Friday, July 11, 2008

Niche Store Student On Board Series Post #1

I have taken on a new student for a period of about 4 weeks. Now let me start in saying I am no BANS guru or self proclaimed expert. I know what works for me and have just happened to make more mistakes than most of you. I have some free time as right now I am going through some of my slower neglected stores and giving them some attention and it is not as time consuming as when I attack a new store build. My student has agreed to let everyone follow along in the process of taking one of his non productive stores and hopefully making it a producer. Let me add that this is not an over night transformation. What the student does today can take 90-180 days to start seeing results. We hope to streamline and shorten the time line, but he understands that it could take that long. You should too. I hope to try to make 2-3 post a week concerning his store makeover. The student does not know this yet, but he will be blogging about his own journey as well on his own blog, so you should be able to follow along there as well.

EDITED to add his blog:

I highly suggest if you have a new store or are thinking about making a non producing store come alive, you follow along with every update and make every move according to what the student does. I am not doing it for the student, I am teaching the student what to do and how to do it. I will let him make many mistakes along the way, but hope to teach him to fish instead of just handing him the fish. I will entitle every post dedicated to the training as "Niche Store Student On Board Series Post #1" etc., so it will be easy to keep up with. I highly suggest you subsrcibe to my blogs RSS feed as well, so you never miss a post.

So lets get started.

The site is and I have provided the original screen shot and you can click on it to see a larger version of it.

What is wrong with it?
Let's tear it apart first with everything that is wrong with it before we start going forward.

1. The current template he has looks to be not installed correctly or unfinished, giving the site an unprofessional look. Also let's face it, it looks like a BANS store.

2. There is no clear path of the keywords or keyword phrases he is targeting on the store other than ham radio, which is very broad and very competitive. If I can't see the target keywords, how can Google see them?

3. All of the store menu and individual store pages seem to be left to default BANS/eBay settings and wrapped around a top ham radio category. I have posted many times on my blog that for a store to be successful, nothing should be default.

4. What content he has on the site, seems to be lifted from elsewhere. This is not unique or original and will get no love in the search engines.

5. Very few inbound links to the site, just a couple from Quassia mostly.

What is right about it?

1. Great domain name as it has ham radio in it.
2. The store seems to be mostly indexed.

First assignment for the student!

1. Get these templates and install correctly. We want to put a fresh coat of paint on the store and give it a more professional look without it looking so much like a Build A Niche Store.

2. Keyword research 3 main keywords for the front page. They need to be associated with the overall direction of the site and also not too competitive. We want some middle of the road keywords that are reachable in the search engines. We will not be targeting "ham radio" as it is just too short and too competitive plus by default that keyword will be used a ton in content and in links anyway. We want some longer keyword phrases that include ham radio in them. We will be be using the links below for research. If you are playing along at home, see if you can pick out the 3 keyword phrases we will decide on for the front page.

3. Make a blog post about what he has learned and what he has done thus far per my instructions.

We will check back in a few days to discuss the progress and go forward with the next step.

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Manuel Merz on July 11, 2008 at 1:07 PM said...

To bad there isn't something free but for more students. It would be great to have a group of about 10 people split in two groups and let them do some competition against.

It would be hell of a learning road for everyone I guess ;)

Barbara said...

This should be great. i just bought the template packs as well. i look forward to following this series.

soggy on July 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM said...

Manuel, I see your point, but the reality is if you had 10 people only 2 would likely do the work. The turnover in affiliate marketing is incredible, because people get discouraged real easy and expect fast, easy money with little or no work.

soggy on July 11, 2008 at 3:11 PM said...

Barbara, Thank you for your purchase. You can see the templates are easy to install and are easy to edit. Yes, this little series should be fun if my student stays with it.

Anonymous said...

Thats true Soggy but things like that can always be tested before they got accepted ;)

I see it myself most of the time I need time pressure to work really efficient or somebody who slaps my butt on a regulary base ;) That doesn't mean I am a lazy guy its the other way round. The start is just always really hard for me.

soggy on July 11, 2008 at 4:31 PM said...

I see your side, but although I blog and build templates and earn money that way, the bulk of what I do is my own store building. Keeping up with one student at a time is taxing on me as well. Managing 10 and keeping their butts whipped at the same time would cause me to lack in other areas. That is why hopefully by guiding a student publicly others can watch and learn the transformation. There is NO ONE way to go about it either. Some stores need a bit of something that some others do not need across the SERPS and various niches. Once people learn the basics and you get their light to come on, that is where the magic starts and the income rolls in. Affiliate marketing has a steep learning curve, no matter what platform, template, blog tool or magic bullet of the week comes along. People need to trust in the BANS/EPN system first and learn what to do with it. Then go forward, buying a template from me or a submission service from someone else or any other magic bean does not take away from the basics. I need to teach them to fish first, then they can go fill up their tackle box with lures and cut bait. My job is to get the light to come on. Off to dinner I go. Back soon!

Manuel Merz on July 11, 2008 at 4:50 PM said...

Oh sorry for the Anonmyous, that was me :(

Ah I didn't knew that you're teaching that deeply with this student. I suggested more like an open teached session ;)

I think you and your success spiced with your knowledge would give a longterm income with teaching after you have enough from affiliate stuff :P

Take care and keep rockin :)

BunnyB on July 11, 2008 at 8:31 PM said...

Ooh, this sounds interesting. I'll be following the progress for sure. (Only wish it were me) :)

Lladro Collectibles on July 12, 2008 at 1:13 AM said...

This looks like a cool project. It'll be fun to see the store progress.

Traffic stats would be a good addition.


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