This post is installment #1 in my new article series “Watch me Build a BANS Niche from Scratch“. In future posts I’ll write about how to customize and promote this brand new site and you’ll get to watch whether or not I can make money with “Build a Niche Store”!
If you want to watch me build a BANS niche web site you’ve come to right place! Even if all you want are some BANS tips for your already existing niche site – this article series can help. I’m going to take you through the process of building a niche web site from scratch! You’re going to watch how I turn a brand new domain and BANS 2.0 software I just purchased into a profitable stream of monthly income! If you came here to get rich quick online – you came to the wrong place! You’re going to have to put in the required time to create a quality site and follow my instructions, but together we can make money online if you watch what I do!
How to setup BANS
Setup for Build a Niche Store is pretty straightforward. BANS comes with a pretty detailed manual that takes all the guesswork out. I’ve setup a lot of web sites so the first steps were pretty easy…
Setting up BANS
- I purchased a domain earlier this week to use for this series – http://www.used-cell-phones.info. I bought it from goDaddy, where I register all my domains.
- I purchased a brand new hosting account at HostGator just for this project, because they guarantee BANS will work there. I documented how to make a BANS site work on goDaddy here, but NEVER host all your web sites at one web host. Always try to use at least two or three different ones.
- I unzipped the files from the download I received when I bought BANS, and uploaded all the files for the US Store version of BANS 2.0 to www.used-cell-phones.info
- Reading the PDF manual that came with BANS it says to change the permissions on one file (which I did)
- I created a new mySQL database in my cPanel and a new database user per the manual instructions
The images above is the one you see when you bring your web site up in a browser for the first time. You of course click the link to install. Next you enter the database info, and then click install again to get this confirmation screen:
You absolutely HAVE to follow the instructions here and delete your install.php file from the server and also immediantly change your username and password from the defaults right after you login!
Total BANS Setup Time: 10 Minutes
At least, that’s what it took me to set it up. I’m experienced in setting up web sites and scripts, if you’re not it could take you 30 minutes.
Setting up the BANS Storefront
The first thing you want to do is go to “setup” in the left navigation of your BANS admin panel. Enter your “Site Name”, country and eBay category number. I chose 15032 because that’s “Cell Phones & PDA’s”.
Next you’re going to enter your affiliate details, to use BANS for eBay commissions you need a Commission Junction account click here to signup. Once you do go into “account -> web site settings” to get your PID number to enter in BANS. You also want to enter your Clickbank ID, if you don’t have one signup at clickbank.com. If another blogger sees your site and wants to buy BANS – why not get a little commission from it? Of course if you’re going to do this you want the “powered by BANS” link set to “Yes”.
In product details – you want to make sure that you have the items setup the way you want. The first one “Home Page Products” will determine whether or not you have eBay auctions listed right on your homepage or not. My choice is “NO”. We are building a quality site (not a spammy one) and I want some quality content up front first. Next, when you have auctions what are they going to be sorted by? I say to sort by “ending soonest”, because many people want to know what they can buy “right now” or within the next few days. It’s also the way that eBay sorts their auctions by default and what most people are used to. “Buy it now” or BIN only – I say “NO” to. I want to show all auctions and BIN ones are usually much higher priced than the regular 5 or 7 day auction format. I say “YES” to eBay logo because I believe that’s required in their terms and conditions, and also because I want everyone to know that these are eBay auctions and not some shady auction site. I like 20 auctions per page, less doesn’t give enough choices, and more makes the page load reallllly long!
Under your “navigation details” you just either choose “open” if you want links to all pages listed on every page, or “closed” to have just high level parent pages listed on every page for navigational links. “Switch” should be set to “normal” unless you run into problems later on. Now click on “setup store” at the bottom of this page!!
What do you have so far? We haven’t even setup the homepage, written any content, or defined any store pages at all – and you may be surprised by what we have so far.
We know we have some changes to make to the template, but I want you to see that we not only already have the basic structure of a web site out of the box. We have a search box, and a title – but what’s that on the left?? From the eBay category ID we entered in setup, we already have 6 default categories to choose from. Let’s pick one…
I clicked on “cell phones” and it already displays auctions! I want you to especially check out the navigation I have circled red on the left. See how it shows the “Cell Phones” category, and automatically shows the subcategories within it on eBay? You can click any one of these and drill down again. I’m liking this quite a bit, and it’s funny in a way because usually when you setup a web site you start with content and monetize it slowly over time. With a BANS site you seem to start with monetization when you choose a default eBay category, and then to draw traffic you have to create content around it.
Editing the BANS template
Now you click on “template” to the left and choose a template. I’m going to choose the “both” one where the navigation is on the left and I can put adsense ads on the right.
You can edit the (code for) the header, footer, or the stylesheet from the template tab just by clicking any of them. I’m going to choose not to edit any of them at this time because they aren’t necessary to get the store off the ground – and I can always come back and edit these later on. But I am going to click on “logo” and upload my own logo. One of the things that the BANS menu doesn’t tell you is that you have to make sure that you create and upload an entire header image the exact size required. AND – adding the header image WILL NOT get rid of the textual title on the page (which is good). So basically what I’m saying is you want to create a header with images only that won’t cover up the title. I created a crude quick header image which I can refine later as I customize and promote the site.
Creating BANS content pages
Next, I want to get some content on the home page because as “minty fresh” as the google index is anymore, this should be in the index by the morning. I want to make sure that there is some actual relevant quality content for the search engine crawler to eat. You can have as many “content pages” as you want in your bans site, but for setup I just want to edit the content on the “home page”.
Next you click on “edit” to edit the home page. As you edit the title, keywords, description and the actual text of the page pay attention to how long you’re spending updating each item. You may want to save every so often. I did notice that if I took longer than 10 minutes or so when I went to “save” it would revert to the login screen and I would lose my changes. So be aware of this if you are taking a really long time to write content.
I’m going to edit the homepage now, and I want you to see the interface (to edit pages).
Title: Give every page a keyword rich title, but try not to use 10 or less words.
Keywords: Keywords don’t matter much in search engines anymore, so just rattle off 6 or 8 important ones.
Description: Pay utmost attention to the description field. For every page you enter this for, when someone finds this page in a search engine result page the “description” field is the same as the text that describes a page. In other words, right after the title it not only makes your page come up higher in search results pages (with good keywords), but it’s what actually entices people to click! Visitor’s will click on your link and visit your site based on what that description says! Try to keep it down to 3 short sentences.
Get to know the content area and the rich text editor within BANS well, because you’ll be spending a lot of time in here. The first paragraph of every page should be a synopsis of what the page is about. Then try to write at least 3-4+ paragraphs of quality content for every single page in your site. Bold keyword phrases you are important (and that should help you come up better in search).
Now my BANS site is setup. This isn’t NEARLY enough content for the homepage, it’s enough to get my new site up and running for today (and for me to say initial setup is complete). If you’re reading this page to try and figure out is Build a Niche Site for you or not – please consider buying BANS through my affiliate link. I make a small commission, which would help defray some of my time and expense for putting together this BANS tutorial (and future BANS success articles) for you! I purchased my copy of BANS through Affiliate Confession’s web site, because Alan’s articles about success with BANS convinced me to buy my copy!
Now you can read Installment #2: Creating BANS Site Content for Traffic. Also – if BANS isn’t for you, please consider reading How to earn money using Affiliate eBay WordPress Plugin BAYRss. With BANS you build content basically around eBay auctions, but with BAYRss you place eBay auctions in your posts and pages. Check it out, I use (and make money) with both BANS and BayRSS!
Questions or something to add about BANS setup? Please comment now!