easier.)
Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.