I still haven't figured out what to call this thing – in the magical source code I just refer to it as "sparx Niche" – short, simple.. incredibly non-descriptive.
A description, since I've referred to it several times now – basically, I create a new page, giving that page a title, write up a bit of content so the search engines smile at it a little more, and a keyword search. When someone views that page the script goes out, asks ebay for a list of items matching the keyword search, and displays that list of items to the visitor. If someone clicks on one of the links and signs up as a new user on ebay, bids on the item they clicked on, or wins any other bids – I get a commission from ebay.
The difficult part is trying to find markets and items that many people search for, but that there aren't a lot of pages targetting. The idea is that someone looking to buy "widget x" would use google (or another search engine) to search for "widget x" and that's there's little enough competition that one of my pages would come out in the top search results. The searcher would click through, find something that they wanted listed on my page, and then go and buy it. The commission from ebay is kind of like a "finder fee", since I'm helping someone find something that they might not have found, or found through a source other than ebay.
Does it work? Yep. 🙂 I've got 2 test sites up, one that I'm actively working on, testing, and promoting.. and it's actually making some money.
When I started this, I thought that using WordPress as the backend would make things easier, and especially simplify setting up new markets and pages within them. Unfortunately, I was wrong. By using WordPress I was able to get to the testing phase faster and find out that my idea actually worked, but now it's becoming a bottleneck. So… eventually I have to remove WordPress from the mix and write a bit more code to make this thing completely standalone. The best part is – I love that part. 🙂