In part 2 of the Build A Niche Store series we’re going to look at brainstorming a profitable affiliate niche on eBay using my favorite free keyword tool and the eBay search function. We will also be looking at what you want to get in a domain name. This post won’t be much about BANS itself, only about the foundation of your store.
It may come as a shock to you, but I don’t do very involved keyword research. If I were to create a monster site, that might be a different matter, but at the level of what I’m trying to do, extensive keyword research is a waste of time. To locate a niche as I did for the store I will be building in these tutorials, I just think of a product people need and head over to the Keyword Discovery free keyword tool to see what comes up. I like this one because it is a lot like the old Overture keyword suggestion tool. I really hated to see that one go.
Normally what tells me if something is a good niche is that the root keyword has more than 25,000 searches per month. What I mean by root keyword is something like watches, air purifiers, shoes, etc. Obviously you will probably building a more specific store with more targeted words, but you want to have the overall category be one that is fairly active and popular.
I’m building a site about air purifiers so I put in the word air purifier at Keyword Discovery and get all sorts of results. This is a great niche because the main keyword generates more than 37,000 searches per month and there are all sorts of more specific keywords under the main word. And these are great words too because they include a manufacturer or a specific brand that the manufacturer makes. When you get keywords such as this, where people are being very specific, they are doing involved research or are ready to buy. Consequently I will be building many pages that feature these specific names of air purifiers. EcoQuest, Oreck, Sharper Image, Honeywell and others are all brands I will be putting up individual pages for.
I then go over to eBay and use their advanced search feature to scope out my keyword and see what kind of auction activity is going on. I won’t go deep into how I use the advanced search feature because I’ve already written an extensive tutorial on it here. By using advanced search and the keyword air purifier, I found that at the writing of this post, there are 147 items (mostly air purifiers) in the Heating, Cooling and Air category on eBay that have at least 2 bids with more than half a page of auction items priced at more than $100 and 20 items that have 10 or more bids. This looks like a very active niche and one that I want to take advantage of.
Next we’re on to choosing a domain name. I like to use my specific keyword in a domain name because I think it’s descriptive to your niche for the people you are trying to reach and I tend to think it does give you some advantage in the search engines. Now, there are a lot of very successful sites that don’t have a keyword in their domain name such as Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, YouTube, etc., but we aren’t even close to competing in that realm. Remember, you are building a niche store that will probably never get more than 2,000 visitors a day if you are very lucky and more like 500 or so per day is good, so we don’t want to go cutesy on the domain name. You want niche recognition, not cute. I also always get a domain without dashes and always, always, always get a .com name. You can read more about what to look for in a domain name here.
I use Godaddy.com to look up my domain names just because I like their suggestions if your domain name is already taken. Now, I would never host a BANS site with Godaddy because there have been way too many problems reported in the BANS forums with them. I use 1and1.com for hosting and I purchase my domains through them as well because it’s a simple process where you buy your domain and set up a directory within your control panel and you’re good to go.
These are the basics of setting up the foundation of your store. Next on the tutorial agenda will be installing and tweaking your store and uploading a logo.
You can get a copy of Build A Niche Store here if you are interested.
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