Monday, March 31, 2008

eBay Partner network update

Well the countdown is on to the release of the new eBay affiliate partner program. They have updated some info and tutorials along with adding a few videos as well. I suggest you bounce around here before the change over begins on April 1st. Also, I have heard no other updates on when the Build A Niche store update will be ready, but am still assuming it will be tomorrow afternoon or evening. Get signed up with eBay as soon as possible, just in case they experience any network trouble. I am probably going to camp out tonight, myself.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Niche store Acre of diamonds

A little motivation for you as we head into a busy week with the new eBay change over. This is the great classic Acres of Diamonds. This is a great read to let you know sometimes you are sitting on a gold mine and do not even realize it. I am happy to report I had my busiest week ever in sales this past week and also have eclipsed my record for a month that I set last month. I just gets better and better with Build A Niche Stores. Keep your head up, BANS IS that acre of diamonds.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ebay category changes

As we tick closer to April first and the beginning of the new affiliate program, I highly suggest starting to go through all of your stores and note any category changes or categories that are not showing any products. It will make for a smarter plan to do your BANS upgrade and knock out the category changes at the same time. Also make sure you are on the eBay doorstep bright and early on April 1st as I expect traffic will be huge the longer the day goes.

Friday, March 28, 2008

For newbies it should be Build A Micro Niche Store

I have currently taken one fairly new member to the Build A Niche Store program under my wing to give some one on one help to. Why? Because I can! The first thing I have noticed is that newbies in general jump in way over there head with the first few stores. They go for the iPods, the xBoxs, the GPS niche stores. You get my drift. Unless you are an expert at optimization and solid backlink building, I highly suggest thinking small, very small. The more micro the niche the less competition and more likely you can get a quick jolt in earnings. Three to four word long tail keyword phrases is a start. If you like NASCAR drivers, perhaps even Dale Earnhardt Jr., I would suggest maybe a niche store that focuses on Earnhardt Jr autographed pictures or something of that sorts. Do the keyword research and find the best long tail keyword related to Earnhardt Jr that you could build a micro niche store around. All in all newbies need to think small as in Build A Micro Niche Store, not Build A Mall Niche store.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Great eBay affiliate migrating interview

Will Martin-Gill, senior manager of Internet marketing for eBay, joined Shawn Collins and Sam Harrelson to discuss eBay migrating their affiliate program from Commission Junction to in-house.

They discussed a lot of great features eBay will be offering with the transition from Commission Junction over to eBay. This is a great radio interview and I highly suggest everyone give it a listen.

here is the link...

Interview starts about the quarter way point.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something to think about concerning the eBay switchover

This is just some food for thought for the newbies. Starting April 1st, you should know by now that eBay is taking over the affiliate program from Commission Junction. Make sure you have enough in your account to get a full check from CJ before you jump out of there program. I believe many have it set at $25.00, so just make sure to double check, as you have until May 1st until CJ will stop tracking. If you are still selling other CJ products on a regular basis, then it should be safe to go ahead and jump to the new eBay tracking system on April 1st. It is also looking like Adam and Kelvin hope to have the new Build A Niche Store update in place sometime that evening if all goes well with the testing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Google dance freakout

Google has really been dancing the last week or so. Many sites are dropping and adding indexed pages right and left. The best thing you can do right now is not make any drastic changes to your site if you were ranking good just a week or so ago. Let Google settle down after the dance. The best thing you can do is what you should be doing anyway and that is adding great content and getting good backlinks. This is not affecting just Build A Niche Stores, it is happening net wide. Take a deep breath and relax and continue building a Google friendly site.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Do the dirty work

I see poster in the Build A Niche Store forum complaining all the time that they are not getting traffic or conversions. If you look deep inside yourself, I am sure that you are probably not doing the dirty work. What is the dirty work? The work involves writing an extra article and submitting it to the various free article directories and also submitting your site to non-reciprocal link directories. Also you need to have some unique, original content on site as well. In addition to those things, you need to attempt to do some link trades with similar type sites. I hate to keep giving you a slap of reality, but it is a reality you need to hear on a regular basis. There are no short cuts!! Do not follow the herds to the latest and greatest thing. DO WHAT WORKS FIRST, then play with the other things.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Best Practices for Creating Titles

Here are some best practices you should follow for creating titles on pages:
Each page should have a unique title.
If practical, try to include your Primary Keyword Phrase in every title of every
Begin the title of your home page with your Primary Keyword Phrase,
followed by your best Secondary Keyword Phrases
Use more specific variations to your Primary Keyword Phrase on your
specific product, service, or content pages
If you must include your company name, put it at the end of the title
Use the best form, plural or singular, for your keywords based on what
WordTracker says is searched on more often
Don’t overdo it – don’t repeat your keywords more than 2 –3 times in the title
Make sure the TITLE tag is the first element in the HEAD section of your
page – this makes it easier to find by Google

Saturday, March 22, 2008

SEO Tips & Techniques for newbies

I wanted to pull out an old bookmark for some brushing up and some good stuff for new niche store owners as well. It is a link to the high rankings forum. There really is some great reading in this post with links to other things as well.

On another note if you have installed BANS 3.0 please check your error logs and look for multiple 302 redirects. Let us know in the forum if you are seeing them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

BANS Advertising Agency

You are probably wondering what is up with that title. Well that is the attitude and mind set you have to be in every day when marketing your niche stores. Treat it as if you are an advertising agency and your client brought you his niche store to market. Press releases, link exchanges and even wacky Youtube commercials. Nothing is off limits in guerrilla marketing. Nothing is more enjoyable than logging into your Commission Junction account and seeing a brand new store producing results. Start treating your niche stores like important clients and they will start producing great results.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SEO scams and you!

I want to give most of my blog readers a reality check. If you see a place that promises a number one ranking in Google, run the other way. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can promise this. These companies are either after your wallet or getting your domain blacklisted. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, especially when it comes to promising a number one raking in Google. I have been working on the web for a while and their is no quick fix, just solid optimization and hard work. Even after that Google does change and you can not predict these changes. So use this post as a fair warning.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A backlink tool

This will be a new tool for some and an old tool for many, but it is quite useful if done right. This tool searches out blogs that allow comments that can be used as backlinks. Now I would stay close to your niche field and add something useful as you comment on a blog post. Play around with it and see what you can get accepted. It really helps in getting indexed, so I wouldnt worry about getting too many too quick. All in all, a backlink is a backlink.

The BANS forum still remains down for now, but I really think that it will likely be back online on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We will build, they will wait and wait and wait

I see several people now posting that they will wait until April 1st to build more Niche Stores. I really try to understand this thinking, but can't wrap my brain around it. Upon waiting for BANS 3.0 upgrade I heard the same talk. The upgrade literally only took 5 minutes at tops. So what are these people waiting for? There is no solid reason to wait. When the new eBay affiliate program goes live, I am sure there will be a quick fix to update all of the stores. It takes a good 6 months to get a store seeded real well on average in the search engines, so every day you hold off is a day you are behind me and others. Now if I do not worry and have close to 100 stores, why should you? Me thinks that these people look for reasons not to build. I promise this will not be the last time that something comes up regarding an update needed for BANS or a patch of some kind, but I also promise Kelvin and Adam will be right there with the fix. So go ahead and let them wait. You and I will build and build and build.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New eBay affiliate program announced

As many know by now, eBay has announced that they will be taking care of their affiliate program in house starting on April 1st. This should not alarm anyone and should be considered a good thing. It take Commision Junction out of the equation now. Not a day goes by that there is some sort of post on the BANS forum that is questioning the stat tracking from CJ. I myself have never had a problem, but this will give many peace of mind going forward. Ebay knows that it's affiliates are good at driving traffic and I expect everything to go smoothly. The Build A Niche Store software should be easy to switch over once the sign ups are in gear. I strongly suggest everyone be on eBays' door on April 1st and get the ball rolling. This is an exciting time for all BANS store owners.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Speaking of hosting...

In light of the Build a Niche Store website going down, it should be a good lesson on choosing a great host and making sure you keep a good eye on your own sites. Here is a tool I use to check all of my sites. I have found it very useful in making sure my sites can be accessed all the time. I highly suggest you use Hostgator if you are new to building or have been having problems with your own host. Hostgator has been great since I transfered over to them some time ago.

On a positive note, it seems the BANS website will be back online on Monday. See you there.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Build A Niche Store Forum Update

As most know right now the Build a Niche Store forum is down right now due to server problems. Kelvin and Adam are working on this feverishly and hope to have it solved real soon. So my best suggestion is to go build or work on a niche store and keep checking back. They seem to be updating progress in the Digital Point forum, in this thread.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good niches all around you

I see people claiming all the time how niches are saturated. This is simply not true. Was eating lunch today and saw a few catalogs had came in the mail for my wife, nothing else was in reach so I browsed through them and found a great niche. Found a domain and saw a nice Keyword Effectiveness Index of a nice short keyword phrase and boom there you go. So look around this weekend, I bet you find a niche or two or twelve, but please don't tell those that think it is saturated.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The 7 day Build a Niche Store plan

I am now going to outline the 7 day plan I use for all Build a Niche Stores that I now create. I have many many completed stores out on the web right now and have a sizable income coming in now. I am now taking my time for each store over the last few weeks. I will now take you through the process. First I understand that not all of you are full time BANS store builders like myself, but if you can dedicate a few hours a day uninterrupted you can get yourself a store a week done right.

Day 1 - Research the new niche, ideally a good 3 word or so phrase is perfect. Don't go for the obvious broad ones. Look for something that is getting moderate search results as they are less targeted and easy to rank for. Check the tools section for keyword tools I have provided. Now register the domain that you think will fit the niche and point all name servers to your host. Get the database ready for installation. You should be able to get this done in a few hours.

Day 2 - Get your BANS software installed on the new domain and run the setup for the niche you have chosen. Get your template colored and logo done. After today you should be done with all of the cosmetics of your new store. If you are needing some search engine friendly templates, please email me and I will be glad to sell you one that I use, very cheap. I will even customize to your color scheme. this process should only take a few hours as well.

Day 3 - Use today to work on SEO of titles, descriptions, keywords and etc. Do not leave the store out of the box. Customize everything down to the link titles. This is probably the most boring aspect of site building, but will be the most rewarding in the long run. I would try to dedicate at least 3 hours of your time to this, do not rush, DO IT RIGHT!

Day 4 - Front page keyword driven article/welcome page. I usually can knock this out in an hour. Your front page will drive your site for a while in the search engines, so make this at least 400 words with some long tail keyword phrases included. I also knock out a paragraph or two for each store page as well. 50-100 words is fine. This does wonders for organic traffic.

Day 5 - Add your Google ads or whatever advertisers you are monetizing with to your site. this takes no time to do. After that I like to build a resource page of at least 10 like sites in my niche to trade links with. By now your site should be at completion and ready to drive traffic to.

Day 6 - Time to submit to at least 100 free link directories. i know this is very boring, but it will take submitting to 100 to get a good 40 or so listings. Set your time aside and knock it out.

Day 7 - Write a generic keyword article for submission to free article directories and get it submitted to a good 10 directories. 400-500 words is easy and submitting takes an hour or so. Next you want to send out a generic email to the 10 sites you have identified as possible link partners, asking for a link trade.

Well there you have it. I know I did not expound deeply on it, but with good organization you can really nail this stuff down in a couple of hours a day. Do this for 50 weeks and you will have 50 solid stores out there. after that 50 weeks, you should really be producing a nice income for yourself.

If you are interested in a BANS template for sale, email me at the address below.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Driving traffic to a new BANS store

Getting traffic is one of the hardest things for new BANS store owners to wrap their brains around. Before you even tackle driving traffic, make sure your niche store is complete and ready for it. There is a great traffic article here, that pretty much covers a lot of things I do myself to drive traffic to my new stores. I place high emphasis on the submission of articles and the press release for a new site. By writing and submitting articles you stand a greater chance of the article getting organic searches and delivering high quality traffic. Make sure you use as many keyword phrases as possible in your niche related articles.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sometimes 10 is greater than 100

I know the title is confusing, but hang with me. When looking at your traffic stats and sources, I would rather have 10 quality surfers versus 100 crap Stumble or Digg surfers. If you have 10 or more quality backlinks from like sites and mix in some good organic traffic, these surfers are the ones you want coming in burning bandwidth. Stumble and Digg traffic is good to get indexed with, but overall the traffic quality is not all that good. Digg can be good if you use a quality keyword title as sometimes they will rank good in Google. Take a good look where your surfers are coming from and track down some like sites or forums in your niche to trade links with. Traffic is more about quality then quantity in most cases.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Building trust with your niche store

Building trust with your niche store is an important factor in getting repeat customers. Often times the look alone can gain trust of the surfer. Once you have mastered the art of installing and learning some SEO factors of your store, I would look at your design and color combinations. A professional look will go a long way with bringing customers back to your store. I have several customers that show up time and time again to many of my stores and I think it is because:

1. They are finding what they are looking for very easily.

2. My stores look like trust worthy stores.

I am not saying you have to be a design genius, but have a look at some color schemer tools and make sure you have a professional looking header logo. There are tons a free image editing programs out there along with many free tutorials on image editing.

Of course make sure you are mastering other facets of your store first, but be mindful that image is important.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Blind faith and niche stores

Blind faith is really described as believing in something that you are unsure is true. When beginning with BANS, you have to have blind faith that the system works. If you have created any store to this point and it has produced ANY income or sale, you know the system works. You just have to get better at it via promoting and optimizing. When I started over a year ago with BANS, I built a couple of stores and traded a few links and forgot about them. I did not have the blind faith to continue working and learning. After around 6 months, I noticed I was getting conversions and dove deeper into niche store building. I cost myself 6 months of store building and probably was beaten to the punch on a few niches as well. If you can learn anything from my post today, it is that BANS works. You need to build and learn and learn and build. You will pick up little things over the months that work better than other things. BANS now provides me a full time income at something I love to do. When I sleep, my stores make me money. How cool is that? It is all about identifying a niche and building a site around it. Promoting it and tweaking it. It's not rocket science, it just takes a little learning. Stay with me, I will get you there.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New search box in your niche store


If you have ever wanted to move your search box to the 3rd column in the 3 column template, this is how you do it:

I suggest backing up your frontcontrol.php file first in case you want to go back to the original file in the future.

Then open frontcontrol.php in notepad and replace the searchside function with this code posted in this thread:

save and ftp your new frontcontrol.php file back to your server.

Find the following piece of code inside your styles.css file:

.searchform {

And change it to:

.searchform {

Also change search select to 200px

#search select {
width: 200px;

Delete search();?> from your header.php. Open your footer.php and find this line:

Sponsored Links

Directly underneath that add this code like this:

Sponsored Links>


Friday, March 7, 2008

Promoting niche stores through forums

Sometimes a missed resource for getting traffic is through message board forums related to your niche. Now I am not saying run right out and start spamming your niche store in post #1, but often times you can buy links or ads for a very minimal price and the traffic is targeted. After registering see you you can email or private message the forum owner and discuss either a link trade or an banner ad, you might be surprised with the response. Even if it was a $25.00 a month charge on a fairly busy forum, it could pay great ROI. Get active posting in that forum and see if signature links are allowed as well. To find forums related to your niche simple google "your niche name" + forum.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

BANS stores with hypens or underscores

I see a lot of discussion on what people think about using hyphens or underscores in their niche stores. For the easiest answer lets just take a look at Google.

The above url uses both.

The blogger platform uses hyphens like the url above. Being as Google owns Blogger and Google owns Google, it seems that both are really acceptable. I would however be consistent throughout your store. Personally i like to use hyphens, but I really do not see either one being an advantage over the other one.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Content SEO and Niche Stores

Yep. We are talking about content yet again. Hopefully I am driving home the point to you. Came across another bookmark from one of my favorite sites. Content is KING! Ms Walker has some great free tips below:

Put a search term to the test and see how lengthy some content is in both Google and Yahoo for the top ranking sites on page one of the results.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Using the news as a niche source

As many football fans may note, Packers QB Brett Favre retired today. I immediately was curious if a BANS store existed for Brett Favre stuff. Sure enough there is one. Favre memorabilia will be hot for quite a while and blew up quickly today on eBay. This is a good lesson in watching the news and current events to discover a niche to match a store with. If I am the Favre store owner, I would be on every Packer message board under the sun, promoting that link. Also, to the store owner, you are welcome for this free plug.

Monday, March 3, 2008

BANS 3.0 Build A Niche Store Review

Well, Christmas has arrived. Build A Niche Store 3.0 has been released and it does not disappoint. The platform is very impressive and very user friendly. I had the install done in 5 minutes flat and the user manual is very well laid out. If you are new to BANS, I highly suggest using Hostgator for hosting as the manual is written with it in mind. I have been a Hostgator customer for a while and am very happy with their service. BANS 3.0 now has a feature which will let you geographically target auctions by zip code if you want to build a niche store for local level promotion. If you are new to BANS, I suggest using a main eBay category to start with. If you get into making a custom niche store, you better know exactly what you are doing. I suggest a newbie start generic and get comfortable with everything before building a custom store. The url re-write function is nice as it hides the rover.ebay urls of the past. You can turn this on or off if you like. The new 3.0 also gives the ability to add content either before or after the auction listings as well. I give the new 3.0 version a 10 out of a possible 10. If you are an experienced webmaster or even a newbie, you should be making money in no time.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Feels like Christmas Eve... BANS 3.0

Well, hopefully sometime tomorrow, BANS 3.0 will be released. I have seen several of demo sites used and am just as excited as everyone else. One word of caution. If you have sites that are performing very well with 2.0, I highly suggest not upgrading them until you get a good feel for 3.0. I do not intend on upgrading any of my highly successful sites for a while, but might play around with a few of the slower ones. I suggest you get comfortable by building a new niche store with the new version before you do anything else and let the bugs creep out for a while. Have a great night and hopefully Santa does not let us down on Christmas Day! LOL!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Google and link relationships

The great Shoemoney has a post today about Google and link relationships, which needs to be read by everyone. This is quite useful for BANS store owners who might be linking out to there Squidoo page or other related sites. He gives a great breakdown video on Social API as well.

Only 2 more days until Build A Niche Store 3.0 is released. Yippee! see you on the boards.


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