Friday, February 29, 2008

Top 10 mistakes new BANS store owners make

10. Unsatisfactory hosting
Lets face it it, if your site is not up and running or you are constantly having errors, then you are not making money. I have over 80 stores hosted with Hostgator and have never had a problem that I did not cause myself. This is crucial to your success and one of the biggest decisions you will make regarding your business.

9. Improper store installation
Many new BANS store owners are usually new to site building as well. There is a manual included with your download and I suggest you use it. My father says it best. "Read the F'ing manual!" Take it slow and follow it step by step, if you have questions then just ask for help in the forum.

8. Too broad of niche
If I had a dime for every xbox, ipod or baby store I have seen built by newbies, I wouldn't need to build any niche stores myself. If you are not a SEO expert then you do not even try to compete with the big boys in these niches. There are plenty of free keyword tools out there that will help you drill down your niche. Four word key phrases are perfect for newbies and will get you earning money just the same. Instead of widgets, think red tall fuzzy widgets.

7. Hurrying with site completion
New BANS store owners are in such a rush to get the store live, they do not take the time to optimize each and every page of there store. This is not a race and as my father always said, "Do it right the first time, so you don't have to go back and do it again." Take your time, folks.

6. Not monetizing properly
You might not know it but CJ offers affiliate programs that might just match your niche. Not everyone that comes to your store wants eBay items. Give them other places to go that you can earn a commission on. Amazon and Google ads are also a must for newbies.

5. Out of the box stores
Change all of those default store titles and navigation text. Make them fit a keyword. Do not just throw up a cookie cutter category. This only takes a little time to do and can help in the search engines.

4. Canonicalization
Don't confuse the search engines. Tell them if if want to be www or non-www. Do not take the chance of Google thinking you have 2 main pages. This is very simple to do and should be done first thing.

3. Knowing your traffic
You need to be on top of where you traffic is coming from at all times. Google offers free webmaster tools and analytic programs to make this a breeze. You need to be on top of who is linking to you and how people are finding your site. You can often uncover other keywords that will help in tweaking your store.

2. Checking CJ stats every five minutes
This will kill motivation very quick. Get in the habit of only checking at the most once a day. Every other day if possible. They update in the evening, there is no reason to check 50 times in the morning. BANS works. Build it and they will come.

1. Building one store and waiting
You need to think of these stores as outlets, the more outlets you have the more opportunities to make income. Do not sit on one store and watch it grow like grass. It sometimes takes six months for a niche store to seed well and start producing nicely. Start planting a bunch of seeds now, it's a beautiful site when they all start popping out of the ground.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Don't give free directories a second chance

Let's face it, submitting to directories is not a fun job. I use directory submitter standard to go through and submit. On the flip side while I go through and am submitting, if a link is down or they have switched to pay or claim to being backlogged, I simply hit delete and will not go back. If they claim to be free, they better be free. There are a million of ones out there that will gladly take your submission, so do not waste anymore time than you have to. I feel we are doing them a favor of having our quality sites listed. Directories are really only good for a little backlink juice. You are not going to get much traffic from them. My rant is over for the day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Press releases for your niche store

So you have just finished that new store and have submitted to link directories and acquired a few other backlinks, now what? I like to put out a press release on my new stores. There are tons of free places out there to submit a press release. I have been using PRLog as of late. It gets spidered and you never know what kind of traffic it might bring and who might pick it up. This is also a good way to get your site crawled and indexed by Google if nothing else. It is very easy to do. I make sure to make the press release at least 300 words and keyword generated. Here is a great tutorial on how to write a press release.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Niche store backlinks with Kaboddle

Rochelle has a great tutorial on getting a few backlinks to your BANS store with Kaboodle. I would use it to really help with internal links into store pages other than linking to your home page. It's easier to get backlinks to the front page with directories, so use this wisely and title your link text to match the store page or item your are linking to.

Only 6 more days until the release of Build A Niche Store version 3.0! Hurray!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Article spinning

While we await the new version of BANS 3.o I will throw a few tools daily at you. For those that are looking for an article spinning tool, you can play around with this one. Make sure to run it through Copyscape and check for grammatical errors when you are done spinning. Please let me know how it does for you.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More on passion

I posted recently on having passion in what you do. I found another great post on it from Aaron Wall today as well and wanted to share it. He shares some great thoughts on it as well.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

.net is fine for Google

Sorry a little late tonight as I am a big football fan and have been watching the NFL combine results. There is a bit of confusion on whether or not .net domains do well in Google. Well I am happy to report I have 2 domains right now ranked on Google on the first page of results for the search term I am shooting for. Of course I suggest a .com if at all possible, but there is nothing wrong with .net if it fits your store and keywords.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Build A Niche Store 3.0 Coming March 3rd BANS

Just got confirmation today that the new 3.0 version of BANS Build A Niche Store should be released on March 3rd. This is the perfect time to get going with your own niche store if you have been considering this product.

Here are some of the exciting upgrades...

1. The New Admin Panel:

2. BANS Goes Global
This is the second major change to BANS and it opens up new opportunities to target countries whose national internet is not as developed and therefore not as competitive as countries like the US and UK.

3. BANS Goes Local
Geographical targeting is something that we have wanted to do ourselves for quite a while and with BANS V3 we have finally created a platform that will enable us to operate at this micro niche level.

4. BANS For eBay Sellers
This is another thing that we’ve wanted to have working for a long time and which we’ve finally achieved with V3.

5. BANS Becomes Even More Search Engine Friendly
From the beginning it’s always been a fundamental aim of BANS to be as search engine friendly as possible.

6. BANS Becomes Even More Flexible
The rest of the V3 features are focused around increased flexibility and are contained inside the different areas of the admin panel.

7. So How Will I Update My Stores?
Updating one of your stores from V2 to V3 will be a simple process (ie minutes) and the guidelines for doing this will be included in the update pack.

8. In Conclusion
So there you have it...
We believe in BANS as we always have done and hopefully we’ve managed to get across the what and why of what we’ve been doing with V3 and depending on how you’re currently using BANS along with your future goals and plans you are somewhat salivating at the new opportunities
V3 will open up and the extra power and control BANS will give you to take your own eBay affiliate business to the next level.
Treat your own eBay affiliate empire as just that – a business – and there is little you can’t achieve with this platform.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BANS store PMA and another tool

I see quite a few post with people getting the blues. You have to press forward and keep building. You have to have blind faith. Like I have said in the past, sometimes it takes a good 6 months for a niche store to grab hold. Just make sure it is SEO'ed correctly and you have content in place along with at least 10 quality backlinks. Do not rush in completing a site. Go through it with a fine tooth comb and try to at least add a paragraph or two to each store page as well. BANS works, plain and simple. Stop checking those stats every 5 minutes, as it is better to check them once late in the evening. When negativity starts to hit, press through it. Your business is either going forwards or backwards everyday. You have 100% control of that. Plant the seeds today, you will be glad you did.

In closing I wanted to link you to a CJ stats tool that will help in checking your stats on your own server. This was created by USB Humping Dog, who is a member of the BANS forum. This script is very easy to install and will let you know what products you sold. Now keep your head up and get back in the game. The secret to succeeding is staying in the game.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Even been to eBay, lately?

If you are selling through a BANS store, then every now and again it is good to see where you are sending your traffic. In addition a trip around eBay is bound to renew your juices and you might just stumble across a new niche. Look at what is getting bids and what isn't. Also look for tighter niches, as nobody said you have to have 1000 products displayed. If you feel you can effectively count on at least 25 product results at a time that niche is fair game. You would be surprised. Look around at the ads themselves to pick up on any SEO tactics being used as well. Try to get around eBay at least once every two week.

Ill leave you today with a great video on Google adwords as well. Use this as a source of traffic and this video goes great with my post about Adsense. In the video the discuss a great tool called Hexatrack, I highly suggest using it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Know your niche store competition

Before diving right into that new niche store, you need to examine the keyword phrase you are targeting and the competition you have in the top 10 Google results. I like to use the free Firefox tool offered by SEO Book. I can look at the domain age, the backlinks, DMOZ listings and many other key secrets my competition might have. Of course I do not recommend jumping right in after the search term "iPod", but top 10 results in Google for longer keyword phrases are prime for the taking. You should closely examine every site in the top 10. You need to see if you can pick up any tricks these websites are using. You also need to see if they have solid backlinks and where those backlinks are coming from. Often I have found that a top 5 player only has good optimization working for the site with very few backlinks. One thing is certain, the page you want to rank high, MUST be built around that keyword phrase you are targeting. I can not count the times that I see new BANS stores that try to target a group of phrases or terms on their front page. You are not giving Google a clear idea of what you are selling or targeting. Install that tool today and start your research now!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Robots.txt and your niche store

Robots.txt files can play a big role in what is allowed to be searched and documented by the search engines. I see many BANS Stores that have no robot.txt file or improper file construction. Instead of giving a regurgitated lesson. I am going to link you to one of the better tutorials by GNC Web creations! This should clear up any confusion you may have on what to deny and what to allow.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

SEO fast start book and another tool

Posting a little early today, as I intend to watch the Daytona 500 and take the rest of the evening off. I came across a well written SEO fast start ebook I thought I would share. While this is not the end all do all, it will give newbie niche store owners something they can hit the ground running with. I do suggest the SEO book from Aaron Wall when you are ready to get serious about optimization.

The next little free BANS tool is by Only Wire, it is another great social bookmarking tool I suggest you use for submitting links. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Add a news page with RSS feeds

I am geek at heart and have always been fascinated with RSS feeds. I keep up to date on several sites at one time with these feeds. What is also great about them is you can match a news feed to your BANS store niche, as well. Just create a new page of content and display a feed of your choice. Rochelle has a great tutorial with everything you will need to get your feed implemented into your site. It is also good practice to ask permission to use a feed to be posted on your site. By displaying the news dynamically, it can help in some organic traffic down the road. some good places to search for some feeds are at RSS Micro and Syndic8.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wordpress plugin for eBay BANS niche store

With the new Build A Niche Store 3.0 version coming soon, I suspect there will be a Wordpress plugin. Just in case there isn't and you just can't wait. Here is a great little tool to tide you over. phpbaylite is the name of it. It is really easy to install and configure and I have had great success with the little time I have played with it. Put it in your BANS blog, today!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Niche keyword hunting tool

Happy Valentines Day!

Today we are going to touch on niche and keyword phrase hunting. Going through my bookmarks, I found a forgotten free link. Dogpile Search Spy! If you watch for a good 30 minutes with a pen and paper by your side, I bet you can come up with a good 20 or so niches and keywords to build some niche stores around. The tool basically spies on what people are searching for live.

While we are on the subject of niches, I came across a great article from the Business School Journal on being specific on niches. It is a good little read. Happy hunting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Harping on original content and Google

Yes, original content is once again the subject of today's post. So many people try to buck this very important aspect, but if you want your BANS Store to succeed in Google rankings, this is must.

Let's just see what Google has to say about it.

There is no problem in being an affiliate as long as you create some added value for your users and produce valuable content that gives a user a reason to visit your site. For example, you could create product reviews, ratings, and product comparisons.
The above quote from that page is merely all you need to see. You need to set your BANS store apart, not only from other BANS stores in your same niche, but all web stores in general that are in direct competition with you. I fought this very hard myself starting out. No matter what you read, Google wants the surfer find relevancy and value in their such.

I realize not everyone is a writer, Lord knows I am not, but if you do the research you can easily bang out 400 word articles that are driven around your keyword phrase. Original content can easily produce sales in organic searches as well. Take the time, you will be glad you did, and so will Google.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Link up to those eBay stores and guides

If you have a links or resource page, I highly suggest linking to eBay hosted stores or guides related to your niche. This is very effective in getting that cookie set and the surfer in to eBay. Also the text link you create could produce a few organic search engine hits as well.

First search around here and see if any stores match your niche. Copy and paste those links to the stores in the flexible destination tool offered by eBay. The tool is very easy to use and needs no instructions.

Next you can surf around in the guides and reviews section. Once again make note of the links and use the eBay tool to create an affiliate link for you.

Simply add those links to your links or resource page of your BANS store. You never know when someone might just click through.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Finding related sites for backlinks

Cleaning out my bookmarks today, I came across another tool to help find related sites that might be sources for getting backlinks. Simply add search terms in the top box of sites that might be related to your niche. When you go to each site make sure the link page is cached in Google fairly recently and that the page does not have a "nofollow" tag in the source. I think you will be amazed of the type results you can find. now go find those sites!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It is time to kill the dashes & hyphens in domain names

Before too long it has come to my understanding that Google will be clamping down on those spammy, multiple keyword dashed domain names. I think most know what I am talking about. They usually look like this:

I think you get the drift. Google will start to really look at these as spam. I really think we are going into a time where it is better to try to have a brand able name, even if it is along the lines of!

Its your title, keywords and content that make a site. On the flipside if your domain name has dogs in it, I would male sure your store is not centered around cat supplies. Of course that is common sense, but wanted to throw that extreme example out there.

Your are probably start to see some human editing going on with Google as the year progresses as well. Duplicate content filters will likely be tightened as well, so now is the time to really take a good look at your sites you think might be questionable.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fashion Bans site review

I have been asked to do a review for one of my blog readers.

The site is Mirror Check Fashions

1. I like the domain name. It has brand ability to it.

2. Like the logo and colors.

3. No true keyword phrase on home page. This needs some work.

4. Each page needs some keyword optimization. Perhaps a few paragraphs about each brand type.

5. Needs some original content added to the site, such as articles on shopping fashions online or something that details the brands you sell.

6. not indexed yet, but this post should help with that.

7. Site has some great potential. Optimize it up and work on submitting to some trusted directories and social bookmark sites. Get an article or two written for an ezine site.

8. Great first effort.

If others would like to have a site reviewed, just drop me a line!

Pashion and making money online

The great Shoemoney posted a great video today about being passionate in what you are doing to be successful in making money online. I could not agree more with several aspects of this video. Success does just not happen over night. It takes work and learning. You have to start now ans start being consistent. You are either going forward or backwards every day when you are in business. Make sure that everyday you are doing something with your niche stores, whether it be creating a new store or optimizing pages or even adding unique content. Like I have said in earlier post on this blog, it has taken a few stores of mine around 6 months to get a strong foothold. Don't just build one niche store and hope it seeds in 6 months. You should always be looking for new niches to promote and learning from past stores mistakes. You have done the hard part and that is finding a vehicle that actually makes money. The Build A Niche Store system works! This is not Amway where you are relying what others do, you control your own future. You must have blind faith. Stop checking those CJ stats every 5 minutes and start building. I will see you at the top.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Taking email questions!

I will take emails over the next week and will try to answer any questions you might have. All questions will be posted and answered on next Fridays blog post. You can email me at the address below:

Thanks for all the visits thus far and I hope I am helping you on your path to success.

Starting your second BANS store

By now many of you that read this blog probably have your first build a niche store under your belt by now. You probably have figured out a few things that you need to different as well. You are not alone. It was not until my 4th store when I finally got a great grasp of how to attack things. Your domain name does not need to be! Get it somewhere in the neighborhood if it makes you feel better, but will serve you just as well if you are selling a certain type of laptop. Each page title, description and unique content is what makes and breaks stores.

Another thing that news store owners tend to do is fall in the trap of early success. Yes, I am talking to you, you had a great first month and then sales went in the toilet. did you really think you were going to retire off of one store? You need to see the big picture. More stores equals more outlets. Stop checking those stats every minute and stop looking for the magical traffic builder on the Digital Point forums. Build, build and build. Optimize those pages get the initial traffic push out there with directories, social bookmarking and articles. Do about 10 link trades with like sites and move to your next site. Check those stats daily, but be looking for the phrases used to find your site organically and optimize those pages. This is a business and you should treat it as such.

Lastly I am going to pimp the SEO Book by Aaron Wall. I suggest you buy this and read it 3 times. He puts out an updated version every couple of months and his blog is updated daily. You will learn more here than anywhere on the net as far as search engine and link building goes. This will be the best investment you have made in your BANS store.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Contact Form for your BANS store

Today we will cover adding a simple contact form to your Build A Niche Store. After you create a new contact page in your BANS admin panel, simple copy and paste the code here into the html of the page.

You can play around with the fonts and background colors to match your site.

Next you want to copy and paste this php code here into a notepad file and save it as contact.php. Make sure to change to your email address.

Next upload the contact.php file to your server in the root domain section. this is the same location where your index.php file is.

You should be good to go. Make sure to test your form.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Old fashion link trading

Believe it or not, good old fashion link trading is back in vogue. The little green Google page rank bar does not mean much to webmasters as it once did. Google wants relative back links preferable from like sites in your niche. I have been preaching this for years.

1. You should research your niche and key phrase and build a list of like sites you think might be relative to link to as well as good candidates to link back. Also try to find a contact email for each site owner. I suggest a good 10 sites to start with. It should take you all of 45 minutes to research this.

2. You should have a resources page set up on your BANS store. Add the links with good anchor text of the site name you are linking to.

3. Compose a fairly generic email that you will be sending to each webmaster. I keep these real simply, like...

I really enjoy your site. You should be commended on your dedication to your niche. If at all possible I would like trade links with you. I have added your
site on my resources page at:

If at all possible would you mind adding me to your links page?


Your name here

You can word it however fits your style.

4. Send this to the 10 site owners and you might be surprised what you hear back. Give them 2 weeks to respond and add your link. If after 2 weeks you do not get response, simply remove the bad trades from your page and tackle a few more. It works and you will pick up some great back links in the process.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Directories and you!

Everyone always clamors to submitting to directories for back links. What a lot of people do not understand is they do not hold much weight anymore with Google. I would limit to only submitting to PR5 or higher free directories and in no way would I submit to a directory that requires a back link from me. The only sites you should be linking to are sites in your niche. You are much better off paying Yahoo and getting into their directory, as it holds more weight. sometimes it can have an effect of 50 back links as it is a highly trusted directory in Googles eyes.

You will notice in the pictures above how trusted directories show up in Google searches. Back links from these type of directories hold great weight. Yes, most are paid submissions, but if you are serious about your BANS store I suggest paying the price!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Back up you niche store database

Let's face it, computers and servers go down or get hacked. You need to protect yourself in case you have some sort of failure with your hosting account. This procedure is assuming you host with a company that offers CPanel.

1. Log in to your hosting account.

2. Locate your hosting site's "Backup" option.

3. Choose a database from the list under:
Download a MySQL Database Backup

4. Save the file to you hard drive.

You are now done. I suggest doing a back up weekly or anytime you make a great deal of changes to your site. I highly suggest using Hostgator. They are very reliable and their customer support is fantastic.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Original content and article submissions

I see a ton of people who take their original content and post it up to their site along with posting it to every free article site on the planet. This is a no-no in my opinion. I suggest changing up the content for each place you submit it to as to not trip any duplicate content issues and cheapen the source link, being yours. If you can at the least, have 2 versions, the best keyword driven one for your site and one other version for your favorite article submission site. You want your original to stick out above the crowd, so why cheapen it up by putting copies all over the web?

Per Matt Cutts
My advice would be 1) to avoid over-syndicating the articles that you write, and 2) if you do syndicate content, make sure that you include a link to the original content. That will help ensure that the original content has more PageRank, which will aid in picking the best documents in our index.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fire your canonical

Today we are going to discuss canonicalization and 301 Permanent Redirects. Google is cracking down on redirects so you will want to make sure this gets done properly. I have found a great article on the subject and instead of reinventing the wheel, I thought I would link you to the post itself. I suggest setting your canonical to www as well. I do this to all of my BANS stores first thing. Make sure it is on your checklist when starting a new niche store as well. Make sure you verify that everything is working properly and conduct a header check to verify a 301 is returned for the incorrect version.


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